This weekend was one for the books. If I told you that we went to Brussels + Bruges in about less than 24 hours would you believe me? Yeah, neither would I. But we did it! We went to two different cities in ONE day. This is part one of a two part series where I will be showing you how it's possible & what you can do in less than 24 hours in Belgium!
Bear in mind that this trip was from London --> Brussels on the Oui Bus (which is a story in itself). It was about an 8 hour bus ride but it really wasn't that bad so I would recommend it! It's definitely student budget friendly.
We arrived in Brussels around 6:40 in the morning on Saturday and immediately went into the train station to go to Bruges. That was our plan all along - get to Brussels but see it last. We wanted to explore Bruges and I'm actually glad we went early in the morning because there was hardly any tourist when we first got there (which is amazing)!
We left from the Bruxelles-Midi station which took us straight to Bruges in about an hours time. I'm going to let you in on a secret - if you ask for a student discount or say that you are under 26 years of age, you will get your ticket for only €6. We were tired, in a hurry and didn't even think about a student discount, so our first ticket we paid €14. Irritating once we found out but we lived...we got to see a beautiful city!
Ticket: €6 (don't make our mistake!)
After you get off the train in Bruges, you are only about a 10 minute walk from the city center. As we were walking, we passed one canal that just had the prettiest lighting and gorgeous fall trees so I couldn't help but take a picture.
We stopped in the city at this little tourist shop, typical, for post cards that we wanted to send to our family. They had the cutest ones and they were about €1 so you couldn't really beat it!
This is the Belfort "Belfry" tower. It has, I believe, 360 steps and for around €8 you can walk up and take a panoramic shot of the city center. We saw online that it was €2 so we didn't end up going. It is a medieval bell tower that is directly in the center of town. You can't miss it!
Total (if you go) €8
This is where we went for our canal rides! We couldn't wait to get on and I don't remember the place having a legit name, however, you can go to any canal near the city center and there are boats for you to ride!
Our captain took us through the canals and told us the history of Bruges and different buildings. It was very interesting but it was freezing cold!! So bundle up if you are going around this time. I would do it again though because the leaves are changing and it was so gorgeous everywhere we looked.
After our canal ride, we headed into the city center for lunch. Even when it's freezing, people still sit outdoors for lunch/drinks. So, to take part and feel more localized, we sat outside and froze to death. But this pizza was amazing. It was a four cheese pizza that we split and it paired nicely with my diet coke!
All for around €10
After lunch, we decided to head back to the train station and head to Brussels. It was around 1pm so we would get to Brussels around 2. It was a good first half of the day, exploring Bruges and learning about it's culture. Bruges, itself, is not very expensive so I think that if you are on a student budget & looking to visit Belgium...Bruges is the way to go!
Time spent in Bruges: 5 hours
I spent maybe a total of €30-40 and that was getting some gifts for people, eating and the canal ride! It's very doable if you are a student and just looking to get away for the weekend OR you are traveling cheap! I also have been doing this thing where every country I go to I get a piece of street art. I want to create a gallery wall when I get home from the states! I thought it would be a cool, unique keepsake.
This is just part ONE of this two part series. In the next post, I will be showing you all about Brussels and how you can navigate there. It was a bit more tricky than Bruges is but definitely worth it.
Be sure to check out my guide on How to See London on a student budget! It will surely be helpful to those traveling here soon!
Have you been to Bruges? What would you recommend? I'm curious - what do you collect when you go to different countries? If anything? Let me know in the comments below!