Bruges

The ideal weekend getaway, Bruges is a historic settlement packed with character and I was lucky enough to spend my 26th birthday strolling the picturesque cobbled streets here, in this medieval city.

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The city is built around a network of canals which all link to the North Sea. Waterways are lined with merchant houses, which you can spot from the small bank side doors (so cute and small!) and the city has preserved most of its medieval architecture. It’s the perfect walking escape and even more perfect for chocolate lovers!

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I stayed in a quaint family run BnB in the centre of Bruges, just moments away from Augustijnenberg, the oldest bridge in Bruge – this dates all the way back to the 14th century. The buildings, decorated with ivy together with the trees lining the canal and the calming sound of the water really puts you into relax mode.

I spent as much time as I could outdoors by the canals, taking in the views with a glass of wine in the chilly sunshine and enough mussels to settle my seafood craving for a long time!

I’d definitely bring some cobble-proof shoes and prepare yourself for walks around the city. Put away your map and just see where you end up. The entire city is surrounded by walls so you’ll never wander too far

An alternative way to see the city without tiring your feet is via the canals. It’s a great way to learn about the city from the locals and enjoy the simple pleasures of a boat tour – waving at strangers on the bank side. Remember to pack a coat for the breeze if you’re a winter visitor.

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The main square in Bruges is located at the market centre and lined with cafes and restaurants if you fancy a spot of people watching. It’s also great for those looking for culture, with the museum housing Salvator Dali’s artwork and the nearby beer museum.

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If you’re still keen to avoid the footwork, there’s always the romantic option to take a tour of the city via a horse drawn carriage.

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For those after the sweeter things in life, the countless chocolate shops will certainly keep you satisfied. I’m not a huge chocolate fan but I still could have eaten those chocolate coated waffles all day!

A weekend in Bruges was definitely long enough to take in the sites of this picture perfect city. It might be a popular tourist destination but in my mind provides a slow-paced magical escape from modern city life.

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