Often referred to as “The Venice of the North,” Bruges is the largest city by far in its region, and is crisscrossed with a vast array of canals. From the smallest “alleyway” canals to enormous plaza-width waterways, it’s often said that you can walk from door to door without ever setting foot on anything but boat decks.
While the city’s biggest shipping days are behind it, Bruges remains an important seaside port in Belgium, so life here is focused on water. One of its biggest attractions is the network of canals that surrounds the oldest city areas like a moat, so you can explore the Gothic artistry and charm without ever leaving your boat. Each canal has built its own culture, character, and network of attractions over the centuries, making for a distinct experience around every bend in the waterway.