Sint-Janshospitaal (Saint John’s Hospital)
You’ll head back to the 17th century—the era the museum recreates—on a tour of this medieval hospital. Visitors can wander from pharmacy to herb garden to Diksmuide attic to dormitory and beyond, walking under a timber roof constructed in 1230. Apart from the exquisite architecture and the deep look at medieval medicine, you’ll get to witness six masterpieces by 15th-century artist Hans Memling, a beloved Flemish Primitive painter. Temporary exhibits are on rotation as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Scope out the virtual guided tour to get in-depth information before (or while) you’re there
- Be mindful of the hospital’s code of conduct, which includes no photography in certain areas, no food or drink, and no touching the artifacts on display.
- The elevator may be out of service during your visit; if you have accessibility needs, talk to staff upon arrival.
How to Get There
To get to Sint-Janshospitaal, take the train to the Bruges station or the bus to 502818 Brugge O.L.V. Kerk. From there, you can walk to the hospital—it’s about a 20-minute walk. If you’re driving, note that there is limited parking available around the hospital; try to avoid peak visiting hours and weekends. Of course, you could also take a taxi or rent a bike.
When to Get There
Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges is typically open year-round, but it’s better to avoid visiting on weekends and public holidays as these times can be busy. Late afternoons are considered to be the best time of day to visit, as it’s less crowded and you can enjoy the museum and the artwork in a more peaceful environment.
Make It a Museum Day
Sint-Janshospitaal is in the thick of Bruges’ museum action—beyond the adjacent Memling Museum being part of the hospital complex. If you’re able to explore this ‘hood on foot, you’ll also be able to scout out the Diamond Museum, the Torture Museum, the Gruuthusemuseum, the Archeological Museum, the Groeninge Museum, Arentshuis, and more.
- Things to do in Flanders
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- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais
- Things to do in South Holland
- Old St. John Site (Site Oud Sint-Jan)
- Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk)
- De Halve Maan Brewery
- Diamond Museum (Diamantmuseum)
- Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde (Begijnhof)
- Canals of Bruges (Brugse Reien)
- Minnewater (Lake of Love)
- Belfry of Bruges (Belfort van Brugge)
- Bruges City Hall (Stadhuis van Brugge)
- Bruges Beer Museum (Brugs Biermuseum)
- Historic Centre of Bruges (Historisch Centrum van Brugge)
- Burg Square
- Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)
- Market Square (Markt)