May Day Bank Holiday Destination: Bruges

If you’ve given up chocolate after overdosing on the Easter eggs, look away now!

But if you’e up for exploring the secrets of Bruges, and you’ve never been before, then Belgium’s chocolate box city on a river is a delight to discover.

An attractive maze of historic buildings and canals, Bruges is as famous for its beer as its delicious Belgian truffles and picturesque architecture which stole the spotlight in the film In Bruges.

In fact chocolate and beer are so revered in Bruges that there are museums dedicated to both.

Try a few beers at The Brewery De Halve Maan while you make your way through the entire brewing process from hops to bottle – or if you’re not a drinker, head for the Choco-Story Museum. This chocolate mecca showcases the production of a variety of cocoa-based treats and you’ll get to inhale a lot of chocolate along the way.

Bruges really comes alive in May so look out for the street markets selling local produce throughout the city and make the most of the warmer spring weather at the outdoor cafes.

Done the beer and chocolate? If you’re with the kids you’ll want to head to the Seapark/Aquarium which is a short drive from Bruges, or if you’ve just popped the question, don’t miss the Diamond Museum.

Last but not least, the best view of the city has to be from a place called The Belfry, one of the city’s most famous landmarks.  There are 366 steps up to the top, one for every day of the year (plus one!) so get training now.

Here’s the low down on these three attractions:

Boudewijn Seapark – The theme park opens for the Summer season in April and makes for a great family day out, with rollercoasters, fairground rides and regular dolphin and sea lion shows.

Diamond Polishing – Dream of the world’s largest engagement ring at Bruges’s Diamond Museum where you’ll be dazzled by some of the world’s most expensive stones.

The Belfry –  The best view – by far – of Bruges and its surrounding countryside is from the top of The Belfry.  Once you’ve climbed up, and then all the way down, treat yourself to a guilt-free gourmet lunch at one of Bruges’ best bistros – you’ll have burned off more than a few calories on your way up so you deserve it!


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