Belgium Cruises

Cruising in Belgium

The land that is now Belgium has been inhabited since the prehistoric era, but the country itself has existed as an independent entity for less than 200 years. Many of its cities are a great deal older, however; Bruges, the main port of call for cruises that visit Belgium, has existed as a city since the 12th century.

When you arrive in Belgium, your entry point to Bruges and other nearby cities is the port known as Zeebrugge, which translates in English to “Bruges-on-Sea”—an accurate description, with the centre of Bruges less than 20 kilometres away. Bruges is the very definition of a charming European city, with its city centre criss-crossed with picturesque canals, and beautifully-maintained medieval buildings. Bruges has become a very popular tourist town and as such it can sometimes feel crowded; the quiet residential neighbourhoods can provide a welcome break, and a fascinating look at streets lined with homes that date to the late Middle Ages.

Around an hour away by road, the capital city of Brussels is just as old as Bruges, although in some districts it has a more contemporary feel, partly because as the capital there are many modern civic buildings. Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and Brussels is one of the best places in the world to buy it; there are many shops in the city that sell beautiful and delicious Belgian chocolates, and some chocolatiers offer tasting sessions where you can taste a number of different flavours. Another famous product is Belgian lace, with its incredibly intricate patterns and exquisite workmanship. There are bustling open-air markets all over the city, with the largest being the weekend Anderlecht district market, amazingly busy, with a varied selection of wares.

Belgium is a beautiful country but it’s not known for its spectacular weather, and Bruges itself rarely exceeds 20-21 degrees Celsius, even in the middle of summer. The city is definitely at its best during the summer, but when you visit Bruges, it’s best to be prepared for unexpected rain, no matter what the time of year.

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