Compact and accessible, medieval Bruges offers a fairytale destination for a relaxing weekend minibreak in Belgium.
Travel: By train. Take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels then onward to Bruges.
Stay: The Oud Huis de Peellaert. This hotel is a short walk from the action and, according to our guidebook, the buffet breakfast is “one of the best in Bruges.” Can’t disagree with that.
Must do: Climb the 366 steps to the top of the belfry for a fantastic view over the red rooftops (but not for the faint-hearted). Drift along the scenic canals in a teeny tiny boat. Take a horse and carriage ride. Generally chill out.
Eat: A giant vat of mussels accompanied by fries. Apple pie, waffles and pancakes.
Drink: Beer. Cambrinius on Philipstockstraat serves 400 varieties. The local brew Brugse Zot (Bruges Fool) is from the Half Moon brewery on Walplein.
Buy: Chocs from one of the many chocolatiers (cheap-ish) or a glorious hand-stitched leather handbag from Delvaux (expensive).
Watch: In Bruges, the 2008 Oscar nominated black comedy-thriller starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.