Family Travel Guide in Bruges, Belgium
From the train station, we took a public bus to the closest stop by our hotel. We met a nice, local, old man who was getting off at the same stop as us and escorted us to our hotel, as it was a little bit difficult to find. Matt always uses the maps.me app to help us navigate a city, and I have to say it's AMAZING for finding your way around- especially if you are traveling by bus/train because it gives you all the details of the transportation schedule and times! Before you leave for a trip you download each city destination on the app, and it can function without wifi to show you where you are and map out where you want to go using any mode of transportation. We love it and it was especially helpful when we were in Cuba with VERY limited/no internet access.
Hotel Van Cleef, we looked pretty haggard and the boys were overdo for a nice long stroller nap. Now those of you who have little kids know how they can behave when they are a tad bit overtired... we try to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes it is just inevitable. Well, we were definitely creeping up to that point and I was so nervous because this place was SOOOO fancy! Honestly, if Matt and I were by ourselves I think we would have enjoyed it so much more. I was so worried the boys would get into something they shouldn't and I really didn't want to disturb anyone in the dining/lobby area who was visiting without their kids! lol! We opted out of the "Welcome Drink" on the back patio overlooking the canal and were escorted up to our room to quickly unpack and get the boys in the stroller so they could sleep and we could explore Bruges!
Our room was PERFECT for our family! Honestly, it was one of my favorite accommodations to date! The ceiling was raised with these gorgeous beams and everything was beautifully decorated. There was a nice loft space with a fold-out couch where Dylan (3 years old) slept, however, I felt he was just a tad too young for the space because the stairs were very steep and there was no gate at the top. We were able to put the stroller up there to block him from trying to come downstairs in the middle of the night and tripping down the stairs and I put the cushions from the couch on the edge of the fold out bed to make the railing along the loft even higher so he couldn't fall off. Christopher slept in his KidCo PeaPod Travel Bed in the hallway which was closed off from the bedroom and was the perfect little dark room for him to sleep in.
Bruges was one of my favorite places during our Netherlands, Belgium, Germany & Luxemboug trip. It was such a cute, well preserved, midevil town that was the perfect size to explore: not too big that you felt overwhelmed, but also not so small that it takes 10 minutes to get through the whole thing. We felt like Bruges was a little touristy, but not too touristy like some cruise ship towns can get. I loved all the little canals that added charm to the city and made the whole place feel so peaceful. Bruges also had an amazing park where we spent the evening walking around and it was simply gorgeous!!!!
Bruges was by far our favorite city in Belgium and we would definitely recommend visiting! It's a great stop if you are traveling between Paris and Amsterdam, but don't want to go the whole way all at once... you will not be disappointed!