Sunday, 25 September 2016

A little break in bruges, Five must do's and some tips and tricks along the way

It was that time of year again, a week off with no plans just empty days that needed filling. Me and Rhys like getting time off in September, the summer is still lingering and school years have started, meaning better prices for our purses and quieter cities, restaurants and just generally everything. Last year we went to Rhodes in Greece, but this year i decided i wanted a little exploring break, no bikinis no sun cream, just great scenery, great company and a little bit of history. When we found our deal on Secret escapes, we decided Bruges, in Belgium looked like a great place to go exploring. For any of you that don't know, secret escapes is a great website with great deals from full on holidays, city breaks or even just a night in hotel, all with a discount, no matter how small, every little helps as Tesco say.  So we packed our little suitcases and bundled into the car on Monday, heading straight for the euro tunnel. We had such a lovely couple of days and instead of just telling you about it, i thought i would make it a little more informative by telling you 5 musts when in the city and some little tips in case you wish to explore the city yourself. Obviously all filled out with copious amount of pictures, taken by one snap happy tourist (Moi).

1. First thing that's a must and pretty much a given wherever you go, is simply to just explore and go wild. There are so many little cute streets and monuments, hidden in every corner of the city. Perfect for any budding photographers or just wannabes like myself *chuckles*. You can rent a bike and cycle around the city, take a horse and carriage ride, yep that's a thing, and although it is expensive at 50 euro a pop, you can get 4 of you in so once this price is divided it doesn't seem so bad. Or like us you can keep it simple, old fashioned and of course free and explore the city by foot. We did so much walking on our trip, which was great for me as walking is one of my favourite things to do and even better we were spoilt by the weather so it meant we got to soak up the last of the lingering summer weather that seems to be about at the moment. I think its good to get lost (we did plenty of times) and just have fun with it, sometimes not having a plan or a route to stick to, just works.


2. The next thing you must do, is take a boat trip along the canal. The canal is quite a big part to Bruges, which is why it is often referred to as the Venice of the north. It quite reminds me of Cambridge, with the bikes everywhere and the canal running through the city, so if you have ever been you will know what i'm going on about. Anyway, you can pick the boats up from several spots along the canal, they are about 8 Euro per person and last approximately 35 minutes. Its a great way to give your little legs a rest, well in my case anyway, and to sit back and relax while taking in the scenery. Our tour guide, also provided us with little fun facts about the city and the houses and buildings we passed, which was quite interesting and fun. Again get your camera out and take some snaps, as you get some great views.

3. The third thing, is quite simply to eat a waffle. As simple as it is, you won't regret it and its just a must have while in Belgium, after all they are famous for there waffles, chocolate and fries, what a perfect combination. You can pick one up at any cafe, or restaurant. In my opinion its better to take one away as its quite a bit cheaper and more enjoyable, balancing on the little paper plate while trying not to spill it everywhere *chuckles*. Rhys is in no way a sweet person, pancakes and waffles are always a no go, however even he delved in and he wasn't complaining. I had mine with cappuccino flavoured ice cream, Rhys stuck with traditional vanilla, but if you prefer a fruit topping, or whipped cream and chocolate sauce, lets put it this way the possibilities are endless.

4. The fourth Must do is to head up the Belfort in the market square and be prepared for some views. For any of you that don't enjoy heights this isn't for you, but if you like them then this is perfect. It is 366 steps up to the top of the tower, a little climb and quite steep too but well worth it. I would recommend shoes with a good grip as the steps were a little slippery and maybe don't wear a skirt like silly old me, where anyone behind you has a glorious sight as you climb on up. Once at the top you can look out onto the entire city and if you wait for it to hit half past or on the hour the bells will ring and its quite something. It's just quite an enjoyable experience and well worth the climb.

5. The fifth and final must do is to head to a museum of your choice and just have a laugh. There are plenty to choose from, either a fries museum, a history museum, even a diamond museum. Or as we chose, typically,  the chocolate museum. Its rather small and dated, but interesting and funny nonetheless and its always fun to learn things you never knew. If i went again i would probably head to the history museum just to learn a little more about the history of the city and the culture surrounding it.

So those were my five must do's while in Bruges, now for a couple of tips when staying there or visiting the city. My most recommended tip when staying in Bruges is to head to your local supermarket and stock up on drinks and snacks. We found out very quickly that all the drinks and food can be ridiculously priced. We had two sandwiches and two drinks in one place and the bill came to 37 Euros! Yes really! The drinks are all at least 3 euro even for water and the sizes you are given are tiny. When taking your boyfriend that needs constant supply of food and drink, the trip can get very spendy very quickly. We also found the selection of food wasn't great either, a lot of fish and mussels and if that's not something your fond of the menus can get very tiring easily. The rather large selection of  Italian restaurants hanging around seemed to be our saving grace.

My next tip is to take some comfy shoes and be prepared to walk. The city is full of windy cobbled streets, quite uneven and everything is quite widely spread, so after walking from place to place you would have already walked a couple of miles, just on one outing. It is definitely not a heels place and its very casual as well so you don't need to look flash while exploring which is always a bonus. It definitely seemed to be very much a daytime place, the evenings were very quiet and its not from what we saw a crazy night out. However if you were to go on a weekend....well who knows!

My last tip is if you have a working car, and like me your not a huge fan of flying if you don't have to. Just use the euro tunnel. I was a bit skeptical at first, Rhys and i drove around on our last trip and that was a nightmare at times, but honestly with this drive you really can't go wrong. It is literally one straight road from Calais in France, to Belgium Bruges, with only 10 minutes of roads after this leading you into the city. For once i wasn't feeling like i wanted to close my eyes and pray, but enjoy what was around me *laughs*. 

Anyway so there you have it. A little insight into my trip away this week, some must do's and a few little tips just in case. We honestly had a lovely time and it was just what we needed. I feel we saw as much as we wanted to in three days, but maybe one day i would go back for the Christmas markets as i have heard they are wonderful. Hope you enjoyed reading about my little break in Bruges and have all had a lovely weekend. 

Thanks for reading my lovelies x 


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