Occupying an ornate, neo- Gothic edifice on the corner of Markt, Historium opens on 25 November. It promises a multi-sensory exploration of Bruges’ medieval history, with scents, sounds and a reconstruction of Van Eyck’s studio. If surrealism is more your thing, head for the Museum- Gallery Xpo Salvador Dalí (7 Markt). Set below the city’s medieval bell tower, the Belfort, it showcases Dalí’s graphic art, drawings and sculptures.
There is a small admission charge for the magnificent Gothic hall upstairs, but you can look around the lobby of the Stadhuis for free. It’s hung with 18th-century paintings – which suggest that Bruges looks a lot more medieval today than it used to.
Of the green-canopied brasseries along the north side of the marketplace, the family-run Restaurant St-Joris is a reliable bet, with particularly good steaks.
Is very much a locals’ hangout, and the set lunch is terrific value for money. Immediately recognisable by the two olive trees outside its door, the Olive Tree (3 Wollestraat, (0)5 033 0081) is a small Greek restaurant run by the Limnios family. The rich, homemade moussaka is a revelation.
Serves French and Belgian specialities, including delicious crêpes, and has tables on the cobbled square.
(rooms from €80) is a well-appointed, modern three-star – ideal if you’re looking for a convenient crashpad. For a more romantic feel, try the Hotel de Orangerie (10 Kartuizerinnenstraat, (0) 5 034 1649, hotelorangerie.be, rooms from €165), set in a 15th-century former convent by the Den Dijver canal.
(rooms from €120) Is a fine old establishment with elegant decor, very comfortable beds and lovely views over the canals from the modern wing to the rear.
Co-founded by Michelin-starred chef Bart Desmidt and chocolatier Jan Verleye, BbyB offers a playful take on gourmet chocolate. Flavours are packaged in colour-coded boxes, and include white chocolate with passion fruit and basil.
Opened in 1920, Rombaux sells instruments, an enormous array of CDs (primarily classical, jazz and world music) and busts of the great composers.
Sells pralines, chocolates, marzipan and honey – and serves the best hot chocolate in Bruges.
Is a Bruges rarity: a drinking hole that (at weekends) stays open after midnight. Take care: the house brew, “Tripel van De Garre”, is a heady 11.5%.