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Astridpark’s highlights

October 29th, 2007

bruges astridpark_4Food and Drinks in Astridpark
Astridpark is also a perfect picnic spot—close enough to Market Square that you won’t die of hunger on the walk to the park, and far enough away from tourists (and expensive lunches) to find peace and quiet. Get your picnic supplies outside the south gate, where locals have labeled this meeting of five streets “The Golden Triangle.” The best bakery and butcher in Bruges have shops here, and you can buy fruits & vegetables in a third shop. Inside the park, a snack kiosk sits near the gazebo, in season. Try a waffle with jam (or buy two and make a jam & butter sandwich).

Outside Astridpark
Bruges is one of those towns where you’ll find great cafés and restaurants on any street. If you want to meet the locals and eat as-close-to-homemade dishes, walk a few blocks away from Market Square. Astridpark is the locals’ park for sure, and so you can find a café on any one of its border streets. For a beer a toast maison, or heaping of spaghetti with red wine, try De Estaminet, across the street from the park’s north entrance on Gevangenisstraat. Down the block on the same street you’ll find Casteleyn, a butcher shop that also sells a kilo of pancakes for €4.50 (@ $5).

For sightseeing, walk out the south entrance, through “the golden triangle” and down Gentpoortstraat to find one of the remaining old city gates built along the main canal that surrounds Bruges. West of the park, at the corner of Uthusestraat and Mariastraat, is Michelangelo’s “Madonna with Child” sculpture inside Church of Our Lady. For a full list of sights, read through the Bruges city description.

Specialty boutiques seem to pop up along the smallest streets in old towns, and Bruges is no exception—in fact it excels in this area. Around Astridpark, you can find hat shops, second-hand vintage clothes, chocolatiers, and a used-record store (yes…actual vinyl!).

bruges astridpark_5Rent a bicycle for the day if you want to see everything in Bruges (and beyond— the North Sea is only a 45-minute ride). A big bike rental shop is next to the train station, and about four others are around town. Daily rentals cost around €9.50.

Directions to Astridpark
Astridpark is just southeast from Bruges’s town center. From the Market Square, leave south through Wollestraat, cross the canal and make the first left (Rozenhoedkaai), then turn right at the second street (J. Suveestraat) and walk two short blocks.

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