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Bruges (Brugge): the jewel city of Flanders

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Bruges (Brugge) is the capital of West Flanders in Belgium. This city with a little over one hundred thousand inhabitants is located 13 km from the North Sea. The city is connected by some artificial canals with its port, Zeebrugge.

In the city there are textile, mechanical, electrotechnical, shipbuilding, metallurgical, chemical, food, textile, crystal, wood and lace industries. Brugge’s specialties include laces and lace, antiques, chocolate, pralines and beer. Finally famous is the production of the lace of Bruges.


Small village on the estuary of the Zwyn River it was founded around the year 1000. In 1128 it became an independent municipality. During this period the walls and new canals were also built. In the municipal era the city had a remarkable development, becoming an important manufacturing and commercial center of the wool and fabric market.

Bruges (Brugge) in the thirteenth century was one of the mercantile, economic and cultural capitals of Europe. The city had direct trade with the rich Italian cities, which opened the city to products from the Mediterranean and the Orient. Banking and commercial techniques also had a strong impulse. Then when it passed to the Duchy of Burgundy (1384), the city became an important artistic center. It was here that the Primitive Flemish School of painting was born in the fifteenth century, in this period the population of Brugge exceeded 40,000 inhabitants. In the 16th century the city decayed, both due to competition from Antwerp and Ghent and the gradual cover-up of the Zwyn river estuary.


CAR: Bruges is located in north-western Belgium and can be easily reached via the European motorway network. Bruges is only an hour’s drive from Brussels.

FLIGHTS: There are three airports that can be used to get to Bruges: the airports of Brussels, Brussels Sud-Charleroi, and Ostend.

BUS: Eurolines and Flixbus make direct connections to Brussels and Antwerp. From here there are numerous connections to Bruges.

FERRIES: The port of Zeebrugge (16 km from Bruges), is connected with Hull in the United Kingdom by daily ferries of P & O Ferries the journey takes about 14 hours.

The port of Ostend is located only 25 km from Bruges. It is connected to Ramsgate in the United Kingdom by daily ferries (car transport only) of Transeuropa Ferries.

TRAIN: Bruges is located on the Brussels-London railway line. The city is connected with direct trains from all the main cities of Belgium and also with numerous European cities. Bruges station is one of the Thalys train stops which connects Paris to Brussels and Ostend.


Bruges has an excellent urban transport network made up of buses operated by De Lijn that connect the historic center with the various districts of the city and with neighboring countries. The public transport network is formed urban and regional lines. There are 18 urban lines, which connect all corners of the city, and 24 regional lines that connect the city with the suburbs and neighboring towns.

The central area of the city is easily explored on foot. Another very nice way to explore the city is by bicycle, which can be easily rented at various rental points.

Tourist attractions: what to see in Bruges.

Bruges museums. Which museums to visit.

The climate: when to go to Bruges.

This post is also available in: Deutsch