Bruges is a fairytale destination. With its winding cobblestone streets, character architecture, sweet chocolate shops and atmospheric pubs, Bruges is the epitome of European charm and appeal.

But, there are a tonne of accommodation options and choosing the best neighbourhood to stay in Bruges is super important. Which is exactly why we put together this epic guide for where to stay in Bruges.

This article was written exclusively for the Broke Backpacker. It outlines the best places to stay in Bruges and organizes them by interest, theme and budget. So whether you’re looking to party the night away, indulge in mussels, or need a comfortable room for your family of four, this guide has everything you need to know about where to stay in Bruges!

Let’s jump right to it – here are the best areas to stay in Bruges, Belgium.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Bruges

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN BRUGES

City Centre

If you’re visiting Bruges for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than the City Centre. The beating heart of the city, this neighbourhood exudes charm and character thanks to its winding streets and alleys, distinct architectural style, heritage shops and historical landmarks.

Places to visit:
  • Explore the stunning Markt Square.
  • Hop aboard and explore the canals of Bruges by boat.
  • Hunt for treasures at the Dijver Folklore Market.

Where to Stay in Bruges

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Bruges.

Best Hostel in Bruges: Snuffel Hostel

The Snuffel Hostel is our pick for the best hostel in Bruges. It is located in the trendy Ezelstraat Quarter and offers stylish and spacious rooms with fresh and modern amenities. It also has a great variety of features, like a full kitchen, a common room and free wifi throughout.

Best Airbnb in Bruges: Stylish room with river view 

When visiting a city for the first time, it sometimes helps to rent a private room instead of a whole apartment. This way, there’s always someone near that can help you find the best hotspots. We chose this Airbnb because of its great location and unique style. You can enjoy the river view while being in the heart of the city. If you need any recommendations, feel free to reach out to your host and he’ll be happy to help.

Best Hotel in Bruges: Hotel Fevery

This is our favourite hotel in Bruges. It is conveniently located at the centre of Sint-Gillis and is within walking distance of excellent landmarks, pubs, restaurants and shops. Comprised of 10 rooms, this hotel is outfitted with everything you could possibly need in Bruges.

Bruges Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN BRUGES
City Centre Bruges
FIRST TIME IN BRUGES

City Centre

If you’re visiting Bruges for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than the City Centre. The beating heart of the city, this neighbourhood exudes charm and character thanks to its winding streets and alleys, distinct architectural style, heritage shops and historical landmarks.

ON A BUDGET
Ezelstraat Quarter
ON A BUDGET

Ezelstraat Quarter

The Ezelstraat Quarter is located in northwestern Bruges. It is a short walk from the city centre and is best known for Ezelstraat street, an 800-year-old lane that is today one of the hippest places in the city.

NIGHTLIFE
Sint Anna Quarter
NIGHTLIFE

Sint-Anna Quarter

Sint-Anna is a peaceful quarter located outside of the city centre. It is a web of cobblestone lanes and alleys and is primarily where Bruges’ blue-collar workers live.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Sint Gillis Quarter
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Sint-Gillis Quarter

The Sint-Gillis Quarter is one of the coolest places to stay in Bruges. This beautiful and hip district is located north of the city centre and is right across the canal from lively Market Square.

FOR FAMILIES
Magdalena Quarter
FOR FAMILIES

Magdalena Quarter

The Magdalena Quarter is a large and residential neighbourhood located south of the city centre. It is a safe, clean and quiet quarter that is known for its recreation and relaxation.

Bruges is a city that exudes charm, character and romance around every turn.

It is one of the best preserved pre-motorised cities in Europe and is famous for crisscrossing canals and meandering cobblestone streets, its distinct architecture and overall appeal and flair.

The city covers 138 square kilometres and caters to tourists. To help you plan your time in Bruges, this Bruges neighbourhood guide will explore the best places to stay based on what you want to do.

Starting with the city centre. The heart and soul of Bruges, the city centre is a compact and easily walkable district. It is comprised of two main squares and is packed with excellent attractions, historic landmarks, delightful shops and charismatic pubs. This is the best neighbourhood in Bruges to stay in if you’re interested in sightseeing, exploring, eating and drinking.

Head northwest from here to Ezelstraat. This quarter is one of the hippest places in the city. It is known for its trendy shops, cosy cafes, and it is our number one choice pick for where to stay in Bruges for a day or two because there are so many budget accommodation options.

Set east of Ezelstraat is the Sint-Gillis Quarter. One of the coolest places to stay in Bruges, Sint-Gillis is home to delicious restaurants, interesting attractions and plenty of pubs serving local Trappist brews.

Sint-Anna is a massive neighbourhood in eastern Bruges. It is our best recommendation for where to stay in Bruges for nightlife because it has a great selection of restaurants, bars and after dark activities.

And, finally, south of the city centre is the lush and luxurious Magdalena Quarter. Our top pick for where to stay in Bruges with kids, the Magdalena Quarter has everything from expansive parks and canal-side walks to world-class museums, art galleries and historical attractions.

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Bruges’ 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best area in Bruges to stay in? Don’t worry, because in this next section we’ll break down the best places in Bruges to stay based on your budget, interests and needs.

#1 City Centre – Where to Stay in Bruges for Your First Time

If you’re visiting Bruges for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than the City Centre. The beating heart of the city, this neighbourhood exudes charm and character thanks to its winding streets and alleys, distinct architectural style, heritage shops and historical landmarks.

Comprised of two main squares, the City Centre is home to Bruges most famous attractions, including the Stadhuis (City Hall) and the Belfort Tower. It’s also where you can indulge in delicious and traditional Belgian and Flemish meals, as well as local brews and delectable treats.

So whether you’re a culture vulture, history buff, fearless foodie or something in between, Bruges City Centre is a feast for the eyes, mind and the stomach.

City Centre, Bruges

Things to See and Do in City Centre

– Choose from a wide range of beers at Le Trappiste, an 800-year-old beer cellar.

– Climb to the top of the 83 meters tall Belfort and enjoy the amazing city views.

– Dine on incredible local dishes at ‘T Zwart Huis.

– Explore the stunning Markt Square.

– Hop aboard and explore the canals of Bruges by boat.

– Hunt for treasures at the Dijver Folklore Market.

– Marvel at the beautiful Basilica of the Holy Blood Chapel.

– Soak in the atmosphere and charm in Brug Square.

Best Hostel in City Centre: Charlie Rockets

Charlie Rockets is an atmospheric and charming hostel in the City Centre, the best neighbourhood to stay in Bruges for sightseeing. They offer private and shared rooms with modern amenities, free linens, and plenty of space. There’s also a restaurant and lively bar on-site.

Best Airbnb in City Centre: Stylish room with river view 

When visiting a city for the first time, it sometimes helps to rent a private room instead of a whole apartment. This way, there’s always someone near that can help you find the best hotspots. We chose this Airbnb because of its great location and unique style. You can enjoy the river view while being in the heart of the city. If you need any recommendations, feel free to reach out to your host and he’ll be happy to help.

Best Hotel in City Centre: Hotel Aragon Bruges

This hotel is in the best area in Bruges to stay in if you’re a culture vulture or a history buff because you’ll be within walking distance of great attractions, museums, galleries and restaurants. It has large and modern rooms with a vast array of amenities.

Best Hotel in City Centre: Crowne Plaza Hotel Brugge

This excellent four-star hotel is one of the best places to stay in Bruges. It has a central location and is within walking distance of the Belfort, great shops and lively bars. The rooms are comfortable and trendy, and each is outfitted with modern amenities.

#2 Ezelstraat Quarter – Where to Stay in Bruges on a Budget

The Ezelstraat Quarter is located in northwestern Bruges. It is a short walk from the city centre and is best known for Ezelstraat street, an 800-year-old lane that is today one of the hippest places in the city. Packed with everything from Scandinavian design store and trendy boutiques to colourful art galleries and artisanal bakers, the Ezelstraat Quarter is without a doubt one of Bruges’ best neighbourhoods.

This hip ‘hood also wins our vote for where to stay in Bruges for one night or if you’re on a budget because it has such a great selection of affordable accommodation options. From chic hostels to boutique hotels, this is the place to be if you’re looking to save a little money in beautiful Bruges.

Ezelstraat Quarter, Bruges

Things to See and Do in Ezelstraat Quarter

– Admire the décor and gardens at Saint Constantine & Helena Orthodox Church.

– Dine on excellent European fare at Kok au Vin.

– Feast on great ribs, seafood, steak and more at Ribs ‘n Beer.

– Indulge in incredible, sweet and delicious chocolates at Chocolaterie Spegelaere.

– Marvel at the architecture and design of Karmelietenklooster.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Croissanterie Ortiz.

– Visit Ezelpoort, part of the city’s 13th-century ramparts and defence fortifications.

Best Hostel in Ezelstraat Quarter: Snuffel Hostel

The Snuffel Hostel is our pick for the best hostel in Bruges. It is located in the trendy Ezelstraat Quarter and offers stylish and spacious rooms with fresh and modern amenities. It also has a great variety of features, like a full kitchen, a common room and free wifi throughout.

Best Hotel in Ezelstraat Quarter: Monsieur Maurice

Monsieur Maurice is an excellent option for Bruges accommodation because this hotel has a great location, elegant décor and fantastic amenities. Set in the city centre, this hotel is within walking distance of top attractions, restaurants and shops. It has a swimming pool, laundry facilities, and a great on-site restaurant and bar.

Best Vacation Rental in Ezelstraat Quarter: Holiday Home Cozy House on the Canal

This fantastic vacation rental is located right at the heart of the city. It offers great views of Bruges’ stunning canals and is just a short walk from the heart of Ezelstraat. This house has comfortable rooms with plenty of amenities and free wifi.

#3 Sint-Anna Quarter – Where to Stay in Bruges for Nightlife

Sint-Anna is a peaceful quarter located outside of the city centre. It is a web of cobblestone lanes and alleys and is primarily where Bruges’ blue-collar workers live. This part of the city simply bursts with charm, and because it’s outside of the city centre, it’s one of the best places in Bruges to stay to escape the crowds of tourists.

It’s in Sint-Anna that you’ll also find some of the best nightlife in the city. Langstraat is a buzzing and bustling lane that comes alive after dark thanks to its lively tapas bars, cosy eateries, bustling pubs and vibrant bars. From great food to fun drinks, the Sint-Anna Quarter has everything you could possibly want – and more!

Sint-Anna Quarter, Bruges

Things to See and Do in Sint-Anna Quarter

– Sip a glass of local beer at lively and amazing Pro Deo.

– Feast on exquisite French and Belgian dishes at San Cravate.

– Excite your sense at ‘t Gezelleke.

– Try the meatballs, croquettes and stew at Restaurant Cezar.

– Choose from a wide range of local beers at Vlissinghe.

– Enjoy a cosy meal any time of day at Sint-Anna.

– Be amazed by the design and interiors of Sint-Annakerk.

– Eat homecooked Belgian delicacies at ‘t Risico.

– Sip traditional Flemish drinks, beers and cocktails at De Windmolen.

– Drink local beers in a stylish environment at Bauhaus Bar.

Best Hostel in Sint-Anna Quarter: St Christopher’s Inn – Bauhaus Hostel

This fun and funky hostel is centrally located in Sint-Anna, one of the best areas to stay in Bruges for nightlife. It has comfortable and private pod beds, modern amenities and plenty of FREE features, like linens, wifi and maps!

Best Airbnb in Sint-Anna Quarter: Great studio for nightlife enthusiasts 

This cute studio is one of our top choices for travellers that want to experience the nightlife of Bruges. Located around 10min from the centre, you can either have a nice walk or shorten the time by using the available bikes. The neighbourhood is quiet so you can enjoy a good nights sleep, however, the next bar is only 100m from your doorstep, as well as other great places for a night out.

Best Hotel in Sint-Anna Quarter: Golden Tulip Hotel de’ Medici

This excellent four-star hotel is ideally located in Bruges. It boasts a variety of wellness facilities, including a gym, sauna and Jacuzzi. Guests can unwind after a long day by lounging in their comfortable rooms that are equipped with A/C, private baths and movies-on-demand.

Best Hotel in Sint-Anna Quarter: Flanders Hotel

The Flanders Hotel is one of our favourite Bruges accommodation options. It has a great central location and is a quick walk from bars, restaurants, shops and the canals. Rooms are large and cosy and each comes complete with a private bathroom, coffee/tea facilities, a refrigerator and cable/satellite channels.

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#4 Sint-Gillis Quarter – Coolest Place to Stay in Bruges

The Sint-Gillis Quarter is one of the coolest places to stay in Bruges. This beautiful and hip district is located north of the city centre and is right across the canal from lively Market Square. It offers an excellent escape for travellers looking for a break from the traffic and tourists without taking you too far away from the action and adventures of central Bruges.

Sint-Gillis is also one of Bruges’ best neighbourhoods for wining and dining. Here you’ll find a great selection of eateries, bistros, cafes and canteens that will cater to travellers of all tastes, styles and budgets. So whether you want to indulge in moules and frites or sip a Belgian brew, Sint-Gillis is the place for you!

Sint-Gillis Quarter Bruges
source: Andries Van den abeele (Wikicommons)

Things to See and Do in Sint-Gillis Quarter

– Dine on delicious mussels and more at De Reisduif.

– Eat, drink and enjoy a fantastic evening at De Kalvarieberg.

– Enjoy a fantastic evening and a great meal at Tom’s Diner.

– Explore the grounds of Sint-Gilliskerk.

– Feast on fresh Flemish fare at ‘t Oud Handbogenhof.

– Go for a peaceful stroll through lush and relaxing Sincfal.

– Grab a quick snack at Vlamingdam.

– Have a picnic and watch sheep frolic at Hof de jonge, a beautiful part in the centre of the city.

– Sip drinks at Guesthouse Orchid.

– Treat yourself at Bakkerij Desoete.

Best Airbnb in Sint-Gillis Quarter: Rooftop studio in center 

If you’re looking for a cool place, you can stop right now because this is the perfect one for you. This rooftop studio is extremely stylish and bright. You’ll have an amazing view from the two massive windows that open up all the way and give the studio an open and airy feeling. You’ll have the place to yourself apart from the shared entrance area.

Best Hotel in Sint-Gillis Quarter: Hotel Gulden Vlies

Hotel Gulden Viles is a delightful hotel – and our top choice for where to stay in Bruges on a budget. This small B&B hotel has seven cosy rooms with private baths and showers. You’ll also have access to free wifi and a delicious breakfast is served each morning.

Best Hotel in Sint-Gillis Quarter: Hotel Fevery

This is our favourite hotel in Bruges. It is conveniently located at the centre of Sint-Gillis and is within walking distance of excellent landmarks, pubs, restaurants and shops. Comprised of 10 rooms, this hotel is outfitted with everything you could possibly need in Bruges.

Best Hotel in Sint-Gillis Quarter: Hotel Ter Brughe

The Hotel Ter Brughe is bursting with charm. It has 46 traditional rooms that are outfitted with great amenities and features. There’s also a sun-soaked terrace, a stylish bar and a delicious on-site restaurant. This four-star hotel is centrally located in Sint-Gillis and is in close proximity to shopping, dining, sightseeing and exploring.

#5 Magdalena Quarter – Where to Stay in Bruges for Families

The Magdalena Quarter is a large and residential neighbourhood located south of the city centre. It is a safe, clean and quiet quarter that is known for its recreation and relaxation. Here you can enjoy a breath of fresh air thanks to its many lush parks and fun playgrounds, as well as its canal-side paths and tranquil winding streets.

This district is our top pick for where to stay in Bruges for families because there are so many excellent activities that travellers of all ages will love. From world-class museums and interesting art galleries to outdoor adventures and delicious restaurants, the Magdalena Quarter is truly a neighbourhood with something for everyone.

Magdalena Quarter, Bruges

Things to See and Do in Magdalena Quarter

– Climb to the top of Gentpoort and enjoy the views.

– Dine on succulent Meiterranean fare Pomperlut.

– Enjoy an afternoon of sunshine, nature and play at Astridpark.

– Excite your sense at Carpe Diem.

– Explore the grounds of the Church of Our Lady Bruges.

– Feast on a sweet and delicious breakfast at Sanseveria Bagelsalon.

– Go for a stroll through Minnewater Park.

– Kickstart your day at Books & Brunch.

– See an incredible collection of Flemish masterpieces at Groeningemuseum.

– Sip fantastic local brews at the Half Moon (Halve Maan) Brewery.

– Visit the Smallest Museum.

– Walk across St Bonifacius Bridge.

Best Airbnb in Magdalena Quarter: Massive family house 

You can find this Airbnb in an amazing and peaceful neighbourhood, located in the old centre. It can accommodate 7 people in total, so it’s the ideal home for you and your family. The renovated house is very stylish and incredibly welcoming. The large rooms give privacy for every family member. Museums, shops and great restaurants are just moments away. There are also two garages available if you come by car.

Best Hotel in Magdalena Quarter: Ibis Brugge Centrum

The Ibis Centrum wins our vote for where to stay in Bruges with kids if you’re on a budget. Guests can enjoy comfortable rooms and a variety of amenities all at an affordable price. There’s also a unique restaurant on-site and there are plenty of shops, eateries and activities nearby.

Best Hotel in Magdalena Quarter: Hotel Loreto Bruges

The Hotel Loreto is ideally located in the Magdalena Quarter, the best area in Bruges to stay in for families. This modern hotel has seven rooms that are each outfitted with comfortable and contemporary amenities. It also boasts a ticket and tour desk, so you can make the most of your time in Bruges and Flanders.

Best Hotel in Magdalena Quarter: Hotel Academie Bruges

This four-star hotel is conveniently situated in Bruges. It is within walking distance of great shopping and sightseeing, as well as restaurants, pubs and museums. This cosy hotel has modern rooms with a variety of features, like a fitness centre and room service.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bruges

Bruges is one of the most charming cities in Europe. Thanks to its cobblestone streets, distinct architecture, charming canals and quaint and cosy shops, it’s not hard to get lost is the character and appeals of this cute Belgian town.

If you’re still not sure which part of Bruges is right for you, here is a short reminder of our favourite accommodation options.

Snuffel Hostel in Ezelstraat is our favourite hostel because it has stylish and spacious rooms, modern amenities, and excellent shared features.

Another great option is the Hotel Fevery because it is close to the city centre and has everything you could possibly need from a hotel in Bruges.

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