No one likes working out for nothing. Whether it be to lose weight, get in shape, stay healthy, or eat that extra scoop of ice cream, we all have our motivation to get moving. Other than the occasional (ahem) bar of Belgian dark chocolate, I’m easily persuaded to work hard for an amazing view.
If that rings a bell with you, then don’t miss a visit to the Belfort (belfry) in Brugge (Markt 7).
Three hundred and sixty six steps to the top – keep the kids’ complaints at bay by making a counting game out of it. Can the little ones really make it all the way? Absolutely, but probably not without your help. Most kids five and under will need to hold a hand going up and down. Bring a backpack carrier for the babies – no prams, no elevators!
Claustrophobics, be forewarned. The staircase becomes more and more cozy the higher one climbs. Add in the two-way visitor traffic, and tower starts to get cramped and personal.
For those needing a break from the stair master, several landings provide a respite. But, don’t give up – the panorama of Brugge awaits!
A few notes on reaching the top (because you can! you will!)… the wind is particularly vicious, so don’t toss your jacket out halfway through the climb because you’ve worked up a sweat. My boys could not see over the walls, so the reward of the view was lost on them. They amused themselves looking at the bells which lasted all of about three minutes.
Since the Belfort only allows 70 people in the tower at one time, I highly recommend arriving before opening time to be one of the first visitors of the day. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess how long the wait could be. And, trust me, you do not want to be waiting in a gigantic line here for an indeterminable amount of time…
Admission is 8 euros for adults, and both of my boys were free. Toilets are 50 cents per person, per visit. If you need to make a pit stop in the center of Brugge, this is one of the cleanest places to go.
I loved the view from the Belfort, and you can’t catch a glimpse of Brugge from above anywhere else in the city. Unfortunately, I don’t think I would climb it again, if for no other reason than I just found it it leans about three feet to the east – Yikes!
Are you – or have you been – brave enough to climb the leaning Belfort tower?