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Belfry Tower - Belfort Tips (122)

Belfry Tower and Cloth Halls

When we were making our way toward Markt Square, we approached the Belfry Tower and Halls from its rear entrance where we walked through the arched vestibule with its vaulted, ribbed ceiling and then into the inner courtyard and out into Markt Square. We did linger a few minutes in the inner courtyard to take photos, but the sun didn't cooperate very much.

The four-sided, rectangular building is surmounted by the Belfry tower at the far end, while the two levels of the halls form the courtyard where from the 13th to the 16th century merchants dealt in the trade of Flemish cloth, wool, lace and whatever other commodities could be sold abroad, or imported into Brugge. The halls were actually built in the first half of the 13th century, before the belfry itself was added. The tower is known as the Belfort, or Halletoren (tower of the halls). Originally built of wood, the belfry was destroyed by fire in 1280, and the tower structure and halls were rebuilt in stone. Once again after fires in the 15th century and 18th century, the tower and halls were rebuilt and enlarged and the halls we see today exist from that era though wiki notes that “openwork stone parapet in Gothic style was added to the rooftop in 1822.”

We judged that we would not have enough time to climb the tower, if we wanted to have lunch and see more sights. But we did enjoy the tower’s 47 bells or carillon while we were having lunch just nearby. However for those who do have time and the weather is cooperative, you can opt to climb the 366 narrow, winding, stone steps to the top of the tower for a magnificent view (and photos) of the Martk Square and surrounding area.

The Belfry is open from 9:30am to 6:00pm daily except for certain holidays. Call to verify closing dates.
Admission prices: Free with the Brugge City Card, Vrienden van de Musea, and Museum Pass. Normal admission: Adults - € 10,00; ages 10 through 26 yrs. - € 8,00; under 10 yrs. old – FREE; Seniors 65+ - € 8,00. (In my opinion, if anyone 65 yrs. old or older can climb the 366 steps, it ought to be free or at least half price!)

Time for lunch at this point and we decided to stay right there on the Square for this. We chose De Vier Winden Restaurant. which is right next to the Belfry Tower and Cloth Hall.

starship's Profile Photo
Aug 19, 2016


Most recent visit May 2016

After rewatching "In Bruges" where the belfry is the central focus of much of the movie we had to go to the top but unlike the movie you can't go up at night as we found out when we arrived at 4:30pm to find that we had missed the cutoff by 15 minutes (I think the cutoff is now 5pm as it's open until 6pm).

Admission is currently 10€, slightly less for those under 26 and seniors, included on the Brugge Card. My husband dared me to go up and ask if they would take 4.90 (a movie reference) but it doesn't make any sense anymore. I didn't take his dare to walk up to someone and tell them not to go up because the stairs are very narrow either...

The 366 steps to the top are broken up with a stop at the Treasury where you can see the clock mechanisms and bells, the last section of the stairs are incredibly narrow and not made for big footed people like me and one more waffle and my butt probably wouldn't have fit either! The reward at the top is a fabulous view over the city and try to stay up long enough to hear the bells, I think they chime every 1/4 hour.

If the ticket line is already coming down the stairs, that means you are in for a long wait. We saw the line in the late part of the morning when all the tour buses are there so we came back in the early afternoon after the crowds had thinned a bit and waited for about 15 minutes. Access is limited to so many people at a time, they have now installed automatic gates after the cashier, when 1 person goes out, 1 more may go up.

Dabs's Profile Photo
Jun 12, 2016


The Belfry of Bruges, or the Hall Tower, located on the Main Market of the Belgian city of Bruges. The Belfry of Bruges is included since December 4, 1999 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The halls under the tower had a commercial function. They consisted of several rooms where every other craft products with host city were traded. On the second floor there was a treasure and city archives. The financial statements from 1281 have almost all been preserved; to 1300 written in Latin, then in the vernacular.

From the balcony above the entrance gate were from the 14th century by a bailiff in the presence of at least two aldermen or other public persons, all rules called, called the Halls. This included legislation relating to public order and trade and industry (including judgments and notices of bankruptcy). These regulations were also called in other places in the city and later on signs posted outside the town hall. From 1769 happened this announcement from the steps of the town hall, though the name was retained Hall Commandments.

The tower served mainly as a watchtower for the discovery of fire in the city.

Twan's Profile Photo
Dec 16, 2014

Belfrey tower

Belfrey is 83m tall, and 366 steps to the top. Since 1897 two green mobile chippie vans have parked in front of the belfrey building. Every two years the stall holders bid for the right to stand.. Highest bidders gets the right. The Vans can just be seen in the picture.

alectrevor's Profile Photo
Sep 14, 2014
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83m, 366 Steps - 1 Great Panorama!

The Belfry (Belfort) on Brugge's market square is a must-visit, despite the fact that it's rather expensive (€8) and you normally have to queue for quite some time. However, you've got a great view over the roofs of Brugge from its 83m high viewing platform.
Begun in the 13th century but destroyed by fires and thunderstorms three times over the course of several centuries, the Belfort got its present structure in 1822 when the builders finally decided against a wooden structure and added the stone parapet. The Belfort is a curious building as it looks a bit like a stack of grey Lego bricks, but it's got its charme, particularly at night. Part of the Belfort complex are the Hallen which now house temporary exhibitions (we saw a superb exhibition of Salvador Dalí there) and the courtyard behind the building which was the city's original market square. If you compare it with the giant square in front of the building you cannot but wonder how packed it must always have been in Brugge's heyday.

King_Golo's Profile Photo
Jul 27, 2013

The Belfort

The Market square is dominated by the Belfort, a mediaeval belfry tower built between 1482 and 1486. Standing 83 metres high and with 366 steps the tower dominates the market square. Visitors can climb to the top to admire the panoramic view of the city passing the clock carillon of 47 bells which ring every 15 minutes.

In the market-place of Bruges stands the belfry old and brown;
Thrice consumed and thrice rebuilded, still it watches o'er the town.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

June 2010

grayfo's Profile Photo
Jun 11, 2013

The Belfry

The great Belfry dominates the Markt (Town Square) and was built between 1280 and 1350 after its wooden predecessor was destroyed by fire. An additional octagonal tower was added in 1486 and if you look carefully you will see it leans out by 4' at its summit.
At its base the building is now used for cultural events.
There are 366 steps to the top of the Belfry and we did not do this but spoke to people who did and they said it was a long climb but the view from the top was fantastic.
The 6 tonne great bell and the 47 piece carillon are high in the tower too and peel every 15 minutes.
Open from 9.30 to 17.00 and 2013 price is 8 euro with concessions at 6 euro.

Britannia2's Profile Photo
Mar 23, 2013

The Tower

The belfry tower is over 83 metres tall. Climb the 366 steps to the top and discover on the way a treasury, an impressive clockwork mechanism, and a carillon with 47 bells. Your achievement will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Bruges and the surrounding countryside.

situado en el centro histórico de Brujas, en el lado sur del Markt, la plaza
principal de la ciudad. Se edificó inicialmente en el siglo XIII, época en que Brujas comenzó a
prosperar como centro de la industria flamenca de los paños.

lina112's Profile Photo
Nov 10, 2012
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"Brugge - The promise of things to come"
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"Bruges Beyond Kitsch"
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"Charming just Charming"
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Belfry Tower....Made famous in the movie......

If you are not satisfied enjoying the view of the Belfry tower from the ground in the market square then you can take the 366 steps to the top for a good view over the area. Built from the 13th century onwards the Belfry tower is central to the towns image. It's almost 84 metres in height, so best have a good breakfast before you start to climb....

Open from 9-5 every day apart from Christmas day and New Years day, 8€ for adults, 6€ for concessions, kids 4€ (0-5 free)

catherineneill's Profile Photo
Sep 30, 2012

The Belfort

One of the common themes in many of the towns and cities of Flanders is the presence of the Belfry or Belfort in or near the town square (Markt). Brugge is no exception and it's octagonal belfort built between the 13th and 15th centuries dominates the wide open space of the Markt. The tower rises to 83 metres and there are some excellent views from the top, although I prefer the unexpected glimpses of the Belfort that you get as you meander around the streets of central Brugge.

zadunajska8's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2012

Belfort, Part II: Interior

“I remember to the present day the effect produced on me by the first hearing, after so many years, of the “carillon” in the matchless tower of Bruges.”
— from “What I Remember, Volume 3” by Thomas Adolphus Trollope (1810-1892)

Belfort’s bells served several functions. The bells, each with its own distinct sound, would be rung for danger, such as fire; important announcements; mark the time.

As you climb the 366 steps to the top of Belfort, just before you reach the top, take a look into the carillon room. At the quarter hour the 47 bells sound, by mechanical means, playing the giant barrel and movable tabs. From bellissimo to fortissimo the sound of the bells change on the hour. Concerts are offered by a carillonist, who plays the manual keyboard with fists and feet, rather than with fingers.

Belfort is open from 09:30 to 17:00. And it is closed on New Year’s Day, the 1st of January; the afternoon of Ascension Day, the 15th of August; and Christmas Day, the 25th of December. For security reasons a maximum of 70 persons at one time are allowed in the tower.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Aug 06, 2012

Belfort, Part I: Exterior

“The market-house, built of brick, (temp. Edward III.) a Gothic structure, is perhaps the most remarkable building in Bruges; of its kind, the finest we ever beheld. It stands fronting a very spacious square, of well-built houses. From the centre arises a tower of an immense height. Indeed the height bears no proportion to the lower part of the building. The spire of this extraordinary erection, a few years since, was destroyed by lightning. The tower is elegantly ornamented with Gothic devices. It rises above every thing in Bruges; and go where you will, it is constantly seen, peering its lofty head, like a point of direction.”
— from a letter written by Anna Eliza Stothard Bray (1790-1883, British novelist) to her mother Mrs. Kempe from Hotel de Pays Bas, Bruges, 20.September.1820

Dominating Brugge’s Grote Markt (Market Square), the city’s colorful heart, the Belfort (Belfry) has stood since 1300. Belfort is over 272 feet (83 metres) tall. There are 366 steps to climb to reach the top and survey the town and its surroundings with a 360° view.

The first tower was destroyed by fire in 1280. The present octagonal lantern was added between 1482 and 1486. A wooden spire that crowned the tower was destroyed by fire in 1493 and in 1741, after which it was not rebuilt. Belfort was home to Brugge’s important documents and treasury; in addition, it served as a watchtower. Today, Belfort offers the lovely music of a carillion, consisting of 47 bells.

Belfort is open from 09:30 to 17:00. And it is closed on New Year’s Day, the 1st of January; the afternoon of Ascension Day, the 15th of August; and Christmas Day, the 25th of December. For security reasons a maximum of 70 persons at one time are allowed in the tower.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Aug 06, 2012

Things To Do Near Belfry Tower - Belfort

Things to Do

The Markt

"Markt Square" or the "Grand Place” is undoubtedly the heart of Brugge. Since medieval times the Markt has been the center of activity, and historically where people conducted government business,...
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Canal Boat Tours

4th (or maybe 5th) canal trip May 2016. I didn't see the dog in the window which made me quite sad and Marilyn Monroe seems to also have vacated the city which didn't bother me a bit Yes, it's...
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Friet Museum

A different kind of museum is this museum all about fries & potatoes! It was pretty big with tons of info. At the end of your visit you can stop at the fryshop in the basement to buy some really tasty...
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Things to Do

Palace of the Liberty of Bruges

Landhuis van het Brugse Vrije The palace of the Liberty of Bruges is a gold trimmed building on the burg square and dates from 1722 to 1727, when it replaced a 16th-century building as the seat of...
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Chocolate Museum

We had really looked forward to visiting this museum and so headed here fairly quickly once we arrived in Brugge. It's actually not a bad museum, but not as great as we had hoped. It does give a very...
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Basilica of the Holy Blood

Heilig-Bloedbasiliek, or Basilica of Holy Blood, is a church with a multiple personality disorder: part 12th-century Romanesque; part 15th-century Gothic; and part 19th-century Neo-Gothic...although...
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Getting to Belfry Tower - Belfort


Markt 7, 8000 Brugge, Belgium


  • Sunday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Monday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Tuesday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Wednesday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Thursday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Friday 09:30 to 17:00
  • Saturday 09:30 to 17:00