Your club is playing Club Brugge
and you’ve never been to the city before – not a problem. The Culture Trip
has a fantastic little selection of things to keep you occupied if you want to make a day of it in Bruges.
Built in 1975, the stadium was named the Olympiastadion, but given it was given a Flemish name so it would qualify for subsidies from the Flanders government. It was then named after Jan Breydel, a folk hero from the 14th century.
The stadium is situated just west of Bruges, about 3.5 kilometres from the historic city centre and main railway station. Fans can get from this station to the stadium in about 15 minutes by bus.
Bistro, Belgian, European, Northern European, $$$
A good sport for lunch, with great food, huge portions and friendly staff. Ticking every possible box is this brilliant spot
, serving up fantastic local grub. You can go for steak, burgers, or on weekdays they do a a great set menu lunch (a soup, main course and coffee for less than €15), but for a real taste of Belgium definitely have the Carbonnade Flamande
(local meat stew). Situated in a quieter part of Bruges, you’ll be away from the crowd and can have drinks if you’re waiting for a table, then head closer to the stadium afterward.
Craft Ale Bar, Pub, Belgian, European, $$$
Hidden away on a small side street, this tavern is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. The tavern itself is fairly small, but there is a separate bar upstairs that can accommodate far more. The house beer isn’t sold anywhere else in the world and weighs in at a hefty 11% ABV, so more than just a pregame nerve settler. The brewers themselves describe it as
“a unique top-fermented beer, a strapping blonde with a sweet and slight bitter aftertaste.” If beer with alcoholic content comparable to a German Riesling isn’t your tipple, then there are plenty of other beers (in excess of 120) on offer, as well as wines and spirits also. If you’ve come for a gin and tonic then perhaps give this hoppy nirvana a miss.
THE CHOCOLATE LINE
Patisserie, Belgian, $$$
Whether it is to indulge, to bring something back home or simply to gawk, The Chocolate Line offers treats that can be held up against the best in the world. The chocolate
can be fairly classic, adventurous (yuzu, bacon and wasabi flavours can be found) or unlike anything else around – you can catapult a small cocoa-herb mix
directly into the nose or opt for chocolate lip balm. This isn’t a fad or a gimmick though, this is a world-class establishment, 20 years in the making. Situated in the historic centre of the city, this is a quick, easy treat not to be missed.
DE HALVE MAAN BREWERY
Craft Ale Bar, Belgian, $$$
This family run business is a tavern, brewery, tour and museum all rolled into one. Tours are organised daily between 11 am and 4 pm, in Dutch, French and English, last around 45 minutes and cost €8.50. The brewery is famous for two brands of beer in particular, Straffe Hendrik and Bruges Zot. The beers are so popular, in fact, that they are currently building a pipe
to take beer under the city to reduce the amount of lorries going through the streets of Bruges. Now that’s commitment, to the city and to the beer.