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Act like a local
There’s only 20,000 people living within
the old city walls (an extra 100.000 live outside the walls). That means that on really busy days, there’s more tourists here than locals. Funny enough, everybody still likes tourists. So no mean anti-tourist propaganda, like you see popping up in Berlin, for example. We love you, for putting us on the world map.
Get Lost
Intentionally take a wrong turn and just go with it. Some of the small streets are just as pretty as the big tourist magnets. Besides: Bruges is quite small, so you will always find your way back.
All over the map you’ll see hearts.
Bruges is the perfect kissing city indeed. But keep some for nighttime: when the dark sets in and the stars come out, you’ll REALLY experience the romance of our beautiful city.
Authentic Jealousy
If someone from another city – Ghent for example – claims to be ‘more authentic’ than Bruges: smile and walk away. They’re jealous.
Watch out for horse carriages.
Most horses don’t know the traffic rules.
Also: watch out for cyclists.
Cyclists sometimes are faster than you’d think. Every biker in the city will love you for it.
Learn some dialect.
Other Belgians don’t understand us, but we simply have one of the most beautiful dialects in the country. If you do speak a bit of Dutch, just start by replacing all G’s with H’s. Now end every word on ‘tje’, making it sound cute. For example even if you want a regular coffee you ask for a ‘koffietje’. A medium ‘frietje’ comes with a ‘colatje’ of course, and just for fun add ‘tje’ to the end of everyone’s name.
Here’s some key phrases to start with.
“Oe ist joene?” (how are you doing?). “Zie je me hèèèrrn?” (do you love me?). “Kè histern te vèle gezopn e kè lichtjes zéér I me kop” (I drank too much yesterday, I have a sore head).
Timing is everything
Ask your friends if they want a beer as soon as they walk into the bar (this is crucial). Locals do that with two words: ‘Pintje én?’ (pronounced ‘peentyuh enn?’ meaning ‘having a beer?’).
> 6% = slow
If your beer is anything other than a pils beer (anything over 6%) drink it slowly! It’s perfectly fine to sit and sip on just one beer for more than 30 minutes. Ask for the right beers, because some of them are really strong and might make you tired (and drunk). We love our tourists, but when you guys are worthlessly drunk, we stop loving you.
Bar hopping is a common hobby,
visiting on average about three bars a night, as we like to see what’s happening all over the city. The first bar’s for warming-up, and the last one is generally a place where we can get way comfy, and stay until the rest of town is already waking up to get to their jobs.
Don't overpay for your beer
If you drink in a bar and you’re paying more than € 2,30 for a regular pils beer, you’re probably in the wrong place, being ripped off. In a youthclub (like 2 ) you’ll only pay € 1,50, and in 83 it’s only € 1,25 (but you’ll pay the entrance fee, of course). Same for waffles: € 2,50 for a regular waffle is a good price. If you’re asked € 7: run!
Never steal a Belgian beer glass.
It’s annoying, and only tourists do it.
Women’s rights are important.
Guys buy rounds of beer, and so do the girls. Always ask what your friends would like to drink, or you will end up tipsy but lonely.
Always complain that Bruges is dead:
no graffiti, no skating and no decent music club in the city centre...
If somebody else complains about the same things,
shout “kèrel, oed je mulle!” (= shut up) and say that it’s not true. There are lots of great bars! Great music scene! Great young people!
Drinking in public places is allowed in Belgium.
So feel free to buy a beer from the nightshop and pick your view on a nice-looking canal or in one of our parks. However, the sale of alcohol in Bruges’ nightshops is forbidden between 23:00 and 8:00 from May until September. The official reason is that there would be too much drunken tourists, but the bar owners just think of it as good business. When drinking from the nightshop: do know that some beers are not made to drink out of a bottle because of the yeast in the bottle. Respect your brew!
Choose the right football team.
Usually Club Brugge (blue and black) is the better team and Cercle Brugge (green and black) is the proud underdog. But Club hasn’t won a national championship since 2005. So basically, both of them sucked the last few years. But on the day we printed this map, Club Brugge were still leading in the championship, and they just kept on winning. So who knows, maybe the spell will be broken in 2016?
Sounds of the city
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When to come
01JulFilmOpHetStrand
(Until 31 Aug)
Time to bring out your biggest beach towel and a nice picnic basket because in July & August you can watch movies on the beach. It’s not in the centre of Bruges, but if it’s nice weather, the beach is the best cinema there is and if you get tired of the movie, you can watch the sea or the sunset. For full movie list, check their site.
08JulCactus Festival
(Until 10 Jul)
Ah festival summer! Sitting on the grass, while sipping some beer and listening to sweet sounds. The cozy alternative vibe of Cactus Festival brings the people of Bruges together, to enjoy acts like Gregory Porter, Goat, Kurt Vile, Air, Wilco, Charles Bradley and Laura Mvula.
For more info, check their website.
30SepJazz Brugge
(Until 03 Oct)
Every two years, in early October, Bruges becomes a mecca of European jazz. Ever since its first edition, Jazz Brugge has resolutely chosen for European jazz. Its focus is always on the adventurous and the contemporary. This year audiences will be served up some twenty top European ensembles, like: Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet, Renaud Garcia-Fons "La Linea Del Sur", Graewe-Reijseger-Hemingway, in three different venues. For full line-up and more info, check their site.
10NovRazor Reel Flanders Film Festival
(Until 15 Nov)
More info coming soon.
18°C / 64°F
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