Bruges is known worldwide for its picturesque Medieval centre and famous history. The many canals weaving through the city add to the charm of this popular destination and make for a wonderful family vacation. While most visitors are interested in art and history, there’s no reason to avoid a visit to Bruges with teenagers or young kids. There’s plenty to do for everyone!
Bruges is one of Belgium’s best-preserved cities, and its medieval architecture escaped destruction from both World Wars leaving the city as a glimpse into the past.
- Know before you go. Our top Bruges travel tips
- The ultimate list of things to do in Bruges with teenagers
- Canal boat tour of Bruges
- Walking tour in Bruges
- Cathedral of the Holy Blood
- Watch a football match
- See a windmill in Bruges
- Travel back in time in the Historium
- Related Posts
- Chocolate workshop at Choco-story museum
- Vespa tour through Bruges or in the neighbourhood
- Dark side of Bruges evening tour
- The Blacksmiths Gate
- Bruges Electric Scooter tour
- Self-Guided Urban Treasure Hunt Game in Bruges
- Spend an afternoon at the local subtropical pool
- Learn about the universe Cozmix
- Most Instagramable spot in Bruges
- For older teens visiting Bruges
- Day trips from Bruges
- Where to eat in Bruges with teens
- Essential tips for Bruges with teens
- Where to stay in Bruges
- Weather in Bruges
Know before you go. Our top Bruges travel tips
Travelling to Bruges can be such an enriching experience for the whole family. There are so many things to do in Bruges and having the best place to stay in Bruges to explore is extremely important. Here we’ve got some information to get you planning your family vacation to Bruges to make it completely hassle-free.
Where to stay in Bruges with teenagers
You’ll never be short of options for your accommodation in Bruges. In Bruges, you find a range of hotels, apartments and hostels. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit singles, couples, families and groups on every budget. If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Agoda and Hotellook to find the best prices in Bruges.
- Luxury accommodation: De Tuilerieën is a small luxury hotel situated along a picturesque canal. The hotel offers an indoor swimming pool and a garden terrace. Families with teens can stay in the superior family room.
- Mid-Range: At La Clé you’ll be welcomed into a family home with 5 rooms. The 16th-century house has recently been renovated which resulted in a great combination of old and new
- Budget: At the Snuffel Hostel, you’ll find a centrally located, highly clean place with lots of space, big rooms and many facilities. Choose between shared and private bathrooms for a pretty decent price
Bruges apartment alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation then an apartment in Bruges is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Bruges apartment.
How to get to Bruges Belgium
- The closest airport to Bruges is Brussels Airport. The airport is located northeast of the Belgian capital, approximately 110km (68 miles) from Bruges. Many Airlines offering direct flights to Brussels including British Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines and EasyJet. Book your flights to Bruges with Kiwi Flights.
- You can book an airport transfer from Brussels Airport to your hotel
- You can catch trains to Bruges from all over Europe and Belgium. High-speed trains run frequently between London, Paris and Brussels, where you can connect to a Bruges train. Search and book trains to Bruges with Omio
- Flix Bus has buses running daily to Bruges from destinations inside Belgium and International destinations. Search your bus tickets to Bruges
- Belgium has some great Highways for driving. You can easily access France, Luxembourg, England and the Netherlands in a matter of hours. Search your Rental Car today!
How to get around Bruges with teenagers
Public transport in Bruges is by buses. There are frequent buses running from the train station into the city centre. The buses going to the city centre stop within easy walking distance of the main shopping streets, historical buildings and museums.
Taxi’s and UBER are available in the city.
Using your phone in Bruges
Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling and sightseeing in Bruges with family can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact when you travel with teenagers is a top priority. Plan your family trip out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls on your family vacation in Belgium.
The ultimate list of things to do in Bruges with teenagers
If you are planning to visit the great city of Bruges, then you have to know the best locations that you have to visit in the city. Here are some of the top places in Bruges to visit with teenagers
Canal boat tour of Bruges
Bruges is a city built on Canals much like Venice. You see Bruges used to be a seaport in medieval times, Brugge-Zeebrugge Canal, a waterway was restored in 1896 and 1907 to connect Brugge back to the North Sea. Bruges is home to over 90 bridges around the city, a boat trip will show you medieval buildings, secret gardens, romantic bridges and swans cruising the waters
Walking tour in Bruges
The great things about a walking tour with a local are finding sites that tourists don’t normally visit. A walking tour will include Market Place, Saaihalle (1399), Huis ter Beurze (the first stock exchange), the Toll House, Gothic City Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Liberty of Bruges just to name a few. Most walking tours will take around 2 hours to complete, probably the right amount of time to keep teens engaged in the city of Bruges.
Cathedral of the Holy Blood
This a bit of an offbeat or dark attraction for teenagers in Bruges. The Cathedral of the Holy Blood is said to contain a cloth stain vile of the Blood of Jesus Christ.
The chapel itself is an amazing 12th-century design but it’s the blood that draws visitors of all backgrounds from the deeply religious to the sceptics and just the plain curious to know what the fuss is all about. The legend behind the Blood is that following the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea wiped the blood from the body of Christ and the cloth was preserved.
Watch a football match
Football (soccer) is today one of the most popular sports in the world. Club Brugge is the team to follow in this town. The club first started running around the pitch in 1891. The club is constantly winning the Belgium top-flight league and playing in European competition. The football season in Europe runs from September through April. Bruges play their games at the 29,000 seat Jan Breydel Stadium.
See a windmill in Bruges
Windmills are more closely related to the Netherlands, but with Belgium being so close you can also see them in the countryside and cities of Belgium. The old city ramparts have long since ceased to be a defensive structure and are now a green area that encircles the city.
Along the ramparts sits 4 traditional windmills with 2 of them dating back to the 17th century. A map of Bruges from the 16th-century shows there were 23 working windmills in Bruges at one stage.
Travel back in time in the Historium
If you want your teenager to learn more about Bruges and its history, but they’re not the biggest fan of walking around in museums the entire day, take them to the Historium. In five different parts, every visitor becomes immersed into Bruges’ Golden Century.
In Historium Story, you get to listen to a love story while walking through the different theme rooms. Accompanied by film, movie and special effects, you’ll learn all the important facts about Medieval Bruges, the trade and Jan van Eyck’s famous art.
With the Historium Virtual Reality, there are different possibilities to experience walking around in Medieval Bruges. The first option is an 8-minute trip that you take in one of the virtual reality booths. You can see and use your hands while doing so! There are other options available including an outdoor experience where you head out into the city with your VR cardboard glasses. Historium Exhibition is an interactive exhibition where you’ll learn more about the city layout and architecture.
On the Panoramic Deck, you can enjoy some great views over Bruges’ Market Square and your teen will definitely love taking a couple of selfies with the Belfry in the background.
The last part of the experience is the Historium Tower. You can climb this neo-gothic tower that stands 35m tall and has a 360 degrees clear view over the city.
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Chocolate workshop at Choco-story museum
Belgian chocolate is famous around the world and often referred to as a work of art. In Bruges’ chocolate museum, you’ll learn all there is to know about the evolution and production process of chocolate. There are also demonstrations and of course you get to taste the delicious candy. Workshops for adults, kids and teenagers are available, however (during Covid-19-times) they have to be booked privately, which can become costly if you’re not visiting as a group. The Choco-story Museum is open daily from 10-17h. Tickets cost €9,5 for an adult and €7,5 for kids. There’s also a Choco-Story Museum in Brussels.
Vespa tour through Bruges or in the neighbourhood
One of the most fun activities in Bruges with teens is a Vespa ride. Bear in mind that you have to be 21 and own a driver’s license to be allowed to rent a Vespa, so teenagers won’t be able to do this on their own! However, sitting at the back of a Vespa is still lots of fun!
There are different routes available. Obviously, there’s the Bruges city centre, but as the city is small enough to explore easily on foot, you might want to prefer to head a little bit further. Set out and explore the surrounding countryside, drive to the sea (in the Netherlands!) or follow narrow winding streets on the Abbey route.
Renting a Vespa is possible for a half (13-18h) or a full day (10-18h). The prices are respectively €65 and €100, always for 2 persons.
Dark side of Bruges evening tour
Enjoy a perfect mix of history and dark stories, myths, old legends, interesting facts, and hidden gems. These types of tours help make Bruges mysterious and exciting for teenagers while also educating them on the history of the town.
During the 1.5-hour walking tour learn about the city’s history, interesting facts and hear some of the more dark stories and old legends.
The Blacksmiths Gate
The old city of Bruges used to be walled and have town gates for entry. Today one of the most fascinating surviving town gates is Blacksmiths Gate. What makes this gate so unique is the human skull that adorns the Yellow brick facade.
In reality, it is a replica of a skull that was placed there as a warning for traitors. Prominent citizens in the 1600s conspired against the city with the French and had their head chopped off and displayed. The remnants of the original skull are housed in the Archaeological Museum in Bruges.
Bruges Electric Scooter tour
How much fun does an electric scooter tour sound for a family travel vacation? Join a private tour on an electric scooter and experience Bruges from a different perspective. Give your feet a rest for a while on a guided tour while you zip around the city on a scooter.
Your guide will take you to the most important landmarks in the city of Bruges. Pass the beautiful townhouses and significant buildings of Market Square and much more on this family fun tour.
Self-Guided Urban Treasure Hunt Game in Bruges
A great activity for families on vacation in Bruges is the treasure hunt game. This game comes as a downloadable app that will guide you to different destinations in the city of Bruges. When you reach each point of the city you will have to solve puzzles and complete missions.
You will only succeed if you work together as a family. This is a great family bonding activity in Brugges. Book your Treasure Hunt Game in Bruges
Spend an afternoon at the local subtropical pool
Some days you just want to relax and have fun and what better place is there than a subtropical swimming paradise?
Take your teenagers to this swimming pool and they’ll have lots of fun. There are 3 large slides (a twin racer, a special effects one and one to use with a tube) and a white water course for the adventure seekers. But you can also enjoy the wave pool, the outdoor pool or the outdoor wellness. An entry ticket for the swimming pool is €11 (both for teens and adults). You can get to the pool on foot in about 35 minutes from Bruges’ train station. With public transport, it will take you about 20 minutes by bus nr. 25 (bus stop: Sint-Andries Jan Breydel).
Learn about the universe Cozmix
At Cozmix, the public observatory on the outskirts of Bruges, your teenager will love learning about the galaxy. There’s a powerful telescope in the Observatory Tower that allows you to see the sun, moon and planets from nearby, but there’s also a planetarium where experiences become interactive. You get to fly over Mars and through the rings of Saturn. There’s a planet-pathway and a dome with 7000 stars projected.
Cozmix is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and an entry ticket costs €6 for adults and €5 for youngsters < 17yo. You can reach the observatory by bicycle in about 25 minutes (from the station) or in 40 minutes (including a 20-min walk) by bus.
Most Instagramable spot in Bruges
Bruges is an amazing city, a photographers delight. The most popular location for an Instagram photo is Rozenhoedkaai. This is the perfect place for a selfie in summer or winter, morning or evening.
The location provides you with a picture of the canal splitting down either side of the buildings. If you get the sun right it will have an amazing reflection. Book an Instagramable spot of Bruges tour
For older teens visiting Bruges
The legal drinking age in Belgium for teens drinking beer and wine is 16 years of age. Bruges is a city known for its beer and beer tours. For this reason, we would be remiss not to mention this as an option for parents and older teens who like a beer. During the 15th century the city no less than 54 breweries within its walls. Today Bruges has 3 working Breweries, Bourgogne des Flandres, De Halve Maan and Fort Lapin. There is a huge amount of tours that include beer and beer tasting. Some tours will include a city walk and beer tasting, food tours with beer tastings and more. You can browse beer-related tours here.
Escape rooms in Bruges for teens
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Bruges with teenagers.
Amazing Escape: you can choose between two different rooms, Mission Michelangelo and Upside Down. I’m Mission Michelangelo, you need to find a stolen statue that the Nazis took during the war. In upside-down find your way out of a house where everything is upside down
Watching a movie in Bruges
Most teenagers love going to the movies and what better place to do so than in a strange country. You can see the latest blockbusters at Kinepolis or pick one of the alternative European, Asian or Latin American ones at Cinema Lumière.
Pin Bowling in Bruges with teenagers
Nothing like a good bit of family competition to get everyone going. 10 pin bowling in Bruges is a great family activity for all. You will find bowling alleys all over the city for your family to have some fun at. Bowling can make Bruges for young travellers fun.
Bowl Inn: The Bowl Inn features 10 pin blowling, food and bevarge choices.
Address: Koning Leopold III Laan 68, 8200 Bruges
Bike riding in Bruges
Bruges bike riding is a popular family activity when travelling with teenagers. Bike riding allows you to experience your location either in town or out in the surrounding areas. You will find bike tours are the best way to go if you want to get an up-close and personal experience of the city. You will either have a guide to point out all the important attractions or a map to follow.
The bike tours will take you on a Bruges family vacation 2 wheeled adventure. Alternatively, you can find locations that hire bikes such as Fietsen Populier This allows you to visit lovely villages such as Damme and Lissewege on your own. Plan a Bruges bike tour today.
Shopping in Bruges
The main shopping area in the city of Bruges is located between t’Zand and the Market Square. You will find big brand international chain stores located on Steenstraat. There is a regular Saturday market on t’Zand square while the Folklore Market runs Saturday, Sunday and holiday, and every Friday from June until September. From 10 AM to 6 PM. It should not be too hard to find souvenirs in Bruges, the city is famous for beer, chocolate and lace. You will find these items selling all over the city.
Day trips from Bruges
When you travel with teenagers doing day trip with them is pretty easy and there are so mnay day trips from Bruges. Below we have some of the best day trips from Bruges with teenagers for you to consider during your family holiday in Bruges.
Ypres and surroundings WW1 sites
Just 45 minutes to the South of Bruges, you can find the endless fields of De Westhoek, one of the biggest battlefields of WWI. When you take a day trip to Ypres and the surrounding villages, you’ll learn all about the Great War. There are many things to do in Ypres including the famous Flanders Fields Museum, the Tyne Cot Memorial, the daily Last Post ceremony and the trenches of Hill 62.
The museum has recently been renovated and is now an interactive experience where you are assigned the identity of a soldier. If you’re visiting Bruges with teenagers, adding a portion of WWI history to the schedule is a must! There are guided excursions possible from Bruges, or you can just go by yourself (it’s probably best by car because many of the sights are located around Ypres rather than in the centre).
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium. Brussels is a new city by European standards. When it became the capital in the late 18th century many buildings in the old town were destroyed to make way for brand new ministries, palaces, schools, army barracks and office blocks.
Most attractions in Brussels are fairly close together, within easy walking distance of each other. Popular attractions include the Atomium, Basilique du Sacré Coeur, Mini-Europe, Belgian Comic Strip Center, Autoworld, Marché du Midi – Zuidmarkt and much more
ZWIN Nature Park
Zwin Nature Park is an interactive park where visitors get to learn about local and migratory birds. This natural reserve is situated on the border of the Belgian/Dutch coastline and is therefore perfect to combine with a day at the beach (either in Knokke (BE) or in Cadzand (NL)).
There are two indoor learning points. In the Exhibition, you go on a journey with one of the park’s 10 migratory birds (you get assigned one at the entrance) and you’ll learn exactly how to fly in the simulator
The Observation Centre allows you clear views over the Zwin Plain. There are lots to see outdoors as well. Check out the Cabin Trail where you can head into several huts all focusing on a different theme such as feeding, ringing, stories etc.
Where to eat in Bruges with teens
Bruges is a world-renowned city and as such, offers a great diversity in restaurants and tea-rooms. You can pick just about any cuisine you would like, from Belgian, over Asian to Turkish and Lebanese. When you’re in town, something you shouldn’t miss is eating ice cream at Gelataria Da Vinci.
Also, make sure to check out Grand-Café De Republiek at least once. This restaurant (and shop) connected to Cinema Lumière serves lunch, tapas, diner and is also a late-night pub. It’s the cultural hotspot of the city, so you’ll get a creative boost every time you step inside.
Ultimately, for great Belgian food, head over to Bistro ‘t Zwarte Huis. This restaurants serves great food and has a lively music scene for dining on your family break in Brugges
Do I need travel insurance in Belgium?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic family holiday in Bruges from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance
Essential tips for Bruges with teens
You can call 112 at any time which is the emergency number in Belgium
For Belgium, there are two associated plug types, types C and E. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and plug type E is the plug that has two round pins. You can buy an adaptor at Amazon before you leave home
English and French is widely spoken in Belgium
Tap water in Belgium is completely safe to drink. In some cases, it is even healthier than mineral water from bottles you buy in the shop
Tipping is not common in Belgium. Restaurant, taxi and hairdresser bills include the service charge
Where to stay in Bruges
At the top of the article, we suggested some accommodation choices. If you are looking for a wider variety of choices please find below an interactive map from Booking.com for you to find your perfect stay for your Bruges vacay.
Weather in Bruges
The best time to visit Bruges is from June to August when the weather is mild. During the month of June, July and August you are most likely to experience good weather with average temperatures sitting between 20 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celcius. The coldest month is February with an average maximum temperature of 6°C
This article was written in conjunction with Babs from Next Stop Belgium for us here at Wyld Family Travel. We hope this article has you inspired to visit Bruges with teenagers. There are so many things to do in Bruges with teenagers that will have you entertained for your family stay in Bruges. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Belgium click through to our Belgium Destination Guide page for more brilliant family travel inspiration.
Travel with teenagers and tweens. Travelling with older kids has just as many issues as travelling with younger kids. Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family vacation inspiration.
More travel inspiration for your trip to Europe
Mark WyldAuthor Bio:
Father, husband, traveller and chief destination manager here at Wyld Family Travel. When Mark is not talking travel or planning travel you will find him working in disability support. Mark is a family travel advocate having travelled to over 45 countries with his kids from 10 months old, through to their teenage years. You will find his work here and on other popular websites.