8 x autumn in Bruges
Not only in nature does autumn bring a great deal of extra beauty. The city also benefits: the trees along the cobblestone streets and the City Ramparts, in various squares and in the many parks turn red, yellow and orange. When the sun is shining, a walk through the city beckons; when it rains, that tempts you to step into a museum, a cosy coffee bar or a unique shopping establishment. Below, we offer you a wide range of colours for a successful visit to Bruges and its woods and wetlands in the autumn.
1. Silent nostalgia
The new Oooh! Bruges walking guide contains 4 surprising routes that lead the visitor along some well-known, as well as a great many unknown places. The Silent Nostalgia walk immerses you in the hushed atmosphere of hidden monuments, such as the Adornes Estate, the English Convent and the St Sebastian's Guild. You will also find some agreeable folk alleys with centuries-old pubs, as well as the intimate autumnal greenery of the City Ramparts and hidden parks on this route. The dream setting for an invigorating autumn walk.
The Oooh! Bruges walking guide costs € 3,50 and is available at the tourist information offices in 6 languages.
2. Gruuthuse: Museum with Grandeur
On 28 October, at St John's Hospital, the exhibition 'Face to face with Death. Hugo van der Goes, old masters and new interpretations’ will begin.
In anticipation, a visit to the Gruuthuse Museum is highly recommended. This stunning city palace was once the residence of the Lords of Gruuthuse and now houses a museum where three crucial periods in Bruges' rich history come to life in more than 600 collection pieces.
If you don't feel like stepping inside, the inner courtyard of Gruuthuse will also satisfy your cultural hunger: with the new welcome pavilion, noAarchitecten illustrates how old and new can go hand in hand perfectly.
3. The Père-Lachaise of Bruges
The season of short and dark days is also the time to pause and reflect on the dearly departed – time for a cemetery visit. Melancholic, historic, romantic ... words that apply to the Central Cemetery in Assebroek, within walking distance of the Bruges city centre. The 12-hectare estate can easily be called the Père-Lachaise of Bruges and fascinates with a diversity of monumental graves, funerary symbolism and natural beauty. Some of the trees there are up to 200 years old.
4. The best backdrop for your autumn photos
Did you know that drizzling weather gives your photos a unique dynamic? Head into the city, rather than the woods, in search of some Instagrammable autumn spots. Another bit of romance to go with it? Then you're in the right place with our 'Romantic hotspots' walk, which leads you along the tranquil splendour of colours in the city.
Prefer a guided walk? Photographer Andy McSweeney will take you to the city's most photogenic spots on one of his Photo Tours. Along the way, you'll get a lot of practical photography tips to boot.
5. Cultural detox
Every evening, you can choose from a wide range of concerts, theatre and dance performances, film, circus or literature in Bruges. In October, the cultural season gets some extra flair with the opening of the brand-new concert club for Cactus Music Centre on the Kanaaleiland. But there is only one good way to celebrate this, and that's by going straight for it with a full-up concert calendar.
Discovery festival Amok is taking it to the next level with ten days of music, words and performance between 30/9 and 9/10. This adds a further dimension to going out in Bruges!
6. Coffee Stories
1 October is international coffee day! The travelling exhibition 'Coffee Stories' plays nicely into that with stories about the black gold, from plant to cup. Spread across 4 locations in the city, you will be introduced to the 4 major themes: the coffee plant (Oxfam World Shop), coffee roasting (Biekorf Main Library), coffee brewing (Magdalene Church) and coffee drinking (Vives University of Applied Sciences).
For a cosy coffee chat, you can also visit one of the city's many coffee shops. Did you know that Bruges also has a number of artisanal coffee-roasters? Brazila, Cafuné and Dees Koffiebranders work only with speciality coffee and are proud holders of the Handmade in Bruges label. More coffee news? Kopjezwam Kopjezwam turns coffee grounds into oyster mushrooms and oyster mushrooms into vegetarian burgers. And this is all in the city.
7. Nature finds
Even more mushrooms can be found in the many forests surrounding the city. Time ticks just a little slower there, too. Get your camera and magnifying glass ready and go for a walk, for example along the Three Castles walking route, which takes you past the castles of Tillegem, Tudor and Beisbroek. Or along the Ryckevelde walking route, which takes you past the Schobbejakshoogte and Loweiden nature reserve. Also, the mile-wide beach of Zeebrugge will bring peace to your mind and unusual nature finds to your hand. If you search, you will find the most beautiful shells!
8. Midweek in Bruges: to combine all of the above
As you've read, too much to explore in one day. Take your time and book one of the many lodging options. Explore the city in evening mode too, and feel how Bruges gently wakes up in the morning. That's how you'll get the most out of your stay. What are you waiting for?