Bruges is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe with its stunning architecture, picturesque cobbled lanes and canals. Although many visitors descend on the city during the summer, not many linger on to truly experience all that the city has to offer. Spending a few days in ‘the Venice of the north’ will definitely be worth your time. And what better way to spend it than by staying in one of the best hotels in Bruges Belgium!
Bruges has some amazing accommodation, with medieval mansions and Catholic cloisters being transformed into luxurious modern-day hotels. Accommodation in the city ranges from luxury hotels to quaint guesthouses that are a step back in time. Most accommodation is close to the historic district where you’ll find many interesting things to do in Bruges. From the historic squares to the quaint old houses, and historic churches, you’ll find more than enough to keep you occupied. If you’re here in spring, you’ll understand just why the city ranks among the most beautiful canal cities in the world! The city is definitely one of Belgium‘s best keep secrets!
Where To Stay In Bruges
Many choose to explore Bruges on a day trip from Ghent, but like any new city, it’s always a good idea to stay a few days. That way you’ll get to understand what the city is all about. The most popular area in Bruges is the heart of the city, close to the historic UNESCO World Heritage Center. Attractions in this area include the popular Markt, the Belfry, and the Groeningemuseum. You’ll find most of the best hotels in Bruges in this area. Another popular area for visitors is the Onze-Liev-Vrouw Quarter with its chocolatiers and breweries plus historic attractions.
Just across the canal from the city center is the Sint-Anna neighborhood. To experience what the ‘real’ Bruges is all about this largely residential area is a good place to set up base. You’ll find plenty of 17th-century cottages and townhomes in the area. The renowned Cafe Vlissinghe that has been in existence for over five centuries is also here.
For budget-friendly options, ‘T Zand at the western edge of the city center and Ezelstraat Quarter are good options. You’ll find many budget-friendly accommodations plus some interesting shops and cafes in these areas.
The Pand Hotel
There are several well-established boutique hotels in Bruges Belgium that have a charm of their own. The Pand Hotel is one such hotel adjacent to the canalside of Rozenhoedkaai. It lies on a pretty-tree lined street where you’ll find many restaurants and cafes. It’s also a short walk to the historic center of Dijver and the Groeningemuseum from here.
The hotel is housed in a former 18th-century carriage house and many elements of its past are still visible. A pine-paneled library with an open fire, old wooden floors, and the high-arched entrance are leftovers of this glorious past. The 26 guestrooms of the hotel are beautifully decorated with great attention to the detail. These include 11 junior suites that boast of Ralph Lauren bedding and whirlpool bathtubs.
The Pand Hotel is a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World,’ so you can look forward to excellent service here. The intimate lounge and a cozy bar are some standout features of the hotel. You can also treat yourself to a full breakfast with eggs cooked to order.
B&B Exclusive Guesthouse Bonifacius
Taking its name from a renowned beauty spot in the city, Bonifacius Bridge this guest house may not fit into your idea of a hotel in Bruges. However, Guesthouse Bonifacius will definitely give some of the best hotels in Bruges Belgium a run for their money! The guesthouse overlooks the canal on one side and a cobbled street on another, in a quiet and romantic area of the city. Expect a small disturbance during the day as the canal is a thoroughfare for tourist boats. However, the near-perfect location puts you in proximity to many attractions such as the Groeninge Museum. The breakfast area also provides gorgeous views of the picturesque Bonifacius bridge and The Gruuthuse Palace.
Staying at this 16th-century house is a novel experience as there only three guest rooms. It’s an intimate place, well equipped with all the comforts that you would expect at a luxury hotel. The rooms are unique in style but decorated in a modern-antique style focused on comfort. You’ll find whirlpool baths in the granite bathrooms plus walk-in showers and complimentary toiletries by Hermes. Each room is air-conditioned and has a plasma TV, DVD/CD-player, and plenty of films to watch.
Breakfast is served in the Gothic Room which looks out onto the canal. Alternatively, you can enjoy your breakfast on the sunny waterfront terrace. Tea and coffee are available all day and you’ll also find some complimentary drinks in the minibar in the room. You won’t have to worry too much about your other meals as there are plenty of restaurants in the vicinity. In fact, the celebrated Den Gouden Harynck, Michelin star restaurant is just opposite the guesthouse.
Part of the Swan Hotel Collection that has several of the best hotels in Bruges Belgium under its umbrella, the well-appointed Hotel Prinsenhof exudes comfort and style. It’s just across the street from the iconic Hotel Duke’s Palace, in a residential part of the city. The main attractions of Bruges are all within walking distance of the hotel. Public transportation is also conveniently located for getting to further places.
Within the facade of a 1930s mansion, you’ll find the gorgeous boutique hotel. Beautiful chandeliers and antique inspired furniture adorn the lobby and lounge. Each room at the hotel is unique in style with antique touches blended with a modern style. Large bathrooms with bathtubs and Fragonard amenities are part of all types of rooms. Some rooms also feature a small balcony that looks out on the historic buildings.
The hot and cold buffet breakfast is served in an elegant breakfast room, but there is no onsite restaurant. The hotel does have its own bar though, The Bowler, which is an interesting place to spend the evening. Guests also have access to the facilities of the 5-star Hotel Duke’s Palace, across the street.
Situated near one of Bruges’ highlights, the Lake of Love, the Hotel Academie is a great place to base yourself in the city. It sits on a quiet, cobblestone street within walking distance from many attractions. You’ll find the renowned Grote Markt, De Halve Maan Brewery, and public transportation nearby.
Like many of the best hotels in Bruges, Belgium this hotel is also housed in a historic building. Some elements of the restored malt house are still visible such as the original brickwork arches in the breakfast room but the overall feel of the hotel is modern and inviting. Guest rooms are bright with trendy art, or beautiful wallpaper. You’ll find a wide range of amenities here including shower/tub combos in most bathrooms. The Single Room, however, is not as stylish and can feel a little cramped.
The hotel lacks an onsite restaurant or a business center. Amenities you can look forward to at the Academie Hotel are a small fitness center, a traditional Belgian wooden bar, and a breakfast room.
Hotel The Peellaert
Another of the best hotels in Bruges Belgium which will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time is The Peellaert Hotel. This ‘Adults Only’ hotel is housed in two adjoining 19th century, neoclassical mansions in the heart of Bruges on Hoogstraat. Although this is a busy street, not much of the noise filters through to the hotel. Within a few minutes, you’ll be at the Burg, the gorgeous historic square in the city. Other attractions such as the canals, Belfry, and museums are within easy reach from here.
The grand spiral staircase, with griffons supporting the treads, and the high-arched lobby are reminiscent of the mansion’s glory days when Baron de Peellaert strode through its environs. Guestrooms are classy with light pale yellow wallpaper or paint and light carpeting. You can choose from four categories of rooms that all have their own distinct style. Modern amenities such as minibar, television, and tea and coffee-making facilities are found in all rooms.
Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast in the gorgeous dining room, the Orangerie, or in the courtyard in warmer months. There’s also an elegant bar with connected parlors, a fitness center, and a spa with sauna.
Guest House Nuit Blanche
Bruges has many small properties that stand out for their great service and amenities and the Guesthouse Nuit Blanche is one of them. For someone looking for a more authentic Bruges experience, these guest houses are great places to stay. Located near the St Bonifacius Bridge (the lover’s bridge), you’re in proximity to the Groeningemuseum, the Saint John’s Hospital Museum, and the Church of Our Lady, with its Michelangelo. The other attractions of the city are also within easy walking distance.
Stepping into this property is like taking a step back in time with flagstone floors, antique wood paneling, and exposed beams. Although the property has the vibe and feel of a late-medieval mansion it actually received a facelift in the 1930s to become what it is today. The property only has two guest rooms, the Medieval Room and the Gothic Room. The rooms are comfortable with large fireplaces and garden views. You won’t find televisions in the rooms but you will find are hidden drop-down screens for movie viewing. Modern en suite bathrooms have a few retro touches.
You can enjoy a three-course breakfast prepared by owner and artist David De Graf. For other dining options, you can hop over to the Michelin-starred Den Gouden Harynck on the same street, or Dan Heerd a little further away.
Hotel Monsieur Ernest
There is a different vibe at the Hotel Monsieur Ernest from the other hotels in Bruges Belgium. Unlike most hotels in Bruges which are either housed in stately mansions or historic homes, this hotel has an upbeat, easygoing vibe. Possibly because it was the former site of a brewery! However, the historic building has been refurbished to give it a modern appeal with nostalgic elements such as the 19th-century wrought iron staircase still in place.
The hotel lies near the main shopping streets of Noordzandstraat and Steenstraaton in the western sector of the historic city center. It has a gorgeous setting, with one side overlooking a pretty stretch of canal. You can take in the view from the terrace. It’s a short walk to the Belfry and the Markt from here. For those interested in exploring further, the railway station is also within walking distance.
The 28 guest rooms have a minimalist decor with wood parquet floors and high-quality beds. You’ll find stylish en suite bathrooms that feature showers or bathtubs depending on the room category. All rooms come with a host of modern amenities.
You can look forward to a healthy breakfast at the hotel that offers a pretty good spread. There is no onsite restaurant but the lounge bar is a good place to enjoy cocktails or a range of local beers. Dining options in the area are plenty, so you won’t have to venture too far for a bite.
Hotel de Orangerie
One of the most luxurious and romantic boutique hotels in Bruges Belgium is the Hotel de Orangerie along the ‘De Dijver’ canal. This is another hotel that proudly wears the tag of ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World.’ The moment you enter the hotel you’ll know why this tag fits so well.
It’s hard to believe that this luxurious hotel was once an austere 15th-century convent. Two sets of sliding doors welcome you into an ornate reception area with a decadent-yet-classical 18th-century style. This style continues throughout the hotel which overflows with old paintings, tapestries, antiques, and engravings. Guests can choose from five categories of rooms that have their own unique style. Expect antique furniture, colorful wallpapers, and fine English fabrics in the rooms. All rooms boast modern comforts, including air conditioning and WiFi. Bathrooms feature showers or bathtubs with shower fittings and Hermes bath products.
You begin your day with breakfast at the opulent breakfast room or can enjoy it on the spacious terrace that overlooks the canals. Breakfast, however, can be quite an expensive affair as it’s not included with the room rate. There’s also English High Tea served in the salon every afternoon. In warmer weather, you can enjoy this English tradition on the terrace.
From here, it’s an easy walk to the central square and key attractions of the city. Dining options are within easy reach of the hotel.
Hotel Navarra is one of the larger hotels in Bruges Belgium, not just big on space but luxury and style. This family-run hotel is also in the heart of Bruges, close to many attractions. It’s just a two-minute walk to the historic Markt and the historic square of Bruges.
Although the current structure of the hotel dates back to the early 18th century, the site was once the private residence of the Consul of the Spanish Province of Navarra. Since it’s inception, the hotel has donned various hats before it finally took on its present avatar in 1982. The hotel’s history is evident in the ground floor and the spiral staircase with the letter N in the stairwell window, to commemorate Napoleon’s impending stay in 1802. Compared to the opulent public spaces, the guest rooms are a little more muted in design. Nevertheless, the offer plenty of comfort with no two rooms being the same.
Guests can look forward to a paid buffet-breakfast, though there’s no on-site restaurant. The hotel’s jazz bar, The Duke, is a popular spot, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays when there is live piano jazz. You can enjoy bar food and snacks as well as tea and coffee at the jazz bar. Other highlights of the hotel are the heated indoor pool, and a sauna, a gym, and a lawn garden with seating.
Crowne Plaza Brugge
From its enviable position in the heart of Bruges, the Crowne Plaza Brugge looks out onto one of the city’s most attractive squares. The beautiful Chapel of the Holy Blood and the City Hall is opposite the hotel while many restaurants, parks, and other attractions are five minutes away.
The hotel’s exterior is a modern take on the Romanesque style while the interior is spacious and sleek. More veered towards business travelers, the hotel has plenty of meeting spaces. However, tourists will not feel out of place at the hotel either. You’ll find a mix of architecture since part of the hotel merges with old historic buildings. The refurbished rooms are modern and packed with amenities. In the older section of the hotel, however, much of the original architecture has been preserved so you’ll find exposed beams and other interesting quirks.
One of the standout features of the hotel is the indoor pool, which is quite a rarity in the city. There’s also a fitness center and sauna on the eighth floor and ice machines on every floor. The hotel’s bar and restaurant, Cafe Plaza is on the ground floor and is open for all meals. You’ll find another spacious, elegant bar in the old part of the hotel too.
Hotel Duke’s Palace
Live like a royal in the only five-star hotel in Bruges, Hotel Duke’s Palace. The hotel occupies the site of the 15th-century palace, of the Dukes of Burgundy, so the name. However, the current building was a former convent that was rebuilt in the 1880s in a neo-gothic style. The refurbished space combines the building’s historic legacy with a wide range of modern comforts.
It’s a short walk to the Markt and the other attractions of the city such as the Town Hall and Groeningemuseum. You’ll also find plenty of shopping and restaurants in the vicinity. However, if you choose to ‘stay in’ the hotel has a cozy restaurant and bar that is open to guests and others. When the weather is warmer the summer terrace is also open for meals. Guests can also enjoy room service if they prefer the comfort of their room.
The classy rooms are decorated in a historic-modern style with some showcasing lavish fabrics, stucco ceilings, and antiques. You’ll find bathtubs in most of the glittering marble bathrooms that are stocked with upscale L’Occitane toiletries. At the Duke’s Palace guests can also treat themselves to some pampering at The Spa. The spa features, sauna, steam room UV and infrared cabins, salt wall, gym, and massages. It’s the perfect end to a day of sightseeing.
Recommended Restaurants/Bars in Bruges
- Den Gouden Harynck – One of the most celebrated restaurants in the heart of the city is this uncluttered Michelin-starred restaurant. You can enjoy a seasonal menu here paired with world-class wine.
- Park Restaurant – For delectable French and Belgian cuisine head to this traditional restaurant in South Bruges. The gorgeous interiors of the restaurant will make you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.
- Local Chocolate and Beer Tasting – On this interactive tour of the oldest chocolate shop in the city and a well-known brewery you’ll learn some of the traditions first hand. You’ll also get an opportunity to sample some of the delicious produce.
Recommended Activities in Bruges
- Free 2-hour guided walking tour – Enjoy the sights of Bruges on this free walking tour where you’ll only need to pay a small booking fee. A local guide will take you to the most iconic attractions in the city.
- Groeningemuseum – Get an overview of the history of Belgian visual art as you marvel at some top-class paintings. Featuring some of the most beautiful paintings in the world, the museum is definitely worth your time.
- Church of Our Lady – You cannot miss this imposing church whose 122-meter brick steeple dominates the Bruges skyline. Built over two centuries the main attraction in the church is the sculpture of Madonna and Child by Michelangelo.