The Folklore Museum
Situated in restored 17th century almshouses, this warren of reconstructed rooms and shops, includes a chemist, a cobblers, confectioners and a classroom, and it is curated by the locals. Rolweg 40.
A Brewery Tour
Staffe Hendrik brewery on Walplein 26 – This family run business has been brewing beer here since 1856 but the brewery itself can be traced back to 1564 as mentioned in the city archives. They have been producing the famous Straffe Handrick (Strong Henri) beer since 1981 and guided tours through the brewery and museum are available with a chance to sample the beer at the end.
T Koffieboontje bar, just off Markt (00 32 50 333293) has 6 gear bikes for hire for around €10 a day. Pick up the tourist office’s cycling booklet and head north into polder country (land reclaimed from the sea for farming). Pass through the still water and poplar trees, on towards the sea. The beaches at Knokke Heist are particularly good.
Stadhuis (town hall)
Located in Burg Square, the town hall, built in the 14th century, boasts impressive Gothic architecture both inside and out. In the Gothic Hall, on the first floor, various painted scenes depict the history of the city.
Horse-drawn carriage ride
A trip to Bruges isn’t really complete without a horse-drawn carriage ride! The route tends to follow the main tourist sights of Burg square, the canal and the lovely St Anna district, where the old lace workshops once stood. The ride may seem a little pricey, but the cost is per carriage, so sharing one cuts the cost down, and the drivers give you a detailed explanation of Bruges and it’s main sights.
Bruges Diamond Museum
This museum illustrates Belgium's connection with diamonds and Bruges' history as Europe's oldest diamond centre as well as providing a general knowledge into the world of diamonds and daily diamond polishing demonstrations. 43 Katelijnestraat, Ankerplein. Tel; (0032 (0)50 34 20 56)
Lace Centre (Kantcentrum)
Both a museum and workshop situated in charming old almhouses. Demonstrations of the intricate art of lace making take place in the workshop whilst the history of this art is illustrated in the museum where ancient examples of skilled lace work are on display. Peperstraat 3a. Tel; (0032 (0)50 33 00 72)
Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heiligbloed Basiliek)
Both Lower and Upper Chapels date back to the 12th century and were built in Roman style, but it is the Upper Chapel that was converted into a neo-gothic style in the 19th century and has beautiful stained glass windows, intricate wall paintings and a decorated wooden ceiling. The Upper Chapel is also home to the treasured relic of the Holy Blood, a crystal phial containing a few drops of Christ's blood, brought back around 1200 from the Holy Land after the Second Crusade. The phial stored in a silver tabernacle is exhibited every Friday. The adjacent museum displays a collection of vestments, paintings and artefacts. 13 Burg. For more information visit http://www.holyblood.com/?lang=en
The Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwkere)
This 13th century church with a 122 metre tower was built over three centuries in various different styles. Since 1900, all renovations have tried to re-establish the old medieval style and the church now houses an impressive array of art treasures. Michelangelo's wonderful sculpture, Madonna and Child, is one of the highlights. In the choir are the magnificent mausoleums of Charles the Bold and his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, along with some remarkable painted tombs. Closed Mondays. Mariastraat