This is a great deal if you want to see a fair number of museums and places of interest in your stay. 24 of them are free with the card and others are discounted. That's a fee boat trip, free Belfry and Dali Exhibition, free Brewery Tour (de Halve Maan), and so many free museums from the Memling (fantastic medieval hospital to the Groeninge (all flemish art) to the Choco-Story and the Friet(chips) museum. Every major museum is included so you can dip in without taking any risks. There are discounts off cycling, ballooning, buses and much more. It costs €33 for 48 hrs and €39 for 72 hrs.
We just enjoyed ourselves walking the canals, eating and drinking and seeing whatever we fancied - and somehow we saved €30 each on two days of entertainment, without really trying. The Belfy & Dali exhibition are €18 together to start with - so you can see how the savings add up quickly.
You may be given a card if you're in a grand hotel but the rest of us end up buying one - and it's great value!
You get a visitors' guide with it too.
Buy the card at the Concertgbouw Information Centre (on T-Zand) and at the Station Information Office. Details on www.bruggecitycard.be
Unlike many galleries that concentrate on one period of history, the Groeninge Museum in Bruges has a collection that spans six centuries of Flemish tradition and is a truly fascinating insight into artistic development in the region.
Discover an oasis of calm. Go to the Beguinage, a beautiful small green and shaded space flanked by distinctive white buildings and crossed with paths. Sisters of the religious St. Benedict order have taken the place of the former beguines of the former cloistered community. Its atmosphere is wonderfully serene.
The Begijnhof is just off Wijngaardplein and has a shop, church and small museum. There are signs asking people to be silent (though not always obeyed).
The Groeningemuseum is a small, fascinating world-class art gallery/museum in Bruges.
The permanent collection includes paintings by early Flemish artists Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling plus works by Gerard David, Hieronymus Bosch and, from more recent times, Paul Delvaux and Rene Magritte. Quite an impressive ‘cast-list’ for a museum of only 11 rooms.
The rooms take you through different periods and styles in art i.e Flemish Primitives, Renaissance and Expressionism. You can compare a number of paintings on the theme of the 'Last Judgement' – including the disturbing but compelling imagery of Bosch’s version. Jan Van Eyck’s 'The Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele' is wonderful in its detail; you can almost feel the texture of the robes and clothing depicted in the painting. Disturbing could also be used to describe Magritte’s 'The Assault' although, as with so many Surrealist painters and particularly Magritte’s dream-like images, what may seem unsettling to one person can be quite un-perturbing to another.
The museum hires out a very informative audio guide, which gives you historical and artistic details about a number of the paintings.
The small scale of the museum means that you can look round the whole of it quite happily in a couple of hours, each room having a kind of theme based on an artistic movement or period - this gives a good historical reference point allowing you to compare and contrast different styles, artists and their interpretations etc.
The quality of art on display is excellent - this really is a jewel of a museum and I would recommend that anyone visiting Bruges pay it a visit.
050 44 87 11
Cost: 8 euro per ticket plus 3 euro for the audio guide
Opening Hours: 9.30am-5.00pm (closed Mondays)
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