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6 Best Tours in Bruges (For A More Memorable Visit)

6 Best Tours in Bruges (For A More Memorable Visit)

Bruges is the most charming city in Belgium that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Its medieval old town with cobblestone streets, centuries-old buildings, and narrow canals is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site that will impress even the most seasoned travelers.

We live in Belgium and have already covered the main sights and attractions in Bruges on our blog in detail. However, we notice that more and more of our readers want to experience Bruges deeper and are looking for unique experiences and interesting tours with local guides.

Indeed, a good tour can make your trip so much more fun and create amazing memories for the whole family!

So in this guide, I am excited to showcase some of the very best tours you can do in Bruges. From guided city walks to off-the-beaten-path bike rides and even making your own waffles, there’s truly something for everyone. Whether you are a history buff or just want to try some yummy Belgian food, Bruges has it all.

Getting to Bruges: If you are visiting Bruges with a cruise ship, you can book a shuttle service from the cruise terminal to the center. If you are coming from any Belgian city, it’s best to take a train. If traveling from Brussels, you can also opt for a guided day tour; some tours also visit Ghent on the same day. If coming from Amsterdam just for a day, we recommend booking a guided tour (or you will waste too much time on trains).

Best guided tours in Bruges for tourists

Here is our hand-picked selection of some of the best-rated tours in Bruges:

1. Guided City Tour with Canal Cruise

A guided city tour that includes a boat ride on the canals is the best tour to take in Bruges if you are visiting the city for the first time. It’s also a great way to see the best places in just a couple of hours.

There are several walking tours that visit the main highlights and take you on a canal cruise. They all cover top places including the main Market Square (Grote Markt) and the Belfort Tower, top sights of the old town, and Beguinage. However, starting locations and itineraries are somewhat different.

Here are the two best options that we recommend:

  • A guided tour that starts at the railway station and ends with a boat trip. With two starting times – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, this tour is a good option for those arriving in Bruges by train for just a few hours. The tour starts with a walk next to the Lake of Love (Minnewater) and ends with a canal trip from Rozenhoedkaai, which is right in the center. You can easily explore more of the old town afterward.
  • A tour starting at the Market Square. This small-group tour has a great itinerary that not only covers the musts, but also a few hidden gems. It also includes some chocolate tasting and a short guided tour at the Halve Maan Brewery. The boat trip is in the middle of the tour giving you some time to rest from all the slow walking. The tour ends at the Beguinage, which is just next to the Lake of Love which you can visit on your own. The railway station is not far from here, or you can easily return to the old town and explore further.

There are many other guided city tours to choose from, including a free walking tour (with a small reservation fee). So there is truly something for everyone’s interests and budget. Just make sure to read the itineraries and what’s included when comparing the tours so that you know exactly what to expect.

Bruges canals boat tour
A canal boat tour is a must-do in Bruges!

2. Belgian Waffle-Making Workshops

No visit to Belgium would be complete without tasting some of the world-famous Belgian waffles. And you will have plenty of opportunities to do that. But you will quickly realize that real Belgian waffles are totally different from what you find in the USA, for example.

So if you are looking for something a bit more special to do in Bruges, consider booking a waffle-making workshop. It’s educational, it’s fun, and most important – absolutely delicious. You can bake as many waffles as you can eat, so it saves you lunch too ;). Plus, you can take a recipe home with you and make yummy waffles for your family and friends for years to come.

Many Belgians (including my husband) like to make waffle batter with beer. If you would like to try waffles with beer, this popular workshop gives you a choice between ‘regular’ or beer waffles. It also includes Belgian beer tasting.

If you are looking for a more family-friendly option, check out this highly-rated waffle baking workshop. Here, you can also decorate your waffles with all kinds of toppings – kids (of all ages ;)) will love that!

Interesting to know: In Belgium, legal drinking age for beer and wine is 16, but most younger kids will eat waffles made with beer. I suppose, it all depends on what kind of beer and how much of it you use. When we bake waffles at home, we usually use rather light cherry beer and I’m sure most alcohol evaporates during baking.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Interesting & Fun Facts About Belgium

Belgian Waffle in Bruges
Belgian Waffles in Bruges.

3. Bike & Rickshaw Tours

If you like to see a lot of Bruges in a short time without having to walk much, you can also choose from various bike or e-bike tours. Just beware that most streets are cobbled so you need to be confident on a bike.

Alternatively, you can also opt for a guided rickshaw/pedicab tour. It’s the perfect way to see a lot without any effort from your side.

Here are the best tours that we recommend:

  • City highlights bike tour is a great way to see not just the main monuments in the city center, but also get a bit off the beaten path in Bruges. This retro bike tour is somewhat similar in terms of what you get to see, but it limits its group size to 10 people maximum.
  • Guided rickshaw tour. This private tour is a very relaxing way to explore the main sights of Bruges and learn some interesting facts and stories from a local.
Lake of Love and Kasteel Minnewater in Bruges
Lake of Love (Minnewater).

4. Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt

If you like to explore Bruges by yourself, consider booking one of the scavenger-hunt tours. They are very budget-friendly and you can explore the city at your own pace.

There are tons of self-guided tours to choose from – from city highlights to mystery tours, but also special tours for families with young children, etc.

Good to know: You will need a smartphone and internet connection for any self-guided tour (European SIM cards work in Belgium without extra roaming fees). Also, in most cases, one scavenger tour booking is enough unless everyone in your group absolutely wants to listen to the explanation on their own phone.

TIP: The most popular and best-rated self-guided tour in Bruges is this highlights scavenger hunt. It’s focused around some of the main landmarks in Bruges and is perfect for first-time visitors who want to explore the city a bit deeper but prefer to go on their own.

If you are more interested in riddles and scavenger hunt itself, check out the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Game. With kids, you may enjoy the Peter Pan Mystery Game.

Horse Head Drinking Fountain in Bruges
Horse Head Drinking Fountain in Bruges.

5. Belgian Food and/or Beer Tours

Belgium is world-famous for its beer and food, with a lot more to taste beyond waffles! Food tours are a great way to experience any place and also taste several different local specialities in a short time.

Unfortunately, there are not that many options when it comes to food tours in Bruges. That said, all you need is one good tour anyway, and there are a few good tours to choose from depending on your interests.

Here are the best food and/or beer tours in Bruges:

  • Food tour with 10 tastings. This highly-rated private tour is a wonderful way to get acquainted with some local specialities and explore Bruges at the same time. They also cater to vegetarians, just be sure to let them know if you have any dietary restrictions.
  • Beer and chocolate tour. This is a great tour for those who want to learn more about Belgian beer and sample a selection of traditional beers and craftwork brews. The tour also includes a visit to a brewery and – according to them – best chocolate store in the city.
Brugse Zot beer in Bruges, Belgium
Brugse Zot – one of the traditional beers still brewed in the center of Bruges.

6. Best Tours Near Bruges

In addition to all the amazing tours in the city, there are also several nice options for those who want to see some of the beautiful surroundings near Bruges or visit the famous WWI sites.

Here are some of the best tours from Bruges:

  • Damme & Bruges Countryside (2 hours). This e-scooter tour is great for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Bruges old town and see some of the beautiful surroundings. Damme is a picturesque village just a few kilometers outside the city center and the trip to get there is also very scenic, especially in the summer season.
  • Bruges Countryside (4 hours). This bike tour brings you to Damme, Oostkerke, and along canals in the countryside around Bruges. If you have a few days in Bruges and are fit for a longer bike ride, this would make a great addition to any itinerary.
  • Flanders Fields Day Tour (9 hours). This highly-rated tour brings you to Ypres and World War I sites known as ‘Flanders Fields’. It’s a touching visit that I recommend to anyone visiting Belgium.

LEARN MORE: Ypres and WWI Battlefields

Best tours in Bruges - sheep and windmill in Damme Belgium
Bruges countryside near Damme.

So, this is our hand-picked selection of the best tours in Bruges. I hope that it inspired you to explore Bruges deeper and helps you plan a more memorable visit.

Even if you just opt for one of these experiences, it will make your trip so much more special!

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Bruges

For more travel tips for Belgium, make sure to check our other articles as well. You can find an overview on our Belgium travel page and here is a small selection of featured articles:

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Best tours and experiences in Bruges (Brugge, Belgium)

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