Jazz Bruges 16-18 nov 2018

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On Stage:

Tigran Hamasyan/ Amir Elsaffar & Ictus/ Colin Stetson

Omer Avital Quintet/Jakob Bro Trio/Elina Duni/Concert Mw’Soul

James Brandon Lewis ft Anthony Pirog/ Reijseger, Fraanje?Sylla

Jaimie Branch Fly or Die / Free Desmyter & Bassem Hawar

Maak Quintet/ Nathalie Loriers/MDC III/Donder

Nachtschade: Aubergine/ Hans Beckers/ Wannes Deneer 

Friday 16 november
25 Years of W.E.R.F. Records
YARD. Records, the label of arts center KAAP, is blowing 25 candles this year. The absolute highlight of this festive year is a grand celebration on the opening night of Jazz Brugge. With a nice mix of fixed values (Mâäk Quintet, Nathalie Loriers), new creations (Free Desmyter, Kris Defoort), album releases (MDC III) and new upcoming talent (Donder). A feast of Belgian jazz with a big bow around!

Saturday 17 november
Musical influences from all corners of the world
The second day of Jazz Brugge is entirely dedicated to the theme ‘Crossing Cultures’ and allows musical influences from all corners of the world to blow through the Concertgebouw, from Armenia (Tigran Hamasyan) and Albania (Elina Duni) over the Middle East (Omer Avital). to Senegal (Reijseger / Fraanje / Sylla). We close with one of the new exponents of the Chicago scene, trumpet player Jaimie Branch.

Sunday 18 november
Wide range of genres & cultures
A broad range of genres and cultures typifies the final day. KAAP maker Hans Beckers, together with drummer Teun Verbruggen, unleashes his self-built windmills on families. Muziektheater Transparant performs with Nachtschade: Aubergine an intriguing quest for cultural identity. Ictus, together with the Iraqi trumpet player Amir ElSaffar, explores the limits of chamber jazz. From spherical soundscapes (Jakob Bro) we go to unfiltered black avant-garde (James Brandon Lewis), to end with hypnotic muscle ball (Colin Stetson).


Concertgebouw Brugge
‘t Zand 34 8000, Brugge

Tickets & info
Day pass and Festival pass:

Tickets are available per day (day pass) and for the entire festival (festival pass).

Day pass: € 30 vvk | € 35 add (16/11 – 17/11 – 18/11)
Festival pass: € 75 vvk | € 85 add (Festival pass)
All Saturday concerts of Jazz Brugge are part of the 7×7 action of Soundcast: the five jazz concerts together at just € 7 all in.
More info at concertgebouw.be/soundcast
Ticket Klopotec: € 6 children € 12 adult (not included in Dagpas or Festivalpas)
Ticket prices do not include booking costs (€ 1 per (day) ticket / € 2 per festival pass)

Where and how do I buy tickets:

online via this site (pay with Visa / Mastercard / Bancontact)
by phone:
070 22 12 12 (Tickets Bruges – Mon-Fri from 14:00 to 17:00)
059 33 90 00 (UiTloket Ostend)
at the ticket desk:
In & Uit Brugge
UiTloket Oostende
Tourism Ostend

At the box office (from 60 minutes before the start of the first concert).
Discounted rates (only in presale)

The discount applies to both day passes and festival passes

for -26: 50% discount for +65: 10% discount

Jazz Bruges on Spotify


Complete program

Tigran Hamasyan
Colin Stetson
Mw’Soul (Ghalia Benali & Mâäk)
Jakob Bro Trio
Omer Avital Quintet
Free Desmyter & Bassem Hawar / The Takenouchi Documents
Amir ElSaffar & Ictus
Nachtschade: Aubergine (Muziektheater Transparant)
Elina Duni MDC III
James Brandon Lewis Trio + Anthony Pirog
Jaimie Branch Fly or Die
Nathalie Loriers & Chemins Croisés
Hans Beckers / Klopotec Orkestra
Mâäk Quintet
Wannes Deneer / Tuning Things



Top things to do during your stay in Bruges

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(voted as N° I on tripadvisor on 565 restaurants in Bruges ….wow !!!!)

 Minderbroederstraat 1;

 +32 497 801 872


 Phlipstockstraat 45- Bruges (city center)


 Langestraat 11, Bruges (city center)


 Meestraat 9 – Bruges (city center)


 Katelijnestraat 160 (close to Loft Katelijne en Groeninghe)


 Molenmeers 2 – Bruges (city center)




 Langestraat 15 – Bruges (city center) ; closed on Saturday and Sunday


 Nieuwe Gentweg 76- Bruges (city center)


 Langestraat 155 – 159 -Bruges (city center)


 Langestraat 109 – Bruges (city center)




 Minderbroedersstraat 26 -Bruges (city center), closed on sunday and monday


 Eekhoutstraat 24-Bruges (city center), closed on monday and tuesday (closed 8 until 19 march)


 Ezelstraat 21 -Bruges (city center) closed on Sunday & Monday


 Langestraat 155 – 159, Closed on Sunday & Monday


 Zomerweg 16 , 8490 Jabbeke

 +32 (0)50 81 26 85


 Jacob van Maerlantstraat 6 8340 Damme


 Predikherenstraat 11


 Mallebergplaats 5,


 Kleine St. Amandsstraat 5 Closed on Sunday


 Simon Stevinplein 15


 Eiermarkt 5, closed on Sundays


 Simon Stevenplein 14


 Gistelsesteenweg 520


 Achiel van Ackerplein 2


 Garenmarkt 30; Closed on saturday&sunday and school holidays


Carpe Diem

(also online delivery)

 Wijngaardstraat 8


 Prinsenhof 8


 Geldmuntstraat 9


 Vlamingstraat 56, closed monday and tuesday


 Muntpoort 8, closed on sunday and holidays


 Kartuizerinnenstraat 10


 Dweerstraat 13, Bruges 8000



(voted as 14 of 565 on tripadvisor)

 Hallestraat 4, Bruges 8000

 Langestraat 93, Bruges 8000 (Lebanese resto)


 Hoogstraat 33…. austrian and german wines


 Langestraat 97


 Braambergstraat 7


 Philip Stockstraat 41


 Kuiperstraat 6-8


Groot Vlaenderen

great Cocktail bar

 Vlamingstraat 94


 Park 5 Pub


 Philipstockstraat 19


 De Garre 1


 Kemelstraat 5


Café Rose Red

Lovely cosy bar for beer lovers with hundreds of Belgian Beers in Bruges.

 Cordoeanierstraat 16


Le Trappiste

Atmospheric bar with a great choice of beers

 Kuiperstraat 33


Comptoir des Arts

Nice cellar bar with daily events,  a good buzzy atmosphere and a fantastic selection of beer. only a short walk from the main square.

 Vlamingstraat 53

  00 32 494 38 79 61


Catering D' Deldycke

Excellent food at catering Deldycke for take away at good prices

 Wollestraat 23

 +32 50 33 43 35


De Plaats

Vegan place to be in Bruges. Excellent vegetarian food in friendly setting.

 Wapenmakersstraat 5 – Bruges

 +32 50 66 03 66


Resto Reliva

Small family run vegan restaurant in a quiet side street with great food.

 Goezeputstraat 6 -Bruges

 +32 50 331307


Resto De Bottelier

A gorgeous little restaurant next to a canal in a quiet part of Bruges.

 Sint Jakobsstraat 63 -Bruges


Chang Thong Thai

Very authentic Thai restaurant with great food to match.

 Kleine Hoefijzerstraat 3, 8000 Bruges

 +32 50 33 44 05



Favorite place of locals, enjoy soups, pasta, salads, woks, wraps, open till midnight, reservation needed

 Oostmeers 124

 +32 50 33 04 54


Bruges promoted in high profile Unesco campaign.

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Bruges has been selected as one of the 34 world heritage sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage Journeys, a brand new campaign set up by UNESCO and National Geographic with the cooperation of the EU and the participating sites. With this initiative, the partners want to promote world heritage sites in Europe specifically to the cultural tourist.

The basis for the campaign is a brand new website in English, French and Chinese that is built around four themes: ‘Ancient Europe’, ‘Romantic Europe’, ‘Royal Europe’ and ‘Underground Europe’.

Bruges ended up in the theme ‘Romantic Europe’ together with the historic center of Vilnius and San Gimignano, the Mont-Saint-Michel, Pafos (Cyprus), the cultural landscapes of Wachau (Austria), Lednice-Valtice (Czech Republic) and the Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany). Representatives of the Tourism and Heritage Services of all these sites worked closely together at a number of international workshops.

The focus of the campaign is on sustainable tourism. M Rössler, director of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO: “Our goal is to encourage people to travel differently, to stay longer at one destination, to experience the local culture and to acquire a greater knowledge of the values of the World Heritage.

Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges: “Bruges is an international city that attracts visitors from all over the world, more and more often from distant markets that stop during a tour in Europe in Bruges. The slogan of the campaign ‘Travel differently, travel deeper’ fits in perfectly with our strategy to mainly encourage the added value seeker to stay in Bruges. The fact that we get the support of reputable partners for this offers opportunities that we did not have access to until today. “

Relocating business employees to Bruges or Ghent

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Appointing an international business employee to Belgium?

Visa and passports

An identity card or valid passport is necessary.

  1. Eu-citizen: An ordinary identity card is sufficient for most citizens of the European Union.
  2. Non-Eu-citizen: If you arrive in Belgium from outside the European Union, you must first pass through customs. There are no border controls once inside the European Union. Check at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your own country to find out exactly what documents you need

Addresses of foreign Embassies and Consulates in Belgium

Registering with the immigration authorities

  • Non-Belgian citizens wanting to settle in Bruges must register with the local immigration office.
  • The relocation office of the city of Bruges processes residency applications for international employees submitted by a relocation partner.

How to submit an application to the relocation office?

  • As relocation partner you complete the entire application.
  • Verify that the international employee holds a long-term residency visa (type D visa).
    Adresses of Belgian embassies and consulates.
  • Family of the international employee who also have a long-term residency visa (type D visa) can be registered at the same time.

Processing of applications

  • After the application has been submitted, a residency check will be conducted by a community police officer (wijkagent).
  • Then you can make an appointment with the relocation office for the finalisation of the registration process.


Depending on the nationality of the employee, he or she must pay a federal fee. (€60, €200 or €350)  This fee covers administrative expenses in relation to the processing of the application and will not be refunded in the event that the application is unsuccessful.

Applying for a work permit

Most international employees need a work permit to be able to work in Belgium. Some employees are exempt from the work permit obligation based on their nationality, status, and nature or duration of their employment.

Work permit types

  • Work permit type A: unlimited duration.
  • Work permit type B:  maximum duration of 12 months.
  • Work permit type C: limited duration only.

Who must submit the work permit application?

The application for a type A or C work permit must be submitted by the international employee at the Flemish Government.

The application for a type B work permit must be submitted by the employer on behalf of the international employee. If the application is approved, the employee will automatically receive his or her type B work permit.


Top Contemporary Art Galleries in Bruges, Knokke and Ghent

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From fine chocolate tastings, diamond polishing shows at the Diamantmuseum, rides on horse-drawn carriages, to intimate boat trips on the canal, the picturesque city of Bruges hosts a wide array of unique cultural sights and one-of-a-kind, leisurely activities. For those of you who enjoy the finer things in life, hidden and juxtaposed among the charming Renaissance buildings, waffles and lace shops are also some of the world’s most exquisite contemporary art galleries. The nearby cities of Ghent and Knokke on the other hand host fantastic contemporary art galleries, which can be paired to contrast with a visit to the beautiful medieval 12th century castle in Ghent, dinner in PatersholI, the beach or nightlife in Knokke, or sights such as the Ghent Cathedral. In this article, we present the various contemporary art galleries you might want to visit on your luxury visit to the incredible in and around Bruges.

Bruges Gallery weekend 2018: 17 until 19 aug 2018.

Absolute Art Gallery

In 2000, Yoeri, Miguel and Yvan De Backer founded Absolute Art Gallery, which prides itself on representing young, renowned, international and Belgian artists. The gallery actually has four different locations in Belgium, but the gallery in Bruges offers visitors a particular charm which arguably surpasses the others–it faces one of the oldest canals, Dijver, in the center of the medieval town and in close vicinity to the Groeninge and Gruuthuse museum.

A wide range of contemporary art can be spotted here–figurative and abstract paintings, photography and even sculptures. Approximately thirty-five artists are represented by the gallery, and each artist has his or her own unique niche, and the works of excellent artists such as Mauro Perucchetti, Carlos Mata, Christine Comym, Peter Zuur, Wim Ricourt are exhibited there. The solo shows, group exhibitions, and special events provide a fresh and ever-changing environment.

The beautiful, warm, and welcoming atmosphere at all times makes this gallery a particular gem, and it’s one of the few galleries practically always open to the public six days a week. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. and closed only on Wednesdays.

The gallery has regularly exhibited over the years in various art fairs such as Yia Young International Art Fair in Paris, Scope Art Fair in Basel, Raw Art Fair in Rotterdam, Pan Art Fair in Amsterdam, and Art Paris Art Fair, so on the international level, Absolute Art Gallery sits with some of the best.

The highly professional and attentive team is there to assist visitors, buyers and collectors from all over the world. The pieces of art on sale, which are for both the beginner and more experienced collector, are on offer from about €2,500 or more. There is also a large collection of books on art which can be bought at your visit.

Absolute Art Gallery, Dijver 4-5, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 49 10 12 

Museum Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí

The Museum Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí in Bruges is an exclusive opportunity to view the artist’s outstanding collection of sculptures and famous works of art and get a taste for the artist’s flamboyant personality.

Hosted in a medieval hall designed by the iconic Barron Saint Mythelfinger, the space has been transformed into a Dalí-esque showroom filled with gold, mother-of-pearl and bright pink interiors, typifying the Spanish artist’s ‘’love of everything that is gilded and excessive’’. This one-of-a-kind space is a special and unforgettable place to relax and enjoy the quirky world of Dalí.

Belfort, Markt 7, 8000, Bruges, Belgium

44 Gallery

44 Gallery exhibits exceptional photography of young, upcoming and established European artists with a focus on talented Belgian artists. Some of the biggest names in contemporary photography are on sale, including works of Titus Simoens, Renzo de Ceuster, Paul D’haese, Patrick Bardyn and Stephanie Yoshiwara. All the works are signed and are limited editions.

The gallery’s aim is to promote unconventional,  thought-provoking, and sometimes uncomfortable photography which questions today’s culture and society. Intellectually stimulating, the selected works are delightfully riveting and the experience is a wonderful addition to the cultural sites of the city.

There are photographs displayed to suit everyone’s taste, and for the beginner collector or individual wishing to take home an intriguing souvenir, there are also very affordable unique limited edition works in smaller sizes on sale from a price point of €150 to €300.

44 Gallery, Genthof 44, Bruges, Belgium, +32 489 55 26 63

Guy Pieters Gallery

Guy Pieters Gallery in the swanky town of Knokke home to staple museums, art galleries, gastronomical experiences and unusual shops, is one of the most magnificent galleries in the area and arguably one of the best in the world.

Guy Pieters was born in the small yet artistic village of Sint-Martens-Latem, the hub of Flemish expressionism, and is today one of the world’s leading gallerists. The gallery showcases Post-War and contemporary art, with its success largely determined by Guy’s life-long relationships with the artists. With New Realism and Pop Art alongside emerging artists, Guy Pieters Gallery has a reputation that exceeds beyond Belgium. His gallery is exhibiting at BRAFA Art Fair and is a regular at the best art fairs in the world, among others the Biennale in Venice.

Some of the artists displayed at the gallery are Karel Appel, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Robert Indiano, James Rosenquist, and many others. Over the years, Guy Pieters has edited several books, including the catalogue raisonné of Yves Klein.

For a world-class and unforgettable experience, Guy Pieters Gallery is a venue that you must visit.

Albertplein 15BE-8300 Knokke-Heist, +32 (0)50 80 00 10


Gallery Ganache

Gallery Ganache is a place where visitors can relax, have a coffee and a chocolate after visiting other sites, and enjoy the art. The charming gallery started as a chocolatier and now exhibits world-class art for visitors to enjoy. Their philosophy is that art is for everybody–it’s an open and warm space located in the historical center of Ghent next to the Sint Bavo Cathedral.

The art exhibited in this lovely gallery is of new, upcoming artists as well as well-known artists of Belgium and international origin, and the price point of the spectacular works on display start from about €1,500 to €5,000, although some small sculptures can be obtained from €300 – €500.

Limburgstraat 14, 9000 Gent, Belgium +32 499 97 61 48


Art Gallery Groeninge – Paul Van Hecke

Born in Bruges in March 1954, Paul Van Hecke is a unique artist and the gallery is unlike any other in the city. After studying Art at Sint-Lucas Institute in Ghent, Paul went on a romantic, nostalgic journey to the East in search of deeper meanings and an understanding of his inner self, meeting with various masters in India and the Himalayas. It is through his travels and deep meditation sessions that he began to realise a new meaning in colors, and it was from here his unique style developed. Paul returned from the East and opened his gallery and atelier in 1999, and from thereon in his space has become a staple of Bruges’ contemporary art scene.

Van Hecke’s paintings display a unique sense of conscious color unique to the city and are in themselves objects of healing. For a burst of color, Art Gallery Groeninge is a must-see.

Art Gallery Groeninge, Nieuwe Gentweg 27, Bruges, Belgium, +32 50 3418 36

source:  Natalie Maxted, London

brafa art fair Brussel

BRAFA Art Fair 2018

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One of the oldest and most highly acclaimed art fairs in the world, the Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA) will open its doors to the public on Friday, January 26th 2018 for ten days.

Since its establishment in 1956, BRAFA’s reputation and remit have grown dramatically. Originally held in the Arlequin Hall of the Galerie Louiza and thereafter the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the fair now exhibits at the prodigious Tour & Taxis, a former train station and icon of 19th-century Belgian industrial architecture. The larger exhibition space has allowed the fair to expand its number of participants dramatically from what was initially twenty Belgian antique dealers to what is now one hundred and thirty exhibitors from both Belgium and abroad.

The first Brussels Art Fair was an antiques fair, but it has since substantially expanded its range of works for sale. The pieces of art and objects showcased now at BRAFA span a staggering five thousand years of history. The artworks range from antiques to furniture, art from the Middle Ages to contemporary art and design, and from comic strips to porcelain to pique the interests of over sixty-thousand collectors and visitors from all over the world. The fair’s rigorous selection process ensures the art displayed is some of the best in the world, and as it is the first major global art exhibition of the year, BRAFA is commonly regarded by experts as a critical barometer of the art market. The fair’s international standing and importance within the wider art fair framework was profoundly underlined in 2009 when it was placed under the High Protection of Her Majesty Queen Paola.

The eclectic range of works on display at BRAFA coincides with the rich cultural history of Brussels itself within the wider European narrative. The early history of Brussels has traces spanning back to the Stone age and following this the region was under Roman occupation, the Frankish Empire and flourished during the Middle Ages when it became a commercial hub. It played a pivotal role in Early European history during the Early and Late modern periods, becoming a constitutional monarchy in 1830. During the 20th century the city underwent extensive modernisation, achieving international appreciation for its Art Nouveau, Art Deco and industrial architecture, which sits in stark contrast to Bruges’ medieval architecture. An international nucleus, Brussels serves as de facto capital of the European Union, and in 2000, the city was named as a European Capital of Culture.

Whether you want to buy a remarkable work of art to impress Bob and Debra down the road, have a New Year’s resolution to improve your chat at dinner parties, or just wish to travel through the ages on a visual culture journey while on holiday in Belgium, BRAFA is a phenomenal opportunity to tickle the visual senses.

serviced apartments bruges

300 Years of Fine Art in Bruges

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This year, the Bruges Academy for the Fine Arts celebrates its 300th anniversary of founding. Established in 1717, the Bruges Academy may count itself as one of the oldest art institutions in the Lowlands. To celebrate this occasion, the Groeningemuseum has organized an exhibition of paintings from its collection by the most important local Bruges artists from the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. For a solid three hundred years, children, adolescents and adults have been tutored by experienced teachers and artists, and so contributed to the artistic culture of Bruges.

The Bruges Academy also played an important cultural-historical role in Europe. When the city government of Rijsel wanted to found their own academy, they came to Bruges for inspiration. In 1761, the Bruges Academy for the Fine Arts was named “the very best” (alongside an institution in Antwerp) by the General Governor de Cobenzl of the Austrian Lowlands.

Today the Academy serves as an art school for young and old alike . During the celebrations, they will base themselves on the history of the Academy to look at the present and future of the school. This month (November) the Academy will be organizing great, themed expositions in the Stadshallen and the Poortersloge.

The exhibition in the Groeningemuseum will feature works from the golden age of the Bruges Academy. The Academy trained a number of painters who later finished their education abroad. One of those painters named Jean-François Legillon was even appointed as a member of the prestigious ‘Académie Royale’ in Paris. Some of his paintings will be on display among the works of Matthias de Visch, Jan Anton Garemijn, Gerard de San, Jean-Bernard Duvivier, Albert Gregorius, Joseph-Denis Odevaere and François-Joseph Kinsoen.

At the Stadshallen, six themes will be featured on the exhibition presented by the Bruges Academy. All of these themes are contemporary but also offer a window in to history. One of these themes is “freedom”. Starting from November 8th, artist are allowed to draw, paint and sell their works. The Bruges Academy was the only democratic  Academy. Anyone with talent was allowed to enter, no matter your status or rank.

“Networking” is another theme because in the world of today, who can live without it? In 1771, Joseph-Benoît Suvée won the Prix de Rome, which was pretty much the UEFA championship for painters back in the day. He enabled dozens of Belgian painters to advance their careers in Paris and Rome.

If you erased all of the buildings where architect Louise Delacenserie had a hand in, not a whole lot of downtown Bruges would remain. “Public Landscape” is a theme chosen by the school because Louise Delacenserie was an alumni and principal of the Academy. The other themes that surface in the Stadshallen exhibition are “Arts & Crafts”, “Feminism and Emancipation” and “Individualism”.

We could go a little more in depth on all of  these wonderful events, but I advise you to explore them for yourselves. After all, beauty (or art for that matter) is in the eye of the beholder.


A day’s walk around Ghent

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Bruges offers visitors myriad attractions for a full two-day visit, but if you’re staying longer than a weekend, then consider a day trip to Ypres, Ghent, Brussels, Flanders Field or Ostend. All are within easy reach of Bruges – by road or rail – and make a worthwhile add-on to your Belgium experience. In the first in a series of day trips tips from Bruges, Gina Baksa takes a stroll around the historic city of Ghent

Only 20 minutes from Bruges by train – a tad longer by car – Ghent has with an edgier, funkier feel than its more sedate neighbour, especially after dark when the cafés and bars come alive. There’s a thriving music scene – jazz especially – and the nightlife is eclectic and vibrant, thanks in part to the large student population. Ghentians love their food.  From budget eats to Michelin-starred restaurants, the East Flanders capital is a smorgasbord of culture, design and history – and offers abundant gustatory pleasures for the discerning gourmand.

Divided into two distinct areas: the museums are mainly situated in the Arts Quarter, while the historic district – with its pedestrianised streets – offers visitors a cultural feast of medieval towers, fortress and of course the near-mythical Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers.

A day’s walk around Ghent

The route I took is around 1.5 miles, but with a stop for coffee, lunch, museums and sights along the way, you can easily spend a day exploring.

From Gent-Sint-Pieters station – collect a street map inside – jump on the number 1 tram – the stop is under the bridge on the left as you exit the station – and alight at Korenmarkt stop, just 15 minutes away. Make your way to St Nicholas Church (stniklaas.com) ahead of you – a restored 13th-century Gothic masterpiece with its Baroque altar, then head east to Sint-Baafsplein and the 300ft Belfry (visitgent.be). For some major bell-ringing action, time your climb just before noon. Unlike the belfry in Bruges, bell tower has a lift if you’d rather save your energy for lunch!

Passing the Cloth Hall (Lakenhealle) next to the Belfry you can’t miss St Bavo’s Cathedral rising majestically in front of you on the eastern side of Sint-Baafsplein.

The interior of this Gothic masterpiece boasts memorable treasures, including the van Eyck brothers’ Mystic Lamb altarpiece. This 20-panelled painting is famous for its mélange of mystical and natural themes and is displayed in the former baptismal chapel.

Leaving St Bavo’s take Biezekapel on your right, continuing over Hoogpoort and walk down Zandberg. A great lunch choice here is De Warempel (de.warempel.be)

Popular with locals, this vegetarian hotspot has inventive and tasty dishes that will satisfy even the hardened carnivore. If it’s too early for lunch then head round to St James’s Church (Sint Jacobskerk) to Vrijdagmarkt. The square is bordered by mansions and guildhouses, and there’s been a market here since the 13th century. My advice would be to head straight for Dulle Griet pub (dullegriet.be), which serves the largest selection of Belgian beer in Ghent. Order the immense 1.2-litre long glass of house beer and they will take your right shoe as a deposit and winch it up to the ceiling.

Assuming you haven’t overdone the amber nectar, make your way out of Vrijdagmarkt via Groot Kanon-plein and head over the bridge. You’re now in Patershol – the former red-light district – now home to trendy boutiques, bars and restaurants. Explore the streets behind Kraanlei quayside, bordered by 17th-century houses once occupied by tanners and weavers.

Continuing south down Kraanlei you’ll arrive at no 65 – the Folkore Museum (huisvanalijn.be) – a former hospice for children that shows what daily life was like in the city during the 19th century with an emphasis on craft and trade.

On leaving the museum continue to the end of Kraanlei and make a right onto Sint Veerleplein and a visit to the impressive Castle of the Counts (visitgent.be) with its fine buttresses (love that word), collection of Medieval torture instruments and a great view from the battlements.

On leaving the castle walk down Burgstraat across the river, then left down Korenlei to the Design Museum (designmuseum.gent.be). Once a family mansion, pieces on view include an impressive Art Noveau collection and 17th and 18th century furniture.
A post-design pit stop at the Brooderie bakery café (brooderie.be) opposite will touch the spot for a late lunch. If you can’t get a table (it’s tiny) head for Reserva just along the street for coffee and snacks.

Once replete head out along Kornlei – this part of the river is known as Tussen Brugen (between the bridges) and was Ghent’s commercial centre during the 11th to 18th centuries. The Marriott hotel was a former brewery and at no. 7 you’ll see the Guildhouse of the Tired Boatmen – aka The Anchor. Walking down to St Michael’s Bridge turn left and walk up Graslei. The Corn Stockpile House dates from the late 12th century and has allegedly the oldest step gable in the country. Next door is the Customs House and other sea-faring related dwellings, all restored.

Walking back to St Michael’s Bridge you’ll get great views east towards Ghent’s three towers. St Michael’s Church is worth a look and has the 1630 portrait of Christ by Anthony van Dyck. You’ve now arrived back where you started, near St Nicholas Church.

Getting There

By Train

Take train to Gent-Sint-Pieters Station. Journey time: 20 minutes. Then take tram no. 1 into the city. Get off at Korenmarkt stop (15 mins).

By Road

Follow signs to the E40 and stay on it till you reach Ghent. Journey time: 30 minutes.


The LF5 Cycling route passes from Bruges to Thorn via Ghent.

Cycling routes website here: http://www.fietsroute.org/index.htm

Michelin-starred restaurants in Ghent

Publiek (Olly Ceulenaere) | Ham 39 | +32 9 330 04 86 | http://www.publiekgent.be

Horseele (Danny Horseele) | Stadion KAA Gent, Ottergemsesteenweg – Zuid 808 | www.restauranthorseele.be | +32 9 330 23 20

Vrijmoed (Michaël Vrijmoed) Vlaanderenstraat 22 | +32 9 279 99 77 | vrijmoed.be/en/

Also recommended:

Pakhuis | Schuurkenstraat 4; +32 9 223 5555 | pakhuis.be

Bruges’ Top 10 Art Galleries You Should Visit

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Best-known for its rosta of Flemish Primitive painters such Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Hugo van der Goes, Bruges is a hive of activity for modern art, as Gina Baksa discovered. Escape the medieval tryptychs with a visit to one of these 10 modern art galleries in the centre of Bruges.

Absolute Art Gallery

Dijver 4 | +32 32 50 49 10 12 | absoluteartgallery.com | 11am to 6pm; Thurs to Mon

A beautiful minimalist space with regular exhibitions featuring some of the gallery’s 32 artists, including Julian Opie, Marc Lagrange, and local artist Christine Comyn. Latest exhibition is Nick Gentry’s Memoryscapes, on until 26 April. A Central St Martin’s graduate, Gentry creates portraits combining obsolete media formats such as cassettes, floppy discs, VHS tapes and Polaroids as a metaphor for the way humankind interacts with technology.

Galerij Koen Broes

Simon Stevinplein 12 | broes.be |+ 32 50 33 37 74 | Tues to Sat: 10am to 12; 1.30-6pm

Specialises in graphic art on paper from contemporary artists, owners Koen and Carine Broes recognise the inherent craftsmanship behind each technique. You’ll find everything from aquatinting, to lithography via gouache and drypoint. Their focus is not on big names: “We prefer to seek out artists who are not yet demi-gods, but who make no concessions in terms of technical quality and radiance” Framing service available as well as advice on collecting. Works can be shown in your own home.

Callebert Design

callebert.be | Wollestraat 25 | +32 50 33 50 61 | Daily: 10am to 12noon; 2pm to 6pm (except Mondays 2pm to 6pm; Sundays 3pm to 6pm)

More retail space than art gallery, Callebert began life in Bruges in 1948 selling luxury tableware and gifts. Today, its premises are a sophisticated Aladdin’s Cave of home design (think tableware, ceramics, homeware, furniture, clothing, gifts and more) in a central Bruges location. Their own art gallery, Art O Nivo is situated on the first floor. A perfect store to buy gifts; some products are also available to purchase via their online shop.

Art O Nivo

Wollestraat 25, 1st floor | +32 51 24 33 88 | artonivo.be

Mon to Sat; 2 to 6pm. Closed Sundays. At the back of Callebert Design.

Glass, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, photography, graphics and architecture:

The website needs updating but still worth a look. A new café and terrace is planned for opening in July this year.

44 Gallery

44gallery.be | +32 489 552 663 | Genthof 44 | Sat and Sun 2pm to 6pm

Current exhibition: 18 April to 10 May.

Located north of the Markt, 44 Gallery’s (run by Luc Rabaey and Veerle De Sutter) latest exhibition is a Herman van den Boom retrospective featuring a selection of the photographer’s work taken in the USA in the Seventies. With limited edition prints for sale, the gallery also represents the likes of Julie Van Der Vaart and Titus Simoens.

Museum Gallery Xpo Salvador Dali

Belfort, Markt 7 | +32 50 33 83 44 | dali-interart.be | Daily 10am-6pm

A permanent exhibition (rotating) curated by dealers Interart, containing graphic art and some sculptures from the moustachioed one’s eclectic oeuvre. The large gallery/showroom space at the centrally located Belfry was once a medieval hall now transformed into a Dali-fest with gold, mother-of-pearl and pink colours, designed by the amusingly monikered Barron Saint Mythelfinger.  Some original prints are for sale, ask at reception.

Jacquemine art Gallery (+ luxury guesthouse)

Hoogstraat 34 | +32 478 37 56 96 | jacquemine.be

Combining an art gallery and a listed guesthouse, well-travelled couple Pavel and Annie welcome you into their beautiful home (named after the first-recorded owner Jacnquemine De Graevbe 1532) and his studio. Pavel’s abstract art, the ‘exploration of non-physical realities’ will appeal to those who enjoy fantasy and dream landscapes of the imagination. The elegant, 13th-century house offers two ensuite luxury guestrooms with views over a delightful garden across to the Groenerei canal.

Art 14

Dijver 14 | art-14.com | Thurs to Sun 2pm to 6.30pm

Until 10 May: Solo exhibition with the French painter Etien Gros. An intriguing concept installation with polyurethane 3-D torsos, X-rays and digital photography. Situated between the Church of Our Lady and the Groeningemuseum, Art 14 represents 12 artists including Milan Chabera, Jesus Curia, Lieven Demunter, Fons Bemelmans and Jacek Hazuka.

Svein Konigen Studio Gallery

Korte Vuldersstraat 17 | koningen.net | +32 486 46 94 86 | Visits by appointment

Norwegian by birth, abstract expressionist artist Konigen grew up in Amsterdam and Australia and has been living and painting successfully in Bruges for the past 10 years. Re-locating to London this summer – “I need new inspiration” – he is currently offering discounts on some of his paintings.

I never really know exactly what form the finished painting will take,” he says about his own creative process. “I simply allow my instinct to guide my hands and draw inspiration from the creative process. My passions, the place I live in, the surrounding environment and my music are all external factors that influence my work.”

Konigen is re-locating to London this summer so call him

Art Gallery Groeninge: Paul Van Hecke

Nieuwe Gentweg 27 | +32 50 34 18 36 | paul-van-hecke-art.be

Bruges-born Van Hecke’s travels in the Himalayas and exposure to Eastern philosophy as a young man had a life-changing effect, resulting in the style of painting he favours today. Meditative, healing and transformative, his art reflects the human connection with spirit and our heartfelt desire to live with an awakened consciousness.


Link for some image ideas:



pick one and I will ask him for a jpeg so it stretches across the page enough.

Explore Bruges on foot, canal, bike and Vespa

By | A Local's Guide to Bruges, Things to do in Bruges | No Comments

Bruges is one of the best cities in Europe to discover/explore on foot; its cobbled streets leading you on a beguiling Medieval time warp into secret alleyways and thoroughfares offering treasures both gastronomic and historic. Pick up a map from one of Bruges’s three tourist offices in the Concert Hall/Concertgebouw, Historium (Market Square) and in the railway station or join a popular walking tour and savour the history lesson as you perambulate.   

Alternatively, experience Bruges from a different aspect:

Bruges photography tours

The city is a photographer’s Mecca, as professional snapper and entrepreneur Andy McSweeney knows only too well. A native of Montreal, he’s been in Bruges for 14 years and has even married a local gal. So he knows his way around.

He has tours almost every day: early morning to catch the best light, lunchtime essentials, a hidden Bruges around 4pm and a spot of night photography in Bruges after dark. Andy’s passion for sharing his love of photography means this Photo Tour Brugge is a must whether you’re a pro, or just picked up your first disposable camera. Find out more at his website: www.phototourbrugge.com

  info@phototourbrugge.com |+32 486 175 275   | www.facebook.com/PhotoTourBrugge/

Cycling in Bruges

Flat landscapes make cycling a joy – whatever the weather – so take the weight off your feet and try some pedal power while you’re in Bruges. Either hire a bike for the day and do your own thing, or join a bike tour.  Quasimodo’s Bruges By Bike tour offers visitors a two-and-a-half hour ‘laid back’ wheelie around the backstreets and main streets of the city, exploring the waterways, monuments and city sights, the Belfry tower, the Lake of Love, the windmills, the canals…. Plus a stop at a local hostelry for a snifter of the best beer on the planet. Helmets and rain jackets and even a T-shirt are provided.

www.quasimundo.com | Predikherenstraat 28 | info@quasimundo.eu +32 50 330 775

If you’ve had your fill of cobbled streets and Gothic spires, then hire a bike for a tour of the tranquil polders outside the city limits. The flat landscape is an easy cycle and canal-side routes are beautiful and the perfect picnic stop in spring and summer. Green Bike Tours Tel: 050 612 667.  arlando@telenet.be

‘t Zand, Concertgebouw. English, Dutch and French spoken. Booking is required. Daily, by appointment only. Ask at the tourist information for details.

Bruges canal tours

Escape the tourist melee on the Burg and the Markt and hop on a boat for a relaxing canal tour of Bruges. The 30-minute ride follows the ancient fortifications and is an effortless way to see Bruges from a calmer perspective.

Prepare to queue in peak season. Boats leave from the quays behind the Stadhuis (City Hall), Belfry and the Church of Our Lady.     

Bruges bus tours

Perfect if you’re travelling with friends or family who can’t walk very far,  the minibus tour lasts 50 minutes and takes guests to all Bruges’s main sights.

Commentary is in several languages. Look out for the bright yellow buses. If you have more time, you can also join the minibus tour to the delightful village of Damme. Stop off there for lunch and return by barge.
The bright yellow buses depart every thirty minutes from the Markt – the square in front of the Belfry. More information at www.citytour.be/

Departures every 30 min.
Jan – Mar 10h till sunset, Apr 10h tot 18u, May – Sept 10h till 19h, Oct – Dec 10h till sunset
Bus stop: Markt, The market square in front of the Belfry. 
Tickets on the bus
Group reservations possible: info@citytour.be 


Bruges horse-drawn carriage rides

Earn brownie points and treat your loved one to a romantic 30-minute carriage ride along Bruges’s enchanting cobbled streets. There’s a brief stop at the medieval houses of the Beguinage, and the coachman will keep you well informed about the sights along the way. Rides leave from the carriage station on the Markt or from the Burg on Wednesdays before noon. If you’d rather not wait in line, then book a carriage to collect you from your hotel or restaurant.


Vespa Tours Brugge

Escape from the city and enjoy a little Dolce Vita Belgium-style with a guided tour on a bright orange Vespa through scenic woodland and picturesque villages like Damme – once Bruges’s outer harbour. English, Dutch and French spoke and if you want to zip off alone you have the option to hire a scooter for the whole day. Book your seat now as they are very popular.

t’Zand 2 | +32 497 64 86 48 | Mobile: +38 497 648 648 | vespatours-brugge.be

Bruges Ballooning

Surely one of the best ways to see Bruges is from the air. Looking down over 1000 years of history you’ll be in very safe hands with Bruges Ballooning who have more than 20 years’ experience and even more reassuring: ‘zero accidents’. Clearly this is one activity that’s weather dependent, but if you’re lucky enough to get airborne, you could be gliding over city spires, polders and even see the Belgium coast with a Champagne and strawberry celebration on arrival at your destination.

bruges-ballooning.com | +32.475.972.887 | info@bruges-ballooning.com

Walking tours in Bruges


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