We were greeted by the friendly staff at Hull as we boarded the Pride of Bruges, P&O ferry on the overnight sailing to Zeebrugge. The check in process was very quick, we were given our cabins keys, whilst the children were given balloons by a Pirate entertainer.
We stayed in an inside cabin with pull down bunk beds, there is an option to upgrade to outside cabin which gives you a little more space and sea view.
There are two options to eat on board – The Kitchen ,a buffet style restaurant or The Brasserie, a la carte restaurant. We opted for the The Brasserie for our evening meal, we were really impressed with the food and service. The prices were reasonable a starter costs around £5 , main courses around £15 and a desert for £4.50. The Children’s menu was also really good value. After dinner we headed to the bar area to watch the Children’s entertainment show which was followed by live music.
After a comfortable night’s sleep, we disembarked in Zeebrugge where a coach was waiting to take us into Bruges for the day. The journey only takes about 30 minutes.
One of the best ways to see Bruges is from the water, so we hopped on board the canal boat tour of the city. We really enjoyed the half hour tour, the guide was very informative and there was lots of beautiful architecture to admire. Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact, making it one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe.
We headed down the cobbled streets lined with little chocolate shops, bars and cafes to the Choco Story, Chocolate Museum – a must for Chocolate Lovers.
Tickets were very reasonable, we paid 8 Euros per child and 13 Euros per adult for a combined ticket with entrance to the Friet Museum included. The aroma of chocolate fills the air as you walk around the museum. The children were given a fun quiz to complete on the way round with a chocolate prize at the end. The Museum has alot of information on the history of chocolate and also includes a chocolate making demonstration with lots of free samples of the famous Belgian chocolate to try!
The Friet Museum is the first and only museum dedicated to potato fries, I was surprised to find out that they actually originate from Belgium! The children really enjoyed it, there are lots of fun quizzes for them to take part in and we also got to sample the famous French fries in the cafe!
We stopped for a drink, of course to sample the famous Belgian beer, and ice-cream at a lovely cafe on Markt Square (Market Square).
The Square is surrounded by the most striking buildings which includes what is perhaps the most beautiful building in Bruges, the Gothic Town Hall or Stadhuis, dating from 1376, also the Belfry of Bruges a medieval bell tower in the centre. I was not daring enough to climb the 366 steps to the top, but I can imagine the views from the top would be amazing. There are lots of horse drawn carts in the square ready to take you on a tour around the city, they cost around 50 Euros for a 30 minute tour. Bruges has so many art galleries and museums we did not have enough time in the one day to see them all!
At the end of a busy sightseeing day , we made our way back the coach to be taken back to Zeebrugge port to board the ferry for the overnight sailing back to Hull.
There is still so much more to see in Bruges that we couldn’t fit into one day, we would definitely like to return maybe at Christmas time to enjoy the famous Christmas Markets Bruges has to offer!