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Things to do in

West Flanders

Our most recommended things to do in West Flanders

Zeebrugge to Bruges Return Cruise Shuttle Service

1. Zeebrugge to Bruges Return Cruise Shuttle Service

See the sights at your own pace and save money with a shuttle transfer service from the cruise terminal at Zeebrugge to the historic heart of Bruges. Avail of a quick transfer service that runs from the port to the city every 30 minutes in the morning and back to the port every 30 minutes in the afternoon. Take the worry out of your transportation needs during a cruise stopover in the pretty city of Bruges. Simply take the free port shuttle service to the gate, and then walk down to the bus departure point for embarkation. Get dropped off just a few minutes walk from the historic city center of Bruges.

Bruges: Boat Cruise and Guided Walking Tour

2. Bruges: Boat Cruise and Guided Walking Tour

Explore Bruges on a walking tour with a local guide. Join a boat cruise along the canals to see the sites from the water. Meet your guide in the Markt for a guided tour of the city. Discover the narrowest street, the beautiful 12th-century basilica, and the golden statues on the impressive courthouse. Next, explore the fish market surrounded by 126 columns. Then, embark on the second part of the tour. Board your boat at the quay for a cruise along the canals. Sail beside ivy-covered facades and under bridges as you learn about the beautiful sites from your captain. Admire the old trading houses at the former harbor and the Beguinage. After half an hour on the water, head to the secret garden of an almshouse, where you will be surprised by the beauty of picturesque Bruges.

Bruges: Chocolate Making Workshop and Chocolate Museum Entry

3. Bruges: Chocolate Making Workshop and Chocolate Museum Entry

Immerse yourself in Belgium's rich chocolate-making traditions with this interactive workshop.  Under the guidance of an expert chocolatier, learn how to make chocolate lollipops and mendiants, a traditional French confection. At the end of the lesson, savor the rewards of your efforts, or feel free to take your chocolates home with you. Finish your workshop with a self-guided visit to the chocolate museum. Inside, admire a wide range of interactive exhibitions which will bring to life the 4000-year-old history of chocolate in words, pictures, and flavors. Admire a private collection of artifacts with over 1000 objects housed in the museum.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

4. From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and relax on the 100-kilometer journey to Bruges. Upon arrival, discover the charms of “the Venice of the North” and see why the entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Marvel at highlights such as the Lake of Love (Minnewater Lake) and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to house lay religious women. Go to Walplein Square, where the shady trees and cafes provide a perfect place to relax. Visit Stoofstraat on the site of the city's former Red Light District, and see medieval monuments such as the 11th-century Old St. John’s Hospital. Look at the world's second tallest brickwork tower at the Church of Our Lady, and see other historic monuments such as Gruuthuse Palace, the Dijver Canal and the tiny piazza of Tanners Square (Huidenvettersplein). Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Admire the facades of the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort) and Sint-Salvator’s Cathedral. Then enjoy 1-hour's free time for lunch (at your own expense) and the chance to sample some of the city's delicious chocolates.  Next, drive to Ghent, where the inhabitants have been popularly known as "noose-bearers“ since the days of Charles V. Take a guided tour of the city's historic buildings, such as the Castle of Gerald the Devil and Saint Bavo Cathedral, where you can look at the painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Admire the Belfort (Bell Tower) and peculiar Gothic and Renaissance-style Town Hall. See one of the city's oldest monuments at St. Nicholas’ Church opposite the unusual facade of the Masons’ Guild House. Journey along the embankments of the medieval port of Graslei, and discover other highlights such as the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the charming Patershol neighborhood, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square.

Great War Flanders Fields Minibus Tour from Bruges

5. Great War Flanders Fields Minibus Tour from Bruges

Enjoy a trip of historical discovery on this full-day minibus tour that takes you through West Flanders, from Bruges to the Belgian town of Ypres. The city, which was given the nickname Wipers, was rebuilt according to a medieval blueprint after being completely razed to the ground in the early 1900s. It was also here that the Germans invaded Belgium during World War I; a strategic move to attack France from the north. You will see the remaining artifacts and places of the city as you discover restored trenches, stroll among war graves in Passchendale and Polygon Wood, clamber over craters and bunkers on the preserved battlefield. and visit key war memorials. Behold the impressive sight of the imposing Menin Gate Memorial to the missing soldiers, complete with 55,000 names, erected on the spot where the soldiers left the city for the battlefront. As your day continues you will also see the iconic poppy fields of Flanders as you ride through the countryside in an air-conditioned mini coach, perfect for relaxing and taking in the picturesque scenery.

Bruges: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour

6. Bruges: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour

Get to know Bruges at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts.  After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device (via a link and login credentials received upon booking), use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Bruges’ most important attractions on foot. Start your tour at Burg Square in the center of Bruges. Visit Jan van Eyckplein with its beautiful architecture and learn about the Belfry of Bruges, the ultimate symbol of the city. Photograph the Sint-Salvatorskathedraal, the oldest church in Bruges, and admire the dreamlike Boniface Bridge. Then the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk with its mesmerizing style will await you. At each stop, learn about the attraction and solve a location-based riddle that can only be solved if you reach the specific location. Use logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to unlock the correct code and reveal the next destination of the tour. As you walk through the city, enjoy the flexibility to pause your game at any time to take a break, snap the perfect photos, stop for lunch, or visit a museum. Choose to continue the tour later or save the rest for another day.

Bruges: Choco-Story Chocolate Museum Tour

7. Bruges: Choco-Story Chocolate Museum Tour

Cocoa has been tickling taste buds for centuries, from the spicy drink in the Maya and Aztec civilizations to the popular sweet chocolate milk in Europe. With more than three people out of four loving chocolate, it’s hardly surprising that there is an enormous fascination for this exquisite treat. This tour aims to bring to life the 4,000-year-old history of chocolate in words, pictures, and flavors. The museum submerges you in the exciting world of chocolate, taking you on a journey of the senses through time. Young or old, passionate chocoholic or simply just interested, the Chocolate Museum will stimulate your fascination. The museum is composed of three parts, telling the story of the origin and evolution of chocolate through a unique collection of almost a thousand objects. Besides the history, the museum also reveals how chocolate is made, with special attention for the variety of raw ingredients and the development of the production process. In the demonstration center you will uncover the secret of beautiful silky chocolate, getting the opportunity to taste the chocolate products made in the museum.

From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

8. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

Discover 2 of Flanders’ most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges' Old Town, and the Lake of Love. Ghent’s medieval architecture and vibrant atmosphere will impress you as you visit Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Mystic Lamb painting (option), and pass by the Castle of the Counts of Flanders the picturesque medieval harbor Graslei and much more. In Bruges, you will enjoy the peaceful Lake of Love and the old beguinage. With your guide, discover the city and its cobbled streets on foot and you also have the option to enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals.

From Paris: Bruges Full-Day Trip with Canal Cruise

9. From Paris: Bruges Full-Day Trip with Canal Cruise

Escape Paris for the day and cross the border to the capital of the West Flanders region of Flemish Belgium. The full-day tour, with round-trip transfers from central Paris, will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North.” Enjoy a guided walk of the historically rich center, admiring the gothic-style City Hall, the ornate Renaissance architecture of the Place du Bourg, and the 12th-century Basilique du Saint-Sang (Basilica of the Holy Blood), among other attractions. Free time will be allocated for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy Belgian specialties, such as traditional moules frites (mussels and French fries) and an extensive selection of Belgian beers. A visit to the Groeningemuseum, home to Flemish master painters, such as van Eyck and Hieronymous Bosch is a popular way to spend an afternoon in Bruges. Alternatively, shop for handmade lace and Belgian chocolates in the city’s boutique stores. During the summer season, choose the guided option to enjoy a boat cruise along some of the most famous canals of Bruges, built as far back as the 12th century.

Bruges: Belgian Chocolate Workshop

10. Bruges: Belgian Chocolate Workshop

During this 2.5-hour workshop you’ll learn how to temper chocolate to craft 2 types of Belgian chocolates. The 2 chocolates you will craft throughout this experience will be as follows. Pralines: the most famous Belgian chocolate, consisting of a delicate chocolate shell with a creamy filing. You’ll learn how to make both the shell and the filling from scratch. Mendiants: chocolate discs studded with dried fruits, both crispy and delicious. You’ll make at least 30 chocolates, which you can either eat on the spot or take home to family and friends. With these easy techniques and chocolate theory, you will also be able to make your own chocolates once you return home.

Other Sightseeing Options in West Flanders

Want to discover all there is to do in West Flanders? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about West Flanders

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 6,196 reviews

Fantastic introduction to the city. Discovered loads of hidden gems. The guide was brilliant, so really got the back story to Bruges. Could ask as many questions as we could dream up.

It was incredible. A guide with a good sense of humor who keeps the whole day exciting, is a bonus. and we had that with Alvaro.

Had a great day trip! Jamal was an excellent tour guide and created a great atmosphere throughout the tour with his manner!

Very nice and good experience at the journey! The guide was really nice and excited about the trip!

Thank you to all the team responsible for the blue team Very informative and beautiful places