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Museums and Galleries Tour II (Self Guided), Brugge

The historic city of Brugge has splendid museums and galleries for everyone to see and admire. Both medieval and contemporary art can be seen here, in the "Venice of the North." It’s amazing how this medieval city has guarded such incontestably valuable treasures, which are on the must-see list of every visitor to Brugge.
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Museums and Galleries Tour II Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries Tour II
Guide Location: Belgium » Brugge (See other walking tours in Brugge)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Frietmuseum
  • Choco Story - The Chocolate Museum
  • The Lamp Museum
  • Belfort (Belfry & Carillon)
  • Xpo Salvador Dalí
  • Brugge City Hall (Stadhuis)
  • Liberty of Brugge (Brugse Vrije)
  • Lace Center Museum
  • Museum of Folk Life
  • Guido-Gezelle Museum
  • Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie

1) Frietmuseum (must see)

Opened in May 2008, the Friet Museum in Brugge is the first and only museum in the world that shows the history of the potato, from its origin to the first chips. The museum contains a collection of machines that were used for processing, harvesting, peeling, sorting, frying and baking potatoes.

The museum is spread across three floors. Exhibits on the ground floor trace the history of potatoes, beginning in Peru c.8000BC. The first floor details the history of fries, and their origins in Belgium. The basement of the building houses a cafe. Exhibits include photographs, artwork, historical potato peelers and chip-making machines, and a video outlining how to make perfect fries.

The building is housed in the Gothic Saaihalle (former wool hall). The building dates back to 1399, was extended as the residence of the Consul of Genoa in 1441, used by weavers from 1578-1750, and has since served variously as an inn, café, cinema, dancehall, and since 1978 as a bank and exhibition space.

Why You Should Visit:
If you were wondering what makes Belgian Frites so tasty or why are they different from the "French" Fries, you might find the answer at this museum.
The entrance fee is reasonable and there's a joint ticket with Choco-Story available with a discount.

Make sure you chip in at the end for some very tasty frites.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm (last tickets: 4:15pm)
Choco Story - The Chocolate Museum

2) Choco Story - The Chocolate Museum

The Choco Story is a deliciously informative museum located in a historic building in Bruges. It is dedicated to informing visitors about all aspects of chocolate.

The Chocolate Museum is located in the historic Huis ‘de Crone’ on Sint-Jansplein in Bruges. The building was a wine tavern in the 1500s. It subsequently served as a bakery and later, in the 1900s, became a furniture factory. Today, it is the most popular museum in the city among visitors of all ages. Visitors can also view chocolate being freshly made right there on the site.

The Chocolate Museum takes visitors through the history and development of chocolate, from its first use by the Mayas and Aztecs of Central America to the arrival in Europe and evolution of the different confectioneries that are popular today. There is a special section about the development of Belgian chocolate, including the well known Belgian Praline, and another section, devoted to the health benefits of chocolate. The museum shop sells different types of chocolate confectionery and books about cocoa and chocolate making.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; In July and August: 10 am to 6 pm.
Closed: December: 24, 25, 31, January 1, during the 2nd and the 3rd week of January.
The Lamp Museum

3) The Lamp Museum

The lamp Museum in Bruges also called the Lumina Domestica is dedicated to showing man’s journey from darkness to light. It has the largest collection of lamps in the world.

The Lamp Museum has over 6500 lamps and is popular among children and adult visitors. Displays at the museum trace the history of lighting from the Stone Age to the recent LED lights. A video about the history of lamps is screened to explain the exhibits better. Visitors are welcomed by the genie from Aladdin’s oil lamp. The Museum is the most complete repository featuring 40,000 years of the evolution of lighting in the world.

The Lamp Museum consists of an array of different types of lights. Visitors can see lights from the stone Magdaleense lamp to the modern incandescent lamps. There is also a gift shop with different types of lamps for sale. The shop also has books on lighting including an interesting one about the history of lamps in general and electric lighting in particular.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; Closed: December 24, 25, 31, January 1, during the 2nd and the 3rd week of January
Belfort (Belfry & Carillon)

4) Belfort (Belfry & Carillon) (must see)

The Belfry of Brugge, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historic center of Brugge. One of the city's most prominent symbols, the Belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other dangers. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, accessible to the public for an entry fee, leads to the top of the 83-meter-high building, which leans about a meter to the east.

The Belfry was added to the main market square around 1240. In the 16th century, the tower received a carillon, allowing the bells to be played by means of a hand keyboard. In 1675 the carillon comprised 35 bells, designed by Melchior de Haze of Antwerp. There were 48 bells at the end of the 19th century, but today the bells number 47, together weighing about 27.5 tons.

In the reception area, waiting visitors can discover all kinds of interesting information about the history and working of this unique world-heritage protected belfry. Those who take on the challenge of climbing the tower can pause for a breather on the way up in the old treasury, where the city’s charters, seal and public funds were kept during the Middle Ages, and also at the level of the impressive clock or in the carillonneur’s chamber.

Why You Should Visit:
Climbing the bell tower on a clear day is well worth it if you are not easily claustrophobic and you can manage the 350+ steps.

Definitely go and listen to the free bell ringing concerts on Mondays & Wednesdays (9-10pm). You can just sit in the square and listen or in a café with a drink. Programmes are available from the Belfort website.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Xpo Salvador Dalí

5) Xpo Salvador Dalí (must see)

In 1997, an exhibition of Dali’s drawings, oil paintings, and watercolors was presented in Brugge. After some years passed, the permanent Museum-Gallery Xpo Salvador Dali was opened in the Belfry of Brugge. This marvelous building, which hosts the surrealist collection, has rooms decorated in gold, shocking pink, and mother-of-pearl. The collection – comprised of sculptures, paintings, collages, pen and ink drawings, prints and publications, etc. – is accessible for everyone, very well presented and the staff is very friendly.

If you should come to this expo, paying a little extra for the headset audio tour would be well worth it, since it provides visual as well as audio factoids which enhance the overall experience.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
Brugge City Hall (Stadhuis)

6) Brugge City Hall (Stadhuis) (must see)

Housed in a 13th-century Gothic building that dominates the Burg Square, the Brugge City Hall is one of the oldest city halls in the entire Netherlands region. Built between 1376 and 1420, it was the first monumental structure to serve as a town hall in the Low Countries; its flamboyant opulence testifies to the city's economic and political power at a time when the population of Bruges is believed to have reached more than 37,000, or even 45,000 people.

The City Hall has an ornate gothic façade with the emblems of the cities and villages that formed part of the administrative area of Bruges engraved around the six original gothic windows. The 48 statues are of the Counts of Flanders and biblical figures. The highlight of the interior is the Gotische Zaal or gothic room found on the first floor. A large staircase leads from the entrance to this beautiful room. The gothic room has a magnificent vaulted oak ceiling with scenes from the New Testament and murals that tell the tale of the glorious past of the city of Bruges adorning the walls. Another room called "the historic room" has documents and paintings about the history of the city on display.

Why You Should Visit:
Easily one of the more impressive structures found within the city and once you enter inside, you will find yourself back in the 14th century.
Audio guides are included in admission and if you're more inclined, there are many information cards throughout.

Included in the Museum Pass (3 days, 14 different locations), which is well worth getting from any participating attraction if you're doing the rounds.
Pick up the guide and follow the paintings around the room to get the full story. You'll take tons of photos, too (be sure to photo small sections as well as the whole)!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-5pm
Liberty of Brugge (Brugse Vrije)

7) Liberty of Brugge (Brugse Vrije) (must see)

The Liberty of Brugge once housed the city’s courts. Today, it is the home of the Municipal Archive, which stores records of the city’s historical evolution. The Liberty of Brugge boasts a marvelous 16th-century fireplace in its Renaissance Chamber. This black marble fireplace was designed in honor of Emperor Charles V, who visited Brugge in 1515. The single chamber is steeped with historical artworks, furnishing and centuries-old decor that is very nice to see and learn about.

Admission is free with a Museum Pass; otherwise, the fee includes an audio guide as well as entrance into the remarkable Stadhuis (City Hall) also at Burg Square.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-12:30pm / 1:30-5pm
Lace Center Museum

8) Lace Center Museum

The Lace Center Museum or Kantcentrum preserves and promotes the traditional art of lace making in Bruges. The entrance to the center is next to the landmark Jerusalem Church in the city.

The Flemish artisans of Bruges and Ghent developed the art of making lace by hand in Europe. The center was established by the Sisters Apostoline in Bruges. It was popularized by Queen Joan of Navarre who promoted lace making in France after a visit to Bruges and Ghent. The center is a combination of a workshop, museum and store. The ancient art that has been handed down from generation to generation is taught to locals and visitors at the workshop.

The Kantcentrum museum is dedicated to the history of lace making in Belgium. The permanent exhibition displays a variety of lace and explains the technique behind their creation. Specialty laces made here are the Rozenkant, Bloemenwerk and Toversesteek. Between 2 pm and 5 pm on weekdays, tourists are taught to make lace at the workshop. The gift shop sells souvenirs like postcards depicting the craft of lace making or lace patterns and designs, doilies, handkerchiefs and wine cozies for visitors to take home as mementoes of their lace and lace making experience in Bruges.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 5 pm
Museum of Folk Life

9) Museum of Folk Life (must see)

The Museum of Folk Life or the Volkskunde in Brugge shows visitors how the people of the city lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is centrally located near the Jerusalem Church and has displays that will interest visitors of all ages.

The museum is housed in eight 17th century whitewashed houses that belonged to the Almshouse of the Shoemaker’s Guild. Recently a modern extension was added. In all, the museum covers 15 rooms, each showing a different aspect of the everyday life of households and professionals in times gone by.

The Museum of Folk Life features a class in a primary school, a cooper or barrel maker’s workshop, a hat maker’s workshop, a cobbler’s shop, an inn, a typical Flemish home, a dressmaker’s shop and a confectionary. A new section has been added recently dedicated to the history of textiles, lace and lace making. The inn is a functioning one called the De Zwarte Kat or the Black Cat Pub and beer is available on tap. On Thursdays, the confectionery serves sweets and cakes, made using traditional techniques and recipes. In summer, adults and children are encouraged to play traditional games in the garden. The Museum hosts an annual festival called the Mid-Winter Festival that is a popular attraction in Brugge.

Why You Should Visit:
Very well laid out museum with good explanations in 4 languages; a perfect attraction as you can go through every room at your own pace and there are lots of interactive features to investigate.
The nice, old, buildings have modern extensions which lead to the garden area (good to sit in for a picnic or play games). As a plus, the 'Black Cat' serves good beer & snacks at very good prices.

Best taken in as part of a walk to the canals & windmills in the lesser visited St. Anne's district of Brugge.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-5pm
Guido-Gezelle Museum

10) Guido-Gezelle Museum

This museum is dedicated to the life a works of the renowned Flemish writer and poet, Guido- Gezelle. It is located near the English convent where he served as the main priest.

The house where Guido- Gezelle, the prolific, poet, writer, linguist and catholic priest was born is converted into a museum displaying his works. His bronze statue by sculptor, Jules Lagae welcomes visitors to the museum. Guido Gezelle lived most of his life in Bruges and wrote most of his works here. He was well known as a linguist who attempted to develop a separate Flemish language independent of Dutch. All his works have the influence of the west Flemish dialect, which is commonly spoken by the people of Bruges.

The Guido- Gezelle Museum is a tribute to one of the city’s best known sons. The house has been decorated to portray the life of the writer. It preserves books, pamphlets, historical records and displays objects that belonged to the poet priest. The museum also has a large, well kept garden with a bronze sculpture by Belgian playwright, Jan Fabre called the Man who Gives Fire. Besides the permanent collection of the works of Guido-Gezelle, the museum holds special and temporary exhibitions dedicated to linguistics and the art of the written word.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. , 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie

11) Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie (must see)

The Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie is an art gallery in Bruges located in a former hospital. The building housing the museum dates back to the 13th century.

The Our Lady of the Potterie complex, established in 1276, was a functioning hospital between the 13th and the 17th centuries. Monks and nuns took care of ill and infirm returning crusaders, travelers, merchants and local people here. It is attached to a 14th-century church with a Baroque-style interior. The church is still an active place of worship. After the hospital ceased to function, it became a home for the elderly. A new modern facility was built and the wards of the old hospital and elder care home were converted into a museum.

The Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie has some beautiful exhibits on display. The collection of works of art relate to healthcare, worship and the principles of the monastery. Objects on display include paintings, sculpture, furniture, stained glass, religious relics and a renowned collection of silverware. It also has a small library with many ancient religious books.

Why You Should Visit:
While this is some distance away from the main attractions in the city centre, you can take a nice walk along the canals or round the former city walls to get here.
The small staff is knowledgeable and multi-lingual and happy to answer any questions. As it's at the edge of the city, it's not crowded at all.

Don't miss the nearby chapel and be sure to pick up the brochure when you check in to help explain the art and sculpture within.
Remember to look up, and enjoy the many tapestries that tell the stories of the miracles that the Lady of Potterie has worked.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9:30am-12:30pm / 1:30pm-5pm

Walking Tours in Brugge, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Brugge

Create Your Own Walk in Brugge

Creating your own self-guided walk in Brugge is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Beer Tour

Beer Tour

The Land of Beer, where each corner calls to you alluringly, welcomes visitors from all over the world. In Brugge, you will be amazed to find bars that offer a range of 300 beers along with a pleasant atmosphere and a guarantee of a wonderful time. There are many beer bars in the center of Brugge. Gather your friends and visit the best bars in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Brugge Introduction Walk

Brugge Introduction Walk

The famous medieval city of Brugge preserves many amazing landmarks within its walls. The grain mills will show you how flour was made, and the statues located around the city will reveal the lives of the important personalities of medieval Brugge. Take your camera and a look at the most fascinating attractions Brugge can offer.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Cultural Venues

Cultural Venues

The medieval city of Brugge is home to many amazing cultural venues. In 2002, Brugge was honored with the title of European Capital of Culture. It boasts of its grand Royal Theater and of the Concertgebouw, where one can hear contemporary music or watch ballet performances. It is a city of possibilities where artists can show the world what they are made of.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Historical Churches Tour

Historical Churches Tour

It is not a big secret that some of the most beautiful churches in the world are located in the medieval city of Brugge. Built in the Gothic and Baroque architectural styles, the churches are among the most popular sites in the city. Take this tour to discover for yourself the religious jewels of Brugge.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Architectural Jewels Walking Tour

Architectural Jewels Walking Tour

The Historic Town of Brugge hides stunning architectural monuments within its egg-shaped boundary. It is the home of both modern and medieval masterpieces, and each corner of the town has something that will create a deep and lasting impression. Take this tour and start looking for the exciting architectural treasures of Brugge.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Museums and Galleries Tour I

Museums and Galleries Tour I

Brugge is the capital of West Flanders, Belgium. It is an egg-shaped historic city with an impressive collection of museums and galleries that tell the history of the city from different points of view and also reveal the contemporary side of the city. Take this tour to lose yourself in the medieval atmosphere of Brugge.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles