Welcome to Bruges, the charming town where the houses seem to be made out of gingerbread, the chocolate is too good to be true, and the beer is delicious. Bruges is like a fairy tale, one that never ends.
Take your time to explore the cobbled streets, the hidden alleys, and winding canals and you’ll discover some pretty fascinating photography locations in Bruges. The city is full of incredible places, waiting to be discovered and photographed.
I’ve visited the city twice and each time I just couldn’t stop taking photos. I took thousands of photos and now I want to share with you the best Bruges viewpoints.
But before that, let’s talk about some important tips & tricks you need to know.
Bruges photography tips & tricks
These tips & tricks will make your life easier when it comes to taking photos in Bruges.
- Bring all the gear you need (chargers, batteries, lenses) – Bruges is a small town, with few electronics shops.
- Avoid visiting Bruges during summer or Christmas – Bruges is a very popular tourist destination and it can get pretty crowded during the summer and Christmas holidays. If you don’t want to worry about having dozens of people in your shot, visit Bruges in autumn or spring.
- Explore the city at night – When all the tourists go back to their hotels, it’s time to get out and explore Bruges. The lights reflecting on the canals create the perfect backdrop for photos!
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Are you looking for the best view in Bruges? Rozenhoedkaai or the Quay of the Rosary is the place to be! This place looks like a postcard – this is why it’s also called “the Bruges postcard view”. Rozenhoedkaai is also the starting point for many boat tours.
With the Belfry of Bruges and other historic houses in the background, this place is the most popular photography location in Bruges. All around the year you’ll find many tourists here trying to take the perfect photo. Just sit for a while and enjoy the views!
-> Are you planning a day trip to Bruges? Read this itinerary.
2. Belfry of Bruges
This medieval bell tower situated in the center of the city offers the best panoramic view over Bruges. To get to the top you’ll have to climb 366 stairs but trust me, the view is worth it. I recommend bringing a zoom lens.
3. Brasserie Raymond
I discovered this place while randomly walking around Bruges and absolutely loved the facade of these houses. The architecture of Bruges never ceases to amaze me but these 3 houses are truly special.
The first facade has straight lines, the second one has curved lines (more similar to the houses in Amsterdam) and the third smaller house, home to Chocolatier Dumon, is a typical Belgian house.
In the southern part of the city, you’ll find a hidden oasis. Minnewaterpark is home to a bank of beautiful swans. However, keep in mind that you can’t get too close to these beautiful animals!
I recommend crossing the Beginhof bridge for the perfect view towards the Church of Our Lady and the canals. There is also a beautiful building right near this bridge that is worth photographing. You can’t miss it!
The beautiful Sashuis building regulates the level of the canals in the city center and it’s also a great place to photograph. Its reflection on the lake is truly beautiful.
5. Gruuthuse Hof
This picturesque house situated between two adjacent buildings has an incredibly beautiful facade. The Gruuthuse Hof restaurant is located right near the Church of Our Lady and Sint Janshospitaal.
This is one of the best photo spots in Bruges and a great place to eat some traditional food if you’re feeling hungry.
6. Sint Janshospitaal
Built in the 12th century, Sint Janshospitaal is Europe’s oldest hospital. Now a museum, the hospital was opened until 1977. Both the exterior and the courtyard are beautiful and worth photographing.
7. Bonifacius Bridge
Bonifacius Bridge is one of the Instagram spots in Bruges. Situated in the shadow of the tower of the Church of Our Lady, this bridge has an interesting legend. It is said that you’ll marry the first person you see after crossing the bridge.
Given this legend and the romantic feel of this place, Bonifacius Bridge is a popular place for marriage proposals. If you plan on taking a boat tour in Bruges, you’ll pass beneath the bridge.
-> Are you also planning to visit Ghent? Read everything about it here.
8. Burg Square
Many architectural styles are present in Burg Square. The buildings here are some of the most beautiful in Bruges and the perfect background for some photos.
My favorite buildings are the Gothic Town Hall, dating from 1376 and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The basilica is a popular place among pilgrims due to a relic with Jesus’ blood from his crucifixion.
9. Historium Bruges
Even if you don’t want to visit the Historium Bruges museum, you can still enjoy the views towards the Bruges Market Square. Head to the first floor at Bier Cafe’s terrace and enjoy the best view over the Market Square.
If you want to photograph the Belfry of Bruges, the light is better in the morning. If you want to photograph the colorful houses, head there in the evening.
10. Jan Van Eyck Square
This is my favorite place in the entire city. Why? Because there are almost no tourists here. If you’ve already been to Bruges, you know how busy it can get but somehow the tourists overlook the Jan Van Eyck Square.
For the best view towards the square head to the Koningstraat Bridge.
11. Serendipity Store
Well, this photography location in Burges is located near the Serendipity Store. It doesn’t have an official name. I discovered it while walking randomly around the city.
What I liked about this place were the houses and the small fountain. I love discovering beautiful, off-the-beaten path locations.
12. The Windmills
Take a walk outside the city center and you’ll discover a few beautiful windmills. There were 25 windmills originally but only 4 of them stand today. Some of the windmills are open to the public from April to September but you can admire them from the outside all year round.
With the white-colored house facades and a tranquil garden, the Begijnhof was founded in 1245. Today the houses are inhabited by nuns and a few local women who decided to remain unmarried.
Begijnhof is one of my favorite photography places in Bruges. If you have the time, you can explore one of the shops located here, selling church objects.
14. The cute balcony on Blinde Ezelstraat
On the way to Burg Square, on Blinde Ezelstraat, you’ll see a beautiful white balcony with golden details. I’ve tried to find its name but unfortunately, I wasn’t successful.
However, this balcony is pretty easy to find. it’s right on Blinde Ezelstraat Street, before reaching Burg Square.
15. Church of Our Lady Bruges
The tower of the Church of Our Lady can be seen from all around the city but the best view is from the Bonifacius Bridge. This Catholic Church, built in Gothic style is a true wonder of architecture and the perfect Instagram location for tourists in Bruges.
Its exterior is as impressive as its interior. I could stand and look at it for hours!
16. Get lost on the streets
Just walk around the old city center and you’ll find many places worth photographing. Bruges is so beautiful that I ended up taking thousands of photos in just a few days. Every corner of the city is a photo opportunity.
Where to stay in Bruges
I’ve been looking for the best hotels in Bruges, for each budget. I recommend choosing a hotel close to the city center. Below are my recommendations.
- Budget – Novotel Centrum – great location, spacious and clean rooms, good facilities, friendly staff
- Mid Budget – Hotel Fevery – great location, modern and spacious rooms, breakfast included
- Luxury – Relais & Chateaux Hotel – excellent location, luxurious rooms, extra-comfortable beds, historic building
I’m sure that you’ll love Bruges. There are so many photography locations that you’ll probably need at least one week to shoot them all. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!