Bruges by Night

The docks and canals of Bruges once bustled at night. Now it's still. And beautiful.
Bruges Canals at Dusk
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To be subjected to the full fascination of Bruges, one should see it on a fair, still night, without a moon. In every direction gables mysteriously cut the sky. All is vast and dim around the funereal canals, out of which, one knows not how, gray towers, like the architecture of fairyland, spring through bouquets of colorless foliage. On the lustrous and vitreous waters, profoundly quiet, a few reflected lights are dancing. [*The Independent*, 1900]1

At one time, the canals of Bruges bustled at night. The city’s wharves were crowded with ships. Sailors drank to oblivion. Hawkers sold their wares. Merchants guarded their warehouses packed to the rafters with English wool, Flemish linen, Persian silk. The city’s citizens were among the wealthiest in Europe.

Now it’s still. And it’s beautiful.

The glassy water of the canals reflect the lights and fairy tale architecture. The wet cobblestones glisten under the street lights. And the Belfry of Bruges, along with some of the other landmarks towering above the city, are brightly lit up with floodlights. The canal boats are wrapped up for the night. The horses are back at their stables. The streets are quiet aside from the occasional tourist wandering back to their hotels after a Belgian feast washed down with trappist beer. They walk past the shop windows full of chocolate or Flemish lace. Or they stop by a takeout window for dessert of a Belgian waffle topped with very un-Belgian whipped cream.

And then it’s quiet and still again.

Photos of Bruges at Night

Bruges Markt at night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Photo of Bruges at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Bruges at Night with the Belfry under Lights
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Belfry of Bruges, Belgium
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Belfry of Bruges at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Canals of Bruges
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Bruges Market Square at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Canals of Bruges at Dusk
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Bicycle in Bruges at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Canals of Bruges and Perez de Malvenda at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Canals of Bruges at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Bruges Street at Night
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Belfry at Night In the Markt in Bruges, Belgium
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Canals of Bruges
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com

Where Is It?


  1. Edmund Gosse, “Impressions of Bruges,” *The Independent*, 28 June 1900. 

Where to Next?



Travel Advice for Belgium

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Belgium (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Belgium here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Belgium here.

Guidebooks for Belgium

If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Belgium. Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.

Rick Steves Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent
205 Reviews
Rick Steves Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent
  • Steves, Rick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg 7 (Multi Country Guide)
108 Reviews
Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg 7 (Multi Country Guide)
  • Elliott, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
DK Eyewitness Belgium and Luxembourg (Travel Guide)
125 Reviews
DK Eyewitness Belgium and Luxembourg (Travel Guide)
  • DK Eyewitness (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Belgium

I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.

But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.

These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Belgium :

Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!

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