One of the nicest ways to see Bruges is by taking a trip on the canal, there are five families that are allowed to organise tourist excursions by open boats on the canals. Each family is allowed 4 boats, so prices are regulated. These guided canal trips let you see the hidden corners of the city at water level. The rides last about 40 minutes and there are a number of landing stages to set off from around the canal.
The photo shows the landing station at Michielssens: -
Daily: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Children (Ages 4-11): €2.60
A good option to know better Bruges is take one of the several boat tours that there over the city. The guides will tell the story of Bruges and you tell the story of the main places to visit. There are several companies that offer tours of Bruges and the price is about 6 euros per adult and guides are in english, french and dutch. I do not remember the name of the company that did the tour but was near the Halve Maan brewery.
Una buena opción para conocer mejor Brujas es coger uno de los varios tours por barco que hay a lo largo de la ciudad, los guias te cuentan la historia de Brujas y también te cuentan la historia de los principales sitios para visitar. Son varias las compañias que ofrecen tours por Brujas y el precio es de unos 6 euros por adulto y lo ofrecen en inglés, francés y holandés. No recuerdo el nombre de la compañia que hicimos el tour pero estaba cerca de la cervecería Halve Maan.
This is awesome info - cool! Can't wait to go to Belgium 23-30 July; we'll start in Niewpoort and tour the canals through Brugge and Ghent, then down to Kortrijk to dip into a few more breweries and pubs. Planning on some fine dining, chocolates, sight-seeing and more on our own posh canal boat. In fact we have two bunks left: any takers??
This is a picture of a boat landing stage I am not sure if it is the G Stael landing stage.
George Stael landing stage
Every day ( Except in November) from 10 a.m.till 5 30 p.m.
Departures every 30 minutes.
Closed from Nov 16 till March 15
Half hour guided boat tours take you on a journey along the canal system. The boats leave from five starting points from the back of the Belfry Tower to quite near the Church of Our Lady. Tours are from 10.00 until 18.00 hours from March through to November
Tours cost 5.70 e for adults and 2.80e for children Groups of 20 or more 4.80e per passenger.
Well, is has already been said so much about Canal Boat Tours by VT members so I will not repeat about ?The Venice of the North?, ?tourist trap? and so on. You will find prices, landing stations and time-tables in other VT tips here on this page.
I will just share with you my personal opinion about those canal trips.
We listened to the advice that the best way to explore a new place is by walking and on our arrival to Brugge we spent around 2 hours on our feet circulating the main streets around the centre. We got tired and decided to take a boat trip just to relax and make some pictures from the water. By this time we thought that we must have seen the most of the city (at least those places that were worth to spend time on). So we have not expected much from this boat trip ? just another angle for our pictures. Guess how surprised and excited we become when the boat took us to huge amount of extraordinary places that we have not seen yet. We would have missed 80 % of Brugge if we had not taken this trip. The boat trip gave us inspiration and clear plan for our further walking tour. After this boat trip we were walking 6 hours to see everything in details. During this walking tour we discovered many beautiful places that we could not see from the boat. We even did not have time for lunch! Only after these additional 6 hours we could actually say that we have seen the most of the Brugge. Thanks to the boat trip that opened our eyes and showed us how big Brugge actually was. In many other cities the historical centre is quite small and you can see the most of it during about 2 hours. But Brugge is not like other cities. The whole Brugge is worth seeing. Every street, every corner, every square is so extremely beautiful that we could not stop saying Wow all the time during these 6 hours. I could not imagine that so much beauty could be concentrated in one city.
Pictured here is one of the locations where you can board one of the "Sightseeing Boats" for the CANAL BOAT TOUR.
There are 5 places where you can get on a canal boat.
De Meulemeester -- Wollestraat
Gruuthuse -- Nieuwstraat
Georges Stael -- Katelujnestraat 4
Michielssens -- Huidenvettersplein
Coudenys -- Rozenhoedkaai
Daily 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Adults 6 Euros
Children 3 Euros
A wonderful way to see Brugge and its canals is to take a CANAL BOAT TOUR. As we were here only for the day and had so much to see and do, we unfortunately didn't go on one. But the folks we saw on the boats were having a wonderful time. They got to see close-up why Brugge is known as the "Venice of the North".
This is unmissable in Bruges. There are five places where you can embark on a boat :
- Michielssens, Huidenvettersplein 13
- De Meulemeester, Wollestraat 32
- Gruuthuse, Nieuwstraat 11
- Stael, Katelijnestraat 4
A boat tour costs 5,70 € for an adult and 2,80 € for a child aged between 4 and 11 (it is free for children under 4).
There are no tours on January and February, tours are organised every day from 10 am to 6 pm in the spring and summer months and only on the weekends, public holidays and holiday periods during the off season.
Many visitors to Bruges pass across the bridge I mentioned on my opening page sometimes into Beginage. The Spire of St Salvators Church could be better taking from these boat ride. This is because the Church is very tall. You can see the Church in the background of the pics.
There were tons of people queuing up to get on the canal boats, they only cost about 6 euro per person so its a cheap and great idea to chill out and relax.
We did not go on them on this visit as there were other things that we wanted to see, but its a good way to spend the 45mins to an hour that they take.*
Our hotel offered us a complimentary canal tour. The last boat left the dock at 5:00 p.m. and we were hapy to be aboard.
Our guide has been giving the same tour for 27 years..and his humor was quite dry. He offered a little more political commentary than I cared for but the views of Bruges from the canals were outstanding.
From what I can tell, there are 6 such companies in Brugge, all located within a stones throw of one another and all for less than 6 euro....not including tip if you feel so inclined.
One of the points where you can take canal boat cruise. Canal cruise takes about 45 minutes and is something you should not miss under no circumstances! Our guide was excellent - human encyclopedia fluent in five languages.
Brugge is famous for its canal..so a boat ride has to be in your program. My best piece of advise to you would be to first do a boat ride when you get to the city and get a general view of it. The rides last about 40 mins and they start everywhere around the canal.
Wait for a sunny day, even for a sunny hour, or if you don't have time for a sunny minute...Then go for a boat ride; take the umbrella with you. The views are splendid and it gives you an idea where to head next during your visit..