I didn’t know much about Belgium before going there, other than what I saw in the movie “In Bruges” with Colin Farrell. I gotta say, Bruges was awesome. You can walk from the main train station (about 20 minutes) and find yourself at the foot of a long strip of fancy stores, lots of waffle shops, pubs, chocolateries, etc. There are plenty of hotels and hostels all along the way, as well as cool churches and buildings that look like a cross between medieval architectures and a ginger bread house.
A Good Tour
There’s a fella that operates a tour bus company. From the main square you can miss these buses, they are bright yellow and really the only of their kind I saw in Bruges. The buses hold about 12 people, cost 18 euros, and the driver we had was hilarious. As he drove around for an hour pointing out all the sights, all the locals waved at him and shouted out an inside joke. Sometimes he slowed down to talk to people on the street and everyone seemed to like the guy like he was the most popular dude in town.
I read somewhere that Bruge was the “expensive side” of Belgium. That it was. We walked around for a good hour looking for a relatively cheap place to eat which we couldn’t find, so we bit the bullet and paid what everyone else in town paid to eat.
We were only there for one night, so no big deal, but if you’re planning on a few days in Bruges (which might actually be too much time to see the few key/interesting sites) plan to spend a good chunk of change on food. I’m talking like 10 euro for a beer and 20 euro for a tiny pizza kind of pricing.
Bruges for Backpackers
I’m going to recommend the Lybeer Hostel to anyone backpacking through Bruges. The reception guy and gal were very friendly and helpful, and the place had a real warm and friendly atmosphere. The bathroom was junk, but the rooms were quiet, secure and the beds were decent. The best part of this place were the little things you wouldn’t expect in a hostel, like a tv/dvd player, a piano, a guitar, more than 1 computer with Internet, free/fast wifi, and of course – beer. Perhaps the best part of the Lybeer Hostel was the breakfast. There was lots of food to go around, like sandwich meat, bread, cheese, coffee, tea, juice, milk, etc.