I love a mini cruise. It means we can have an adventure away, it feels like a holiday and the kids get to see a small part of another country. A few weeks ago, we did the P&O Mini cruise from Hull to Zeebrugge. We’ve visited Bruges before when the kids were a lot smaller and also done a trip to Amsterdam. As you’re only there for the day there’s still plenty left to explore next time. If you’ve not done it before, you get on the boat late afternoon with a 6pm sailing, waking up the next morning at your port, before getting back on board for the trip back after spending the day in the city.
Here’s how we spent about 7 hours in Bruges! And there was plenty of walking…
Brewery Tour! As well as the cobbled streets and canals, Bruges is known for having plenty of breweries. The bus dropped us off near the beautiful Minnewater park and after a short walk we were at the De Halve Mann. I’d booked tickets online for a brewery tour in English, but you can just turn up on the day. The tour took us right through the building from the basement to the rooftop terrace, giving us fabulous views across Bruges, whilst we learnt about the breweries history. There were about 220 steps altogether, some quite steep, so this tour isn’t suitable if you have mobility problems. Pre-hip surgeries I might have struggled. Our guide was lovely and kept it interesting, even for the kids. After the 45-minute tour we had drinks in the courtyard. St Arnold would have been pleased! Included in the tickets was beer for us of course, and coke for the kids.
Lunch! From the brewery it was along the cobbled streets and further into the centre. We meandered along the streets, taking in the sights and soaking the whole place up. After a little bit of unplanned shopping we decided to look for lunch. We learnt from last time that restaurants on the front of the main square are a lot more expensive. Instead we went down some little side streets and discovered a restaurant called Chagall. I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting much when I ordered Scampi off the menu. I’m not a big fish or red meat eater so I wouldn’t be trying mussels or stew. However, there was a wow when it came to the table and it tasted fabulous, served of course with chips and a local beer. Yummy! You can find the Chagall restaurant on Sint Amandstraat, but there are lots of little places along this street.
Boat trip – After lunch we made our way to the main Markt square for photos, we’ve still not been up the belfry, and then to the canal boats. There’s lots of kiosks and places along the canals where you can get a trip. We decided to go back to one we’ve used before. You do need cash to pay for them though and don’t forget a bit extra for a tip. The boat guide was entertaining and spoke a variety of languages and it’s lovely to see Bruges from a different perspective.
Waffles and chocolate shopping – Once off the boat we went on a waffle hunt for the kids. When in Bruges after all!! We discovered Pur Chocolate last time and I’ve been sending people here for years, so we popped back to stock up. We asked for a mixed selection medium box and also managed to pick up some gifts to bring back too.
There were a few stops for the all-important fridge magnet and then a wander through the park again, before back on the coach to the port.
We found it easy to fill our day and there’s still the chocolate museum, Frites museum and climbing up the belfry that we still haven’t tried. Bruges, I loved you!
I received no incentive to write this but just wanted to share our adventure with you. Maybe it’ll inspire you to plan your own trip. Have you been to Bruges? Let me know if you go.