When you explore the historic cities of Belgium, such as Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels,, you can dive into the past by taking a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride. These cities give you a special chance to travel back in time and enjoy the old cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and romantic atmosphere in a charming and unique way.
Carriage rides come with knowledgeable local guides who share historical anecdotes, city legends, and interesting facts about the landmarks you’ll pass.
Where to Find Carriage Rides?
Carriage rides are usually available in popular city areas like Bruges, Antwerp, and Brussels near famous landmarks.
Brussels: in the Grand Place
Antwerp: in the Grote Markt
Bruges: in the Grote Markt
Cost and Duration
In general, the tour is 35 minutes long (including a 5 minute stop for the horse) for 50 ~ 70 Euros, per carriage.
Do I Need to Reserve in Advance?
No, rides are on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you wish to avoid potentially longer waiting times, you have the option to pre-book your carriage in advance. Booking a carriage ride in advance is frequently bundled with guided city walking tours.
In Private Tours
If you take a private city guided tour, it is possible to arrange a Horse-drawn Carriage ride upon request.
When you take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, the route you take might change based on the guide, weather, and road rules. They usually offer a few routes that cover all the famous places. If you want, you can ask for a different route too.
Fountain for Horses
During the ride in Bruges, your carriage will pause at Wijngaardplein, south of the city near Begijnhof. Here, a horse head drinking fountain with sculptures stands, where cart drivers historically rested their horses. You can see resting horse (and other animals) and the lively street lined with great cafes and restaurants.
Accessibility for All?
Carriage operators often cater to passengers with mobility issues, providing accessible options or assistance upon request. Contact the operator in advance for specific needs.
Horse-drawn carriage rides are generally available year-round, but it’s advisable to check for seasonal variations in operation, especially during winter months.
Respect for Animals
Be mindful of the well-being of the horses. Reputable operators prioritize the care and comfort of their animals, ensuring they’re well-rested and looked after.
Brussels is considering a switch from traditional horse-drawn carriages to electric ones, aligning with modern concerns for animal welfare and environmental sustainability. With this change planned for 2024, the city seeks to maintain its charm while offering a unique, eco-friendly experience that sets it apart in Europe.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a romantic traveler, or simply seeking a novel way to explore, a horse-drawn carriage ride in Antwerp and Bruges offers an unforgettable and authentic experience that perfectly complements the charm of these remarkable destinations.