General Info about Bruges, Belgium

The currency used in Belgium is the Euro which is made up of 100 Cent. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, 0.50C, 0.20C, 0.10C, 0.05C, 0.02C and 0.01C.

Money and travellers cheques can be changed either at the main tourist office or in any of the banks in Bruges. You will find automatic teller machines in the Markt and at numerous other points in the city center. They can be accessed by major credit cards, bank cards linked to the Cirrus and Plus networks, Eurocheque cards, and some can also be accessed by the major charge cards

Belgium's climate is a moderate one meaning that there are few extremes in temperature either in summer or winter in Bruges. It is worth remembering, however, that it does rain a lot and although there are more showers than downpours it is a good idea to bring rain gear when visiting. Temperatures are lowest in December and January, when they average 42°F, and highest in July and August, when they average 73°F.

For anyone from the U.S., Canada or the EU intending to visit Bruges on holiday, all that is required is a current passport. If you are a national of another country or intend staying on to study or work you are advised to contact the Belgian consulate in your area.

Time Zone
Bruges is one hour ahead of GMT and six hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time.

Tourist Office
The main tourist office is located near the main exit of the railway station at Burg 11 and provides general tourist information as well as hotel bookings. Telephone 00 32 50 448686 or email at toerisme@brugge.be.

The telephone area code for Bruge is 050. If you are calling Bruges from outside Belgium place 00 before the area code, followed by 50. Public phones are found at the post office as well as on the street.

Because Bruges is not really the type of place to go looking for designer gear the best things to shop for while visiting are the local specialities. Lace is the first item on the shopping list and while the machine made variety is becoming increasingly more popular, the superior hand made variety can still be found. You just have to look. Other authentic and popular Belgian products which can be picked up are chocolates, cheeses and of course no trip would be complete without buying a sample or two of the local brews which include Straffe Hendrick, Brugse Tarwebier and Brugse Tripel.

If it is shopping of the classier variety that you are after,however, the more upmarket shops and boutiques can be found in the streets around the Markt and t Zand, including Geldmuntstraat, Noordzandstraat, Steenstraat, Zuidzandstraat, and Vlamingstraat. Most shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, with late-night shopping to 9pm on Friday. Many also open on Sunday, especially in summer.

Post Office
Bruge's main post office is located at Markt 250 (tel. 050/36-85-97) and is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. It also opens on Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Belgium they take place on January 1st, Easter Monday, May 1st, Ascension Thursday, the first Monday in June, July 21st, August 15th, November 1st and 11th and December 25th. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

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