One of the best parts about doing study abroad in Brussels is how easy it is to get to explore while I’m here. At the time of writing this post I have already traveled three times, two of those experiences being out of the country. These weren’t week long vacations but instead fun weekend trips I took with friends. So, without further ado, I introduce to you the first of many nice little study abroad detours. Bonus: they’re all pretty cheap!
Bruges is a great starting point for a study abroad weekend trip. It’s about two hours away by bus so you don’t need to worry about taking a plane just yet. You don’t risk possible (though unlikely) deportation* since you’ll still be within Belgium. Best of all, you’ll be able to go for very cheap! My own trip only cost me 20 euros.
Make sure to look into FlixBus. They’re like European Megabus but cleaner and more comfortable. You will hear me talk about them in future posts as well because they’re pretty convenient for travel around Europe. If you’re not into bus travel, flights between European countries are pretty cheap and there is also the train.
Bruges is a stunning town, full of canals, beautiful architecture and windmills. It is almost reminiscent of Amsterdam, in a way. We arrived super early in the morning and it was freezing cold but we were all hungry so we wandered over to the main square.
It was very beautiful but that beauty came at a cost: the restaurants around there were ridiculously expensive! We managed to find a cute place to grab a bite and there was even a street fair around the corner with lots of food and trinkets for sale. Always make use of travel blogs and the internet in general in order to find the cheap eats. Don’t let the tourist areas lure you into paying 20 euros for a sandwich.
We then made our way over to the canal, the main event when you’re in Bruges. This is where all those pictures you’ll see on Pinterest come from. We took a canal tour, which I definitely recommend doing, in order to take a break from walking and see more of the town. The trip lasts about 20-30 minutes and costs 12 euros, so definitely not an unreasonable cost. I would definitely say it was worth it. The ride is relaxing, you get to see the sights and hear about the robust history of Bruges.
The rest of the day was spent leisurely wandering around the beautiful town. When you head towards the outside, near the remnants of the fort, you will find several windmills and a hill that offers a lovely view. We hit all four of them, each with their own colors and themes. We also walked down some more residential areas and enjoyed the beauty of the canals.
One thing I will say is that, as it was our first trip, we had very few activities planned. This led to it being a much more “go with the flow” vibe. I had lots of fun, but definitely feel that I could’ve seen more if I came more prepared! Thankfully, I would learn my lesson from this first trip, which is why I highly recommend Bruges for yours! It’s a lovely area and even if you aren’t the best travel planner, you can get a lot out of your visit.
Tune in again for the next stop in this series!