Bruges – Budget Sightseeing and Entertainment: Free Admission and Savings Discounts with the Cheap Brugge City Card
The Brugge City Card gives visitors free admission to 23 top sights in Bruges, and discounts on sightseeing, museums, shops, entertainment, and transportation in Flanders.
The Brugge City Card is a discount savings pass sold by the Bruges Tourist Office, to give visitors to Bruges in Belgium free entry into 23 of the town’s most famous sights, such as the belfry and Beguine convent and large discounts on many further museums, cultural events, tours, shops, and transportation. Active visitors can save a lot when using the Brugge City Card, in Bruges and in surrounding areas in Flanders, West Belgium. Bruges’ old town is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed site and a very popular year-round travel destination.
Free Admission to Bruges Museums with the Brugge City Pass
The Brugge City Card gives free admission to all the major sights in Bruges, making it good value for travellers interested in art, culture, and history. Bruges has an astonishing number of both state-run and private museums.
All the cultural and historical attractions of the state-run museums in Bruges are covered by the Brugge City Card. These include the ten historical museums with Bruggemuseum in the name. Bruggemuseums include amongst others the Stadhuis (Town Hall) and the Belfort (Belfry) where 366 steps lead to the best views of Flanders. Free admission is also granted to pass holders at the two Hospital Museums; where the emphasis is on art rather than the medical care, and the dedicated fine art displays in the Arentshuis, Groeninge Museum, and the Forum+.
Bruges has several further interesting private museums. The Brugge City Card gives free admission to the diamond museum with diamond cutting demonstration, Choco Story chocolate museum, Lumina Domestica lamp museum, and the Frietmuseum (Belgian fries museum). Other Bruges sights which can be seen for free with the Brugge City Card include the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed Begijnenhuisje (Beguine’s house), St Savior’s Cathedral, Kantcentrum (lace centre), and the Halve Maan beer brewery tour with sampling.
Further Discounts and Advantages of the Brugge City Card
Included with the Brugge City Card is a free comprehensive guide book; with information on the sights covered by the pass; a map, and details of Bruges’ other attractions.
Free half-hour boat cruises of the canals of Bruges, can be enjoyed by bearers of the Brugge City Card; from early March to mid-November, on cruises departing before 11 am or after 2 pm. From mid-November to end February, a minibus tour of Bruges is offered instead.
The Brugge City Card gives 25% discount on Binus harbour cruises, return pleasure cruises to Damme, and hot-air balloon flights. Bearers can also receive up to 30% discount on some concerts in the Concertgebouw.
The Brugge City Card is not a transportation card, but bearers can buy a three-day pass for public transportation in all of Flanders for less than half price. Pass holders also receive 25% discount at many city-run parking garages, and several bicycle hire shops.
Many sights in the Bruges region also give discounts of at least 25% on admission fees to bearers of the Brugge City Card. These sites include; the In Flanders Fields and the Canada-Poland First World War Museums as well Boudewijn Seapark (Bruge), Sea Life Centre (Blankenberge), Seafront (Zeebrugge), and Earth Explorer (Oostende), among others.
Buying and Using the Brugge City Card Discount Pass
The Brugge City Card is sold by the Bruges Tourist Office (at Bruges train station or at the Concertgebouw) for periods of 48 hours or 72 hours. Since October 2009, travellers can now buy the pass at many local hotels and guesthouses. Although bearers need to enter personal details in ink on the card, a chip ensures that the card can only be used once per site. The card is automatically activated at first use and automatically expires at the end of the stated period.
Mondays are easily the worst days to include in the Brugge City Card’s validity periodm as many (but not all) museums and sights are closed. Similarly, ensure that sights will be open on vacation days, before buying the discount pass. No refunds are given when sights are closed, and a surcharge may be added for admission to some temporary exhibitions.
The Brugge City Card can be good value for money, but of course depends on the number and type of sites visitors are interested in seeing. The top cultural and historical sites in Bruges are the museums and galleries belonging to Musea Brugge and these can also be seen on a three-day or yearly pass.
The Brugge City Card is generally not recommended for younger travellers. The three-day pass for the Musea Brugge is has a special price for youths 6 to 25, and many other sites have discounts for children too.
Bruges, with its UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed old town, belfry, and Beguine convent, is one of the most popular destinations in Belgium, and one of the most beautiful historic old towns in Europe. Transportation to Bruges is easy, with convenient railway connections to downtown Brussels, Brussels Airport (BRU), and South Brussels Charleroi Airport (CRL); popular with low-cost budget airlines.