Brugge: My General Impressions

Brugge is absolutely picturesque.
Hanging out with some swans.
While I planned most of the Cologne leg of our trip, it was my friend's idea that we visit Brugge, Belgium. I admit - before she brought the idea up I had never heard of the town which is located in the Flemish region of Belgium. Like most folks, Brussels was the first city that came to mind when I thought of Belgium. However, my friend sent me information about the town when we were planning our trip, and as I looked at pictures of it, I was immediately hooked! Although it isn't as bustling as Brussels, Brugge is absolutely worth a visit as it's incredibly aesthetically pleasing. In fact, the city center is rightfully designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearly every section of the town offers lovely views and architecture from a time before ours. Brugge is often compared to Venice due to it's large number of canals, and the old cobblestone streets in the city center give visitors ample opportunity to stroll along the waterways. 

The face of Fort Lapin.
My friend was an amazing trip planner. She chose our lovely accommodations, Fort Lapin, located in the northern part of town. The B&B is not called a fort to raise its appeal; it is actually an old fort which was repurposed as an inn. At the time of our stay (June 2014), the fort had five or six rooms available for rent, but when I checked the website recently, there were only two rooms advertised. Therefore, my experience at Fort Lapin likely isn't exactly reflective of what a guest might experience there today. 

Nonetheless, if the level of service is the same, future guests at Fort Lapin will certainly enjoy their time there! As my friend and I visited Brugge during the World Cup, the fort was busy and nearly all the rooms were booked. Since the staff were enjoying the World Cup festivities, they forgot to prepare our room! We were given several apologies in English and French, my friend's native language (naturally, the staff speak Dutch as well), and we accepted them with smiles as we didn't have a concrete itinerary and weren't in a hurry. As compensation, we were upgraded for free to a more expensive room and given cute Belgium flag hats. Our room was spacious, roomy and well-decorated.

The living area of our room which was pretty sizable.
The roof was high and resemble that of a barn's.
I liked the child statue sitting by the window.
The restroom.
There was a shower (not pictured) and a bathtub.
The rooftop seating area, we had it all to ourselves!

Aside from getting an upgrade on our room, the owner of Fort Lapin made us a splendid, home-cooked breakfast the next morning. Of course, the breakfast was included in the cost of the room, but I think she made us many extras as an extension of her apologies the day before. We got to enjoy our meal on the roof of the fort in the bright sunshine. We were told that it usually rains in the area at that time of year, so we were lucky girls and as we experienced clear skies throughout our stay.

The types of bread and fresh croissants!
The bread we were served was fresh, some of the best I've ever had. I tend to avoid bread because of the additives often found in it, but I could tell everything we had was additive free because I didn't feel sick or bloat up like a balloon after eating it — and trust me, I ate most of it! I have a ferocious appetite, and I can confidently report that I am responsible for devouring 60% of what we were given. I ate the bread with every combination of toppings you can think of and did not feel one ounce of guilt. My friend expressed her shock and bemusement at my actions several times!

Delicious cheese, butter, and jam.
The first of my many sandwiches.
On top of the bread, we were served panini...
...and fruit skewers, and donuts!
"Why so serious?"
At the fort, we also enjoyed a nice common area for the guests where they could relax, browse travel guides, and store left over food in the refrigerator. Beyond the common room was the elevator to the first floor. 

The common area.
Unfortunately, we never ran into the other guest here.
Resources for the guests to use were provided.
The crowd watching the football match.
That man's hat is identical to the ones we received!
As we never made any solid plans concerning what to do in Brugge aside from visiting a specific cafe and going bike riding, both activities we reserved for our second day in town. So on our first day, we grabbed a map from the commons, wandered, and went to the town square and watched Belgium vs. Russia for a bit on a large screen before grabbing dinner at a random restaurant in the area. As we ate, Belgium scored the single winning goal and the town broke into a huge party!

On our second day, we wandered around aimlessly once more before our cafe brunch and after bike riding. Our goalless strolling was not for naught though. Brugge is not a large town, and we were able to check out several of the scenic spots beautiful scenery ourselves without much difficulty.
A watermill with an interesting construction.
This cat didn't look very happy to see us!
I think we interrupted his nap.
Every street in Brugge looks like a shot from a movie set.
Although Brugge is small,
there are several tiny alleyways to duck into.
Canals run next to most of the walkways.
The Belfry of Brugge, built in the 16th century,
is one of the town's centerpieces.
The Church of Our Lady is another famous,
highly visible structure in the town.
A beautiful old fort.
Unfortunately, I don't know its name.
One of my favorite areas of town was the northwest where many windmills are located. I think I was excited to see them since old windmills seem to be a symbol of Dutch culture. I didn't realize until I saw them in person that the blades are actually anchored to the front not the back. Shows how much I know about windmills, right? We spent quite a bit of time in that area of town and ended up posing by the windmills and having a couple of photo shoots. 
Removing my glasses and getting ready
to show off all my best angles, haha!
I think Brugge is a great alternative or addition to a visit to Brussels. It literally feels like walking through a movie set, and if you avoid the busy main street where all the high-end shops are (who comes to a town like this to buy a name brand bag, anyway?) you will enjoy the quaint, small town atmosphere. I highly recommend any visitor to Brugge to rent a bike for a few hours and explore the town. There are bike lanes everywhere and you will see more of the city faster while cycling.  


  1. I was searching for a place to stay in Brugge and while looking for recommendations, I came across Fort Lapin, loved the way you've put up an honest description of the place!
    The last time I went it was cloudy (but dreamy) in Brugge, hopefully this time I'll see some sunshine!


  2. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. This is really helpful for the travelers like me. Thanks once again. Cheers !

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