History & Culture Guide

As the capital of West Flanders, Bruges offers an enthralling history for you to uncover. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through cobbled lanes and enjoy lunch at one of the many 17th century houses converted into restaurants and cafes, before visiting these must-see cultural gems…

Folklore Museum

Housed in eight 17th century almshouses, the Folklore Museum offers a plethora of interesting things to do and see in every room. Appreciate the building’s authentic décor and wealth of antiques, explore the tailor’s and cobblers workshops, attend a demonstration by a ‘spekkenbakker’ (sweetmaker), unwind in the museum’s tavern ‘De Zwarte Kat’ (The Black Cat) and try your hand at a traditional folk game on the garden terrace.

Choco-Story (Chocolate Museum)

It just wouldn’t be right to visit Bruges and not go to Choco-Story, the city’s very own chocolate museum, where you can learn all about the history of Belgium’s incredible chocolate and of course sample a piece or two! Discover how the simple cocoa bean is transformed into the most delicious chocolate in the world and even attend one of the live chocolate-making sessions. Once you’ve indulged in enough chocolate, be sure to stick around and check out the history of the building itself, originally a wine taverne, it was later used by patissiers and after that as the headquarters of the employment exchange and even a police training school.

Torture Museum Oude Steen

Although a fascinating visit, you may well need a strong stomach for the Torture Museum Oude Steen. Located in an old prison, this famous Bruges Landmark, displays a harrowing collection of torture tools and execution devices through the ages. The exhibition uncovers the history behind medieval instruments of torture such as the inquisition chair, the rack, thumbscrews and the strappato, all utilised to investigate crime in the European legal system from the 12th to the 18th century.