One good reason to spend the night in Bruges or at least stay late is to enjoy the magnificent scenery after the sun goes down as the city thoughtfully has placed a multitude of floodlights at every worthwhile building in town.
As spectacular as the architecture is during the day, it really takes your breath away at night. You’ll be sorry if you don’t bring a tripod though I managed to get a few decent shots despite (or perhaps because?!) the large quantities of Belgian beers I tried that day.
Walking in the streets of Brugge when the bulk of visitors have left is an awesome experience. Suddenly, hearing the carriages and the horses running is not annoying anymore. In daylight, this could be just so because it's so crowded, this unusual sound and sighting are just stressing, making you think of a fake reality. However, at night, it's just so romantic.
How many times haven't I imagined those scenes of carriages in the dark, running in cobblestoned streets, delivering some important persons (or their lovers, their spouses) at the foot of their townhouses ? Though those persons don't want to get noticed. The carriage driver with his black hat and a black windbreaker. The carriage passes near to you, pedestrian, just moves quickly. You just have the idea that it was his last hour of service... He is tired, just revigorated by the fresh air brushing his face. Read Edith Wharton describing 19th century New York society in winter. You'll get the point. :-)
And the sights ? Hmmm.. I've told a lot about the waters, the twinkling lights in the dark, some lighting that reveals the shape of some building...
After some walk, though... you may need to get warm ? If it is cold, you may stop at some pubs for beer or other warm drinks of your choice.
I'd choose some spots near the beguinage area, though. The center would not be as serene as here.
What a nightlife !
Dress Code: In winter, raincoat or windbreaker or a full coat. Your shawl, probably a hood on and you go !
This is what I meant. The most romantic spot of Brugge gets even more romantic at night: Minnewater! There were hardly any people here (Brugge is a real day trip destination, the streets get empty in the evenings!), the reflections of the buildings and trees in the water, silence (apart from the constant clicking of cameras when you are here with VTers)..... beautiful!
This view took my breath away. The lights at St. Janshospitaal, the reflections in the water ..... soooo beautiful. I thought it couldn't get any better. See the next tip and see that it can always get better ;)
Stroll through the city, along the canals and stop at one of the many terraces.
Soak in the pretty pictures of houses in lights, and reflections on the water.
Then stop at one of the pubs and taste a good Bruges beer like Brugse triple.
In December a Christmas Market occupies the Main Market Square. You can get hot food and drinks such as Gluhwein (Hot Mulled Wine) from the stalls or pop into a restaurant or bar nearby for a warm. A skating Rink is set up in the main square at this time. It's a lovely Christmas Atmosphere.
Maybe luckely, but inside the town Brugge there is no booming nightlife with discotheques and loud music. It just doesn't belong in the time that Brugge radiates. However, drinking a perfect Belgian beer on a terrace or café on the Marketsquare or somewhere else is a lust for life as well. And what would you think of a evening strawl through the alleys and streets of old Brugge, with some monumental buildings alluminated pretty.
The Canals of Bruges is awashed with twinkly lights from houses at night, so take a walk or dine by a canal. This is the time for long and lovely walks...
The lights of the city are very special at night, the Markt and the Burg Square as well as all the churches are beautifully lit, when I saw it I didn't want to move on anymore!!!
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