If you’re considering a trip to Belgium this summer, short breaks to Bruges, for example, are best taken to by train. Fast, reliable and frequent, you can be certain to get there in maximum comfort and with minimum fuss.
Starting your trip to Bruges with a train journey can be a great opportunity to unwind and see the glorious Belgian countryside, as you wind your way closer to your destination. Among the many advantages of travelling by train, are their spacious and comfortable interiors and scenic routes, plus the fact you don’t have to endure long waits at airport security gates. They usually run more frequently as well, and take their travellers to stations located in or very close to city centres.
Once you reach Bruges, you’ll be awestruck by its old-world beauty. Take in the medieval architecture, contoured canals and horse-drawn carriages as they trundle their way down the cobblestone lanes. Most of Bruges’ thoroughfares are lanes rather than roads and are too narrow for cars, so be sure to plan to walk, ride, or even sail by canal boat instead. The latter option will gracefully take you via some of the city’s ancient byways – a real romantic and historic treasure trove.
Bruges has most of its medieval architecture still intact and the glorious and historic centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the turn of this century. Be sure to see the following:
• The Church of Our Lady – the brick spire, at 122 metres in height, makes it one of the world’s highest brick constructions.
• Sculpture of Madonna and Child – This is thought to be Michelangelo’s only sculpture to have left Italy in his lifetime.
• 13th-century Belfry – this houses a municipal carillon comprising of 47 bells. The city still employs a full-time bell ringer who has become something of a celebrity and will put on regular free concerts.
• Choco-Story – the chocolate museum is located in the 16th-century Huis de Crone building on Sint-Jansplein in Central Bruges. It is a family-owned chocolate business, which produces delicacies that are the envy of many of the world’s top confectioners.
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week’s holiday for you, Bruges is an unforgettable destination. With its breath-taking architecture and beautiful and peaceful urban oases, criss-crossed with wonderful canals, it is rightfully viewed by many as one of the most magical places on the continent.
Photo by williamsdb on Flickr