I have quite the recap for you all to come this week from my incredibly amazing weekend in Chicago with my girls, but before I get to that, I need to continue to tackle my European vacation recaps.
Today, we’re talking about Bruges, Belgium.
After spending four days in London, we hopped on a high-speed train to Bruges, Belgium where we would be staying for one night. We figured we were so close, we may as well go check it out!
The train actually took us from London (through France) to Brussels, Belgium. Then, we got on a different train and headed to Bruges. If I remember correctly, the total time on the trains was around three hours.
When we arrived in Bruges it was raining, and it continued to rain for most of the day. That didn’t stop us from enjoying our time there though. Bring on the rain coats and umbrellas.
They have beautiful canals that run through the city. When the weather is nicer, they have lots of boat rides along the canals. We saw one going while we were there but they people all looked miserably cold. I wasn’t too enticed by that idea.
We dropped off our bags at our hotel and headed towards the heart of the city. We were both starving and on a hunt for some grub. The city feels small, but it actually holds more than 116,000 residents. We were only in the “city” area however and most live outside of the city. Coming from London, the city felt especially small.
We made it out of the rain and found a seat in a packed brasserie. I needed hot food in a bad way, so obviously I ordered the onion soup.
We sat (closely) to a man who us from Bruges. I asked him where we should buy chocolate in the area. He told us to go to the Pierre Marcolini shop, and that’s just what we did. I neglected to take any chocolate photos (still can’t believe I did that) but there was chocolate EVERYWHERE. Talk about my dreamworld. Belgian chocolate is incredibly well-known, and now I know why. It is perfectly smooth and sweet but not too sweet and so pure. I loved it!
They are also very well-known for their lace, and we noted a handful of lace shops as we walked up and down the streets. We spent much of the day looking around the shops. The city was bustling with weekend visitors, but not so crowded that I was going nuts.
Later in the afternoon we regrouped in our hotel and took a little siesta to refresh ourselves before the evening. Let’s talk about this hotel for a sec. I wanted to live in this hotel!
Imagine being chilled and tired from a day out in the rain and coming home to this room…
We stayed at the Hotel Goezeput. Our room was on the top floor and I adored everything about it. The vaulted ceilings, the windows, the layout, the bathrooms, the heater. It made me want to get into my sweats, grab a cup hot chocolate, and hibernate for the winter. So, so cozy! I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking to visit Bruges.
After our siesta, we headed back out to enjoy the city.
As we were walking along looking for a happy hour home, I spotted one with a fireplace. Being that I was still pretty chilled to the bone, there was no doubt in my mind that was the place we needed to be. We settled into our table by the fire, ordered our libations, and enjoyed some free olives. YES! Why don’t all restaurants give free olives. I loved this!
Dinner that evening was just mediocre, and in fact I don’t even want to spend time sharing the photos because I just wasn’t impressed. But it didn’t matter. We were SO enjoying our time in Bruges.
Our walk home to the hotel in the evening was stunning. All of the buildings were lit up and magical.
The next morning we made our way to the train station for our next journey to Paris. Of course, it was sunny and beautiful. Still chilly though.
Breaking up the big cities, London and Paris, with Bruges was a seriously good way to go. It had such a laid back, comfortable feel, and it was so worth the trip, even for just 24 hours!
Keep your eyes peeled for my final post about our European vacation: Paris! I don’t know how on earth I’m going to fit that into one post! It may be a two-part deal. 🙂