if you are interested in Flea Markets you may as well stroll along the Dijver during the weekend. It is hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for an antiques market than Bruges’ historic city centre. We meet at the Dijver on both Saturday and Sunday (Sat-Sun, March 15th -November 10am-6pm.)
Belgians have a long-standing passion for antique fairs and flea markets.
However, in Dutch, ‘rommel’, which translates literally as ‘stuff’, sounds a tad disrespectful when you are talking about the religious statue that used to perch on top of Grandma’s cabinet.
Or what about the postcards and old magazines that Uncle Bob used to collect without missing a single issue or the car models you played with for hours on end when you were a kid?
The appeal of an antiques fair, large or small, is that you are transported back in time, to your own childhood or even further into the past. Tangible objects show you the daily lives of previous generations.
If you are into vintage books, second-hand clothes, dolls, figurines and all kinds of bric-a-brac from days gone past, then this is the place to go.
During the summer months, keep an eye out for the dates of the ‘Zandfeesten’. Three Sundays in summer, a huge antiques market takes over the Zand, a large square on the edge of the city.
It also spreads out into Koning Albertpark and Beursplein, the square in the vicinity of the central railway station. If you want to grab a bargain or two, you had better set your alarm clock early, as this event attracts droves of visitors. Walk the entire length of the fair and you will have clocked five kilometres without even noticing.
Along the Dijver you will also find the Hotel De Tuilerieën, the College of Europe and the Groeninge Museum.
Hotel De Tuilerieën is an elegant patrician house from the 15th century that has been transformed into a luxurious, contemporary hotel.
The College of Europe is an independent university institute of postgraduate European studies. According to The Times, the "College of Europe in Bruges, is to the European political elite what the Harvard Business School is to American corporate life. It is a hothouse where the ambitious and talented go to make contacts.
The Groeninge Museum is the place to be if you have an interest in Flemish Masters and/or want to experience something new and different in art.
All photos © M. Willems for visit-bruges.be