Paris Day Trip to Bruges: What to See, Do & Eat. Including Map & Practical Info

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Author:  Caroline

Stroll through labyrinthine cobblestoned streets, lined with colorful gabled houses, glide along the little tranquil canals dotted with medieval bridges, and clamber up the famous Belfry for sweeping views. Embark on a Paris day trip to Bruges, hailed as one of Europe’s most magical little cities.

This famous little town, which you’ve likely encountered all over your social media feeds, is situated in the northern part of Belgium (roughly 50 km from the French Border). As a native Belgian, I have spent many days in Bruges and can confidently say it is every bit as beautiful as you imagined.

Getting from Paris to Bruges will entail at least 2h30 hours of travel (each way) making it a pretty long day trip from Paris. Time permitting, I would strongly advise spending at least one night in fairytale Bruges but if that is not possible, make sure to wake up bright and early to optimize your time visiting the prettiest city in Belgium!

This guide has been carefully curated to include the must-visit attractions in Bruges, vegetarian-friendly restaurants and a handful of practical pieces of information to ensure you can plan your Paris to Bruges trip without a tour. Continue scrolling to discover a map of the various attractions that can be particularly handy as you explore.


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Paris to Bruges
Paris to Bruges day trip

Paris to Bruges Day Trip: Planning Guide

BRUGES AT A GLANCE

  • Bruges Card: If you are planning on visiting multiple museums it might be worth looking into getting the Bruges Musea Card, which includes 11 museums.
day trip to Bruges from Paris

Can You Do a Day Trip From Paris to Bruges?

READ | Is Bruges worth visiting?

You can, but it will entail a fair amount of travel as the cities are roughly 325 km (202 mi) from each other. The easiest and faster way to get from Paris to Bruges is via train. Hop on the high-speed Eurostar between Paris Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi, here change to the local train which drops you off in Bruges. More on that a little later on!

The city of Bruges is most definitely worth visiting. The UNESCO World Heritage is a veritable treasure trove of medieval charm waiting to be explored. One day in Bruges will allow you to see the highlights of the city. Be warned though, it might leave you scrambling to book a second, third, and potentially fourth visit.

As a Belgian, I have visited the city on many occasions and it simply never gets less impressive. It honestly feels like time has stood still here, with the ever-present clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages running through cobblestoned streets lined with colorful gabled houses.

MONEY SAVING TIP| If you book in advance, the Paris Bruges train tickets can be pretty affordable at around US$120 roundtrip. If you leave it to the last minute tickets can easily be US$250 in which case taking a guided day tour from Paris for US$156 becomes a much better option.

Bruges one day trip from Paris

8 Things to Do on a Paris Day Trip to Bruges


For those considering a day trip from Paris to Bruges and aiming to make the most of their adventure, a bit of pre-planning can go a long way in ensuring you experience the city’s key highlights.

While there’s no denying the charm of losing yourself in Bruges’ labyrinthine cobblestone streets, you have a limited time available to explore. Below you will find a list of my favorite activities. My advice would be to pick 5, and leave the rest for your next visit to the city!

ACCOMMODATION GUIDE | 15 Sustainable Boutique Hotels in Bruges
COMPLETE BRUGES GUIDE | One day in Bruges itinerary // Bruges or Brussels, which Belgian city to visit
BRUGES AT CHRISTMAS | Christmas markets in Bruges
FOOD GUIDE | Vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Bruges
DAY TRIPS FROM PARIS | 26 Day trips from Paris under 2 hours // Day trip from Paris to Brussels

1. Explore the Grote Markt of Bruges

When you step onto Bruges’ Grote Markt, prepare to be absolutely awestruck. Comparable in splendor only to Brussels’ Grand Place, this square is unparalleled across the country.

De Grote Markt dates back to the 10th century when it was the bustling hub of vendors selling their goods, a market square or markt in Dutch. Even today, the tradition continues with a weekly market every Wednesday morning.

At the heart of the square stands a life-sized statue honoring Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, pivotal figures in the Brugse Metten revolution of the 14th century, when Flanders revolted against its French ruler.

Surrounding the Grote Markt are colorful houses with distinctive gabled roofs. Look up, and you’ll notice statues embellishing these rooftops, each representing the heritage and trades of these quaint dwellings. For example, the basket-adorned structure once served as the guildhouse for weavers, while the mermaid-crowned house was dedicated to the guild of fishermen.


What to do on the Grote Markt: Climb the Belfry, visit the Historium, grab a drink at Craenburg – the spot where the heir to the Habsburg Dynasty was imprisoned in the 15th century. At the time of writing the Provinciehuis (the large white building next to the Historium) was closed for renovation.

Best views over the Grote Markt: Belfry or the tower of the Historium


2. Walk up the Belfry of Bruges

Opening Hours: 09.00 am to 08.00 PM || Tickets Price: €15 (US$16)// Reservations obligatory as spaces are limited. Get tickets online.


If there is one little bit of exercise you absolutely want to do during your one-day trip from Paris to Bruges it is to clamber up the 366 steps of the Belfry. The walk up is along a tightly spiraled, circular staircase which is not suitable for people suffering from vertigo or claustrophobia.

Originally a repository for municipal charters and archives in the 13th century, the Medieval Belfry has transformed into a symbolic emblem of the city and an exceptional lookout point. Although its archival role has faded, its symbolic and scenic significance endure.

While the panoramic 360° views of Bruges are remarkable, they come with a drawback: a thick layer of protective chicken wire obstructs the vista. While the ascent is undeniably rewarding, it isn’t my preferred viewpoint. In my opinion, the Historium (mentioned below) offers better views, with the added bonus of enjoying a beer afterward!


3. Cruise the canals of Bruges

Coming from Paris, you might think you have seen the most romantic city in Europe. Once you are gliding along the famous canals in Bruges, you might start to rethink that theory. Aim to grab your boat either around midday when most tourists are having lunch or after 5pm when many of the day tours have left for the day.

The waterways of Bruges have a long and rich history. They date back to the 12th century and were originally constructed for commercial purposes, supporting trade and the transportation of goods. Nowadays it is no longer goods but tourists that are transported on a 45-minute journey.

A ticket will set you back €12 (US$13), and can be bought straight from any of the five vendors scattered around the historical center. I normally start from the Rozenhoedkaai as this is one of my favorite spots to take pictures in Bruges. Tours are in English.

TIP | Combine a boat tour with a guided walking tour. The top-rated 2.5-hour tour is great value for money as it takes you through the various highlights of the city + includes a boat tour for only €18 extra versus the single ticket for a boat ride.


4. Visit the Historium & get a drink with the best view over Bruges

Opening Hours: 10.00 am – 06.00 pm || Address: Markt 1, 8000 Brugge || Tickets: Historium Story & VR

The Historium in Bruges is a very cool immersive museum explaining the history of the city. With a little help from virtual reality and special effects, the exhibition transports you straight to 15th-century Bruges including a bustling market square, lively guilds, and the iconic Belfry of Bruges.

There are two types of tickets on sale: Historium Story and Historium Story + VR. I highly recommend splurging and purchasing the tickets including the VR experience. It makes the museum visit a lot more fun! Do not forget to check out the panoramic terrace for views over the Grote Markt.

If museums are not entirely up your alley, it’s still worth popping inside the building. On the first floor the Duvelorium bar is accessible to everyone, even visitors without a museum ticket. Sip a typical Belgian beer or nibble at a cheese platter with a view over de Grote Markt.

GOOD TO KNOW | The Historium has toilets available. These are free if you purchased a ticket to the museum, if not a payment of €1 is requested.

INSIDER TIP | It is well worth climbing up to the tower of the Historium to see the best view in Bruges, even better than the Belfry. Costs €5 (US$6) if you purchase a ticket for the Historium. If you just wish the climb up the tower entrance fee is €12.


5. Stroll around the historical center

If you are taking a Bruges day trip from Paris, chances are high that you will stick to the historical center when exploring. There are a couple of iconic landmarks of Bruges you absolutely want to check out. I pinned the various items on the map which you can find at the end of this article.

In addition to the Grote Markt and Burg Square, the picture-perfect Rozenhoedkaai is a must. It is without a doubt the most famous viewpoint of the city and a great spot to grab a canal cruise. Around the corner, you will find the Fishmarket with a clustering of little market stalls.

Medieval Boniface Bridge and the nearby Gruuthuse Museum are both worth a picture. Stroll on to the
Church of our Lady which is home to an authentic Michelangelo. The recently restored Saint John’s Hospital is now a museum of Medieval Medicine. It can be photographed beautifully from the Katelijnestraat.

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION | If you do want to learn a bit more about the history of Bruges there are plenty of really affordable walking tours. Have a peek at Viator or GetYourGuide before you go.

6. Step inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood & Bruges City Hall

On my first few trips to Bruges, I wandered around Burg Square but never actually went inside any of the buildings. I strongly encourage you to take 45 minutes and pop into both the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Bruges City Hall.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Opening Hours: 10.00 am – 05.15 pm || Address: Burg 13, 8000 Brugge


The beautiful Basilica of the Holy Blood is one of the most important religious sites in Bruges. According to legend, the Basilica is home to a relic believed to be a droplet of Christ’s blood which came to Bruges following the Second Crusade in the 12th century. The façade is an interesting blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture while the inside is covered in colorful frescoes.

Bruges City Hall

Opening Hours: 09.30 am – 05.00 pm || Address: Burg 12, 8000 Brugge || Entrance Fee Museum: €/US$8

Dating back to the 15th century, the Bruge City Hall is one of the oldest in the Low Countries. The ground floor is free for everyone to visit, but the true magic happens on the first floor. Here lies a beautiful vaulted Gothic Hall depicting the rich history of Bruges. The first floor requires a ticket to enter.


7. Indulge in all the traditional Belgian chocolates & waffles

When you jump on that train from Paris to Bruges, be sure to leave any notion of diet behind. Belgium is the unrivaled champion of chocolate, waffles and beer. Others have tried to steal our thunder (here’s looking at you Switzerland and Germany) and failed.

Walking through the heart of Bruges you will see many of stores advertising “finest Belgian chocolates” and “authentic Belgian waffles.” If you are looking to bring back some goodies to Paris, try one of the below, locally recommended, stores.

BEST HOT CHOCOLATE: The Old Chocolate House has a wonderful first floor where you can grab all sorts of different hot chocolates. We took the speculoos version, which is divine!

BEST CHOCOLATE STORE: Both The Chocolate Line and The Chocolate Factory produce their chocolate in Bruges and have a wide selection. Alternatively, try a Belgian Chocolate Workshop

BRUGES WAFFLES: You might be able to get a Brussels waffle or a Liege waffle in Brussels, but you will definitely not find a Bruges Waffle. This relatively new invention can be tried at Otto Waffle.

BEST WAFFLES ALL AROUND: House of Waffle is widely regarded by locals as the best place for waffles in Bruges. Or try your hand at making your own Belgian Waffle in a waffle-making workshop.


How to get from Paris to Bruges
Begijnhof Bridge at the exist of the Beguinage Bruges

8. Stroll around the Beguinage & visit the Beguinage Museum

Opening Hours: 06:30 am – 06:30 pm

At the heart of the historical center of Bruges lies the 13th-century Beguinage. Once home to a community of devout women living a quasi-monastic life. Similar structures can be found around Belgium in the cities Mechelen, Brussels and Antwerp.

These days the Beguinage is a clustering of whitewashed façades surrounding a little peaceful courtyard. Inside this little enclave, you can visit a small chapel dedicated to St. Elizabeth (free) as well as a small museum.

Crossing the Begijnhof Bridge takes you through the 18th-century main entrance. The museum is housed in the small Beguin house on the left, just after the entrance, a charming space showcasing original 17th and 18th-century furniture, paintings, and lacework.

GOOD TO KNOW | The Beguinage has strict opening hours which are enforced by the closing of the two main gates.


Bonus: Visit a local brewery

I briefly touched upon the holy trinity of Belgian delights – chocolate, beer, and waffles – but neglected to mention where you can try the local brew. If you are visiting Bruges from Paris and are a beer lover, head to one of the two breweries still operating within the historical center.

TIP | Chances are high you do not have the time for a full hour-long tour of the brewery. Both breweries also have beer flights – a set of various beers served in smaller tasting glasses. These can be ordered at the bar.

Bourgogne des Flandres Bruges

Opening Hours: 10.30 am – 06.30 pm (closed on Monday) || Address: Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge || Tours: Visit the brewery with an audio guide including 1 tasting for €15 (US$18).


Established in 1911, Bourgogne des Flandres had to close its doors in 1958 due to the rise of less niche beers at cheaper prices. In 2015 the brewery opened its doors once again! This little brewery is set along one of Bruges’ main canals and has a lovely panoramic terrace.

Halve Maan Brewery Bruges

Opening Hours: 11.00 am – 06.00 pm || Address: Kartuizerinnenstraat 6, 8000 Brugge || Tours: 45-min tour including 1 tasting for €16 (US$18)


Established in 1856, Brewery Halve Maan in Bruges is as iconic to the city as the Belfry of Bruges. The internationally acclaimed Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik are well worth trying. Both are widely available across the city, in case you do not make it to the brewery.

One day trip from Paris to Bruges

How to Get from Paris to Bruges

Embarking on a Paris day trip to Bruges can be done in a variety of different ways. It is noteworthy to mention that the distance to cover is 325 km (202 mi) resulting in a minimum travel time of 2h30 for the fastest means (train). If you have but a day, the only really viable mode of transport is by train as the heavy congestion on the road will mean driving between Paris and Bruges would easily take between 4 to 5 hours. Trust me, I have tried and failed miserably.

MONEY SAVING TIP| If you book in advance, the Paris Bruges train tickets can be pretty affordable at around US$120 roundtrip. If you leave it to the last minute tickets can easily be US$250 in which case taking a guided day tour from Paris for US$156 becomes a much better option.

TRAIN PARIS TO BRUGES (TIME SAVER)

The fastest way to get to Bruges from Paris is by taking the train. There is no direct train connecting both, you will need to change in Brussels.

Trains Paris to Bruges

FASTEST OPTION (2h30): Paris Gare du Nord – Brussels Midi – Brugge

Hop on the Eurostar between Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi (also known as Brussel Zuid). From here take a local train run by the Belgian National Railway (NMBS) to Brugge (the Flemish name for Bruges). Bruges central station is a 20-minute walk from the Grote Markt (Main Square).

Tickets for Eurostar need to be bought well in advance! Check the schedule and book via Omio.


Train cost Paris to Bruges

The cost of your journey will vary depending on which option you decide to choose. One-way tickets for the Eurostar start at €50 (US$65) but can easily run up to €250 (US$220) if not purchased in advance.

BUS FROM PARIS TO BRUGES (BUDGET OPTION)

There are 4 daily direct buses from Paris to Bruges with FlixBus. The first bus is at 6:30 am and the last bus leaves at 4:50 pm. The journey takes a minimum time of 4 hours 25 minutes, each way. Departs from Paris Bercy Seine and gets in at the Bruges train station. Find the timetable and book your ticket via Omio. Prices start at €14 (US$15) one way.

DRIVING TO BRUGES FROM PARIS (CONVENIENCE PICK)

Driving from Paris to Bruges will take between 4 and 5 hours, depending on the traffic. Park your car in the underground parking ‘t Zand or right around the Bruges train station. Daily car rental starts at €65 (US$70).

Travel between Paris and Bruges

Day Tours to Bruges from Paris

Getting to Bruges from Paris is relatively straightforward and can be easily done without a tour. In fact, if you manage to book your train tickets in advance, this is definitely the best option! However if, like me, you are a bit of a last-minute planner your day trip might turn into a costly affair in which case a tour might be more budget-friendly.

  • VALUE FOR MONEY: This Day Tour Paris to Bruges will set you back US$156 and includes transport, a guided tour of Bruges as well as the tickets for the canal cruise. An absolute steal!
  • RECOMMENDED: One of the top-rated Paris to Bruges day tour is a small group tour, capped at a maximum 7 people. At US$290 it is more expensive, but the advantage is it can be tailored entirely to your requirements.
  • PRIVATE TOUR: If you are after a more intimate day trip from Paris to Bruges, you might want to consider this up-market private Paris to Bruges tour. Coming in at US$880 per group (maximum 3 people) it carries a heftier price tag.
Best Hot Chocolate in Bruges

Where to Eat & Drink Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Bruges

READ | 12 Vegetarian Restaurants in Bruges

THAT’S TOAST: The best spot for Brunch in Bruges. It’s all about toast, sweet, savory, you name it they have it! Vegan and vegetarian friendly. Ideal for breakfast/lunch.

BLACKBIRD: Vegan brunch/lunch/coffee bar slightly off the beaten path. Cozy and great value for money. Go for breakfast/lunch/snack.

SANSEVERIA: A super cozy bagel place that has a host of bagels with a variety of toppings. Vegan and vegetarian friendly. Ideal for breakfast/lunch.

OTTO WAFFLE ATELIER: The one and only Bruges waffle. Gluten-free and topped off with coconut sugar and/or some delicious chocolate sauce. Great for a snack.

HOUSE OF WAFFLES: The best spot to grab traditional waffles in Bruges. Recommended to me by a local friend, and boy did it not disappoint. Great for a snack.

ODA ROOFTOP BAR: The only rooftop bar in Bruges. If the weather is great, the bar is worth stopping for a drink.

Map of Places to See in Bruges in a Day

This article contains a lot of information including the key attractions of Bruges, where to eat & drink as well as practical information. To ensure you get the best out of your travel to Bruges from Paris, I marked the various points on this online Google Map.

Map of things to do in Bruges Belgium from Paris

Where to Store My Luggage in Paris

You do not want to be lugging around bags on your Paris Bruges day trip. The cobblestones in Bruges will make pulling a suitcase uncomfortable, really fast. Check your luggage in at Paris Gare du Nord station before heading to Bruges.

INSIDE THE STATION: Just before exiting the station, take the lift to go down to -1 on the lower ground floor-level N-1 (car rental and lost property office). The Gare du Nord luggage storage is located close to car rental companies (Europcar, Avis etc). There are about one hundred lockers of all sizes (small, medium and large format).

Where to Store My Luggage in Bruges

Bruges has a relatively small amount of lockers where you can store luggage of varying sizes. In fact, in you have anything larger than a backpack or a carry-on suitcase I strongly suggest you store your luggage at the station.

INSIDE THE STATION: As you get off the train, walk past the Relay store and turn left, right before you walk outside the station. Lockers are available 24/7, payment can only be done by card.

If you open the locker, it forfeits any tariff you may have paid e.g. check that you have everything you need before you store your luggage because once it is in the locker that is it. Small lockers start at €5.5 (US$6) for 24 hours, while XL lockers start at €11 (US$13).


HISTORIUM: The Historium on the Grote Markt has a limited amount of lockers available in the inner courtyard. They are easy to access and work with a QR-code that needs to be scanned to open/close the lockers. Payment by card.

Bonifacius Bridge Bruges Belgium

Bruges Day Trip From Paris Practical Tips

Best time to take a Paris day trip to Bruges

I thoroughly enjoy visiting Bruges 365 days a year, however June, July and August are choc-a-bloc full of tourists. Christmas in Bruges is the most magical time of year (but also the coldest). April, May and October see lesser crowds with moderate temperatures.

Is there a direct train from Paris to Bruges?

There is not, you will need to take the high-speed Eurostar from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels Midi. In Brussels Midi you change to the a local train run by the National Belgian Railway (NMBS). Get off at the station “Brugge”.

What is the fastest way to take a day trip to Bruges from Paris?

The fastest way to travel between Paris and Bruges is by train. If the train schedule aligns, you can get there in 2h30. Check your schedule on Omio before leaving.

Is it cheaper to travel by bus or train from Paris to Bruges?

Taking the bus from Paris to Bruges is considerably cheaper than the train. Bus prices start at €30 (US$35) roundtrip while train prices will rarely be less than €100 (US$110).

Does Bruges have an airport?

No. The closest airport is Brussels Airport (BRU).

Make Your Trip to Bruges More Sustainable

READ | What is sustainable tourism and why is it important?

TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Ditch the car, chances are high, and you will only end up in a nerve-wracking struggle to find parking anyway.

VISIT IN OFF SEASON: Steer clear from June to September and December.

STAY A LITTLE LONGER: Consider making your visit to Bruges a weekend trip instead of a day trip.

AVOID SINGLE USE PLASTIC: If you are coming by train, the hallway opposite the lockers has a station where you can refill your water bottle for free.

PURCHASE LOCAL: Pop over to the tourism office to pick up a guide on where to find products that have the ‘Made in Bruges‘ certification. This way you know that your souvenirs are locally made.

THE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES CONUNDRUM: Stringent regulations govern the horse-drawn carriages in Bruges, requiring mandatory rest days and limiting their daily work hours to a maximum of 8. When temperatures exceed 30°C, these carriages are legally prohibited from operating. However, personally, I prefer to abstain from tourist attractions involving animals, choosing instead to explore on foot.

Paris Day Trip to Bruges

Wrapping up Your Paris Day Trip to Bruges


Embarking on a one-day trip from Paris to Bruges is well worth it. If you get up bright and early, you have most of the day to explore beautiful Bruges. This little medieval city, with its cobblestone streets and medieval charm, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Belgium.

Hop on the highspeed train in Paris Gare du Nord headed towards Brussels, here change for the local train that takes you straight to Bruges. Once you arrive explore the main attractions: Grote Markt, Belfry of Bruges and the Historium – with the best views of Bruges.

Glide through the canals of Bruges while listening to the history of the city, before delving into the holy trinity of Belgian delights: Beer, chocolate and waffles! You might want to stock up before embarking on your journey back to Paris.


MORE INSPIRATION FOR VISITING FRANCE & BELGIUM

PARIS: 26 day-trips from Paris by train
PARIS: Day trip from Paris to Brussels
BRUGES: One day in Bruges itinerary
BRUSSELS: A local’s guide to 2-days in Brussels
BRUSSELS: 10 Quaint B&B’s in Brussels
BRUSSELS: 15 Boutique hotels in Brussels

Paris Day Trip to Bruges: What to See, Do & Eat. Including Map & Practical Info
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Paris Day Trip to Bruges: What to See, Do & Eat. Including Map & Practical Info
Paris Day Trip to Bruges: What to See, Do & Eat. Including Map & Practical Info

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Caroline Muller

Thanks for dropping in! My name is Caroline, and I am a full-time writer & photographer. With this blog, I hope to harness the power of travel to do good in the world. Think connecting with local cultures, sustainable tourism, and in-depth guides to known and lesser-known adventures. Adventure awaits!

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