Generally speaking, Bruges is a pretty affordable city to visit. Here's our take on what you can expect to spend on hotels and meals.
Expect to Spend in Bruges
Cheapos are on friendly turf in Bruges, where hotel rates are ever reasonable and most properties are mom and pop-owned with less than 15 rooms. The city seems to say, "Chains be gone!"
Lucky for us, Bruges is a city where historical preservation laws make it fairly difficult to build giant hotels. Expect personal service, charming accommodations, and prices not exceeding €150. Most hotels we visited have rooms in the €55-90 range.
Bruges is also a city of small, family-run, bed and breakfasts. By small, we mean two or three rooms—many families simply convert the top floor of their home into an intimate guesthouse. Competitiveness has kept B&B rates very low, so you can enjoy the personal touch for €60-70; a good €30 less than standard Bruges hotel rates.
Expect to spend at least €20 each evening on a fixed price menu, not including beer or wine. As a major tourist destination, Bruges offers a wide variety of restaurants, from basic Belgian fare to haute cuisine, so prices run a wide range.
If your hotel offers breakfast, and especially if it’s included in your room rate, stock up in the morning. Both hotels we stayed in during our visit offered large spreads, including meats, cheeses, boiled eggs, cereals, breads, juices, and hot drinks.
For lunch, we recommend a light snack or lunch near Market Square where food stands abound and the Belgian fries are always hot, yummy, and cheap. You might also pick up a quick sandwich at a bakery, or hit a grocery store before picnicking in Astrid Park.
In addition to its generous collection of Gothic church spires and pretty canals, Bruges has plenty of art and city museums to choose from. Most museums are closed on Mondays (except the City Hall, Liberty of Bruges, and Belfry) and many charge less than €5 for admission.
If you plan on hitting up all of the major collections, consider the combined ticket, good for admission to any five museums, available for €15 at Bruges' In&Uit tourism office.
Popular museum prices:
Bruggemuseum-Gruuthuse: €6 (adults); €5 (reduced)
Groeninge Musuem: €8 (adults); €6 (reduced)
Choco Story: €6 (adults), €5(reduced); €4 (children)
Memling in Sint-Jan Hospitaalmuseum: €8 (adults, audio guide included);€6(reduced, audio guide included)
Diamond Museum Bruge: €7 (adults); €10(demonstration + museum admission)
Bruggemuseum-Belfry: The view at the top is worth the hike, but be careful; there is no elevator. €8 (adults); €6 (reduced)
Basilica of the Holy Blood: €1.50 (museum); Basilica entrance free
Lace Centre: €2.50 (adults); €1.50 (reduced)
For €5.70, you can take a 30-minute tour of Bruges' scenic canals, complete with guided commentary (ask ahead to ensure you get an English-speaking captain). Many companies offer similar rates for essentially the same tour. Boten Stael at Katelijnstraat 4 and Gruuthuse, just across from the Groenige Museum at Nieuwstraat 11, are two good options.