giving bruges a chance

I had been to Bruges two times, but I was never that impressed by the city. I didn’t quite understand the attraction to it. While many claim that it is there favorite place in Belgium, mine is Ghent.


In Ghent last year

I love Ghent. I find it to be very beautiful with its canals, architecture, and the general atmosphere.

However, there was one major difference in my visits to both cities. Each time I went to Bruges, it was cold and rainy where as the times I visited Ghent, it was sunny and pleasant (even in winter).

It’s not that I didn’t like Bruges – I did find it charming – but I just liked the feel of Ghent more. Every time I state that to my friends, they find that rather surprising having adored Bruges themselves.

To give Bruges a fair chance, I’ve been wanting to visit it again on a beautiful day. The opportunity finally presented itself a few weeks ago, and we went along with a few friends.

We had a lovely day wandering the city and its canals, enjoying a few Belgian beers, and munching on some delicious Belgian treats.

The gorgeous day definitely left me with a better impression of Bruges, but I still prefer Ghent. Maybe it’s because I find it less touristy. Or maybe the fact that it’s a university town keeps the vibe there feeling young. I’m not really sure. I just like spending time there.

almostbilingue_bruges elliot

Elliot checking out a canal

almostbilingue_bruges elliot

Elliot checking out a canal


almostbilingue_bruges waffle

Caramel covered waffle – yum!

Have your first impressions of a place ever been wrong?


8 thoughts on “giving bruges a chance

  1. I like Bruges, but there are way too many tourists. I’ll go in winter, after Christmas, next time (as I did on my first trip, which was beautiful and snowy and not too crowded.) Ghent is a lovely place.


    • The other times I went were for the Christmas market (in 2007) and in February (in 2011). No matter when, there were always so so many tourists. At least it was pretty with no rain!


  2. When it comes to places, my first impression usually lasts. For instance, I have never felt comfortable in Montreal but I loved Toronto at first sight. For other places, I’m neutral, it depends what I make of them (Ottawa was like that for me at first).

    I always hear about Bruges and never Ghent!


    • There are a few places that I’ve visited that I absolutely did not really like and don’t really think my first impression will change. But thinking of these places, maybe I would feel differently if I knew someone who lived there and could show me the non touristy areas.


  3. I had a horrible time in Marseille the first time I went, but I gave it a second chance years later and it wasn’t so bad. Still not one of my very favorite cities, but the ocean views are nice. I haven’t been to Ghent but it sounds lovely! That waffle looks delicious.


  4. Pingback: Bruges, Belgium | As Told By Dana

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