We did not do these horse and carriage tours as they are very expensive at 39 euros for 30 minutes around the town. This also includes a 10 minutes stop at the Minnenwater where the horse has a water stop.
I also read that it is hard to hear the guide speak due to the noise of the horse and carriage on the cobbled streets.
However if you would like to see the town in a different way this is perhaps for you.
Bruges I saw attired with golden light
(Streamed from the west) as with a robe of power:
The splendour fled; and now the sunless hour,
That, slowly making way for peaceful night,
Best suits with fallen grandeur, to my sight
Offers the beauty, the magnificence
— the opening stanza to ‘Bruges’ by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
The clip-clop of well-shod hooves striking the Belgian bricks that pave the streets of Brugge is a sound heard regularly.
These are more than casual rides; they are tours, conducted by the driver. If you are in the mood, this is one way to see Brugge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Carriages depart from Markt Square, and the ride runs for 35 minutes, including a stop at the Begijnhof (see my Brugge Things-To-Do Tip: Beguinage de Wijngaard: a Peaceful Refuge for more on this sight) to stretch your legs.
One of the most familiar SOUNDS of Bruges is the clatter of horseshoes on cobbles as parties of tourists take a tour of the old town in this popular, old fashioned style of transport.
I have mixed feelings about this use of horses and we did not take a carriage ride.
We had lunch a couple of times close to the "station" where the horses were fed, watered and rested at regular intervals. Here we had a good opportunity to observe how they were cared for. They all looked to be in good condition, were well shod and the drivers tended to them as they rested while they, too, grabbed a sandwich.
I had heard that the horses are over worked and ill-treated so was pleased to see that this did not appear to be the case - except for one woman driver whose horse appeared to be a little lame and in need of attention.The animal was ill-tempered and restless but received little attention from its driver during these rest periods.
The price of the ride is clearly marked on the side of the carriage, it seemed high to me but is for the whole party not per person.
However we got to recognise the horses and their drivers and noted that the tour lasted only a short time. The same horse and carriage could take 3 tours plus rest times in the time we spent over lunch.
The carriage rank is at Minnewater close to the entrance to the Beguinage.
We saw a lot of horse and carriage rides clip clopping their way through the streets of Brugge. The horses and the carriages are elegant but the cost not so. If you do take a carriage ride be prepared for the price = your pictures will be wobbly as the horse trundles through the cobbled streets and your pocket lighter by 30e - yes this is the cost per cab but you can share with four other people. Your tour will last around half an hour = work out for yourself price per minute. OH the horses leave from Market square
A romantic way to see the city of Brugge is by HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE. We saw many tourists taking this leisurely way of touring this wonderful place. We got a kick out of seeing a "pooper scooper" bag attached underneath the horse's tail. Keeps the city clean and you don't have to walk in the stuff.
Taking a horse drawn carriage is a fun way to see Brugge. You can queue in the main square. The trip takes about half an hour, including a 5 minute rest for the horses. We paid 30 euros for 2 people.
Downsides were the fact that we didn't know how much it was going to cost until we'd queued for nearly an hour and the guides also ask for an additional tip, but of course, that's up to you.
This seems to be in vogue now in Bruges, or its been the norm. Most couples, and lovers simply get on one of these carriages. Its a good way to move arround. They also do a lot of narratives as you go along.
You can also visit Brugge by horse and coach. The trip goes true the streets, and little streets of Brugge.
The horses may only work 8 hours a day and must repose two days.
On different places in the city you can take a coach.
This was quite a romantic way of seeing Brugge.... brought back a glimpse of life in the past. Lots of the side streets were stables with houses on top.....
We figured we needed the excercise so declined this rather nice option of travel.....
A horse drawn carriage tour of Brugge can be equated to a cruise down the canals of Venice on a gondola: touristy but entertaining and fulfilling. Carriages can be hired in the MARKT square or across from the Bagijnhof. For a one hour narrated tour, expect a fare of about 30 euros. Drivers are multi-lingual and will point out main sites along the route.
Between March and November, you can explore the city by carriages drawn by horses. You can find the carriages near the Lake of Love. They depart on demand daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. During the colder months, you can sit cozily under a blanket. The guide speaks differents languages and will explain everything to you on your 30 minute-tour.
It will cost you about 28 EUR per carriage.
Alternatively, you can also take a horse carriage ride from the town main square around Brugge. It cost about 27euro for half hour ride around the town. Definitely makes you feel that you have gone back to the past!