8 tips for autumn in Bruges
Historic monuments, must-see museums and dynamic cultural temples, hidden gems and a host of culinary destinations ... Bruges has it all. Add to that a wooded green belt bathed in warm autumn colours, the flat polder landscape and an expanse of beach along the North Sea. Autumn is the perfect time to discover the 'World Heritage site with great plans for the future', so why not book a stay? With the 'Best of Bruges Deal', there's no excuse not to.
1. More Bruges with the Best of Bruges Deal
How about waking up in Bruges in the autumn? Anyone booking a stay of at least two nights (that takes place before 9 January 2022) between 15 October and 30 November 2021 will also receive a welcome package worth €50. Immerse yourself in the vibrant city and savour Bruges in autumn mode. In the evening, you can enjoy a long dinner or attend a concert. Be quick, because places are limited!
Discover all about the Best of Bruges Deal here >
2. Street Scene Art
You can still enjoy Triennial Bruges 2021 art trail with the catalogue in your hand or by viewing the 360° images. With the exception of the monumental Colonnade installation by architect duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, which will be given a permanent spot in Baron Ruzette Park, all the installations will gradually disappear.
But the streets and facades of Bruges are not empty. The street art project Legendz was followed up with three additional works: Curator JamzJamezon installed a wall painting of a contemporary Saint Clara in Sint-Clarastraat. Clara means 'bringer of light in the darkness' and this message of hope is abundantly clear. The artist Sammy Slabbinck created a female figure – referencing 17th century-benefactress Elisabeth Zorghe – with birds, often prominently found in Guido Gezelle's poems (on the corner of Carmersstraat/Rijkepijndersstraat). Later this autumn, the world-renowned Ghent street artist ROA will produce another mural on the corner of Korte Raamstraat and Bidderstraat. The majestically painted facades as part of the street art festival The Bridges also continue to amaze.
EXTRA: Visit Bruges in autumn
Imagine waking up in Bruges in autumn. Fog envelops the city like a warm blanket. A city with a small-town feel about it. Like a friendly lady, she invites you into her historic alleyways, revealing her UNESCO World Heritage, and tempting you with a steaming cup of coffee, before whisking you into a shopping street. Autumn lends Bruges an undeniable glow. Will you share in the wonder?
3. Reserve some time for the artist
Musea Brugge is keener than ever to open its doors to welcome other art forms and artists. The virtuoso illustrator Tille Pepermans is the next creative talent to be put in the spotlight as part of the Mind the Artist project. A series of her drawings have been projected onto the walls of the Arentshuis (Arents' House) museum and immerse you in her fascinating surroundings.
Contemporary artist Strook went in search of weathered wood as a basis for new installations and artworks. Reusing the old wood gives it a second life in a new location. His aim is to combine the miniature histories of Bruges' houses with Bruges' great heritage. You can see the results – 'It's only a matter of time' – from 30 October in the Groeninge Museum, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) and the loft of the St John's Hospital.
4. Doors of the cultural temples are wide open
Finally! The stages and seats of Cultuurcentrum Brugge (Cultural Centre) are filled up again. The programme includes theatre performances, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and more. At the end of the autumn holidays, children are in charge during the KRIKRAK family festival. Then, for a short while, the Koninklijke Stadsschouwburg (Royal City Theatre) will change into an adventurous performing arts venue.
Concertgebouw Brugge (Concert Hall) is organising music and dance throughout the city in October. In November, Rosas, Brussels Philharmonic & Ictus, Carmina Burana, Wouter Deprez, BL!NDMAN and many other big names and masterpieces will be on the bill. The high mass of contemporary dance –December Dance – is scheduled at the beginning of the winter season. Children will have a great time at Atelier Matinée on Sundays and also on the playful discovery trail Concertgebouw Circuit. The brand new timeline wall offers the chance for deeper exploration of the history of sound art. Prick up your ears!
5. Sustainable shopping in the historic centre
Are you a fan of conscious shopping and looking for a stylish, warm autumn outfit, an early end-of-year gift or a foodie destination? If so, you've come to the right place! The eco-shopping tour (walking or cycling route) brings together businesses offering sustainable products. Craftsmanship is the hallmark of the enthusiastic makers of Handmade in Brugge. Perhaps a cup of coffee while shopping? Then step into one of the cafés and restaurants that use Billie Cups or bring your own reusable cup. A piece of Sjokla — the city's fairtrade chocolate — is also a must.
6. Food for gourmets
In the autumn, no one goes hungry. Bruges and gastronomy are inextricably linked and gourmets can experience this for themselves. With the campaign 'Time to bite back!', Visit Flanders organises the Flanders Food Festival (1/10 to 24/11/2021), an ideal opportunity to (re)discover local gastronomy. A free glass of bubbly or a book, tasting forgotten North Sea fish, a three-course menu of Flemish classics, and many other options enrich the culinary experience.
7. Enjoy infinite shades of green and brown in the great outdoors
A protected cityscape and the ideal strolling route. With 26 hectares of green space and over 3,000 trees, the Vesten (City Ramparts) form a broad, urban green belt. On the dedicated cycle and walking route on the city walls, you can enjoy a circular tour of Bruges while admiring its treasures. You'll pass the Minnewater (Lake of Love), the Poertorenpark (Gunpowder Tower Park), the Coupure marina, the Conzett Bridge, and four medieval city gates. Whether walking or cycling, there's plenty to feast your eyes on for over 7 km and the flaming spectacle of colours will be an extra treat. If you are looking for more autumn colours and fresh woodland smells, the Kasteelbossen (castle estates) to the south-west of Bruges are an ideal place for some time out.
8. Enjoying some fresh air in Zeebrugge and Lissewege
Zeebrugge officially boasts the largest beach on the coast. So you can come here and enjoy a beach that still looks like every beach should, pure and clean. Don't forget to bring your binoculars, because between Blankenberge and Zeebrugge lies the extended dune landscape De Fonteintjes, with dune lakes and damp dune grasslands.
Inland, you will be surprised by the picturesque 'white village' of Lissewege, with its flat church tower, Lisseweegs Vaartje (canal), and welcoming cafés. The signposted Ter Doest route (6.3 km) takes you through the tranquil village centre, along the Boudewijn Canal, past the evocative abbey barn with its unique truss roof and some 38,000 roof tiles from Boom, and through meadows and salt marshes with abundant birdlife, ... don't forget to take your boots.