Bruges Your Knees, and All that Jazz

Well, fearless travelers, we’re off again! This time, we’re going to get in touch with our inner Fleming, and head to Bruges, the capital of Western Flanders, a history-hewn city that’s streaked with canals and loved for its lace. Ready? Good! Let’s explore the concept of what it is to be Belgian, beyond the waffle!

Lace Making at Kantcentrum

Lace Making at Kantcentrum

1.  Feel as though you’ve waltzed back in time by visiting Kantcentrum, Bruges’ lace center. Walk through the exhibition enlightening you about lace, or spend time at the open lace atelier, watching snow-haired women work at lightening speed as they create bobbin lace!

2. Pick up one of the free audio guides inside Burg Square’s Gothic-infused Town Hall (c. 1376), and get ready to soak up some history. You’ll wind your way up staircases with dragon-headed handrails, and into halls emblazoned with neo-Gothic paintings that depict momentous occasions in Bruges’ history.

3. Love accordions? You’re in luck! Through the end of May, the Airbag Festival takes Bruges by storm, celebrating accordion music with performances in all incarnations, from folk, to hip-hop, to jazz. Check out the festival’s website (English explanations are at the bottom of each event page), for a schedule that will make you bellow with delight!

Town Hall interior, Burg Square

Town Hall interior, Burg Square

4. You’ll never know the true meaning of “delicious” until you’ve tasted handmade Belgian chocolates. How Belgains make chocolate taste 110% more yummy is beyond us, but take our word that you have to try some! Go to Château Blanc Chocolates for a great selection you’ll want to gobble up in its entirety.

5. After a hard day hoofing it around sightseeing, take a load off and enjoy one of Belgium’s other specialties, beer, at Staminee De Garre. Boasting a Belgian beer list long enough to make you stagger, this pub will delight you with its warm, antiquated ambiance, and superb house brew.

Thoughts or recommendations? Please share!

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  1. Louise 05/12/2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi ModCloth,

    actually I’m Flemish myself and Bruges is a 1hour-drive from my place. I could highly recommend you to book a guide there and certainly visit the Old Hospital, so many interesting things to know about that place!


  2. Heather 05/12/2010 at 3:41 pm #

    What an adorable ensemble! I’m actually going to Bruges in August, so thanks for pointing out some great stuff to see!

  3. Scatterbox 05/13/2010 at 12:44 am #

    Ahhh… I LOVE Bruges! We were lucky to travel through Belgium last year, and it was, as it is to many, one of the best places we went. We used these awesome Use-It guides all throughout the country, and they’re great for learning what the locals love about each city. I’d list my to-dos, but most of them are on the guide to read.

  4. Jesslyn 05/13/2010 at 8:49 am #

    I love to travel, this looks like an amazing place to visit, thanks a bunch. (:

    love always,
    Jesslyn Alice <3

  5. Hannah (ModCloth) 05/13/2010 at 10:24 am #

    Thanks for all the happy comments, everyone :-).

    My dad also wanted you all to know that he stayed at a great B&B when he was in Bruges. He reports that the owners were incredibly nice and that their house was full of awesome architecture.

  6. samantha 05/13/2010 at 1:09 pm #

    thanks so much for sharing this. we are moving to Belgium this summer and CANNOT WAIT to be around such beautiful places and things.

  7. BethNicole 05/13/2010 at 11:13 pm #

    What’s the deal with mussels in Bruges? Personally, I think the mussels in New England are better but this video is kind of cool…

  8. Hannah (ModCloth) 05/14/2010 at 11:48 am #

    That is pretty cool, BethNicole! I’ll have to try that next time I need mussels. I doubt I could eat them as gracefully as that guy, though!

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