Bruges is a city of contrasts. Medieval buildings and cobbled laneways sit alongside busy tourist attractions and lively markets. Cars and buses squeeze past horse-drawn carriages in the narrow streets. Shops are filled with traditional lacework and divinely decadent chocolates while a few steps away stalls sell Belgian frites and waffles. The blend of old and new is seamless.
Walk through the door of the Volkskundemuseum in Baalstraat and suddenly you’ve travelled backwards in time for a unique shopping experience. Inside this row of 17th century almshouses is a collection of olden day shops; their stories told in life-sized dioramas.
The milliner’s shop has the latest fashionable hats, created to match a new dress purchased from the dressmaker, while for men the tailor can craft a new suit in just a few days.
No outfit would be complete without a pair of bespoke shoes handmade by the local cobbler.
At the grocer’s there’s a wide range of food on display while the confectionery store is a magnet for those with a sweet tooth.
And if too many chocolates have been eaten, the apothecary can help with the necessary medicine.
At the Black Cat Tavern one of Bruge’s famous beers might be stored in barrels just like this one.
At the end of a busy shopping day refreshments might just be the best purchase of all!