With nicknames like "The Venice of the North" and "The Fairytale City", it's no wonder that Bruges is such a popular gem. It had been on my radar for a while, but it was that typical case of knowing that it was so close and so easily accessible, that it kept getting put on the back burner. But I finally did it! It was E's second time visiting Bruges, but it had been a good few years since so he was happy to take the trip with me. We were also incredibly lucky with the weather - it only rained very briefly once while we were eating dinner one night, and it was the sunniest one our one full day there, which was miraculous.
It was a very smooth journey from London - it took one Eurostar (2 hours) and a train from Brussels (1 hour), which felt hassle-free and easy. I would definitely recommend getting the Eurostar tickets that allow you to take any onward trains to anywhere in Belgium (if needed), as it makes it that much simpler!
Once we'd arrived at our lovely Airbnb flat (with the great view below from the rooftop terrace), one of the first things we found as we strolled around town was the boat station, where you could hop on a little boat with a guide and be taken along the central canals. Bruges is generally not a cheap place, so we were pleasantly surprised that the boat ride was only 8 euros for half an hour (the horse carriages are over 40 per half hour!!) and decided to go for it.
It was one of the best things we did the whole holiday! It helped that I was luckily sat right at the front by the captain (read = prime position to take photos), and he was absolutely hilarious and a fantastic guide. He talked us through the landmarks and interesting facts about the buildings and bridges we passed, with generous scatterings of personal anecdotes and funny jokes that we all enjoyed.
So today, I'm sharing some photos from that canal boat ride, one of the most memorable moments of our mini break. And this is only the beginning of how beautiful and characterful Bruges is - it's such a special place where you feel like you've gone back in time, surrounded by the incredible Medieval houses, monuments and bridges that date back as far as the 13th century.