Beautiful Bruges in autumn

Beautiful Bruges in autumn

by Alejandra Flores
Stripes Europe

As the nights begin to cool and the sun begins to set a little earlier every day, the earth adorns herself in her most intricate outfit of them all, fall. The wind begins to blow, pumpkins begin to grow, sweaters find themselves at the front of the closet and as far as the eye can see greens morph into the flag of fall, filled with oranges, yellows, browns and reds. Autumn, filled with pleasant strolls by cool lake-sides, or casual colored walks down cobblestone roads, finds itself enveloping Bruges in its vibrant, sunset-colored beauty. 

Bruges has so much to offer, beginning with food. On a nippy autumn day, the best food is warm. Start with a Belgium waffle. As the waffle warms the hand that brings the waffle up to your mouth, your taste buds are greeted by the crisp mix of fluffy whip cream and warm chocolate sauce that oozes into the waffle and into your mouth. Continuing the tour de la foodies, stop by the Freitmuseum. This is the first and only museum dedicated to french fries! Not only will you learn the unique history of America’s favorite side, but also experience a traditional Belgian way of eating them: fries topped with Belgian Chocolate. The Belgian Chocolate on your fries leaving you wanting more? Don’t worry! Head over to the Choco-Story. Here, learn the history of Belgian Chocolate, the process it takes to make it and the standards each piece of chocolate must strive to meet. With much to eat and very little to drink, you have no choice but to stop at the De Halve Maan Brewery. This brewery dates back to 1564 and is willing to share their secrets on guided tours through the brewery. Wanting to experience more than a tour? Find yourself staying at their restaurant/bar where you can taste the beer first hand.  

Delicious waffles with a variety of toppings!

Feel a little stuffed? Walk it off with a scenic stroll down to the Minneswater or “Lake of Love” where you and your loved one can walk onto the lover’s bridge and have a spectacular view of the lake and the trees that line it. Continuing the stroll, follow the windmill path. Here encounter some of the oldest windmills in the city, including museums inside windmills and a few operational ones as well. These picturesque energy creators offer a unique traditional European atmosphere perfect for the stroll.  

If you’re walking take time to rest your legs on a canal cruise. The average cost is about 8 euro for adults and 4 euro for children. Relax as the canal driver glides the petite boat through the canals and listen as he explains the history and points out all the scenic spots of the town. Enjoy the ride as you pass through Groenrei,  “green canal”, but in autumn that will turn into an array of yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and browns that will leave you gawking at how scenic your boat ride is. After the ride stopover at the Rozenhoedkaai, one of the most, dare I say, the most, scenic spot in all of Bruges. Connected by two canals this corner side street opens up to the intersecting canals, a majestic willow looming above the water and the rest of the town, the belfry specifically, all overlooking the canal. 

Sunsets at the Rozenhoedkaai

Another scenic spot in Bruges is its square. There you can stop and enjoy some more Belgian waffles or enjoy the view of the courthouse and a gothic town hall. Also in the square is the entrance to the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Enter and begin the short climb to the chapel itself. On the far right sits a priest. Curious, you get in line with everyone else wondering what they are looking at. Finally, you reach the front and see that the priest is guarding a crystallized piece of Christ’s blood! 

After that, continue to the Belfry, where you will begin to question the architectural structure of the building. No, you’re not seeing things, the tower is leaning, precisely one meter to the East. Feeling adventurous? Climb the 366 steps to reach the top of the 83-meter tower and view the whole town.  

Whether you’re eating a warm waffle bundled up in a fuzzy sweater, admiring the town filled with autumn colors, experiencing architectural wonders or just cruising down a canal, Bruges has much to offer on any given autumn day.  

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