I asked at my hotel where the nearest bicycle rental place was, and they showed me the way to ‘t koffieboontje in the Hallestraat, just off the Market Square.
This is a hotel which also rents out bicycles at the normal prices of 4 Euros for one hour, 8 Euros for half a day or 12 Euros for a full day. (Prices as of 2012.)
I was very satisfied with the bike and with their friendly service.
Tel. 050 33 80 27
Location on Google Maps
Next: Bike rentals at Eric Populier’s bike shop
Another centrally located place to rent a bicycle is Eric Populier’s bike shop in the Mariastraat, near the Church of Our Lady and the Saint Salvator Cathedral.
I haven’t tried this one, but they make a very professional impression and have the same prices as everyone else in town.
Bike Rental 'Eric Populier'
Tel. +32 (0)50 34 32 62
Location on Google Maps
Next: Signposted bicycle routes
In the afternoon we reached Bruges, and spent the few last hours of the day and the few first of the next day in inspecting this wonderful old town. I do not know whether you are acquainted with Belgium, and am afraid that I am telling you things you know ten times better than I; but never mind, when the heart is full the lip, or rather the pen, overflows, and I cannot deny that my heart is still full of Belgium. When in Bruges you pass through the well preserved clean streets of the fifteenth century to the hospital where Hemelink lay ill, and where after his recovery he painted that beautiful pious picture; when you see, kneeling in their golden frames, the graceful sisters of charity, and then the same living faces at prayers in their church or busy about the house; when you see the same Roman Catholic people, in the same old costume, the same grave black cloaks, walking to the same venerable, splendid churches, an involuntary deception comes over your mind and senses. You feel inclined to ask the first person you pass in the street which is the house of noble Master Hemelink, or that of the Brothers Eyk, and, if he went on without answering, you would only think that he understood no German, and you no Flemish.”
— from an October 17, 1835 letter by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, sister to Felix
Because of its flat terrain, bicycling around Brugge is popular with locals and with tourists. All age groups take part.
The town is small enough that walking about can give a tourist an equally enjoyable time. All photographs here were taken in Burg Square.
The popularity of bicycle riding was yet another way that Brugge reminded me of Amsterdam.
Despite some of the cobblestone streets Brugge is a bicycle friendly city. Bicycles can be rented inexpensively for an hour, half day or the whole day. It is a great way to get out of the walls of the City and explore the windmills, the amusement park and some of the residential areas of the City.
Here is a relatively current list of where you can rent a bike in the City;
Aside from renting a bike to see the City, as you can see by this photo folks of all ages use bicycles as a means of shopping as well as basic transportation.
There is no part of Bruges that is car free although there are some restrictions and Cars are required to give way to pedestrians and cyclists and there are a lot of cycle paths and cycle lanes.
There have been plans to ban cars from Bruges historic centre or to restrict traffic or to add many more restrictions but as yet they have not come to anything and cycling can be tricky when it is busy and sometimes dangerous.
Brugge is a very cyclist-friendly city. In most of the one-way streets in the centre, you can cycle in both directions. On the bigger streets outside the old town, you mostly have cycle lanes. We also cycled a bit in direction Damme, along the canal, really great!
We could get bikes from our B&B, but you can rent bikes in Brugge. And there are guided bike tours (see the websites www.quasimundo.com and www.pinkbear.freeservers.com).
The best way to get around Brugge is on a bicycle. It quick and efficient way to see Brugge and not spend much money. There are many places that rent bikes and it is by far the most popular form of transportation in Brugge. If you are staying in a hostel, you may be able to get a bike for free or get one at a discount. We paid 6 euro for each bike that we could use from 8:00 (8AM) to 20:00 (8PM). If you are renting from a bike renting store you will probably have to give them around 20 euro as a deposit that you will get back later and the rental will be around 9 - 12 euro per bike. Considering you get the bike for an entire day, it is well worth it. When we arrived to Brugge, we took a taxi to our hostel (about 7 minutes away from the station) and paid 10 euro with tip. On top of that, there are many little villages around Brugge that can be easily reached on a bicycle and a nice little day trip. So pack some sandwiches and a blanket and enjoy the day.
Another way to see Brugge is to RENT C BICYCLE. Although we did not opt for this mode of transportation, there were many who did. I found the city to be just a little too busy to manoever through traffic and throngs of people.
Ironically this photo shows a bicyclist in a quieter area of the city.
I guess aside walking in Bruges, bicycle is the next most convinient mode of transport. This is because parking of cars in Bruges is a big deal. One may spend good amount of Euros on dailly basis on looking for good parking place for cars. It is rather cheaper to rent a bicycle to move around this city.
The bicycle was absolutely ubiquitous in Brugge. Even in the rain, we saw little old ladies cycling the cobblestone streets in skirts while carrying an umbrella (not an easy feat, I'd bet!).
By far the best way to get around and see a lot of Brugge. Try riding the 'Ring road', it circles the entire city on a bicycle path. Very nice, takes maybe an hour or two.
Instead of renting a normal bike, you can rent a tandem.
The best you can do is to let your partner take the front saddle and do all the work (steering and pedaling) while you sit on the second saddle, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery! ;)
Bruges encourages cyclists by allowing them to travel down more than 50 one way streets in either direction. But this is not as dangerous as it sounds because of the special cycle lanes. Bikes can be hired or loaned from many sources, some Hotels have them at there disposal for guests so ask when you arrive. You can also hire bikes from the railway station in Bruges and Sint-Pietersstation in Ghent by the day. A discount is offered if you present a valid train ticket.
Bikes can be left at other participating rail stations. An information leaflet is available from rail stations and in advance from the Belgian tourist office.
Bicycle hire. Generally costs 7-9 euros a day
I did it before, I did it again and I will do it another time if I can: having a guided cycling city tour.
We choose for Trip 1: Bruges by bike:
A laid-back cycle of 2,5 hours exploring the backstreets of Bruges, a wonderful insight into the medieval way of life. It is really fun and destressing! Discover at ease the hidden secrets ordinary tourists never get to see on foot.
The guides will lead you down ever winding backstreets, into the old parishes, past windmills, medieval fortifications and along peaceful waterways; with numerous stops along the way to relay some fascinating stories about the medieval times many hardships.
Don't worry, they will lead you as well through that "golden triangle" where cycling gets a bit more tough and where you definitly need a bell to scare those pedestrian tourists `-)
You also make a stop in the eldest pub in Bruges: Caffee Vlissinghe, but more about that in the night life tips.
These tours are in English, if want to be guided in a different language, you need to ask.
Our guide was funny enough a NZ-lander :-) and his name was coincidential Paul. I think it is a popular name over there `-) !
But he knew the history well.
Some extra info to show you what means of transport you can rent in BRUGGE and....which will make things easier for you...
You will move easily from one interesting thing to another.....and leave the very city centre to see something outside the city!!
ADDRESS: 't KOFFIEBOONTJE
8000 BRUGGE, BELGIUM
bicycle promotion reduction card
To ban the car and promote cycling in the city, Bruges launched a new card.
From 1st of September 2002 you can buy such a card at 15 Euro.
It grants you:
visits to 3 different museums of your choice and the day rent of a bicycle.
And if this is not enough yet! They spoil you by offering a drink at the museum pub De Zwarte Kat, that is the Folklore Museum.
Don't let this chance slip through your fingers!