Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sat September 12 2015

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | September 12, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Brugge, Belgium: Budget-Breaking Craft Beer Heaven and Glorious Gluttony

    Brugge, Belgium: Budget-Breaking Craft Beer Heaven and Glorious Gluttony

    PHOTO: Sometimes the best experiences are ones that veer off track. If it wasn’t for my Amsterdam mishap, I would have missed the incredible town of Brugge and their incredible food! (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Belgium, the land of craft beer, chocolate, mussels, fries and waffles. What more do you need in life?

    To be honest, I never intended to go to the tiny town of Brugge, but after a Couchsurfing host decided to cancel on me mid-way to Amsterdam, I was nearing Belgium by that point, flipped a coin and found myself happily in Brugge where I stayed for two days (which is all you need).

    It’s a quaint town with a lot of charm, some of the best fatty food I’ve ever ate and too cute to believe!

    Warning: It’s equally as expensive so plan accordingly.

    Cheapest Accommodation: Charlie Rockets (€18 a night for dorm)

    I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn, which is atrociously expensive because everything else was booked up. Brugge will hurt your wallet — even if you pinch your pennies, so choosing the cheapest accommodation is your best bet if you want to experience everything the town has to offer.


    • 24 Hour Reception/Security

    • Bar/Cafe/ Restaurant

    • Mini-Supermarket

    • Wi-Fi

    • Foosball/ Pool Table

    • Lockers

    • Luggage Storage

    • Outdoor Terrace                    

    Craft Beer Heaven:

    Being from North America, I will openly say that we have some of the best beers in the world (and yes, okay, I may be a bit of a beer snob). But for the first time in my 6 months on the road, regretfully drinking lager that should be dubbed “beer flavored water” I can FINALLY say I found a country that understands what it means to make a GOOD beer. It was expensive — yes, it blew my budget but I countered that by counting it as a meal. (Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?)

    • If budget is not an issue for you beer connoisseurs, check out the following bars: Beertje, Staminee De Garre and Bierbrasserie Cambrinus

    • If you’re on a budget, forget the bar, grab a basket and go to The Bottle Shop just steps away from the market square.

    Beers you NEED to try:

    • Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

    • Houblon Chouffe: Dobbelen IPA Tripel

    • Prearis Quadrocinno

    • Belgian Kriek: Cherry Beer

    For a list of top rated beers, visit: Beer Advocate's Belgium page 


    Real talk: Eat at every single one of these places. You’ll be over budget but you won’t care.

    • Best Waffle: Oyya

    • Best Ice Cream: Gelateria Da Vinci

    • Best Mussels: Poules Moules

    • Best Fries (aka: Frites): Chez Vincent

    • Best Chocolate: The Old Chocolate House

    Note: If you want to try the chocolate but don’t want to pay the prices, wander through the town and make use of all the free tasters at each shop!

    PHOTO: On my self-guided street food “tour” in one day, I managed to hit three of the five best places to eat! 


    • Chocolate: Confiserie De Clerck — €1.20/100g or Dumon (just off the Market) — €2.30/100g

    • Ice cream: Laurenzino

    • Meal: Medard Brasserie (€3 for big plate of spaghetti)

    Things To Do Besides Eating And Drinking:

    • Climb the bell tower on the Market (market square) — 366 stairs (€8).

    • Take a day trip to Ghent or Brussels.

    • Work off your glorious gluttony and rent a bike from Bruges Bike Rental to explore (€10 a day, €5 for 2 hours).

    • Hangout and digest in Begijnhof courtyard.

    • Wander though the town, taking in its charm.

    PHOTO: After trying to work-off my food-coma, I spent the afternoon wandering through the entire town of Brugge and found an abandoned theme park!

More Brugge, Belgium


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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