A visit to Bruges is incomplete without exploring its canals. Known as the "Venice of the North," Bruges is a picturesque medieval city that will leave you enthralled. The canals running through the city are a distinctive part of Bruges' charm. You can explore the canals and the picturesque surroundings both on foot and by boat. If you have time, we recommend doing both to see different faces of the same structures and surroundings.
The canals of Bruges are long and ensconced in a green belt. Take a walk along the canals to take in the picture-postcard beauty of the area. Discover different bridges and squares along the way. If you want to explore the inner canals, start the 2.8 km walk from Zand Square and finish at the Bonifacius bridge near the Church of Our Lady. This pleasant walk takes you past beautiful, old streets and romantic bridges that provide a perfect backdrop for photographs. Among the labyrinth of canals in the city, the Groenerei is said to be the most romantic and beautiful. Known as the "green canal," it is best admired and photographed from Peerdenbrug, (the Horse Bridge) looking toward the Meebrug. Lined with trees along the way, this natural canal also has other notable landmarks by its banks—the Manor of the Brugse Vrije, the Peerdenbrug and Meebrug bridges, and the Maison du Pelican (Almshouse).
A boat ride
Admire the city from the water and see different a different facet of the historic surroundings. Discover hidden gardens, go under old and picturesque bridges, and take in the beauty of the city. Multilingual guides regale you with informative commentary about the places you see on the way. Make sure you set aside some time to take this 30-minute ride and enjoy a unique experience. Boats operate all day along during the summer months and only on weekend mornings during the winter.
The city ramparts and town gates
Don't leave Bruges without exploring the green belt by the canals. The green area and ramparts encircle the whole city and are interspersed with historic town gates. You will also stumble upon ancient windmills on this path.