We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Abigail, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Abigail is from England, and submitted the following report about Bruges. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Flemish, English, French
Costs at Destination: Reasonable (local transportation, dining, tours, events and attractions)
Reasons to Visit Bruges
A weekend in Bruges in March 2017 was my first solo trip. Brussels is 2 hours from London on the Eurostar, and after a simple 1-hour connecting train journey (from the same station) I had arrived in Bruges!
The city is small enough that I walked everywhere during the weekend. Not having to negotiate an unfamiliar public transport system was a big factor for me in choosing my first solo destination and this definitely made me feel happier and more comfortable. Although the official language of Bruges is Flemish (similar to Dutch), English is spoken almost everywhere and I had no trouble understanding or being understood in either English or French.
As far as tourist attractions go, I walked through the Markt and the Burg Square and climbed the 366 steps of the Belfort for spectacular views over the city, visited Sint Salvators Cathedral and Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (with its famous Madonna and Child statue), took a canal boat tour and wandered through the Minnewaterpark and sat by the lake taking in the stunning scenery. One particular highlight for me was visiting the Begijnhof. The gardens in early spring were blooming with daffodils and the chapel was a real haven of tranquility.
I cannot fail to mention the food, particularly the street/snack food. Belgium is famous for its chocolate, waffles, and frites and neither my portion of frites from Chez Vincent (next to the cathedral) nor the chocolate-covered waffle from a shop on the Markt disappointed.
The compact layout of the city made it easy to explore on foot and a weekend was a perfect length of time to feel like I had fully explored without feeling in a rush. Bruges may be considered a tourist trap, but I quickly fell in love with its cobbled streets, tranquil canals, and beautiful buildings. It is truly a fairy tale place and one that is well worth a visit!
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)