Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges is the most enchanting city in Belgium. Its medieval historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and perfect for a quick city trip. Small alleyways, canals in the shade of willow trees, plus old pubs and cafes everywhere, make this a beautiful destination. Here we explore 10 of the most feel-good bars in Bruges.
Probably the city’s most famous pub, and many say the best one too, visiting ‘t Poatersgat is practically mandatory when in Bruges. Part of its charm comes from the fact that it is hidden in the basement of a historic building; the other part has more to do with the candlelight, the cozy sitting area, the great music and the many, many beers.
Address: 82 Vlamingstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
Salon Lapin is a fancy lounge and apero bar in a charming little castle along the city’s medieval rampart. In a quiet location, far from the many tourists’ noise and clamour, in a green surrounding, this bar is a pleasant place to enjoy the fantastic cocktails and atmosphere.
Opening Hours: 5pm – 3am
Watch out for: Mojito and Caipirinha
Address: 25 Fort Lapin, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 4 76 90 19 01
Café Rose Red
With a whopping 200 beers at your service and specialising in the wonderful Trappist beer, this cheery cafe is a nirvana for beer-lovers from all over the world. A stone’s throw away from the market, in a small quiet alley, Café Rose Red is a great place to head after a busy day. The pleasant patio and terrace outside are perfect for a romantic evening in Belgium’s most enchanting city.
Address: 16 Cordoeaniersstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 033 90 51
The Gulliver Tree
The Gulliver Tree is a tea and coffeehouse serving delicious desserts as well as beverages, and is a hidden gem in Bruges’ winding alleyways. The creamy white walls, comfy sofas and carpets on the wooden floors create an instant Scandinavian ambiance, and makes visitors feel at home from the moment they walk through the door.
Address: 4 Cordoeaniersstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 073 15 16
Comptoir des Arts
This basement pub in the center of Bruges is known for its special selection of whiskeys and its wide array of 90 different beers. As if that isn’t enough, there are regular live performances of jazz, blues & soul bands, stand-up comedy try-outs and monthly art exhibitions. And all of that accompanied by a blazing fire, creating the delightful cosy atmosphere – perfect for a chilly winter’s evening.
Address: 53 Vlamingstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 4 94 38 79 61
Being the oldest tavern in Bruges, Café Vlissinghe has been established since 1515. Legend has it that Peter Paul Rubens paid for his beer with paintings here, and that emperor Charlemagne had a stormy romance with the innkeeper’s wife. One thing is sure: history buffs will enjoy their time here.
Address: 2 Blekersstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 034 37 37
Li O Lait
Li O Lait is all about coffee, and a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon with a good book, to warm your kids’ freezing hands after snowball fights or to gossip and chatter with your friends. And in summer, Li O Lait’s iced coffees are a delight. Nice little extra: the paintings on the walls are those of painter Roger Gobron, who lived and worked in that same house from 1899-1985. Nostalgia and melancholy are never far away, but above all this coffee bar is a feel-good place.
Address: 30 Dweerstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 070 85 70
Being a trendy wine bar with a warm atmosphere, Vino Vino is popular with both locals and tourists. Its original selection of quality yet affordable wines and gins go together perfectly with the delicious tapas. The 1960s and 1970s are evoked through the decor, and the blues music sets the conversational tone.
Address: 15 Grauwerkersstraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 4 86 69 66 58
Those who are looking for a taste of the real Bruges should try ’t Stokershuis. This smaller-than-small pub – it only has 5 tables so make sure you’re the first there – is known throughout the whole of Bruges for its homemade spaghetti and lasagna. There is no better way to end a tiring day than with a refreshing beer and a delicious spaghetti Bolognese.
Address: 7 Langestraat, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 0 33 55 88
Ma Rica RoKK
Established 25 years ago, Ma Rica RoKK is the place to go for after-college and after-work drinks. Located on one of the largest and prettiest terraces in Bruges, it is also perfect for a delicious breakfast while reading the newspaper. Every Bruges native has their own hilarious story of memorable nights and joyful evenings at Ma Rica Rokk, so head here to create your own.
Address: 6 ‘t Zand, 8000 Bruges, Belgium, +32 5 033 24 34
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