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Historium Brugge: discovering Medieval Bruges

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If you’re expecting to visit a yet another history museum, you are in for a surprise! Bruges Historium is all about new technologies!


Accommodation, flights, activities, cruises …
You’ll find all the Captain’s suggestions in the section
Captain Ulysses’ favourites at the very end of the article!

Is the Historium in Bruges worth a visit?

Is Historium Brugge worth a visit? It’s hard for Captain Ulysses to give a definite answer.

One thing is certain though: if you’re expecting to visit yet another history museum, you are in for a surprise! You won’t find anything remotely resembling a dusty exhibition about the city’s history here. Historium Brugge is all about new technologies: that’s both the museum’s greatest quality and biggest flaw! Because while the tour is truly impressive and interactive (virtual reality…), you’ll get out not quite sure whether you have truly learnt anything new about Bruges’ history.

In a nutshell, if you’re visiting Bruges with kids, then the Historium is most definitely worth a visit. If you’re not, the answer is slighly more complex. Historium Brugge is an interesting experience, but not necessarily an enriching tour, and history lovers might just not be all that impressed.

It up to you to decide whether you’ll enjoy this type of museum or if you’d rather just pass!

🤩 Best visits & activities in Bruges 🤩

Visiting the Historium

The Historium’s building

The Historium is housed in a stunning Neo-Gothic building in Bruges’ city centre, on the Market Place (the Markt).

Though it dates back to 1902, it is located on the exact spot where the Medieval Waterhalle used to stand. This old warehouse was the hub for local trade. It was knocked down in 1787 and a Provincial Palace was built in its place, but the building burned down less than a century later.

Bruges Historium

The Historium Story: an interactive tour experience

The Historium Story takes visitors on a journey through 15th century Bruges through the story of Jacob, an apprentice of famous painter Jan van Eyck.

Based on the van Eyck’s iconic painting ‘Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele’, the story follows Jacob’s quest throughout the city.

The tour takes visitors through 7 thematic rooms as Jacob’s story unravels. Each room offers a multi-sensory immersion in Medieval Bruges and gives visitors an overview of what the people’s lives were like in 1435, from the city’s docks to Jan van Eyck’s worksop, and even Bruges ancient open to all.

Though Jacob’s story is quite compelling, Captain Ulysses regretted that lack of actual historical information provided throughout the tour.

Historium-Brugge-Historium-Story

The Historium Exhibition

After the Historium Story, the museum includes a short, factual exhibition on the city’s golden age. It briefly presents the people’s daily lives, Bruges’ architecture and fortifications as well as the city’s economic vitality in the Middle-Ages.

Panoramic terrace

One of the Historium’s greatest assets is also the panoramic terrace which offers a magnificent view on the Market Place.

While visitors must pay to access tothe Historium Tower, access to the panoramic terrace is included in the standard ticket, so you might as well enjoy it!

The Historium Tower

You’ll have to pay an extra 7 € to acess the Historium Tower, which stands right by the Historium. The tower is 35 meters (115 ft) high, and offers a 360-degree view of the city’s historical centre. But you’ll have to earn it and climb 145 steps to get to viewing platform, which is perched 26 meters (85 ft) above the ground.

Be warned: the stairway and the viewing platform are quite narrow. If you’re afraid of heights or claustrophobic, you might want to pass!

Children under 14 are not allowed to visit the Historium Tower.

The Historium Virtual Reality: a virtual tour of Medieval Bruges

Visitors are invited to step in a virtual reality booth where they’ll travel back in time and spend 8 minutes in Medieval Bruges.

Duvelorium

As Captain Ulysses is quite the beer lover, he most definitely enjoyed the Duvelorium, a bar sponsored by beer brand Duvel and housed within the Historium.

As is to be expected, the drinks are quite expensive but feel free to drop by, if only to have a look. The interior design is gorgeous. Captain Ulysses particularly enjoyed the chandelier made of empty beer bottles.

Historium-Bruges-Duvelorium

Access

Getting there

The Historium is located on the Market Place, in the very centre of the city. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm. The admission is at 5pm, one hour before closing time.

Admission

Visitors are free to chose between 3 different types of tickets:

The Explorer Ticket includes acess to the Historium Story and the Historium Exhibition. Prices are:

  • 14 € for adults
  • 10 € for students
  • 7,50 € for children aged 3 to 12
  • Free admission for children under 3

The TimeTraveller Ticket includes access to the Historium Story, the Historium Exhibition and the Historium Virtual Reality (children must be over 6). Prices are:

  • 17,50 € for adults
  • 13,50 € for students
  • 11 € for children aged 6 to 12

The Thirsty Time Traveller Ticket includes access to the Historium Story, the Historium Exhibition and the Historium Virtual Reality (children must be over 6), as well as a drink in the Duvelorium. Prices are:

  • 19,50 € for adults
  • 15,50 € for students
  • 13 € for children aged 6 to 12

To avoid the queue, the Captain recommends booking your tickets online.

Hear, hear, sailors!
If you’re looking for more tips & recommendations on the best sights and monuments in Bruges, Captain Ulysses has a few articles in store which might spark up your interest:
A Guide to Bruges: the best things to do in the Venice of the North
Where to eat in Bruges?
the Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde
Bruges Beer Experience
Ghent’s waterfront


The Captain’s favourites in Bruges

🛏️ ACCOMMODATIONS
If your looking for a hotel in Bruges, Captain Ulysses highly recommends checking out Booking.com. From cheap accommodation to luxury hotels, you’ll find a wide range of options.
If your budget is a bit tight, the Captain recommends Hotel ‘t Putje: the rooms are a bit spartan but the staff are lovely and the hotel’s location is ideal.
But if you want to treat yourself, you should definitely consider Heritage Hotel: it is both somptuous, intimate and welcoming, perfect for a luxurious stay in Bruges.

🎟️ ACTIVITIES
If you’re looking to book your visits and activities in advance – which you definitely should if you’re visiting Bruges during high season – Captain Ulysses recommends three websites: Civitatis , Tiqets and GetYourGuide. Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets … there’s plenty to choose from!

🚐 TRANSFERS
A lot of visitors travel to Bruges from Amsterdam or Brussels. If that’s your case, you can easily book your transfer from Amsterdam here. You can also opt for an all-included day-trip: from Amsterdam (in English) or from Brussels (available in 7 languages).

🚌 ON-SITE TRANSPORT
Bruges is rather small and fairly easy to explore on foot. The city center is also pedestrian. But if you’d rather not walk, you can always opt for an electric scooter or a rickshaw!

✈️ FLIGHTS, TRAINS & BUS
Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Skyscanner to book your flights to Bruges, You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible. Bruges is also easily accessible by train and bus. To book your tickets, we highly recommend Trainline, which integrates the offer of 207 train and bus companies in 44 countries.

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Historium Brugge - interactive tour of Medieval Bruges

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