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Accessible Travel Guide: Bruges

view of the bruges canal from a bridge
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Bruges is a small jewel: once a powerful and rich city dedicated to trade, it became one of the largest Hanseatic cities and lived its most prosperous era between the 12th and the 15th century. Afterwards the city’s trade leadership was lost to Antwerp but the beautiful medieval architecture remained almost intact.

Throughout the 20th century Bruges became an increasingly popular touristic destination and the entire city centre was recognised as world heritage by the UNESCO in 2000.

What to visit: there is so much in a relatively small space. From the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a bit tricky to access as it’s on two floors and the elevator is a little small, but well worth the visit, to the Sint-Janshospital or the Groeningemuseum with the famous Flemish primitives, an illustrated guide to the past lives of the city.

As for every city in Belgium, you should not go without one of the more than 200 types of local beer and some frites (French fries, which are not French here!) with your preferred sauce.

General Accessibility of the area

Tip: the best way to explore the city in a wheelchair? Follow the itineraries created by Visit Flanders and their accessibility team.

Moving around the city can be a little tricky and tiring for wheelchair users due to the cobblestone pavement, therefore we advise you to follow the route designed by Visit Flanders in collaboration with Visit Bruges and the association Inter: you’ll get to see everything but avoiding the most difficult parts.

You’ll get to see the most beautiful buildings, squares, the many churches and you’ll find information on accessible public toilets and restaurants and bars. Due to the age of the buildings, often there are steps, especially to reach the toilets.

Get going then, and don’t fear: although not every place is fully accessible, it is well worth seeing as much as possible of this wonderfully charming city.

The brochure and map are dedicated to information and itineraries in Bruges for different types of disabilities, a list of the symbols and criteria used are at the beginning and the publications were created in 2016.

Download the Accessible Bruges Guide from Visit Flanders (ENGLISH version) 

Want more accessible resources to plan a holiday in Belgium? Click here to find a full list of brochures on accommodation, activities, transport and much more.

Airport Accessibility

Belgium has three airports, the National Airport (BRU) is the main one, but there also Charleroi airport (CRL) in the South of the country and the Antwerp Airport (ANR) further North, near Holland.
You can find information on accessibility for all three airports at the following links:

Brussels National Airport – Information on accessibility and special assistance 

Charleroi Airport- Information on accessibility and special assistance 

Antwerp Airport- Information on accessibility and special assistance

Practical resources

If you need transport, accommodation or medical services, consult our Bruges resources page.

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What you’ll find in this blog

This blog is a collection of city guides and travel inspiration with useful resources on the accessibility of places and activities, free to download for your next hassle-free adventure.

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