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27 November, 2012

Ice Sculpture Festival Bruges

Bruges Canal
Bruges Canal
Need some inspiration for a short holiday? The beautiful historical city Bruges is a very popular weekend or city trip all year round. During winter time Bruges offers a very unique atmosphere with a cozy Christmas market, a Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, illuminated trees ... get over there, it's definitely worth it.


Ice Sculptures
Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival Bruges

The Ice Sculpture Festival which opened on 23rd of November 2012 is a yearly tradition in Bruges. This year's theme is based upon Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. You can visit the exhibition till the 6th of January 2013. The sculptures are very beautiful and detailed. There is even an ice castle which you can climb after which an ice slide will take you down again. When you get thirsty, you can get a drink at the ice bar. Wear warm clothes as it is quite cold in there. The festival is located on the Station Square and therefore easy reachable. Tickets are EUR 13 per adult (deductions for groups, children, ...).


Ice Rink Bruges
Ice Rink at Market Square Bruges

Bruges does not have a huge Christmas market but a very cozy one including an ice rink at the Market Square just in front of the Town Hall. There is a second smaller market on Simon Stevin Square. The smell of hot chocolate and food is irresistible. The Christmas markets are open till 31st of December 2012.


Market Square
Market Square Bruges

On Sunday 25th of November, Historium Bruges opened on the Market Square. This new attraction in 3D takes you on a trip through Bruges in the fifteenth century. Through several rooms Historium will let you experience the love story of Jacob and Anna. You will be able to feel, see, hear and smell the past. 


Duvelorium
Duvelorium Bruges

After this 35 minute tour, you can also taste the past in the Chocolaterie or taste a Belgian beer in the Duvelorium while enjoying a very nice view on the Market Square. Tickets are EUR 11 per adult, deductions for children and groups. There are also family tickets or combi tickets. 


Belfort
Belfort Bruges

You cannot visit Bruges without strolling through the historical centre, a World Heritage Site of Unesco. From everywhere in the city centre you can enjoy great views on the Belfort


Beguinale House
Beguinale House Bruges

Also the Beguinale House is definitely worth a visit and is located in a very nice area. When you walk from the Station to the city centre or the other way around, you will pass the Beguinale House. Make sure to go inside.


Canal Boat Tour
Canal Boat Tour Bruges

All year round you can make a boat tour on the canals in Bruges which is an unique experience. Have you ever seen so many medieval houses and buildings in one place?


Medieval houses
Medieval houses Bruges

Everywhere in the city centre you see these beautiful medieval houses and buildings. This is what makes Bruges so unique. It is not just one or two, it's a complete city centre.


Chocolate Shop
Chocolate Shop Bruges

Of course you cannot leave Bruges without having tried Belgian Chocolate. There are lots of Chocolate shops in Bruges. On Sint-Jans Square you can also visit Choco-Story, the Chocolate museum.

Bruges can easily be reached by train from any major city in Belgium. When you arrive on Brussels Airport you have to take the Airport Express (every 20 minutes) to any of the three Brussels stations from where you can take InterCity train to Bruges (every half hour). More details and prices can be found on the NMBS site (Belgian Railways).



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Freya



21 comments:

  1. A wonderful post. I have been meaning to visit Belgium, and most notably, Bruges for some time now. And wasn't it Bruges that was the setting of Korngold's magnificent opera, Die Tote Stadt?

    Anyway thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Bruges was indeed the setting of this beautiful opera.

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  2. Every time I have been to Bruges it is summer. This post really wants to make me go in the winter. Bruges is such a wonderful place. Great post Freya.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stephen, Bruges in the winter is really nice as well and the Ice Sculpture Festival is so beautiful.

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  3. Wow! So much to see and do in Bruges, I just have to get there one day and soon. The Ice Festival sound fascinating as does the Historium as well. And the chocolate...well, that's the icing on the cake of my visit to Bruges some day. Thank you for this beautiful tour and gorgeous photography too!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff, thank you !
      haha yes indeed the chocolate ... :-)

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  4. You have a great way with your cam lens. REAL NICE PHOTOS. SIMPLY SUPERB.

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  5. our daughter goes a weekend to Brugge soon ! :-)
    xx

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    Replies
    1. It's a beautiful city, she will love it x

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  6. Oh wow, beautiful place! Reminds me of Venice but cuter. I love the landscapes and architecture too, makes me want to go back to Europe.

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  7. Beautiful Photos... and lovely, Bruges... we had a very short visit some years ago and I dream of going back and taking some time to wander around and see more. I loved it. We strayed one night unexpectedly into a square where a small festival was going on, lights, food, music (chocolate)... it was magic. I never thought of returning in the winter, we usually travel in the fall, but, we may have to adjust the dream vacation to be there for the Ice Festival. It looks amazing!

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    Replies
    1. Bruges is beautiful all year round but yes in the winter you get that little extra with the Christmas Markets and the Ice Festival.

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  8. This is a lovely post. I have been thinking of seeing Brugges for quite some time now. Did you get the feeling that it is low season? Did you go to many attractions or were they closed?

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    Replies
    1. Bruges is visited all year round, so it is never really low season. Of course during spring and summer time there are usually even more people visiting. Everything is open all year round (except Christmas and New Year's day and a few other special days).

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  9. Freya, thanks for sharing what a wonderful place Bruges is to visit! Something else to add to my list...

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    Replies
    1. You should visit one day if you can, it's really a beautiful city.

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  10. A Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival?! I lived in Belgium for 8 years, how come I never heard of this?!?!?!?! grrrr...

    Definitely a beautiful city, but I prefer Ghent, fewer tourists and just as lovely! ;o)

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    Replies
    1. I'll write a post about Ghent for sure this year :-)

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Freya - Holiday Nomad