If you’re expecting to visit a yet another history museum, you are in for a surprise! Bruges Historium is all about new technologies!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Bruges? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!
Looking for an hotel in Bruges ? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Bruges ? Advice & recommendations
Planning your trip to Bruges? Take a look at the Captain’s article on the best things to do in the city: A Guide to Bruges
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!
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.
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.
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.
One of the Historium’s greatest assets is also the panoramic terrace which offers a magnificent view on quite simply breathtaking.
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.
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.
The Historium is located on the Market Place, in the very centre of the city. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm. St admission is at 5pm, one hour before closing time.
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 waiting in line, the Captain recommends booking your tickets online.
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in Bruges!
👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!
🛏️ Accommodation: 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: aIf you’re looking to book your visits and activities in advance – which you definitely should if you’re visiting Bruges during the high season – Captain Ulysses recommends three websites: Civitatis, Tiqets and GetYourGuide. Guided tours, sport activities … there’s plenty to choose from!
🚐 Transfers: many visitors decide to 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 or from Brussels (available in 7 languages).
🚌 Local transports: 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: 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, the Captain highly recommends Omio.
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