Visiting Romantic Bruges… With My Parents

Bruges Canal

Romantic cobble stoned streets, cozy sidewalk cafes, dreamy canals, ivy covered houses, historic churches, charming market squares, it really doesn’t get much more lovey-dovey than this popular city in Belgium.

So if you’re wondering whether I was visiting Bruges with my significant other, going on romantic canal rides and eating Belgian chocolates, I’ll have to disappoint.

Bruges market Square
Bruges Houses
Bruges Canal

If you’ve been following along with the last few posts you might know that I traveled through Europe this summer with my parents on the Voyage of the Vikings cruise.

Not exactly your ideal travel companions in one of Europe’s most romantic cities, but I didn’t let that bother me.

Bruges market Square

Instead of strolling hand in hand with a significant other, I traipsed after my parents – my role models when it comes to relationships, having been married for over 25 years.

Belfort Tower
Rozenhoedkaai and Belfort Tower in Bruges

Even the old Belfry of Bruges, which was popularized in the film “In Bruges”, has an intimate quality to it. Although once you start climbing the 366 steps in the tight spiral staircase packed with sweaty tourists no one feels particularly romantic.

View from the Belfort Tower Bruges

The views from the top of the tower are breathtaking. Bruges stretches out below and you get a 360 degree view of the city.

View from the Belfort Tower Bruges
Belfort Tower Bell
View from the Belfort Tower Bruges

If you visit Bruges in the summer, be prepared to expect a lineup at the tower entrance. Only 70 people are allowed in the tower at one time, significantly slowing down the entrance line.

After the hot climb up the Belfort Tower we wandered over to  Rozenhoedkaai , which is the most photographed spot in all of Bruges.

The most photographed spot in Bruges: Rozenhoedkaai

Looking across the Dijver River at the old cobble stoned houses, with the Belfort Tower in the background, it’s easy to see why this is the quintessential Bruges shot.

The most photographed spot in Bruges: Rozenhoedkaai
The most photographed spot in Bruges: Rozenhoedkaai

Of course, being mid August, the streets were packed with tourists and it was a bit of a fight to get a good view. Between the canal boat line ups and the vast number of photographers taking their shots of the most photographed spot in Bruges, I managed to get a couple of photos as well.

Begijnhof Bruges

Later in the day, we stumbled upon Begijnhof, an area today inhabited by the nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict. There is a quietness and peacefulness here that compliments the whitewashed houses and makes for a nice stroll away from the busier city streets.

Nun in Bruges
Pink Bicycle and Convent entrance in Bruges

What I really loved about Bruges the most were the quieter places I found when I wandered away from the main city center. The still canals, deserted bridges, cobble stoned streets, old narrow alleyways, and intricately carved stone facades on the houses really pulled me into the city’s charming atmosphere.

It was here, in these places, where I could truly sense the romance of Bruges.

Old Alleyway in Bruges

I'm a sucker for old cobble stoned alleyways and this one was no exception. I love the colors of the yellow wall, mixed with the hints of green from the flower pots, along with the various shades of burnt orange and brown bricks.

Bruges Canal
Bruges Houses
Groote Carved Stone Facade Bruges
Bruges Canal
Yellow Car

This happy little car jumped out at me because of it's bright, cheerful color. As you can see from the photo above, I wasn't the only one admiring it.

Would I visit Bruges again? Yes! With all the romantic architecture, beautiful city scapes, and charming canals I could have easily spent a few more days here discovering the area.

Bruges Canal Bridge