Bruges' reputation for being inundated with almost countless tourists is something you’ll probably hear of well before you arrive, but, fortunately, the huge camera-clad groups roaming the streets aren't quite enough to destroy the appeal of a fantastically picturesque town. Medieval, pretty and constructed over a selection of fantastic looking, Amsterdam-like canals (get your timing right in winter, and you can have a great time skating down them), Bruges implores you to drift amongst its chocolate shops and cobblestoned, roadside restaurants with you're eyes raised to the ornate second storeys and your camera permanently drawn.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is an astonishing, rustic old building that supposedly contains a phial of Christ’s blood brought back from the crusades; the phial itself will underwhelm anyone of minimal religious bent, but the astounding old architecture is well worth a trip. The Church of Our Lady is another astonishing religious spot, home to a Michelangelo’s masterpiece Madonna and Child, and dating back to the 12th century. Cut through the seemingly relentless parade of tourists, and Bruges is a city of romance, picturesque (though dig deep and you’ll learn that many of the buildings are actually re-creations of the originals; most of Bruges isn’t that old), enticing restaurants and a scene that seems to glitter through every season. Whether it’s the summer daffodils of spring or the slippery frosts of autumn, though, Bruges is a city rammed full of fascinating streets and alluring history.