Just an hour away by train from where I'm staying in Brussels, Bruges is a perfectly preserved medieval town in northwest Belgium and a UNESCO world heritage site. Bruges is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North because of its canals. The canals connect the city to the North Sea and trade routes. These trade opportunities made Bruges a prosperous city in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries until the canals became filled with silt which made it difficult for ships to travel through.
The tower of the Church of Our Lady is the tallest structure in the city.
With its narrow cobblestone streets, bell towers, bridges and swans, Bruges looks like something right out of a fairy tale!
Bruges is certainly popular with tourists, but it's more than just a tourist destination. It's still inhabited by about 20,000 people and many of the buildings now house modern day shops and hotels.
We took a boat tour through the canals which was a great way to view the city. I was really surprised at how big the city is.
So many of the doors and windows were decorated with pretty window boxes and I couldn't help taking pictures of a few of them. There were flowers everywhere!