I recently returned from a trip to Belgium and northern France. I spent 3 nights in Bruges... and wish I could have stayed much longer! Bruges is a gorgeous, medieval city that is often referred to as "the Venice of the North".
I can highly recommend spending a few nights here... after the throngs of day trippers leave, the city is utterly charming at night! There are many sites to visit from the Provincial court, the Belfry, the Church of the Holy Blood which houses the Relic of the Holy Blood (supposedly Christ's blood) to the charming Beguinage, Minnewater, and its lovely canals. And, for beer lovers, make sure to stop at De Halve Man Brewery for a taste of the home-brewed Bruges Zot beer! Delicious! And, then of course, there are the Belgian chocolates, windmills and ancient city gates!
There are many, many more sites to see.... this isn't meant to be an all encompassing trip report.
I certainly recommend dinner at Restaurant Pieter Pourbus (pieterpourbus.com). It's a lovely restaurant with excellent food and service.
There is no Marriott here... what a terrible shame! I stayed at the NH Hotel which I bid on at Priceline (about a 10-15 minute walk from the Grote Markt... gives you a chance to walk off some of the calories!). Very nice hotel, although I would have preferred "winning" the Crown Plaza that is just steps from the Grote Markt (market place).
I loved, loved, loved Bruges! It was the reason for my trip! Here are a few Bruges photos...
Fantastic post and gorgeous photos! Even though I spend a lot of time in Belgium, it's been more than 20 years since I was in Bruges. But I immediately recognized the small restaurant on the canal (your fourth picture of the first post) as a place I'd eaten and had a fantastic beer or two in 1986. Which one of the two places (if either) was that?
I'll have to go back soon!
Thanks very much for the compliment on my night photos, Professor!
This is the FIRST time that I've had any night shots come out anywhere close to being shareable. I have finally bought a small tripod and learned a little about the lighting settings and self-timer on my camera. Usually, everything is a blurred mess!!! What a difference a little education makes.
Let me add my thanks to those already penned for your pics: delightful and a technical tour de force, I suspect!
One small point which may help to mitigate your disappointment re. the absence of a Marriott presence in Bruges: there is a very good Marriott at Ghent - a modern-looking building which, in a way, is more reminiscent of a Hyatt - but which nevertheless blends in well with the local architecture and character. It is no more than 30 mins by train from Bruges - by your standards, no more than the proverbial "stone's throw".
Again, my thanks
We have enoyed two trips to Bruges. The first time we stayed for several nights at a lovely bed and breakfast and the second time we took a day trip from Ghent. I certainly recommend a visit if you are anywhere in the area. There are several wonderful chocolate shops there. We took a tour of the city and got an overview of places we wanted to return to.
As arkwright said, the Marriott in Ghent is marvelous. We were in Ghent during a huge music festival, so we would like to return during a calmer time.
This last photo is taken from the hallway just outside our room.
You can't go wrong staying at the Ghent Marriott.
I'm not sure how this old post got dug up.... I posted it a year ago. I suspect this new site is not sorting correctly by year... just month and day..
I did stay at the Ghent Marriott during that trip. It's a lovely hotel. I was upgraded to a Jr. Suite (while using points) with a view of the castle. Loved Ghent. There should be an old post around MRI somewhere regarding my stay there.
New Hilton, Professor, or anyone,
Is there six days worth of "Things to do", in Ghent?
I don't travel anymore unless I stay from Sunday and leave the following Saturday. It's too much for us to change hotels during the time we are away. That is why I do Paris, London, Zurich, etc, Day trips are fine as long as I can get back to the Marriott late that night.