Evening Time in Bruges

One of our favourite things to do, wherever we go, is to stroll around in the evenings and after dark. No exception to that in Bruges, night-time was (almost) the best time for me. The day-tripper tourists had all gone, the streets were empty and exploring was such a pleasure.

08.03.48 - Bruges

08.03.49 - Bruges

Markt, the main square still bustled and its bars and restaurants were buzzing but less crowded than during the day. The surrounding streets though were so quiet and calm, we walked miles it seemed each evening along the deserted cobblestones.

08.03.51 - Bruges

A warmth and special glow descends over the city, it is beautifully lit but the evening sun also casts a special glow over all those fairytale buildings.

08.07.61 - Bruges by night

08.03.56 - Bruges

08.03.57 - Bruges

08.03.59 - Bruges

The canals were quiet too, boat traffic had ceased and the swans had the water to themselves.

08.07.63 - Bruges by night

08.07.64 - Bruges by night

We punctuated our wanderings with stops in different places to try out different Belgian beers – how could you not?

08.03.53 - Bruges

Some of my favourite memories of Bruges are wandering and enjoying the evening tranquility. A magical time to explore this magical city.

08.07.65 - Bruges by night

08.07.66 - Bruges by night

78 thoughts on “Evening Time in Bruges

  1. Wow….what a totally different vibe. It almost feels like a different place, deserted. And yet the beauty is still there. If you sit quietly you could probably sense history speaking to you. Strange that even locals don’t come out at night. Beautiful photos that capture this silent city.

  2. Man, this brings back the memories! Bruges is a truly beautiful place. I found the most amazing cookie shop and spent entirely too much money in there..but worth every cent I spent! πŸ˜€ Lovely photos πŸ™‚

  3. I agree with you, sometimes it’s just so lovely to see the light change after the sun sets and the difference in atmosphere… Lovely photos showing this. And it would be rude not to enjoy a Belgium beer… they are so strong!

    • I could never say no to a Belgian beer – like you say, that would be rude!! The city was just gorgeous after sunset, so quite and peaceful, quite the change to all the buzz and business of the day time.

  4. There has always been something magical about cities after dark! Whenever we are going to go “up” something to see a city view (Eiffel Tower, London Eye, Empire State Building, etc…) we always try to time it so that we can see darkness fall over the city from that vantage point. Then when we come down, it feels like we are entering a whole new city and we start exploring again.

  5. I Love at Evening’s Silent Tide
    by: William B. Tappan (1794-1849)

    I love at evening’s silent tide,
    When busy care has flown,
    In some sequestered dell to hide,
    And pensive, muse alone.

    ‘Tis then in solitude refined,
    Reflection feels its zest;
    ‘Tis then the contemplative mind
    With reason’s charm is blest.

    ‘Tis then the expanding soul ascends
    And roves in fields above,
    And the mysterious Essence blends
    With Uncreated Love.

    O Solitude! thy soothing charm
    Can conquer fell despair;
    Can sad affliction’s sting disarm,
    And banish every care.

    While folly’s votary hates thy shrine,
    And grandeur fears thy power–
    Still be thy rich enjoyments mine,
    To bless life’s fleeting hour.

  6. I love twilight and evening hours as well for exploring. Bruges is so charming during this time — like something out of a fairy tale πŸ™‚

    • Completely agree Melissa, it is gorgeous in the day time but really as if you’ve been transported to a fairytale at night, the evening light makes the buildings even more surreal and lovely.

  7. Early morning hours provide a different ambiance too. A different light, a different energy. Quieter than evenings (which are also my favorite), but lovely. We just got back from Prague, and the Charles Bridge at 7 am is exquisite! (By 10 am, the crowds arrive and the scene is entirely different.)

    • I love that time of day too, even out and about at home there is a lovely atmosphere and different feeling in the early morning. Good tip for Prague and the bridge too – feeling that I need to go there soon and I am sure once the crowds arrive the moment is somewhat lost.

  8. That was my favourite time too Joy! I thought Bruges was absolutely beautiful at night (we had a couple of nights there). I also thought the light with the setting sun over the old buildings was so pretty – it did cast a lovely glow over the town. I must have taken quite a few similar photos too so I’ve loved reminiscing with this post! Funnily enough I have some night photos taken in London which I was going to do for my next post – I think places are often at their most beautiful in the evenings! Hope you have an enjoyable weekend πŸ™‚

      • Magical is a good word to use Joy it captures the spirit of night time in a new place (or a familiar one). I’m just putting the finishing touches to this week’s post – I’ll publish it in the morning. I was going to go and watch the cricket on tv but after seeing the score think perhaps not! My dad will be very happy though! πŸ™‚

  9. Up until now my association with Bruges has been that Brendan Gleason/Colin Farrell movie “In Bruges” which, frankly, I didn’t care for. But sometimes, you unintentionally let a story color your impression of a place. Thank you for sharing a different perspective. πŸ™‚

    • I saw that movie years ago and didn’t care for it so much either – don’t remember too much about it. Don’t let it put you off Belgium though, it’s a gorgeous place with so much to see and do and then those beaches……

      • Noted. Thanks, Joy. Belgium is now on my “Travel To…” list. Especially as I read more of your posts. πŸ™‚

      • Ha ha, yes, the market. We are actually going to fly in to Brussels and make that our base. It should be fantastic. I’ll come back and let you know when I’ve posted the trip details and pictures!

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