• Midi - Aquitaine
  • Burgundy - Franche Comté
  • Brittany - Anjou
  • Alsace, Ardennes, Somme

(France, Italy, Netherlands, England, ...)

  • The river tourism
  • License-free rentals
  • Choose your boat
  • River and canal navigation
  • Activities during your cruise
  • Pratical details
  • Special offers
  • Gift vouchers

House-Boats rental

Rent with alpha-croisiere.com your boating holidays to enjoy one of our river and canal boats on Belgium waterways. We offer the largest selection of barges on the market.

Consult the list of all our river and canal boats available in Belgium to find the most suitable for you and contact us by email or call us on +33 (0) 3 85 40 55 50 for more information.

Belgium - Tarpon 42 while sailing on a Belgian canal

Belgium is very easily accessible by road, rail and air, with many flights, and low-cost flights in particular, into Brussels.

Of course, Belgium being a 'flat country', you will find you have very few locks to deal with here, too. Take the opportunity to explore a heritage built on and around the many canals and navigable waterways the country has to offer. Whatever your tastes or areas of interest, you're sure to find something to suit you throughout your cruise.

Not to be missed

  • Foodies will be spoilt for choice between the 300 varieties of Belgian beer and the abundance of home-made chocolates, which have long established a reputation for themselves.
  • But the most extraordinary part of your trip will undoubtedly be the opportunity to explore the country's fabulous architectural, cultural and historical heritage, its fairytale architecture and its mobile stalls as you visit cities such as Brugges, Ghent, Nieuport, Antwerp, Brussels and Mons, among others.
  • If you have a little time to spare, why not visit the Park of Canals and Castles, where you can't fail to be impressed by the sheer concentration of castles, museums, industrial and religious heritage, green spaces and leisure and relaxation areas in one region.
  • Man's creative engineering has resulted in the continuous construction in the region of various structures including boat lifts, inclined planes, a boat funicular, lift bridges and swing bridges, among other things.
  • Children from 7 to 77 years of age will also enjoy a visit to the Hergé museum near Brussels, where they will discover or rediscover the work of the man behind the adventures of Tintin and Milou.

Typical facades of historic houses in the old districts of Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent... Belgium

A few stops along the way

A sample of the many Belgian homemade chocolates whose reputation is second to none

The former drapery city of Ghent , meanwhile, is the former Flemish capital of Belgium and is well worth a stop for a wander through the little streets of this beautiful Gothic city and a visit to its museum of contemporary art. Braver travellers might even fancy climbing its UNESCO World Heritage-listed belfry.

Switch from the freshwater to the saltwater with a stroll along the magnificent Nieuwport beach, and be sure to sample the local seafood while you are there.

Antwerp is one of the capitals of the diamond industry, but if you've children to entertain you may prefer to head for the city's zoo or its Aquatopia aquarium.

Brussels, Mons, Lille, etc.

Photos: FPP

Special and last minute offers

April 2024 : 25% discount.

Book a boating holiday of 3 nights or more in April 2024 and benefit from 25% discount. Not retroactive, not combinable and valid for every new booking made before April 21st 2024.

7 nights for the price of 5

Book a boat Cirrus A and B, Caprice, Calypso, Tango, Crusader, Magnifique or Salsa A and B between Jjuly and October 2024 and you will benefit from the 7 nights offer at the price of 5. Offer not cumulative and not retroactive, valid for any new reservation registered before 21/04/2024.

May 2024: Discount 20%

Take advantage of a 20% discount for all cruises in May 2024 (minimum 3 nights). Offer valid till April 21st. Not retroactive, not combinable.

Go for boating holidays (3 nights or more) in June 2021 and benefit from 15% discount. Offer not cumulative and valid for any new booking registered before 21 April 2024. Cannot be used retrospectively.

Examples of boats available

Horizon 1 tourism stroll france holiday boat launch barging small barge

2 cabins  –  sleeping capacity: 2/4

Royal Mystique A tourism stroll france holiday boat launch barging small barge

Royal Mystique A

2 cabins  –  sleeping capacity: 4/6

Magnifique tourism stroll france holiday boat launch barging small barge

4 cabins  –  sleeping capacity: 8/10

Don't hesitate to contact us right now to book your next river cruise in Belgium.

Belgium is not the only area available with alpha-croisiere.com . Discover all the other destinations of river cruise that we can rent you.

If you are not immediately ready to board for your canal boat vacations, subscribe on our newsletter . We will send you monthly some information about canal boat holidays.

Change location

  • UK / International
  • Call toll-free from 9am EDT 617-223-4521 617-223-4356 or
  • REQUEST A QUOTE

canal boat trip belgium

Bruges old town tour & canal cruise

Explore the long history of Bruges on a historic walking tour of the old town, and then embark on a peaceful cruise down the city’s canals. On the walking tour, your guide will bring you to see Markt, the city’s market square in the heart of the old town. Here, you can opt to climb the 366 steps to the top of the Bruges Belfry in the square for expansive views over the city.

You’ll also see Burg Square, the historic area where Bruges was founded. You’ll encounter the tallest tower in the city when you visit the Church of Our Lady, which is home to Michelangelo’s sculpture, Madonna and Child . The tour also brings you to the Lake of Love, a serene park near the Begijnhof, which Benedictine nuns still call home.

The second part of your tour is a cruise down Bruges' canals, where you can enjoy the city from another point of view.

The first four hours of this tour is a privately guided walk of Bruges’ old town, while the last hour is a cruise on the city’s canals. Private cruises aren’t available, so you’ll be on a shared guided cruise with about 15-20 other people. The walking tour is available year-round, but the canal cruise is weather-dependent, so March through October are the best months for this.

The exact order of the walking tour can vary depending on the timing of the cruise, but you can expect to see many of Bruges’ highlights. You’ll visit Markt, in the heart of Bruges’ old town. The square is wide-open, mostly traffic-free and surrounded by former guildhalls and multi-hued step-gabled houses with mismatched rooflines. The square is dominated by the 13th-century belfry, rising 83 m (272 ft) into the sky. For expansive views of the city you can climb the 366 steps to the top.

You’ll also see Burg Square, a cobblestone square where the city was founded. The square is framed by the manor of Franc of Bruges and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The basilica has an intricate dark-gray Romanesque façade adorned with gilded figurines. Inside, it consists of two separate chapels, the Saint Basil Chapel and the Holy Blood Chapel, which is home to a relic containing what is believed to be the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Church of Our Lady is the tallest building in the city, with its tower reaching 116 m (379 ft) into the sky. You can admire the cross-vaulted nave, the black-and-white-tiled flooring and the heavily ornamented Baroque-style interior. The church is also home to Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child , a white-marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary with an infant Jesus.

The tour will also take you to the Lake of Love in Minnewater Park, a reservoir joined with the canal system. The peaceful lake is an excellent place to see some wildlife, especially swans which are the symbol of the city. Nearby, you can visit the adjoining Begijnhof, a group of white step-gabled houses now occupied by an order of Benedictine nuns.

The hour-long cruise will provide a different perspective of these sights, as you glide along the postcard-worthy canals ornamented with willow trees, elegant stone bridges and medieval buildings.

Audley specialist Brittany

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Belgium specialists

  • 617-223-4521 617-223-4356
  • Make an inquiry

Photos of Bruges old town tour & canal cruise

Stone bridges in Bruges, Belgium

Other experiences in Bruges

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

Windmill outside of Damme, Belgium

Coastal bicycle ride, Zwin Nature Park and Damme

Explore the windswept beaches, flat green meadows and reed-lined streams and canals along Belgium’s coast. Your local guide will lead you along a series of paved bike paths through the countryside, seaside resort towns and small, authentic villages.

Loose diamonds, Antwerp

Diamond District tour & diamond cutting workshop

Explore Antwerp’s legendary Diamond Quarter, a stopover for 86% of the world’s legal raw diamonds, on this three-hour walking tour. Your guide will take you to a workshop where you can watch the gemstones be cut, shaped and polished.

Banks of the Leie River, Ghent

Private canal cruise with champagne & charcuterie

See a world-renowned altarpiece, a bird’s-eye view of the city, a medieval castle and lively market squares on a walking tour of Ghent. Then explore the city’s waterways on a boat tour of the canals, where you’ll be served local delicacies and Belgian beer.

Traditional shrimp farming in Belgium

Shrimp farming by horseback in Oostduinkerke

See one of Belgium’s most singular cultural traditions. At Oostduinkerke, you can watch fishermen farm shrimp atop sturdy Brabant draft horses. You’ll then get to try the shrimp during a beachfront cookout.

Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium

World War I tour

See the fields where soldiers fought on the front lines during World War I on this full-day trip around Flanders with a private guide and driver. You’ll see a preserved trench, burial grounds, museums and memorials.

Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.

Canals of Bruge, Belgium

Grand tour of Belgium & Luxembourg

10 days from $5,845pp

Amsterdam canal in the autumn

Cruising the Dutch & Belgian waterways

10 days from $8,295pp

canal boat trip belgium

Bruges Boat Tour: Take a Magical Cruise Through the Bruges Canals

If you are looking for a romantic destination, the Canals of Bruges are the perfect choice. The picturesque waterways wind through the city, and the historic buildings that line the canals create a magical and charming atmosphere. You can take a leisurely boat ride with your loved one, stroll through the quaint streets, and admire the beautiful architecture. The city is also home to many romantic restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can enjoy a romantic meal or drinks.

Bruges Canals

Table of Contents

Quick Answers

Boat tours in Bruges usually run from early March to mid-November . During other times, the decision to operate lies with the shipping companies.

A boat tour in the Canals of Bruges typically costs 12 €, with discounted rates of 7€ for children aged 4 to 12. Children under 4 can join for free.

Tickets can be bought on spot. Read on for a list and map of the shipping companies and their locations.

History of the Bruges Canals

The enchanting Canals of Bruges have a history that spans back to the 12th century, a time when these waterways were meticulously crafted to facilitate the transport of goods into the heart of the city. Evolving over the centuries, the canals evolved into a crucial component of Bruges’ transportation system, serving diverse purposes from commerce to public transit. Today, while primarily catering to tourism, the canals remain deeply ingrained in the city’s cultural tapestry, preserving the echoes of its storied past.

Bruges Boat Tours: An unforgettable experience

Embarking on a boat tour is one of the best ways to delve into the beauty of the Bruges canals. Several reputable companies offer boat tours, all following the same enchanting route. Lasting approximately 30 minutes, these tours provide a unique perspective of the city, offering insights into the rich history and culture of Bruges.

canal boat trip belgium

Shipping Companies & starting points

Five distinct shipping companies operate these boat tours, each with its own starting point. Despite the differences in starting locations, all companies follow the same picturesque route. These non-covered boats, provided with umbrellas in case of rain, offer a capacity of 35-40 people.

The starting points include:

  • Coudenys at Rozenhoedkaai
  • Venetië van het Noorden at Huidenvettersplein 13
  • De Meulemeester at Wollestraat 32
  • Gruuthuse at Nieuwstraat 11
  • Stael at Katelijnestraat 4

Bruges Boat Tours Coudenys at Rozenhoedkaai

Dates, availability & Prices

Boat tours in Bruges typically run from early March to mid-November . During other times, the decision to operate lies with the shipping companies. The standard price for a boat tour is 12€ , with discounted rates of 7€ for children aged 4 to 12. Children under 4 can join for free. Tickets can be conveniently purchased on the spot with the respective shipping company.

Guided Boat Tours & Walking Tours

For those preferring a combined experience of a boat tour and a guided walk, expert guides lead captivating walking tours. These tours navigate the city’s winding streets and scenic canals, offering historical insights and showcasing iconic landmarks.

canal boat trip belgium

Share this:

  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)

Related Articles

BertBeckers

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Last Updated on 13 December 2023 by BertBeckers

Our Little Lifestyle

Family Travel + Airbnb Hosting Blog

canal boat trip belgium

Bruges Canal Tours: Everything You Need To Know

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

During our recent family trip to Europe, Abby and I took a day trip from Brussels to Bruges , a beautiful town in Belgium. We both wanted to go on one of the legendary Bruges canal tours. I’m so glad we did! This fairytale European city needs to be on your bucket list! 

Where is Bruges?

Bruges is a serene small Flemish town just northwest of Brussels . Visiting Bruges is a perfect day trip from Brussels and is easily accessible by train.

Bruges is known as an idyllic small European city steeped in historical charm. It’s home to gorgeous canals and many fascinating landmarks. Furthermore, The city also has many great restaurants, pubs, and street-side vendors.

Planning Bruges Canal Tours Guide with Tickets and Prices

Visiting Bruges, Belgium

If you are visiting Brussels for a few days, taking an extra day to go to Bruges is well worth the time. Its gorgeous canals winding along against ancient stone buildings have led Bruges to be called the “Venice of the North.” 

In this blog post, I want to provide information about taking a Bruges canal tour, highlight the city’s history, and discuss some landmarks you’ll likely see on these Bruges canal tours.

Canal Tour Boat in Brugges Belgium

Getting to Bruges from Brussels

From Bruges, you just need to hop on the Belgium intercity train. You can board directly from one of the main Brussels train stations, including Bruxelles-Nord (Brussels North), Bruxelles-Central (Brussels Central), and Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels South).

The Brussels to Bruges train runs all day, and the ride is just over an hour.  

The Belgium train website has a  dedicated page for the Brussels to Bruges train route , which is a great resource. You can buy tickets from that page as well. 

The route trip Brussels to Bruges train tickets are a standard € 32.00   for adults. However, there are a lot of discounted ticket options listed as well, and most are € 17.50 or less. 

canal boat tour of bruges

The Bruges Canal Tours

Once you arrive in Bruges, you want to have a game plan for your canal tour. It’s helpful to know a little bit about the layout of the city. 

Bruges rests within a mesh of several canals that penetrate and encircle the city. These canals ultimately allow boat access to the North Sea, located about 20 kilometers north of the city. The town’s access to the North Sea made Bruges a vital shipping hub for centuries. 

The canals lining the town are relatively inaccessible as they are flanked everywhere by houses and other structures. Because of this, there are only a few places, other than bridges, where you can see the canals.  

Therefore, the best way to see these picturesque canals is on a boat tour!

Instagram photo spot in Bruges. It shows historic Buildings in Brugges Belgium

Planning Bruges Canal Tours

There are five landing stages along the canals. These are the only places you can embark on a canal tour. The routes and prices are generally the same across the different tour operators. There are several canal tour operators, each with their own open-air boats.   They pretty much all follow the same route, so in my opinion, the best Bruges canal tour is the one with the shortest line.

Bruges Canal Tour Boarding Locations

Boarding takes place at the following locations. Each tour operator will leave from a different location, so be sure to check their website.

  •  Michielssens, Huidenvettersplein 13
  •  Coudenys, Rozenhoedkaai
  •  De Meulemeester, Wollestraat 32
  •  Gruuthuse, Nieuwstraat 11
  •  Stael, Katelijnestraat 4

Scroll around the above map of Bruges to get a lay of the land!

The Bruges Canal Tour boat trip takes around 30 minutes. The boats typically operate between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, with 5:30 often being the last tour. Tours generally operate most of the year, except in January and early February.  

However, the availability of tours will vary by operator. It may change based on events like municipal construction projects, canal restoration initiatives, and severe weather.

People lined up for a canal tour in Bruges. The boat is white with red trim.

Bruges Canal Tours Tickets

Unlike the canal tours in Amsterdam and the Seine River cruises in Paris , you cannot book Bruges canal tour tickets in advance. You buy your tickets directly from the tour companies at the landing stages. As of writing this, the Bruges canal tour price for adult tickets is € 12.00, and children’s tickets are € 7.00.

You may need to wait in line at the landing stages to purchase tickets. The canal tours are very popular and will get busy. Bruges has an active cruise ship industry (Norwegian, Holland America, Windstar, Celebrity), and the town will fill up with cruise passengers on day excursions.  

The extra traffic means lines for the canal tours will get longer after about 11 am. Before 11 am is the best time to ensure you have shorter lines. It also gives you the rest of the day to explore Bruges.  

TIP: Get in line for your canal tour as early as possible in Bruges. 

Private canal tours are also available. There are several different companies offering tours with different types of boats. Contact the companies directly to find out more.

There are a couple of great s mall-group Bruges canal tours available through Get Your Guide . They also include a Bruges walking tour. These are a great option if you want to be able to buy Bruges canal tour tickets in advance.

Other Things to Consider

During the canal tour, the boat guide will comment on the significant landmarks and history of the area. During our day trip to Bruges , our canal tour guide did a great job narrating the tour and pointing out interesting areas, landmarks, and historical sights. Most guides can speak multiple languages and will do their best to tailor the language to the passengers’ needs. 

The boats are cash-only. Be sure to bring a few Euros to tip your tour guide.

If you want to take pictures, try to be at the front, back, or side of the boat. Most of the boats have a line of seats down the middle, but people may block your pictures if you sit there.  

The boats are open-air and uncovered, so be sure to wear your sunscreen! Also, the tours can get pretty chilly, depending on the time of year, so bring a jacket. We love the Amazon Essentials packable jackets for our travels.

It’s always helpful to know the history and significance of a city prior to visiting. So, I want to take some time here to talk more in-depth about Bruges and, of course, the canals. Then, I will share some of the incredible landmarks that you will see from your Bruges canal tour. 

A full canal tour boat ride in the water in Brugges Belgium

The History Of Bruges And Its Canals

Bruges has witnessed a remarkable evolution over the centuries. Its history encapsulates the ebb and flow of urban development, from its Viking origins to a flourishing medieval center, economic decline, and eventual modern-day revival.  

The city’s tremendous ability to adapt to changing circumstances and preserve its cultural heritage is a testament to the strength and perseverance of the Danish people across time.

Origins of Bruges , Belgium

The origin of Bruges can be traced to the 9th century when Vikings established a fortress on the banks of the Reie River. The name “Bruges” is believed to be derived from the Old Dutch word “Burg,” meaning fortress. The city gradually developed into a bustling medieval trade center due to its strategic location and access to the North Sea.

a red and white tour boat full of people in the canal in Bruges, Belgium

The Golden Era of Bruges

Bruges experienced its golden era during the late medieval period, particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries. The city became a major commercial and cultural hub, attracting merchants, artists, and scholars across Europe.  

Its thriving wool and textile industry and a sophisticated network of canals contributed to its prosperity. Bruges was home to the influential Bourse, one of the earliest stock exchanges in the world.

Bruges Economic Decline

Despite its flourishing period, Bruges faced economic challenges in the 16th century. The silting of the Zwin, a vital waterway for trade, led to a decline in maritime activity, impacting Bruges’ economy.  

Additionally, geopolitical shifts and the rise of other European trading centers contributed to a gradual decline in the city’s prominence.

Modern Times and Revival of Bruges

For several centuries, Bruges endured a period of relative obscurity. However, in the 19th century, efforts were made to preserve its medieval architecture, and the city gained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.  

The 20th century saw a revival in Bruges’ fortunes, with tourism becoming a key driver of its economy. The city’s well-preserved medieval structures, including the Belfry of Bruges and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, attract millions of visitors annually.

A canal tour, as shown in this tour, is a unique thing to do in Bruges

What Do You See on the Bruges Canal Tours?

During the Bruges canal tours, your tour guide will highlight many fascinating landmarks. Each place gives you a window into the long history of this amazing city.  

Like many European cities, it’s steeped in lore that spans epochs, and seemingly every bridge or building has a colorful and long legacy.  

Here is a list of many sites you will probably see on the Bruges canal tours. 

Founded in 1245, the Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde boasts serene white-colored house fronts and a tranquil convent garden.  

This UNESCO World Heritage site was once the residence of beguines—emancipated laywomen leading pious and celibate lives. Today, the beguinage is home to the Order of St. Benedict nuns.

Saint John’s Hospital

With an eight-hundred-year history, Saint John’s Hospital has cared for pilgrims, travelers, the poor, and the sick. Explore the medieval wards where nuns and monks practiced mercy, the chapel, and a remarkable collection of archives, artworks, medical instruments, and six paintings by Hans Memling.  

A canal tour boat in Bruges cruises along the water with historical buildings in the background.

Church of Our Lady

The Church of Our Lady showcases Bruges’ artisans’ craftsmanship through its 115.5 meters high brick tower. The church has valuable art, including Michelangelo’s renowned Madonna and Child, numerous paintings, 13th-century painted crypts, and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Abby and I visited after our canal tour, and it was incredible! 

Historic building in Brugges Belgium

Groeninge Museum

Offering a diverse overview of Belgian plastic arts history, the Groeninge Museum features Flemish Primitives, 18th and 19th-century neoclassical pieces, Flemish Expressionism masterpieces, and post-war modern art.

Ambachtshuis Huidevetters

Built by hide tanners, this craft house near Rozenhoedkaai has two wings. The north wing, demolished in 1629, was replaced in 1630 under the guidance of Bruges architect Jan De Smet. The building was restored in 1912. It has been used as a fishmonger and stockfish farm since the mid-19th century.

historic Buildings and people waiting in line for a canal tour in Brugges Belgium

Belfry & Carillon

Bruges’ tallest tower, the Belfry, standing 83 meters tall, houses a melodic carillon with 47 bells. Climbing its 366 steps rewards you with a breathtaking panoramic view of Bruges and its surroundings.

Fish Market

Originally located at Markt Square, the fish market was moved here in the 18th century due to complaints about the stench. Since the Middle Ages, buyers and sellers have come together at the Bruges fish market. Fresh saltwater fish, once a luxury, is still sold every morning from Wednesday to Saturday.

These small whitewashed almshouses, dating back to the 14th century, are scattered around Bruges. Wealthy townspeople or guilds established almshouses to house poor older adults or widows. Over 46 blocks have been preserved, with 43 still occupied.

History of Bruges Historical Building

Burghers’ Lodge

Situated on Jan Van Eyckplein, the Poortersloge (Burgher’s Lodge) served as a meeting spot for the Society of the White Bear in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Later, it became the city’s Academy of Arts (1720-1890) and the State Archives (1912-2012).

Church of our Lady in Bruges. Image taked from a canal tour boat

Visiting Bruges: The “Venice of the North”

Visiting Bruges to take one of the Bruges canal tours is a fantastic way to add something special to your trip to Belgium. Its quaint stone houses, romantic canals, cobbled streets, cookies, waffles, and chocolate make it a bucket-list destination to take friends and family of any age.  

The iconic canals are a dream for photographers. Travel to and around the city is simple and inexpensive. And as you can tell by this post, Bruges canal tours should be on your list. I recommend this trip to everyone!  

Visit the European Travel section of my blog for more adventures in Europe, and you may also enjoy the related posts below.

Our Magical Brussels To Bruges Day Trip

2 Days in Brussels: What We Did

Hotel Indigo Brussels City

European Travel Essentials

How To Plan A Trip To Europe For Your Family 

PIN: Bruges Canal Tours Guide

Bruges canal tours

Related Posts

canal boat trip belgium

14 Exciting Panama City Beach Water Activities For Families

April 2, 2024 April 2, 2024

Flyover Las Vegas Lost Cactus Bar

Flyover Las Vegas: Immersive Flying Experience On The Las Vegas Strip  

March 22, 2024 March 22, 2024

Daily activities on a cruise ship: Flow Rider

7 Reasons Cruising With Teenagers is Great in 2024

January 25, 2024 January 25, 2024

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover the city of Bruges via a boat trip on the Bruges canals

What are the opening times.

Reservations are only possible for groups of minimum 20 people between 9 am and 5 pm, from 1 March to 31 October. In the winter months we are, depending on the weather conditions, only open on Saturdays and Sundays and reservations can only be made between 9 am and 11 am. Without a reservation it is usually impossible to take a boat trip with a group.

Where do we have to board

Departures and arrivals are at the same address: Bootexcursies Gruuthuse, boarding point 3, Nieuwstraat 11, 8000 Bruges. This is near the Our Lady church (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk), on the corner of the Nieuwstraat and Dijver. (It is not possible to get on or off the boat anywhere else.)

Admit it, a visit to the beautiful city of Bruges is not complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals.

We use cookies.

Types of cookies..

Canal Barge Cruises

Belgium - From Holland to Belgium to Paris

  

Cruise through Holland, country of windmills, clogs and cheese

Boats Of Bruges

canal boat trip belgium

  • See all photos

canal boat trip belgium

Similar Experiences

canal boat trip belgium

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Lucian M

Boats Of Bruges - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

  • Saint Lucia
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Beach Getaway
  • Village Life
  • History & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Fun & Adventure
  • My Travel Bucket List

Bruges by Boat: Tips for the Famous Canal Tour

canal boat trip belgium

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of Bruges, Belgium, are serene winding canals abutted by quaint stone houses. The city’s famous canals give it the nickname The Venice of the North .

The thing that was most surprising to me about our trip to Bruges this July was how relatively inaccessible the canals are. There are few places where you can actually walk along the canal since they’re lined with buildings, so the main views are along the few, crowded bridges that cross the water. In order to really experience the canals and the beautiful buildings along the water, you need to be on a boat , which is why the canal tours are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Canal tour boat landing and view of historic architecture in Bruges Brugge Belgium

One of five boat landings for Bruges Canal Tour

Luckily, a canal tour is a relatively inexpensive way to experience the canals and architecture of this historic city. Here are some useful tips I learned based on our experience:

  • There are 5 boat landings along the canals, but the route and price are the same for all ( 8 Euro for a 30-35 minute tour ). It’s only the start and end point that will vary, so my suggestion is to simply pick the one with the shortest line. We approached one with a relatively short line but decided to keep looking and found another one just a block away where we were able to walk straight onto the boat. Click here for a map showing the location of the five boat landings (link will open in a new window).
  • The boats typically run every 15-20 minutes . The boats will also wait until the boat is full or nearly full before departing.
  • The best seats for getting unobstructed photos are at the very front or very back. The boats have a row of single seats that run down the middle, which would be the worst for photos. It may be worth waiting until the next boat to come along if only middle seats are available.
  • The tours run daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm (last boat leaves at 5:30pm) from March to mid-November . Bruges is flooded by cruise ship patrons and day-trippers during the peak hours of the day, so the lines are significantly shorter before 11:00 and become very long in the afternoon. Plan accordingly!
  • Our boat driver/guide did a nice job narrating the ride, pointing out sights and answering questions for us along the way. We saw some boats with a recorded audio guide, which seemed less interesting. The guide asked everyone on the boat what language they spoke and carried out the tour in both English and French.
  • The tour is cash only . You may also want to bring a few extra euros along to tip your driver.

Any other questions? Leave them in the comment section and I’ll try my best to answer them. Happy boating!

' src=

Alison Macbeth

You might also like.

canal boat trip belgium

How to DIY Norway in a Nutshell: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shingled house with red door near harbor of Edgartown Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts

Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard: Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown

canal boat trip belgium

3 Days in Barcelona: Picasso, Modernisme, and Tapas Galore

  • Who are we?
  • Our commitments for responsible cruising
  • 6 good reasons to cruise with us
  • Your boating holiday in 4 steps
  • See all FAQ
  • Canal du Midi & Camargue
  • South West - NEW
  • Burgundy Nivernais & Loire
  • Burgundy Saône
  • Alsace & Ardennes
  • Charente valley - NEW
  • Shannon & Erne
  • Holland & Amsterdam
  • Venice Lagoon
  • Mecklenburg lakes
  • Brandenburg & Berlin
  • Saale valley - NEW
  • Cruise & dive
  • City breaks
  • Legendary routes
  • Disconnect & take a break
  • Two on a boat
  • Boating for foodies
  • Inexperience welcome!
  • Pénichettes Classique ®
  • Pénichettes Aft-Deck ®
  • Pénichettes Flying Bridge ®
  • Pénichettes Evolution ®
  • Europa Boats
  • Linssen Boats
  • Partners Boats
  • Choose your boat
  • Prices 2024
  • Brochure 2024
  • Optional services
  • Permanent Offers
  • Locaboat Gift Voucher - NEW
  • Cancellation Insurance - NEW
  • Our special & permanent offers
  • Long weekends 👒 Season 2024
  • One-way trips
  • Search & Book
  • +44 (0)20 3966 4318
  • Booking enquiry
  • Customer account
  • 0044 (0)20 3966 4318
  • Confirm your held booking
  • Pay your balance
  • Prepare your cruise

canal boat trip belgium

Boating holidays in Belgium & Flanders

  • Partnership

From the departure base: Ypern & Kuurne / West-Flanders / Kinrooi

canal boat trip belgium

Nowhere in the world are so many historic, interesting towns and cities linked by waterways as in Belgium, northern France and the southern Netherlands.

With the Linssen motor yachts which you, as a customer of Linssen Boating Holidays®, can charter in the Belgian bases in Ypern and Kuurne (Kortrijk), West-Flanders or in Kinrooi near Maaseik in Belgium Limburg, you can combine relaxation with culture in a stylish manner, as you are close to cities such as Düsseldorf, Aachen, Amsterdam or Brussels.

The peaceful waterways lead through beautiful countryside to well-known towns such as Brugge and Gent (you just have to spend a day on the beach!) as well as idyllic spots such as Diksmuide, Oudenaarde and Veurne. Once across the Limburg Border Meuse, you reach the cities of Liège, Maastricht and Roermond. There you can visit interesting museums or just have a great time shopping in Maasmechelen, Roermond or Lille outlet centers. And of course you can also try out the restaurants and their culinary highlights, such as the uniquely abundant range of fantastic Belgian beers and chocolates. It‘s no coincidence that Belgians are referred to as bon viveurs.

Start typing and press Enter to search

canal boat trip belgium

Get on board!

Subscribe and get into Locaboat's universe, discover our best travel advice and receive our exclusive offers. * By registering you agree to our privacy policy

Rondleiding in Brugge

Augustijnenrei (Augustine Canal)

Coupure

Gouden-Handrei

Groenerei

Minnewater (Lake of Love)

Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay)

Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay)

200405_JAN2508-bewerkt©jandarthet.jpg

Visiting Bruges by boat?

A visit to Bruges is not complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals, the arteries of the city!

Les activités bateaux reprennent dès les 3 avril, avec un programme inédit jusqu'au 26 avril. 

Les bateaux électriques seront de retour dès le 27 avril à la Cantine des Italiens.

canal boat trip belgium

  • Visits and excursions
  • Activities and heritage
  • Groups and incentives

canal boat trip belgium

The Historic Canal du Centre

The cruises will start again on 1 April 2023

Discover hundred-year-old boat lifts! !

Considered a pure masterpiece of Belgian civil engineering, the Historic Centre Canal and its four hydraulic lifts are one of the most remarkable examples of an industrial landscape from the last century. Initially designed to link the Sambre and Scheldt basins and thus facilitate the transit of goods from the North to the South of the country, the Historic Centre Canal is now exclusively devoted to river tourism.

Guided excursion / Duration: approx. 2h-2h30

Departing from the Strépy-Thieu funicular lift, board one of our promenade boats and let yourself be seduced by the bucolic charm of the Historic Centre Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its hydraulic lifts, the only ones in the world still in their original state and operating with the force of water alone! You will cross lift no. 4 and then head for lift no. 3 where a visit to the machine room is planned to learn the secrets of the manufacture and operation of these hundred-year-old lifts !

Bateaux électriques sur le Canal du Centre historique

From Saturday 1 April until 29 October, from Wednesday to Sunday. Departure at 10 am and 2 pm

Check in at the ticket office 30 minutes before departure.

Www.canalducentre/reserver, for all practical information:.

Please contact our sales department on +32 78 05 90 59 or by e-mail: [email protected] - accessible from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Enjoy your visit !

Prices (for individuals) 

  • Student/60+ 15€
  • Family size 12€
  • Child (4 to 12 y) 12€
  • 0 - 3 y free

Reservation required due to the limited number of seats on board.

Ascenseur de Strépy-Thieu, Rue Raymond Cordier 50, 7070 Thieu (Le Roeulx)

Our other visits

Exposition Strépy-Thieu

The boat lift of Strépy-Thieu

Politique générale de confidentialité | Cookie policy | Change your consent

IMAGES

  1. The Bruges Boat Tour of the Canals

    canal boat trip belgium

  2. Bruges by Boat: Tips for the Famous Canal Tour

    canal boat trip belgium

  3. Bruges Canal Tour: Complete 2023 Guide

    canal boat trip belgium

  4. BRUGES │ BELGIUM. BRUGES' canals boat tour. HD. NEW!

    canal boat trip belgium

  5. The Perfect One Week Belgium Vacation

    canal boat trip belgium

  6. Bruges Canal Boat Tours

    canal boat trip belgium

VIDEO

  1. Canal Boat trip in Birmingham UK#boat ride#explore #nature #spring #niceplace #mustvisit

  2. DUDLEY CANAL BOAT TRIP 2023

  3. A Relaxing Canal Boat Trip Netherton West Midlands

  4. Canal Boat Tour in Copenhagen, Nyhavn

  5. Canal Boat trip with Eliska, Annie & Suki

  6. 2023 Canal Boat

COMMENTS

  1. Bruges Canal Tour: Complete Travel Guide in 2024

    Bruges boats typically run from early March to November and the first boat leaves at 10.00 am. The last boat trips run until 6 pm, which is good to see all the spots during the day and get relatively unobstructed photos. In terms of price, they are as follows: Adults: €12,00. Children (up to 11 years old): €7,00.

  2. Bruges by boat

    Bruges by boat. A visit to Bruges is not complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals, the arteries of the city. Accompanied by swans floating alongside you on the water, you will discover Bruges from a surprising perspective, because some things you can only see from the water! You can embark at one of the five landing stages in the heart ...

  3. Self-drive canal boat holidays in Belgium

    Belgium. Rent with alpha-croisiere.com your boating holidays to enjoy one of our river and canal boats on Belgium waterways. We offer the largest selection of barges on the market. Consult the list of all our river and canal boats available in Belgium to find the most suitable for you and contact us by email or call us on +33 (0) 3 85 40 55 50 ...

  4. Bruges old town tour and canal cruise

    Bruges old town tour & canal cruise. Explore the long history of Bruges on a historic walking tour of the old town, and then embark on a peaceful cruise down the city's canals. On the walking tour, your guide will bring you to see Markt, the city's market square in the heart of the old town. Here, you can opt to climb the 366 steps to the ...

  5. Canal Trip Bruges-Damme

    From Bruges to Damme. Apr 2013 • Family. The return trip on the 'Lamme Goedzak' from Bruges to Damme is well worth the €10. It takes about 30/35 minutes each way, just enough time to sample one of the beers aboard including the beer that goes by the same name as the boat.

  6. Bruges Boat Tour: Take a Magical Cruise Through the Bruges Canals

    Dates, availability & Prices. Boat tours in Bruges typically run from early March to mid-November. During other times, the decision to operate lies with the shipping companies. The standard price for a boat tour is 12€, with discounted rates of 7€ for children aged 4 to 12. Children under 4 can join for free.

  7. THE 5 BEST Bruges Boat Tours (Updated 2024)

    Boat Tours • Sightseeing Tours. By Camper813665. Excellent boat tour around Brugge canals, very beautiful, prerecorded audio in multiple languages, lovely little ride... 6. Coudenys N.V. 8. Boat Tours. By 824janisp. We took the opportunity to see Bruges from the canals this afternoon.

  8. Bruges Canal Tours: Everything You Need To Know

    The Bruges Canal Tour boat trip takes around 30 minutes. The boats typically operate between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, with 5:30 often being the last tour. ... Visiting Bruges to take one of the Bruges canal tours is a fantastic way to add something special to your trip to Belgium. Its quaint stone houses, romantic canals, cobbled streets, cookies ...

  9. 2024 Guided boat trip and walk provided by City Tour Belgium

    On average, this experience will take approximately 2h 30m. Discover and book Guided boat trip and walk on Tripadvisor. Help. If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we'd be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 209749P3. +1 855 275 5071.

  10. Canal boating holidays in Belgium

    Flanders, the province of Belgium, has the largest network of waterways in Europe with more than 30 canals. From Nieuwpoort to Ghent, via Bruges and Kortrijk, you navigate by licence-free boat through Belgian cities steeped in history and with atypical architecture. You can start your river cruise in Nieuwpoort. Lets get on board.

  11. Bruges by boat

    Admit it, a visit to the beautiful city of Bruges is not complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals. Contact Nieuwstraat 11, 8000 Brugge T +32 50 33 32 93 [email protected]. Bootex Boottochten Brugge Boottochten Gruuthuse VAT BE 0405.093.378 . Navigate. Home; Prices; Location; FAQ;

  12. Bruges Canal Tour: the best way to explore Bruges, Belgium

    Costs of a canal tour in Bruges. A boat tour in Bruges is relatively inexpensive. You pay about € 12,00 per person for a 30 minutes trip at the dock. Children up to 11 years old pay around € 10,00, Bruges residents around € 9,00 and children up to 3 years can go along for free. Make sure to reserve your spot online, as tickets get sold ...

  13. Belgium

    Please see the individual barge's itineraries for the diverse routes and excursions they include. For more information, call 1-800-880-0071 or. Click to Request Information. . Cruise through Belgium on a luxury barge, visiting beautiful Bruges-Venice of the North. Walk the vibrant city of Ghent and tour Ruben's home in Antwerp.

  14. The BEST Bruges Cruises & boat tours 2024

    Our most recommended Bruges Cruises & boat tours. 1. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour. Discover 2 of Flanders' most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo's Cathedral ...

  15. Boats Of Bruges

    Jun 2020 • Couples. Relaxing and quiet trip through the canals of Bruges in an electric boat - much more peaceful than the motor boats. The trip takes about 40 minutes and has interesting commentary in several languages including English. Boats of Bruges is a family business cruising since 1956 now in the 4th generation.

  16. Bruges by Boat: Tips for the Famous Canal Tour

    The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of Bruges, Belgium, are serene winding canals abutted by quaint stone houses. The city's famous canals give it the nickname The Venice of the North. In order to really experience the canals and the beautiful buildings along the water, you need to be on a boat, which is why the canal tours are one of the most popular tourist ...

  17. Bruges: Guided Walking Tour And Canal Boat Trip

    Nestled in the northwest corner of Belgium, Bruges beckons travelers with its historical charm and enchanting canals. Often referred to as the Venice of the

  18. Canal boat holidays Belgium

    It's no coincidence that Belgians are referred to as bon viveurs. Book this destination. +44 (0)20 3966 4318. brochure. Discover boating holidays in Belgium & Flanders on a self-drive canal boat with our partner LBH 🛥️ Belgium & Flanders boat hire : Bruges Ypres Gent.

  19. Belgium River Cruises & Boat Hire

    A Belgium river and canal cruise takes in some of Europe's most ... Our extensive network of bases across 9 countries means you can enjoy a return-trip or choose from a wide selection of one-way routes. ... We have more river and canal boats available than any other operator, available to hire between April and October. Our wide range of boats ...

  20. Canals of Bruges

    The canal was a part of Bruges' first city walls. It was excavated in the 12th century, and... Gouden-Handrei , 8000 Brugge. Read more. Free Bridges and water ... A visit to Bruges is not complete without a boat trip on the Bruges canals, the arteries of the city! More info . Visit Bruges. Postbus 744. B-8000 Brugge +32 50 44 46 46 ...

  21. The Canals of Bruges

    A tour of the canals in Bruges runs between 30-45 minutes, with 30 minutes being the average. Most tours will cost between 15-25€, which is pretty affordable compared to other boat-based attractions. For instance, a boat tour at the Venetian in Las Vegas will easily run you 50 bucks and you're not even in Venice!

  22. The Historic Canal du Centre

    Boat trip. Guided excursion / Duration: approx. 2h-2h30. Departing from the Strépy-Thieu funicular lift, board one of our promenade boats and let yourself be seduced by the bucolic charm of the Historic Centre Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its hydraulic lifts, the only ones in the world still in their original state and operating ...

  23. Belgium Boating Holidays

    Canal boat rental in Belgium with Le Boat will take you to the heart of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking area of Belgium. The capital of this region is Brussels, which has a mixture of Latin and Germanic cultures, and it is also one of the headquarters of the European Union. ... "The boat was well presented and clean, and the pre-trip briefing was ...