World's Most Beautiful Canal Cities
The capital of West Flanders is lovely and underrated (you don’t hear about your cousin honeymooning here or a family friend making it her 65th birthday trip). The well-preserved city center of brick Gothic architecture was once the stomping ground of the Flemish old master painters. Of the canals that make up a moat around the old town and snake out to the ocean, Dijver runs between antique shops and the Church of Our Lady; Groene Rei is tree-lined and tranquil; and Spinolarei has stepped gable houses.
How to Do It Right: Book a stay at the quirky, cool Hotel De Barge moored just outside the city center in the Bruges-Ghent canal.