Bruges is too tiny to keep pace with Brussels or Antwerp when it comes to shopping, but it certainly has its moments. This little city is a monument to the skills of lace-makers, chocolatiers, and brewers. You’ll find souvenir shops selling machine-made lace concentrated around Mark and Burg, but the best, and way more expensive, handmade types of lace are bobbin, ribbon, princess, or needlepoint. If you’re after a handcrafted chemise or tablecloth, check out Rococo at Wollestraat 9 (www.rococobrugge.be). Souvenirs of a more perishable nature include Oud-Brugge cheese from Diksmuids Boterhuis at Geldmuntstraat 23 (www.diksmuidsboterhuis.be), and marzipan from Brown Sugar at Mariastraat 21 (www.marzipan-nougatshop.be), but best of all chocolate, which Bruges is simply mad for. Pick up delicious arrays of calorie-laden confectionary from Mary at Katelijnestraat 21 (www.mary.be), or the four branches of ChocOHolic (www.choco-holic.be) on Katelijnestraat, Wollestraat, and Stoofstraat.
Local beers such as Straffe Hendrik, Brugs Tarwebier, and Brugge Tripel can be tracked down at 2be on Wollestraat 53, or Bacchus Cornelius at Academiestraat 17 (www.bacchuscornelius.com), where you’ll also find a selection of stone-bottled, ginlike liqueur jenever.
If you’re looking for unusual gifts for back home, try the slice of Christmas that is De Witter Pelikaan at Vlamingstraat 23 (www.dewittepelikaan.be) for festive baubles and handmade wooden toys. If you’re after a piece of silverware or pre-loved diamond rings, the weekend Antiques and Flea Market on Dijver puts on a fine show alongside the canal from mid-March to mid-November, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm and also every Friday from June to September.
Most stores are open Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, with hours extended to 9pm on Friday. Many open on Sunday as well, especially in summer.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.