Deciding where to stay in Bruges can be a difficult task. Not sure where to start? Don’t miss this handy guide to the best areas and hotels to stay in Bruges before you plan your trip.

My love affair with Bruges has been widely documented. 

The city, a charming maze of pretty canals and postcard-perfect architecture captures the heart of many who visit – and that’s before you add in the wealth of history, cool things to do, chocolate and beer that make Bruges such a popular city break

So that’s the “why” you should visit Bruges, but what about the “how”? 

There are so many boutique hotels, B&Bs and luxury properties that it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why I’ve created this guide to the best places to stay and best hotels in Bruges – everything you need to know to help you find your perfect stay. 

Best Places to Stay in Bruges

Although it’s a relatively compact city, Bruges still has distinct areas with their own character and feel. Want to take a quick peek at the very best? Here are my top picks.

Top Picks Hotel 
Best Overall HotelDukes’ Palace
Most Stylish Stay Hotel Aragon
Most Romantic HotelDe Tulierieen
Highly RecommendedDukes’ Academie

Markt & Burg

The Best Overall Area to Stay in Bruges 

Markt, Brugge
Colourful buildings on Markt, Brugge

To make the most of your time in Bruges, it doesn’t get much more central than the squares of Markt and Burg. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be mere metres from the best the city has to offer.

Markt is considered the physical and cultural heart of Bruges. No prizes for guessing where its name comes from – yep, it’s the Market Square.

The Medieval market might be gone, but there’s still plenty to tempt you to open up your wallet. With fabulous restaurants, cafes and bars as well as cute little shops and boutiques, it’s still a definite shopping hub.

Burg is just a few minutes away, and is home to the Town Hall. It’s lined with many Gothic buildings that a guidebook would probably call “handsome” – I prefer pretty darn cool.

While it’s a little more formal in character, Burg is very beautiful and just a short stroll to the city’s best attractions. The areas surrounding both of them are great choices for where to stay in Bruges.

Markt and Burg Highlights

The Belfort in Markt
The Belfort
  • Wednesday Market – pick up some grocery items or souvenirs when Market Square hosts a large market.
  • Belfort (Belfry Tower)- one of the Markt’s most recognisable buildings, the 83 metre tall tower is an icon of Bruges, with an amazing view from the top.
  • Town Hall – there’s many beautiful buildings around Burg, but the 14th Century Gothic Town Hall is perhaps the most striking.

Suggested Places to Stay in Markt and Burg

  • B&B Speelmansrei – a charming, centrally located B&B in a historic old house with plenty of character.
  • Hotel Dukes’ Palace – At first glance, the palatial and slightly quirky hotel looks like something out of a fairytale. There’s even a picturesque garden tea house. Step inside and the hotel is modern and luxurious with fine hardwoods and elegant furnishings. It’s no surprise that the building was originally built in the 15th Century for a famous duke.
  • Hotel Aragon – centrally located with recently renovated rooms offering a contemporary stay in the heart of the city. With 42 rooms including a six-person apartment, it’s ideal for groups.
  • Novotel Bruges Centrum – Located in the heart of Bruges, this is a classic choice for those seeking a great location without totally breaking the bank.

Minnewater & Astrid Park

Best For: A Romantic Escape

Minnewater Park
Minnewater Park

Looking for somewhere ultra-romantic to stay in Bruges? Or perhaps just seeking out a little peace and quiet? If so, Minnewater and Astrid Park are great choices.

Minnewater is really one for the romantics. A local legend says that the Park is named after a local lass, Minna, who was in love with a warrior from a neighbouring tribe. When she was betrothed to another man by her father, she ran away.

Her dash from unhappy matrimony eventually ended near Minnewater Lake, in the arms of her lover Stromberg. Alas, as with most “romantic” stories, things took a sour turn when she died of exhaustion. Did any love stories have a happy ending back in the day?

Anyway, today Minnewater is a beautiful park that’s popular amongst couples taking strolls, or really anyone who’s a fan of green spaces.  

It’s also close to the beautiful Astrid Park, so named after Astrid of Sweden, Queen of the Belgians. 

Top Tip

While these areas are calm and peaceful, they are still within easy reach (10 minute walk) of the city centre with its many attractions.

Minnewater Highlights

Inside Minnewater Park
Inside Minnewater Park
  • Lake of Love and Love Bridge – cross the beautiful lake via the picturesque Love Bridge – apparently if you do it you’ll experience eternal love. So, be careful who you cross with.
  • Minnewater Park – if your romantic stroll across the bridge isn’t enough, you can explore the whole beautiful park
  • Astrid Park – if staying in the area, you can’t miss exploring this park as well. Keep a look out for the beautiful fountain.

Suggested Places to Stay in in Minnewater

  • De Tuilerieen – One of the ‘small luxury hotels of the world’, De Tuilerieen is a pint-sized luxury hotel in Bruge that really impresses. Full of charm and uncompromising luxury, this is a fabulous place to stay in the city.
  • Hotel Academie – a modern and comfortable hotel that’s located less than a hundred metres from Minnewater park. The hotel boasts a beautiful exterior and charming decor. There’s also a great buffet breakfast to fuel your day’s adventures.
  • Boutiquehotel Fraeyhuis – contemporary and sleek hotel where every room has beautiful garden views.  Just a short walk from the hotel’s front door will find you amongst the tranquility of Minnewater Park.

Sint Anna

Best for: A quieter escape

Sint Anna Quarter Brugge
Sint Anna Quarter

Things are so picturesque in the neighbourhood of Sint Anna it’s hard to work out why it’s not crowded with tourists. Well, they do say not to look a gift horse in the mouth (or something like that.)

Perhaps one of the reasons that Sint Anna is quieter than other parts of Bruges is that it has traditionally been considered a more working class area. However, few cute European neighbourhoods have escaped gentrification and Sint Anna is no exception.

It was only a matter of time before the secret got out, really, with its beautiful canals and historic buildings.

Today, it’s a popular residential area with many adorable shops, restaurants and cafes along Langestraat – not to mention one of the more affordable places to stay in Bruges.

Top Tip

If you prefer going where the locals go, then this cute neighbourhood may be right up your alley (or straat.)

Sint Anna Highlights

  • Sint-Annakerk – this beautiful 17th Century Gothic church is an icon of the neighbourhood, with its stunning interior.
  • Jerusalem Chapel – an even older church that dates from the 15th century, making it one of the oldest buildings in Bruges
  • Kantcentrum – learn about the art of making delicate, handmade lace in an old factory building.

Suggested Places to Stay in Sint Anna

  • Flanders Hotel – an excellent midrange hotel in a great locationthat offers great value for money.

Sint Gillis

Sint Gillis

Another Bruges neighbourhood that’s undergone a reinvention without losing its heart is Sint Gillis. Located to the south of the city, this hotspot is popular with students and artsy types – always a fair indication that things are looking good.

Great food options abound, from hole-in-the-wall street food vendors to more fancy restaurants. You can expect plenty of mussels, as well as sprouts: they’re kind of a local icon.

It’s not just the food that’s influenced by the effortless cool factor. There are also plenty of fabulous vintage shops where you can grab something to seriously up your style stakes.

All in all, Saint Gillis is definitely on the best places to stay in Bruges, especially if you like food or fashion.

Saint Gillis Highlights

  • Parc Pierre Paulus – enjoy the fresh air and open green space at this beautiful city park.
  • Café Des Spores – If you fall on the “love ‘em” side of the divisive mushroom debate, you’ve got to check out this cafe with a seriously fungi-inspired menu. 
  • Musée Victor Horta – View some amazing works by “the father of Art Nouveau in Brussels”, Victor Horta.

Suggested Places to Stay in Sint Gillis

  • B&B de Corenbloem – a beautiful and elegant B&B set in a historic mansion, with each room tastefully decorated to pay homage to its past. The beautiful antique furnishings and charming wallpaper make it a total delight.
  • B&B de Sterre – a charming and warm property in an 18th-century summerhouse with plenty of character and wonderful staff. You’ll feel like you’re entering a real home as you step inside and take in all the gorgeous features of the property.

Top Tips for Your Bruges Trip

Belgian waffles in Bruges
Belgian waffles in Bruges – don’t mind if I do
  • Bruges is busy, especially between March and November (I blame Colin Farrell). During this time, I recommend getting in and booking early to make sure that you get the best selection of hotels for your stay.
  • While Markt and Burg is my recommendation for the best all-around place to stay in Bruges, this depends a fair bit on your own interests. It’s worth making a short list of things to see and then taking that into account when choosing accommodation.
  • It’s difficult to choose the best hotel to stay in Bruges. Rather, I would consider your budget and preferred style of travel is and choose somewhere accordingly. All the options featured in this article make for a comfortable stay. 
  • Like with most cities, you can score some great deals if you’re willing to travel outside of peak season. If you’re flexible with dates, this is a great way to stretch your money in Bruges – I’ve visited at several different times of the year and my favourite was September, when we had good weather but many of the crowds were gone. 
  • I love using Plum Guide to find rental properties – they are of a much higher quality than the homes on other rental sites.

Which is the Best Area to Stay in Bruges?

Bridge over canal Bruges
There are many beautiful spots within a few minutes of Markt

The short answer? Markt and Burg. 

If you ask me, the ideal place to stay means you can easily see the main attractions without rushing from place to place. No-one wants to arrive at Our Lady of Bruges looking like you’ve just run to get a bus.

The location doesn’t get much better than Markt and Burg. They’re central, meaning all of the city’s attractions are within a short stroll.

Then there’s the fact that they’re also really, really beautiful. All good if you ask me.

How Many Days do you Need in Bruges?


Bruges is a relatively modest sized city, meaning you don’t need oodles of time to see the main highlights. It’s perfect for a city break, with more than enough to keep you busy for a weekend.

At a push, a day in Bruges will give you the chance to see some highlights of “the Venice of the North”. 

On the other hand, if you have more time then Bruges is one of those ‘best explored slowly’ places. You’ll get a better insight into local life if you can stay three or more days.

How Do You Get Around in Bruges?

The easiest way to get around in Bruges is pretty simple – just walk!

Like most European cities that well and truly pre-date cars, a vehicle = endless parking-related frustrations. If you can, leave the car behind and opt for exploring the city on foot. Your blood pressure will thank you.

Bruges also has a pretty good public transport system, which can be used to explore the city or to venture a bit further out for a day trip. Or, if you’re comfortable on a bike, you can opt to cycle around instead. 


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