Give in to the romance of city breaks to Bruges, a town washed by canals and scattered with Gothic spires...
Bruges is the capital of the Flemish province of West Flanders, in the north-western corner of Belgium. Sharply pitched brick townhouses and arched bridges line the slow-moving canals of Bruges. The Belgian city's medieval charms centre on the Markt, a square ablaze with brilliantly coloured banners. You can see Bruges's centuries-old streets and canals fan outwards from atop the 13th-century Bell Tower.
From the Belfry it's easy to understand the allure of Bruges. It's a compact city, so getting around on foot (or in a carriage) is easy. From the heights of the Belfry look out for glassy lakes, pockets of green and a jigsaw puzzle of canals and streets - where time-worn buildings house museums, bars, restaurants and shops that invite visitors in for a taste of chocolate, a swig of Belgian beer or a feel of the intricate and locally made lace.
In summer, tables and chairs dot market squares and invite tourists to take the weight off their feet, have a bite of lunch and bask in the sunshine. In winter, Bruges is transformed into a frosty wonderland, replete with ice-skating rinks, festive markets and steaming mugs of drinks that warm the extremities.
It's easy to get here and enjoy a Bruges city break. Flights into Ostend-Bruges International Airport take a little over an hour from most UK airports. Alternatively, you could catch a ferry to the nearby coast or use the Eurostar to get to Brussels before completing the journey by rail into Bruges.
Hotels in Bruges are of a good standard though the city can get very busy so it's advisable to secure accommodation well in advance of your trip.
It's easy to find great-value short breaks to Bruges. Simply use the price-comparison service on TravelSupermarket to check out the deals and to book your cheap break.
Visitors to Bruges book short breaks for travel throughout the year, whatever the weather...
It's not far from Britain, so it's no surprise that the climate in Bruges is similar to UK averages: rainfall can be expected at any time, winters are chilly, spring and autumn changeable, and summer sees warm days, rain showers and variable cloud cover.
Pack sunscreen and a waterproof jacket for travel in summer and wear layers in winter - easy to strip down when you find a warm bar of a bracing afternoon.
This fairy-tale city for every season is magical at any time. Visit during these annual events to make your break truly unforgettable...
Brugs Bierfestival; February: Belgium is as famous for its beer as it is for its chocolate and you can sample some of the country's finest when you attend this annual event.
Klinkers; July-August: Long summer days mean only one thing in Bruges... Klinkers. Mostly free performances by comedians, musicians and artists whirl around a lively cultural programme. It's a great time of the year to be in Bruges.
Christmas; November-January: Be utterly spellbound by Bruges at Christmas. The festive stalls of the Christmas Market are complemented by ice-skating sessions and the fantastic Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in Stationsplein.
City breaks in Bruges will never go out of style, not with such a lovely menu of tempting things to see and do...
Romance: Relax over steamed mussels and frothy Belgian beer at canal-side cafés. Afterwards, get lost in a maze of cobbled streets, and indulge in hand-dipped chocolates.
Families: Take the family on a narrated boat tour through Bruges's waterways. Even the most reluctant history student will enjoy sailing past picture-perfect medieval houses and under pretty stone bridges.
Shopping: Bruges's residents keep alive the Belgian tradition of lace tatting - twisting thread into impossibly intricate patterns at the Kantcentrum Lace Centre. Once you've checked out the craftsmanship, you can buy pieces to take home.