After spending a very sketchy night in a Paris hostel and a short morning of train travel I arrived in Brugge, Belgium. This little city is probably one of my favorites thus far. It is small and homey and the Belgians are the most uncomplicated of people. They say what they mean and they mean what they say – intimidating and crude at times, however, you always know where you stand. During my time in Belgium there always seemed to be someone there to give directions, a helping hand, or local advice on what to do and see.
My first day was spent exploring the neighboring city of Gent (slightly bigger than Brugge and with a more modern feel). I did this on foot because the street trams that had previously been in Brugge have since been removed to make the city feel more historically authentic. Gent has a large student population – we managed to roll into town just as the city was cleaning up after one of many summer festivals.
Day two was spent further exploring the quaint city of Brugge and experiencing its nightlife. Summer is the time for music festivals and that’s just what we found in the central park. Don’t miss the waffles, the chocolate, the stew, and of course, the beer.
The next morning I rented bikes (€8) with some new friends, and we spent the day cycling out to the coast and back. Even if you only have two days in Brugge I highly recommend spending one of them on a bike in the countryside. Armed with a picnic lunch, the three of us cycled along the canals to the coast (with a quick stop in Damme for a cold one of course!).
Accommodation: Lybeer Hostel – Definitely in my top five hostels in Europe. Great people, great price, great location.
Happy hour: Snuffel Hostel – Great for those traveling on a budget!