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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Bruges 2024
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Bruges, Belgium


7 Tips for Living in Bruges

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Advice for people moving to Bruges or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Bruges or thinking about moving there.

Bruges, is a city that is rich in history, culture, and charm. It's a place that is perfect for expats and digital nomads who are looking for a unique and fulfilling living experience. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

1. Learn the Local Language

While many people in Bruges speak English, learning the local language, Dutch, can greatly enhance your experience. It will not only help you communicate more effectively with locals, but it will also give you a deeper understanding of the culture and history of the city. There are many language schools and online resources available to help you learn Dutch.

2. Explore the City's Neighborhoods

Bruges is made up of a variety of unique neighborhoods, each with its own charm and character. The Historic Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Belfry and the Church of Our Lady. Sint-Andries is a vibrant neighborhood known for its shopping and dining options. Sint-Kruis, on the other hand, is a quieter, more residential area with beautiful parks and green spaces. Spend time exploring each neighborhood to find the one that feels like home to you.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Belgium is known for its delicious food, and Bruges is no exception. Be sure to try local specialties like moules-frites (mussels and fries), Belgian waffles, and, of course, Belgian chocolate. There are many excellent restaurants in the city where you can sample these dishes. Some of the best include De Vlaamsche Pot, known for its traditional Belgian cuisine, and The Chocolate Line, a famous chocolate shop run by renowned chocolatier Dominique Persoone.

4. Take Advantage of the City's Cultural Offerings

Bruges is a city with a rich cultural scene. There are numerous museums to explore, including the Groeningemuseum, which houses a collection of Flemish and Belgian art, and the Choco-Story Museum, which tells the history of chocolate. The city also hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Bruges Beer Festival and the Procession of the Holy Blood, a religious procession that has been taking place annually for over 700 years.

5. Get Around by Bike

Bruges is a compact city, and one of the best ways to get around is by bike. There are numerous bike rental shops throughout the city, and many areas are pedestrianized, making it easy and safe to cycle. Plus, biking is a great way to see the city's beautiful architecture and scenic canals at your own pace.

6. Connect with Other Expats

While it's important to immerse yourself in the local culture, connecting with other expats can also be beneficial. They can provide advice, support, and friendship as you navigate your new life in Bruges. There are various expat groups and online communities that you can join to meet people who are in the same situation as you.

7. Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your new community and make meaningful connections. There are many opportunities to volunteer in Bruges, depending on your interests and skills. Do some research to find a cause that resonates with you and get involved. Not only will you be making a difference, but you'll also be enriching your own experience in this beautiful city.

Living in Bruges as an expat or digital nomad can be a truly rewarding experience. By taking the time to learn the language, explore the city, enjoy the local cuisine, take part in cultural activities, get around by bike, connect with other expats, and volunteer your time, you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in the Bruges lifestyle and make the most of your time in this charming city.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Bruges, Belgium

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SJB Global

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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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