A canal-based World Heritage City, the iconic charm of Bruges is the envy of all Europe. Once the busiest commercial center in the world, Belgium's beloved city has retired this role in favor of its current status as a fairy-tale tourist favorite by the sea -- at once passive and monumental, aged and cosmopolitan. One of Europe's best preserved pre-motorized cities, the inviting cobblestone avenues in Bruges are made for strolling, but it's still beneficial to rent a car in Bruges for easy access to sites in and around the city.
Driving in and around Bruges
From the Ostend-Bruges International Airport it's a 19-mile drive to the city center or 75 miles from the Brussels Airport. If you go for a car rental in Bruges, there are lots of multi-story parking garages just a five-minute walk from the center. This is the perfect plan to easily get from hotels in Bruges to the walkable city center, but if you want to see more of the relentless beauty of Bruges' art and architecture, there are still plenty of places to go. You can always leave this majestic seaside city for an easy trip to Ghent, another wonderful city in Belgium. Here, you can visit the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, as well as a contemporary art museum and the Ghent City Museum. It's also enjoyable to just explore gorgeous center or head to Gravensteen Castle, a remarkable historical fortress with its own arms museum. Alternatively, hop over the border for an hour-long ride to Terneuzen, Netherlands, the home of the legendary Flying Dutchman, to go skiing year-round in an indoor ski dome.
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