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West Flanders

Churches & Cathedrals

Our most recommended West Flanders Churches & Cathedrals

From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

1. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

Discover 2 of Flanders’ most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges' Old Town, and the Lake of Love. Ghent’s medieval architecture and vibrant atmosphere will impress you as you visit Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Mystic Lamb painting (option), and pass by the Castle of the Counts of Flanders the picturesque medieval harbor Graslei and much more. In Bruges, you will enjoy the peaceful Lake of Love and the old beguinage. With your guide, discover the city and its cobbled streets on foot and you also have the option to enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals.

Bruges: Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English

2. Bruges: Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English

Depart the Belgian capital in the morning and transfer to the charming town of Bruges. Upon arrival, see why the entire historic center of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go to the Lake of Love to see a calm oasis in the heart of the city. Marvel at the 13th-century Begijnhof,  covered in a carpet of daffodils in the spring. Continue to the quiet, paved square of Walplein, and stroll down the narrow Stoofstraat. See sights such as the 800-year-old St. John’s Hospital, and the imposing façade of the Church of Our Lady. Learn the history of the opulent palace of Gruuthuse, and walk alongside the banks of the Dijver Canal. Other highlights include the charming canal-side houses of the Rozenhoedkaai, the tiny square of the Huidenvettersplein, and the site of the 1st count’s castle on Castle Square.  Then, enjoy 2 free hours for lunch and explore the city as you please. Taste some of the exclusive chocolates of Bruges and pop into some of the legendary lace shops. Transfer back to Brussels, with an approximate 6:00 PM arrival time.

From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges in Spanish or English

3. From Amsterdam: Day Trip to Bruges in Spanish or English

From Amsterdam you will go to Bruges by bus. During the tour you will have an introduction to the history of Belgium and cities near the route like Utrecht and Breda, both connected with Spanish history. This journey takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The city of Bruges was declared a World Heritage City in 2000 and is also known as the Venice of the North. Enjoy a guided tour and visit the most attractive and interesting places of this city. Begin at the Minnewater or Lake of Love. During the tour, see important places of the city such as the Markt Square dominated by the Belfry, the Brug Square and Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady where you can appreciate one of Michelangelo's masterpieces "The Madonna of Bruges," among others. At the end of the guided tour, the guide will indicate a collection point and time to return to the bus, after free time in the city. Have free time to eat, take a walk, or go shopping. Later, you will return to the starting point of this excursion, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.

From Brussels: Day Trip to Bruges by Train

4. From Brussels: Day Trip to Bruges by Train

Travel to the medieval city of Bruges by train and take a 2.5-hour walking tour with an English-speaking guide on arrival. Marvel at the Minnewater that provides water to the canals and see the historical women-only convent of the Beguinage. Visit the city's only working brewery at De Halve Maan and get the chance to look inside the Hans Memling museum at the 12th-century Hospital of St. John. See one of the tallest brickwork towers in the world at the Church of Our Lady, where Michelangelo’s statue of the Madonna with Child can be found in the transept. Get a feel for everyday life at the historic Vis Markt (Fish Market) and look at the beautiful guildhalls on Tanners’ Square. Visit the Groeningemuseum and find one of Belgium's most famous Gothic buildings on the Markt (Market Square). Get 3 hours of free time to explore on your own. Take an optional canal cruise to appreciate the city from a different perspective before the train journey back to Brussels.

Bruges Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

5. Bruges Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

You’ll be welcomed by your guide at an agreed central Bruges location to begin your private tour that’s priced for up to 20 persons. During the 2-hour guided tour of Bruges’s UNESCO-listed historic center, you'll take in the most important attractions of the city. The following is a sample itinerary, departing from ‘t Zand Square, at the Concert Hall: Head along the main shopping street in the direction of the Market Square. Along the way you'll pay a visit to the St. Savior Cathedral. Visit the Market Place with the imposing 83-meter-tall belfry and continue to Jan Van Eyck Square, once the center of Hanseatic Bruges. From the 13th to the 15th century this area was the economic and financial hub of Flanders. See the impressive houses that are a reminder of the leading role Bruges played as a commercial center in those days. You will pass the city theater, the Saaihalle (1399), Huis ter Beurze (the first stock exchange), and the Toll House. A little further along you'll arrive at the Burg, one of the most charming squares in town. See the stunning Gothic City Hall, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Liberty of Bruges, once the city’s courthouse, and today the Municipal Archives. Walk through the Fish Market, Tanners Square and the very picturesque Dijver. Pass St. Mary’s Church and a little farther on, you’ll make a brief stop at St. John’s Hospital (one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe). The walk ends at the Minnewater and the Princely Béguinage.

From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

6. From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

Discover the highlights of Bruges and Ghent, Belgium's most attractive cities, with round trip by train from Brussels. Tour two of the most fascinating medieval cities in Europe with an English/Spanish or French-speaking guide on a 10-hour guided day trip. Depart from the Grand Place at 09:30 only on Sunday. Upon arrival at the central station of Bruges, begin with a 2.5-hour walking tour and 2-hours of free time for eating, souvenirs and a boat trip. Scheduled return to Brussels will be at 18:00 and arrival at 19:00 with your guide. Program in Bruges: In the ancient city wall park, the ‘Lake of Love’ is one of the main water reservoirs nourishing the canal system of the Venice of the North. Visit the Beguinage, one of the best-preserved examples of medieval gated communities in which only women could live. Brewery ‘De Halve Maan’ is the only brewery still operating in the city center. Afterwards, Old St. John’s Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe, where you can appreciate 800 years of European architecture, learn about its history and visit the museum of Hans Memling (optional). Head on to Our Lady of Bruges is one of the oldest churches in the city. Admire its impressive tower that is still one of the tallest brickwork towers in the world, and take a look to its art treasures, including Michelangelo’s Madonna with the Child (optional). Stop by the VisMarkt (fishmarket) and the Tanners’ Square, two of the oldest squares in Bruges with their beautiful guildhalls and lovely cafés and restaurants. You will also visit Groeninge Museum, Burg Square and Markt Square, the 10th century city market that has been for a millennium the economic heart of Bruges. Admire its imposing guildhalls and its bellfort tower, which is one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Belgium. At the end, have an optional canal tour (8 EUR per person, pay while embarking on the boat), which is one of the best ways to see Bruges. Program in Ghent: Journey to the port city of Ghent, located at the scenic confluence of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers. Start your tour of the historic city at Saint Bavo Cathedral and admire the spectacular Gothic church and Baroque ornamentations. Step into the marble choir and private chapels, appreciate the painting of “Saint Bavo Enters the Convent at Ghent” by Rubens and the beauty of the Rococo pulpit. Look at the stunning frescoes of the Romanesque crypt. Then, opt to visit the altarpiece of "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers and admire one of the most important works of art from the Middle Ages for a small extra fee. Then, go to City Hall to see its extraordinary mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Continue to Market Hall to look at the Belfort Tower and covered market. Marvel at the nearby churches of Saint Nicholas, Saint James and Saint Michael, serving as reminders of Ghent’s medieval past. Proceed to the old port of Graslei for beautiful views of the river Leie and the old guildhalls. Then, head to the medieval castle of Gravensteen, where the counts of Flanders used to live. Explore the picturesque district of Patershol and see charming buildings of brick facades where restaurants and cafes offer the best of Flemish cuisine. Go to the 15th century Great Butchers' Hall to discover one of Europe's oldest meat markets.

Bruges: Private Guided Tour by Pedicab

7. Bruges: Private Guided Tour by Pedicab

Give your feet a rest and explore Bruges by pedicab. Meet your driver/guide on the Markt (Market Square) at the site of the old medieval market. Sit back and relax as you driver pedals you to all the main sites of interest. Enjoy picture-perfect views of the canals and medieval buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage old town. Listen to fascinating stories from the history of the city and chat about what it is like to live in Bruges today. Learn how the city grew from its humble beginnings as a coastal settlement to one of the great centers of trade in the 12th to 15th centuries. Venture off the tourist path and discover a few hidden locations known only to the locals. The specially designed bikes can comfortably seat up to 3 people and feature a canopy to keep you covered at all times. 

Bruges: 2.5-Hour Private Walking Tour

8. Bruges: 2.5-Hour Private Walking Tour

Discover Bruges, a growing tourist destination in Belgium, for the beautiful medieval town center still intact. Customize this private tour to your interests and comfort, such as walking, coach or driving. With the plethora of museums in Bruges, the highlights of museums and popular restaurants will be recommended to help you establish your visit in Bruges. See the old facades reflect in the canals and give Bruges its charm. Find out why the entire town center is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Admire beautiful buildings, stately churches, wandering canals and picturesque alleys. Enjoy a boat ride along the canal, and relax while seeing the sights. Purchase lunch and catch a boat ride during the break.  See the Lake of Love, the Beguinage, the Walplein with the de Halve Maan brewery, the St. John's Hospital with masterpieces by Hans Memling, the Church of Our Lady with Michelangelo's Madonna, the Gruuthuse Museum and the Dijver with the Groeninghe Museum, The Tanners' Sqaure, The Fish market, The Burgplein with the town hall, the Market Square with the Belfry, the Cloth Halle, the former post office and the guild houses along the way.

Ostend: Private 2-Hour Art and Architecture Walking Tour

9. Ostend: Private 2-Hour Art and Architecture Walking Tour

Learn about the history, art, and architecture of Ostend on a 2-hour private walking tour. Visit the main attractions and get an in-depth look at this “city by the sea” with a local expert guide. You can choose to be picked up at your centrally located Ostend hotel or meet your guide in front of the main entrance of the Casino Kursaal Ostend. This casino and concert venue is a highlight of 1950s architecture. Inside explore artwork by famous Belgian artists, including murals by Paul Delvaux, ceramics by Pierre Caille, and frescoes by Marc Mendelson. Walk toward the Wapenplein plaza in the city center and continue on to the James Ensor museum, located in the house where the famous Belgian painter lived in the first half of the 20th century. Walk along the dike and pass various modern artworks that were part of the official selection for the Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea, as well as more classical sculptures, such as the Seamen’s Memorial. You’ll also make a stop at the Vistrap, an open-air fish market. Visit the neo-Gothic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the main church of Ostend. Continue on to the marina to see the sailing ship the Mercator, which was built as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet and is now a floating museum. The final stop on the tour is the former post office, recognized as a great architectural achievement of the post-World War II period in Belgium and now serves as a cultural center.

Private Tour: Ghent and Bruges From Brussels Full Day

10. Private Tour: Ghent and Bruges From Brussels Full Day

Start the tour from your location in Brussels then head to Bruges, the famous so-called Venice of the North and a Unesco World Heritage site. Discover its canals and beautiful gothic buildings as your guide explains all about the most interesting places in the city center - such as the Belfrey tower. After lunch, continue on to Ghent. You will be able to see a marvellous altarpiece in the city's cathedral. Wander along the canals and see the Castle of the Counts of Flanders before you are returned back to Brussels.

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What people are saying about West Flanders

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 223 reviews

It was a very worthwhile tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and made the tour very enjoyable and charismatic. The only thing I would recommend is that you start using microphones and headphones so that the entire group can hear the information equally. There were times when I didn't listen well.

I loved this tour. Not only was it well organized, but our guide was also very nice and knowledgeable, and with a real sense of humor! I would definitely consider this kind of tour for next time.

It was incredible. A guide with a good sense of humor who keeps the whole day exciting, is a bonus. and we had that with Alvaro.

Very nice and good experience at the journey! The guide was really nice and excited about the trip!

Thank you to all the team responsible for the blue team Very informative and beautiful places