Discover Benelux, Issue 25, January 2016

Page 42

Discover Benelux | Bruges: Venice of the North | Introduction

global reputation as masters of chocolate making. You can see chocolate crafting demonstrations at the museum (or even have a go at it yourself) and have a tasting session, or visit one of the many expert chocolate shops in Bruges. And if all that chocolate makes you thirsty, do try one of Bruges’ iconic beers, either after a guided visit to the last town brewery ‘De Halve Maan’, or in one of the many bars found throughout the city. For the gastronomic aficionados, top culinary delights can be found in Bruges, as it is packed with high-end restaurants, renowned by culinary guides such as Gault&Millau and Michelin. Make sure you

book ahead, especially at De Karmeliet, Bruges’ three Michelin star restaurant, as it has announced it will be closing by the end of 2016.

Getting around the cobblestones The inner city of Bruges is small and oval shaped, and can therefore easily be visited on foot or, in a more romantic and iconic way, by horse-drawn carriage. Extra blankets are provided in wintertime. The train station lies at the border of the city centre, and is also within walking distance of all the cities’ highlights. Frequent daytime trains can also take you from Brussels to Bruges within an hour and a half.

BRUGES’ WINTER HIGHLIGHTS Seasonal sales 2 – 31 January A month of seasonal sales at Bruges’ main shopping streets Zuidzandstraat, Steenstraat, Geldmuntstraat and Noordzandstraat, which are traffic free on Saturdays in January. Winter walk until 31 March A guided walk through the city, highlighting the most beautiful winter scenery in Bruges. To be booked through the Bruges tourist info centre. ‘Wintervonken’ Festival 6 - 8 February A warm and cosy festival centred around the iconic Burg, featuring street theatre acts, intimate concerts and heart-warming fire installations. Visit by horse-drawn carriage: Discover the medieval town centre of Bruges while snug and cosy under a warm blanket in a horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by the sound of clacking horse shoes on the cobblestone streets.

42 | Issue 25 | January 2016