Bruges is best for...

Chocolate shops: With a museum and over 50 shops dedicated to chocolate, Bruges is the perfect holiday for sweet lovers

Stew and beer: Head to family-run restaurants for a hearty portion of Flemish stew washed down with some local beer

Cheap eats: There is nothing quite like enjoying the Belgian treat of frites with mayonnaise on a walk through the city

Fast facts

Language: The languages spoken in Bruges are Flemish and French

Currency: The currency used in Bruges is the Euro

Local time: Bruges is 1 hour behind GMT/UK time

Fly to: Bruges' main airport is Ostend–Bruges International Airport

Think of Belgium food and the first things you think of are likely to be chocolate and beer and there are plenty of places around the city where you can get your fix. But you’ll also discover a food and drink scene that is full of other, more unexpected delights.

Some of the best bars in Bruges are also breweries. The De Halve Maan Brewery is famous for its zot blonde beer, which can be sampled in their onsite café. Or if you’re looking for a big selection, try Brugs Beertje, a popular pub where you’ll find over 300 different types of beer on offer. Jenever is the popular local spirit, a gin that’s flavoured with juniper. Head to the Bruges Beer Museum to learn about how beer is made then head to the tasting hall to sample the best Belgian beers on offer. Or the Bacchus Cornelius, near the Choco Story Museum, to try their homemade jenever.

The Chocolate Line and Chocolatier Dumon are two of the most popular shops in Bruges. Here you’ll find perfect pralines and terrific truffles in flavours to satisfy even the most demanding chocoholic. After stocking up on chocolate and walking the pretty medieval cobbled streets, you’ll be in need of refreshment. Luckily, you’ll find plenty of stalls and cafés serving up cheap snacks. Frites with mayonnaise and waffles drenched in cream are an ideal pick-me-up during a day wandering along the canals. The city is also enjoying a growing reputation as a serious destination for those who love fine food too.

Bruges’ location close to the sea means moules-frites (mussels and chips) are fresh and delicious. The city’s position in fertile Flanders also means you’ll find plenty of fresh vegetables from the local fields on offer. There’s a wide variety of places to eat in the main tourist areas like Market Square as well as nestled in the side streets. Bonte B is run by one of Belgium’s top chefs and lays claim to being one of the best restaurants in Bruges, if not all of Belgium. You’ll also discover hearty traditional dishes, like Carbonade Flamande being served up , this beef and beer stew is a local Flemish delicacy and can also be bought at local ‘freitkoten’ fast-food cafés.

If you’re visiting Bruges for the Christmas Market, you’ll get that festive feeling with the wonderland of dishes on offer. The fairy lights strung across the buildings make them look like they’re made out of gingerbread, and you can buy the real thing too. The local squares are thronged with gluhwein bars selling this traditional mulled wine. You can warm up with an oozing cheese fondue or tartiflette from the many stalls that pop up to serve Bruges’ food favourites to shoppers.