Tours / Town Gates (Poorten), Brugge
If you find yourself over looking at the windmills on the northeast side of the city, just to the south of the final windmill is one of the old city gates, Kruispoort or Cross Gate, which looks like a mini castle with a drawbridge.
At one time Brugge was surrounded by a city wall with nine of these city gates, built in the 13th-14th centuries. There are four remaining, in addition to Kruispoort there is Ezelpoort or Blacksmiths' Gate which has a moat with swans in it, Smedenpoort or Ghent Gate, and Gentpoort or Donkey's Gate. The city wall has been replaced with a band of grassy area that runs right inside the canal that surrounds almost the entire city.
If you get a map from the tourism office, the location of the other gates are clearly marked as well as the gates that are no longer there, Ezelpoort and Smedenpoort are to the west of the center and Gentpoort is to the southeast of the center.
Like many medieval towns of yore, the market square (YES, the Markt! ) was the scene of many public executions.
It's hard to believe ain't it? Especially when the whole place is surrounded by so many tourist shops and restaurants. Former guild halls used to be where those shops are now and cobblestone streets crowded with tourists where blood used to run...
Cycles can be hired from several locations in Brugge. It's nice to cycle round the quieter old town streets. The hire bikes are well sprung for the cobbles. A ride around the paths alongside the canal encircling brugge is a nice trip as is a ride along the canalside to the village of Damme. You can buy a map of cycle routes from the Information Centre.
Quasimodo Bike Tours offers daily rides around town and to the Dutch border. The guides offer insights not necessarily found in guidebooks. If you stay at the Bauhaus a representative will come around in the morning looking for takers. April 1st-Sept 30
Take a trip on the canal boat up to Damme, a village a short way from Brugge.
The boat leaves from Norweegsekaai, just out of the city on the north east side (walk through St Annas to get there).
Take the boat there and walk back, or vice versa. The banks of the canal make a great spot for a picnic.
Visit all of the old City gates that surround the city. The city is also circled by the river and canals so if you walk right around the city you can follow these waters and see all of the gates. There are also a series of windmills alongside the canal behind Kruisveststraat.
One of the old city gates. There are four of them I think. You will still pass them when you are coming by car.
CITY TOUR ON HORSE CARRIAGE- A neat way for viewing the best of Brugges with a friendly horsemen