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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.
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.
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!
Sounds of the city
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When to come
12Apr 2017More Music!
(Until 15 Apr 2017)
Is a collaboration between Cactus Music center and the Bruges Concert hall. This weird mixture makes More Music a diverse festival. With live music, spoken word, electronic and multimedia projects it tries to trigger you sonically and visually. There is no program yet, but check back soon.
25May 2017Holy Blood Procession
On the day of the Holy Ascension, the whole city is out on the streets. The Blood of Jesus is the holiest relic in Belgium, and once a year it leaves the Holy Blood crypt to be carried around in a procession. People dress up like Roman soldiers and Jesus and the saints, and only the good kids can come along. The Holy Blood procession is a holy event, but in Belgium this especially means lots of eating and drinking.

Free.
24Jun 2017Feest in’t park
An alternative music festival with world music, street theatre, alternative workshops and food from all over the world. This day filled with Mambo, Rhythm & Blues, Afro, Boogaloo, Balkan, Oriental, Bollywood, Rock ’n Roll, Jazz, Forro, Cumbia, Salsa Is surely a good occasion to get your dancing shoes out. The program isn’t online yet, but check back soon.
DuringJul 2017FilmOpHetStrand
(Until end of Aug)
Bring 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.
02Jul 2017Big Flea Market
These markets, right next to the station, are rrreally big and well-known all over Belgium. No rich antique sellers, just people selling their old stuff. Best place for a 3D-Viewmaster, a yoghurt machine, a local comic and an old Bowie record.
06Jul 2017Big Flea Market
These markets, right next to the station, are rrreally big and well-known all over Belgium. No rich antique sellers, just people selling their old stuff. Best place for a 3D-Viewmaster, a yoghurt machine, a local comic and an old Bowie record.
08Jul 2017Cactus Festival
(Until 09 Jul 2017)
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. The full line up is not online yet, but the first names contains Goose, Kaiser Chiefs and Explosions In The Sky.
28Jul 2017Moods Festival
(Until 10 Aug 2017)
Daily indoor and outdoor concerts on historical locations, with a mix of alternative, classical and world music. Some evenings there are even DJs on the Burg and Markt square. If you need to pick one day, make it the last day of the festival, as it’s a climax of dancing and loud fun all over the city. Most outdoor concerts for free. The list of artists for 2017 isn’t online yet, but check back soon.
6°C / 43°F
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