Why does Bruges attract more and more tourists?

Why does Bruges attract more and more tourists?
Bruges Belfry (c) pixabay Pikpixel2013

Updated March 11, 2023 by pierre

The city of Bruges soon more popular than Brussels?

Did you know that the city of Bruges in Belgium was four times inscribed on the World Heritage List ? A rather prestigious title which is the notoriety of the city beyond its borders. This is enough to motivate lovers of architecture and history in search of sensations other than chocolate or beer. It's also a reason why every year thousands of tourists from all over the world come to Bruges to admire his historic center (World Heritage Site since November 2000), these are Beguinage and Belfry (World Heritage List 1998 and 1999) and the procession of the Holy Blood (Intangible World Heritage by UNESCO in 2009).

On busy days, no less than 40.000 tourists would not hesitate to cross the Belgian border to discover the little Venice of the north: Bruges. But what is the reason that Bruges has become so popular? At present, it is very easy to cross the cape, you can for example visit Bruges from Paris in one day.

See also: Are you hesitating between visiting Bruges or Brussels?


The 60s in Bruges, where it all began…

In the early 60s, many towns lost their authenticity forever. At that time, the economy took precedence over heritage. The style of the time gives way to modernity through flat roofs, large windows and horizontal cutouts. However, Bruges quickly reversed the situation. From 1970, with an urban planning policy aimed at the conservation and restoration of the precious heritage and a correspondence to medieval criteria.

That's why today the city of Bruges will have many surprises in store for you and is attracting more and more tourists. For example, in the middle of the medieval style, there is a pavilion, made by the famous architect Toyo Ito, which confronts history and the present. Although at first the pavilion was built for a temporary period, today it is a symbol for the city of Bruges, witnesses of two eras of history colliding. Recently, it is youngest listed monument in all of Flanders.

The number of visitors to Bruges does not deceive

The summer is barely over and the figures are already there… The number of visitors to Bruges, The Venice of the North, continues this year again to rise dazzlingly. No less than 230.000 tourists came to Bruges this summer. This represents almost a 10% increase over the same period last year. Day tourism is increasingly popular in Bruges. People flock from everywhere. Spaniards, Germans, French… It is a property of a good summer for tourism in Bruges . Even Belgians from neighboring municipalities do not hesitate to spend a day in Bruges.

Never fear, Bruges has a plan for mass tourism

Bruges attracts crowds, 230.000 tourists in one year, that's something! Don't worry, the city of Bruges has put in place a plan for managing tourist flows in order to avoid the main problems encountered in other large cities such as Barcelona, ​​Dubrovnik or Venice... The idea is simple: distribute visitors throughout the year and target quality tourism (not mass tourism). That's why you can come to Bruges any month of the year, there will be always something to do and lots of commercial and cultural activities.

Also, the city prioritizes green spaces, parking lots outside Bruges with shuttles and cycle paths are also part of the overall plan as well as economic and commercial life.

Ideas for activities to do in Bruges

What can you do in Bruges in one day?

Si Bruges attracts more and more tourists, it is because she is simple to visit and is very romantic. No stress here, it looks like time has stopped! On the program, for one day, visit the Market. Like most large cities in the north, the center of Bruges has a large square surrounded by buildings with atypical architecture and color. It is also on this square that the famous Belfry. If you happen to get lost, or want to meet up with your friends. Give them the Market as a point of reference, everyone will be able to inform you!

As long as you're there, climb to the top of the Belfry of Bruges, more than 80 meters high, or 300 steps! It is one of the most attractive attractions in the city! At the top, you can admire the city thanks to a breathtaking view.

Don't miss either, the Rozenhoedkaai quay… Indeed, the French may find it difficult to pronounce the name, but it is worth going. It is a place worthy of a postcard setting. This is where your instagram fans will no longer feel. This is an old salt port in the city when Bruges was one of the busiest ports in Belgium.

Also take a walk along the canals, take the opportunity to make a make a boat ride. Also go throughinstead of the Burg and the tanners. At four o'clock, don't miss eat a waffle. If it's raining take shelter museum of the fried or chocolate. THE beguinage also worth a visit! If you are in Bruges for the procession on Ascension Day, don't miss it, it attracts between 30.000 and 40.000 spectators.


Mégane likes what is good or what is ORGANIC. Restaurants with friends and trendy places in the capital. Always on the lookout for good deals in Brussels, she doesn't hesitate to share them with my readers! Mégane joined the InsideBrussels team in May 2015.

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