Let me confess to you a little soft spot. For me personally, Bruges is the most romantic town in Europe! It just can’t compete with Paris or Venice. This opinion may be due to the fact that I like small towns which are still not too crowded.
Even though tourism in Bruges is growing with every season, you’ll still find many picturesque corners that invite you to sit down and forget about time. And take photographs of Bruges’ most beautiful squares and locations.
Let me take you on a photographic journey along with Bruges most photogenic and scenic places.
During the late springs and summer months, Bruges can get extremely crowded. Indeed, some locals are already complaining about “overtourism”.
In order to avoid the crowds, I recommend visiting during autumn and winter. Even though you may risk that the weather may not be the best, the mists will give the town a very mysterious touch.
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Why do photography in Bruges?
My favorite moment to go on photography tours in Bruges is during the night.
The crowds are gone or are enjoying a delicious Flemish dish and you’ll have the town with its hidden corners for your own. Indeed, the warm light tremendously enhances the enchantment of Bruges.
Any season makes Bruges a great setting for photography tours. Indeed, the town seems to change with every season. Winters cover the old houses with a white blanket and during spring, thousands of flowers are blooming in Bruges’ numerous parks and balconies.
As I love to showcase my photographic work on Instagram, I’d like to share with you some of Bruges’ most Instagram-worthy places.
For this post, I didn’t follow a certain route or previously checked the spots I wanted to visit. I just wandered through the picturesque streets of Bruges and tried to capture its beauty as much as possible.
On top, photography tours are for me yet another form of traveling slow and to pay attention to the hidden details of a destination.
I attach you a map with all the mentioned locations at the end of the post. Discover here a selection with the best things to do in Bruges.
If you only have 1 day in Bruges, make sure to check out my itinerary on things to do in Bruges in 1 day.
1. Begijnhof (Beguinage)
The Begijnhof (Beguinage) is my favourite place in Bruges to shoot photos. Despite figuring on every tourist itinerary, it still has this serene and quiet atmosphere.
The former convent is indeed an oasis of peace and it’s the perfect place to stroll around. It used to be inhabited by the emancipated, but living in a spare and pious lifestyle.
In spring, hundreds of flowers, mostly daffodils, are popping up in the convent garden and will add an additional touch of color to the place.
Please, consider that the Begijnhof (Beguinage) is a place of worship, and do not walk on the flowers!
2. Minnewater (Lake of Love)
The Minnewater (Lake of Love) is located next to the Begijnhof (Beguinage). It’s the perfect place to get lost with your beloved one and an utterly romantic location. The Sashuis and the cute little restaurant next to the lake of Minnewater (Lake of Love) are the perfect setting for a photo shoot.
It is said that if you walk over the lake bridge with your partner, you’ll be in love forever.
It may be highly probable that you’re not alone as hundreds of swans are either having a nap or swimming around. And is there anything more romantic than 2 swans swimming below one of Bruges’ scenic bridges?
The Rozenhoedkaai is the favorite place for photography lovers. Here, any photo will be postcard-perfect! It is probably also one of the most photographed places in Bruges.
During the day, the place may be extremely crowded but once night falls, the Rozenhoedkaai is one of Bruges’ most beautiful spots. The nocturnal light enhances the beauty of this emblematic place.
If you want to get a more secluded place to shoot this location at night, I recommend going to the Hotel Duc De Bourgogne *** as it is one of the best places to stay in Bruges.
This viewpoint is also included in the walking tour with a local from Bruges.
4. Marktplaats (Marketplace) – Belfort (Belfry)
Every Bruges visitor will pass along the bustling Marktplaats (Marketplace) of Bruges. It’s the nerve centre where all the streets of Bruges come together.
You’ll be spoilt for photo motives: the colorful house fronts, the impressive Belfort (Belfry), the towering statue in the center of the Marktplaats (Marketplace), the intricate front of the provincial court, etc.
I also recommend taking the challenge and climb the stairs of the Belfort (Belfry) as you’ll have the best panoramic view over the lovely town of Bruges and its numerous towers.
Did you know that Bruges is also a heaven for foodies? Discover the best chocolate and artisan beer in town with a Private Bruges Tour for Foodies.
5. Oud Sint-Jan
Oud Sint-Jan is a former hospital that was turned into an event and congress center. It’s quite secluded and not that easy to find. It’s the perfect place to escape the crowds for a while.
It also is a great location to rest and get some nice photographic perspectives on Bruges’ most emblematic churches such as the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady).
There’s a lovely magnolia tree, and I absolutely want to come back when it’s blooming in spring.
The Walplein is a cute little square located close to the Begijnhof (Beguinage). I liked it for its numerous terraces and being a relatively quiet place.
Indeed, there are not so many crowds and I loved absorbing the vibes while having a coffee in the first spring sunshine. Eventually, a horse carriage would walk past.
In spring and summer, the trees provide lovely shade on the terraces. The square hosts Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan (the last operating brewery in the city center), and a lovely hat shop. Discover more of Bruges’ beer culture with the BeerWalk Bruges.
7. Jan Van Eyckplein (Jan Van Eyck Square)
The Jan Van Eyckplein (Jan Van Eyck Square) is located at the intersection of the Academiestraat, the Spiegelrei and the Spanjaardstraat.
The statue of the renowned painter Jan Van Eyck majestically overlooks what formerly was the harbor of Bruges. The houses located on the square used to belong to rich traders and porters.
Nowadays, it became a coveted photo motive with its scenic bridges and house fronts.
One can still intuit the wealth of these people when gazing at the beautiful house fronts.
The atmosphere of the Jan Van Eyckplein (Jan Van Eyck Square) is simply captivating and has several places to shoot great photographs. Sunset and sunrise are the best moments to photograph this beautiful place.
8. Burgplein (Burg Square)
The Burgplein (Burg Square) is full of history and holds probably one of the most beautiful buildings of the city: the gothic Stadhuis (City Hall).
The square used to be the base of the Graven van Vlaanderen (Counts of Flandres) and thus it’s the epicenter of the religious and political power.
Other impressive buildings of the Burgplein (Burg Square) are the Brugse Vrije (Liberty of Bruges) and the Heilig-Bloedbasiliek (Basilica of the Holy Blood). Even though it is the smallest building of the square, it has the most intriguing history.
Apart from the beautiful interior of the Heilig-Bloedbasiliek (Basilica of the Holy Blood), the relic of cloth with the blood of Jesus attracts hundreds of visitors every day.
The Brugse Vrije (Liberty of Bruges) and the gothic Stadhuis (City Hall) are separated by a narrow passage that links the Burgplein (Burg Square) to the old fish market. This is yet another great motive for your photographs from Bruges.
No wonder that the town is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium.
9. Windmolens (Bruges windmills)
The windmolens (windmills) are located in the outskirts of the towns. It’s the perfect spot to get away from the crowds and to enjoy a lovely sunset above the town of Bruges. Indeed, the view above Bruges’ numerous towers and picturesque houses is easy to fall in love with.
The windmolens (windmills) as the skyline of Bruges are ideal motives for your photographs.
There used to be more than 20 windmills in the ramparts of Bruges but nowadays, only 4 are left between the Kruispoort and the Dampoort.
During the spring and summer months, the grass surrounding the windmolens (windmills) is the perfect place to have a picnic or a drink with friends.
10. Bonifaciusbrug (Bonifacius Bridge)
The cute tiny Bonifaciusbrug (Bonifacius Bridge) is probably the cutest of Bruges’ countless bridges. It is located at the Arents Courtyard, another perfect place to escape the crowds of Bruges’ busier streets.
The area will spoil you with photogenic scenes: the impressive Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady), the horse-drawn carriages, the gothic facade of the Gruuthuse Hof,…
Even though the Bonifaciusbrug (Bonifacius Bridge) looks very old, it actually only dates back to 1910. But this doesn’t prevent that it remains one of Bruges’ most scenic locations.
Taking so many photographs will make you hungry, thus I recommend tasting some traditional Flemish meals at Place de Bruges.
Bruges is also a great day trip from Brussels.
Map of Photo Places in Bruges
Have you visited Bruges? What was your favorite place or photo location? I can’t wait to hear about it in the comment section.
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll snap tons of photos and I love to take my GoPro in order to shoot even in extreme situations.
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals when traveling to warm countries. Consider trying some of these eco-friendly vegan hiking boots.
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