Lace is widely promoted in the city although most lace on sale is machine made in the Far East. However most shops sell a mix of the machine made lace and hand woven lace. There are also shops selling antique lace.
Handmade lace is expensive - a large tablecloth would cost 400 euros or more.
I understand the best shop for lace is the Lace Centre at Balstraat 11in St Anna.
As with chocolate lace is cheaper the further you are away from the town centre.
Bruges has two market places, and both offer an assortment of goodies and every year, a man-made ice rink adorned with fairy lights is created in the centre of the Market Square, which adds an extra winter touch to the festive season.
Annually, usually from around third week in November to end of December.
10:30 am to 8:00 pm
Ice Skating: With or without skates: €6.00
What to buy: Traditional stalls sell anything from Christmas handmade gifts to Flemish brews, hot chocolate, pastries and multi-coloured gloves, scarves and hats. It is also tradition to enjoy a fresh, hot waffle and mulled wine as you wander around the stalls.
What to pay: Various
As we were on the canal trip we saw a small flea market along the Dijver canal so we headed over to it after we finished with the boat ride. We were in Brugge on a Saturday so I'm guessing it's a weekend market only. It wasn't very large, just about a block in length so it's not a must visit market but something you might visit should you be in the area.
We also saw a few vendors set up in the fish market selling jewelry and art.
Bruges is so touristic that is expected to see numerous stores around, many of them are typical souvenir stores where you can find fridge magnets, cups, tacky tshirts, badges, key chains etc
As in every Belgian city there are some great chocolate shops with top quality chocolates, even the ones with praline were amazing. We visited many of them, checked the tempting window displays but in most of them we were buying just small amounts, we couldn’t eat lot anyway as the Belgian chocolates are real chocolates which means very rich from every point of view…
Bruges is also famous for lace, there are stores specialized on this, and have lot of things for home decoration if you like this stuff. Flemish province is famous for this locally made product although in our days many of them are imported from far east. Table clothes, tapestry handbags and cushion covers are some of the products.
Along Steenstrasse (from Markt square towards the train station) we saw many stores with clothes, I guess this must be the main commercial street in Bruges.
We had never seen such a beautiful and colorful shop for children. Everything they sell is so beautiful that we all wanted to buy. We found the shop by chance in a side street of the shopping center of Bruges.
What to buy: We visited bruges without our children, so we bought two little souvenirs for them.
This tiny, American-owned bakery has risen in popularity among the locals for a number of reasons:
1. All bake products are supplied by one of the top distributors in Belgium: all stone-baked bread products, 'boterkoeken' - terribly unhealthy but delectable sweet Belgian breakfast buns, cakes, sweets and naturally produced jams, honey and even lemon curd, for those missing a taste of England...
2. It is one of the few suppliers of 'double baked' bread - an extra crunchy-crusted loaf with baby-soft insides! Get to the shop early!
3. You have the chance to sit and have coffee, a smoothie, sandwich, cake or just good conversation in English or Flemish with the American-Belgian owners - Reggie & Monique - including tourist tips and pointing the right way on a map. Not many seats!
4. Friendly, helpful atmosphere one minute's walk from the Vismarkt (Fish market).
Address: Predikherenstraat 6 in Bruges centre.
What to buy: All stone-baked bakery products, jams, chocolate, sweets. Small café to rest those shopping feet.
...then this should be your place of worship!
With a couple of hundred beers permanently in stock, some in very easy handy-packs, and all sorts of beer paraphenalia if you're just after souvenirs, here's your pilgrimage destination.
Great shop with knowledgable staff who can literally give you a beer-tasting session - HA! I knew I'd eventually find a time when literally can be written ambiguously. Obviously they're not going to open the bottles for you to taste but they will give you a verbal guided tour of what to expect and let you decide on what you reckon would suit your own palate before making your purchases.
Me I was just window-shopping as I had no excess space in my already tobacco-laden carry-on and so had to pass on actually buying anthing - nice shop though!
What to buy: BEER!!!
An authentic flemish building on Mariastraat - sells artisanal belgian products and hand-made belgian pralines and chocolates. Francoise Thomaes and her daughter Barbe Van den Haute have a beautiful display of gift packaging, speciality items and wonderful chocolate figures for Easter.
Mariastraat is just off Simon Stevinplein and this small area in the very centre of Bruges is fast becoming the place to go for Chocolates and any other chocolate made products.
Round the corner is a Dumon shop (the newest) and over the square is The Chocolate Line.
What to buy: Easter chocolate figures and Belgian Pralines. The owners of this shop - (Fa) Francoise Thomaes and her daughter Barbe have now got to know me quite well from my regular visits to Bruges. Get them to make up something special for you - you will not regret it.
They are both a font of knowledge about Bruges in general as well and will point you in a good direction for your stay in the city
What to pay: A Kg of Pralines is 24Euro - £16 approx for over 2Lbs in weight at The Old Chocolate House. A few euros more in Dumon (28) and more still at The Chocolate Line. Fine gifts at the latter and very good quality and value at the first
In Bruges, Brugge, three Chocolate shops are tops when I visit Bruges (Brugge) in Belgium. The Chocolate Line for one-off very special and sometimes expensive presents, Dumon for reasonable priced hand-made chocolates, and The Old Chocolate House - a Chocolate Shop that also sells fresh hand-made belgian chocolates at reasonable prices - but also with the most friendly and welcoming service. So, if you need chocolates from Belgium get hold of them to mail-order and ship them to you!
What to buy: Remember that these are hand-made chocolates made with fresh cream and not like the factory made ones that we see in the rest of the world. They are delicious and delicate and will last about 6 weeks - actually they won't because you will eat them more quickly than that!!
You may also mail-order from The Old Chocolate House and they will post to the US and the UK in special boxes to ensure good delivery
What to pay: About Euro 24 for a Kg at the two more reasonably priced shops. Much more at the Chocolate Line. My personal choice - The Old Chocolate House
Almost hidden, this is quite a large supermarket right next to the tourist area.
What to buy: Fruit, snacks, beer, wine and water are all a fraction of the tourist shop prices.
What to pay: Little - but when we visited they were not accepting credit cards.
It is always fascinating to come across a local market and sample some of the local life and to see what is popular locally to buy. This particular market is held on Saturdays from 13.00 - 17.00 and Sunday from 10.00 - 17.00.
What to buy: Mostly second hand goods such as brass ware and old books - some local craft items - waffles and soft drinks as well as fresh fruit and vegetables and other local produce.
What to pay: Depends on what you buy nothing too expensive anything from a few euros upwards
I have seen many a Post Office in many places from small villages to big cities. The one in the Grote Markt in Brugge surpasses the rest. What a wonder of architecture this building possesses. It is little wonder Brugge has so many spires when even the Post Office build in red brick contrasting perfectly with the grey of its neighbour can boost a spire.
What to buy: Stamps of course but much more - they have maps of the city postcards guidebooks and lots of information on Brugge in general
What to pay: depends on what you buy I didn't buy a stamp so I don't know but did buy some postcards for around 75c to around 1 euro
So you’ve been to a few of the great bars Bruges has to offer, sampled a number of 700 - that's right 700 - or so beers Belgium has to offer and now you are wanting to take a few bottles away with you so you can re-create a bit of Belgium hospitality in your own home.
Well, you could do worse than popping into The Bottle Shop, Wollestraat 13, just off the Markt. They sell quite a few of those 700 beers and also the special glasses that some beers are served in (many Belgium Beers are served in their own specific type of glass, from the sturdy, thick stemmed Chimay glass to the unusual glass in a wooden cradle that Kwak is poured into). The shop also sells some spirits, such as the gin like jenever, and beer related gifts.
A good place to stock up for yourself or those lucky people at home for whom a Belgium Beer is to be present!
What to buy: As much beer as you can carry
Dille and Kamille is an absolute treasure troveand a perfect place to buy a gift that is not a trashy souvenir. It's a long narrow shop attractively laid out with open shelving round the walls , large tables in the centre and huge baskets just begging to be rummaged in. Every gadget you could possibly use in the home is here along with gorgeous china, cultlery,placemats, glassware etc. Almost evrything apart from china and cutlery is made from wood with a truly amazing range of decorative household implements. If you want clothes pegs to die for , look no further than Dille and Kamille.
What to buy: We bought presents for children here. Thick pencils with beautiful Pinnochio heads,brightly coloured spinning tops and some interesting games we hadn't seen before. One in particular which still amuses the whole family is a hand held wooden baton with a ball attached by string. Tossing the ball in the air and attempting to get it to fall backthrough the small hole requires a lot of dexterity and hand to eye co-ordination.
What to pay: You can spend a little or a lot but there is something for all budgets here. The toys we bought were unbelievably cheap for such durable, beutifully crafted items.
Walk the main streets leading to the Markt of Brugge and boutiques big & small would just came rushing up to you, appealing you to spend money.
It was like a tidal wave and I was simply swept away by the choices.
It was like someone craned an entire shopping mall over Brugge, splitted it open and littered all the boutiques onto the city of Brugge.
Hardly the image I have in my head of a modern "medieval" city. Very surreal.
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