Quaint and Charming
If you are looking for a calming getaway from Brussels, and a trip back in time, Bruges is the place for you. While obviously a tourist town, it is touristy for a reason. It is very picturesque, with canals, cobblestone streets, and small fairy-tale-like homes. I came in winter (the off season) so a lot of things were closed, but most of the main attractions were open.
Insider Tip:If you want quality Belgian chocolate but don't want to pay the name-brand prices, Brugge has some really good deals. My favorite chocolate store was Chocolaterie de Burg, located near the blood basilica. The prices were fantastic, chocolate quality and customer service was superb, and nearly everything was handmade.