Minnewater (Lake of Love)
Minnewater is a popular stop on many Bruges tours and a great place for picnicking during the summer months. Summertime also brings concerts and live-music events, notably the 3-day Cactus Festival in early July. The best views of the Minnewater can be had from the 18th-century bridge that crosses the lake.
Things to Know Before You Go
Minnewater is a must-visit for families, couples, or anyone needing a little nature break.
Wear comfortable footwear and bring sun and/or rain protection, depending on when you plan to visit.
Much of the park is wheelchair-accessible, with compacted pathways surrounding the lake.
How to Get There
Minnewater is located in the southern part of central Bruges, about a 15-minute walk from Markt Square and a 10-minute walk from the railway station. Bus numbers 11 and 12 both connect the park with the city center.
When to Get There
Minnewater is open 24/7 and is free of charge to visitors. The best time to visit is the peaceful early morning, when a light mist still hangs over the lake. If you come for the annual Cactus Festival in July, you can even opt to camp in designated sections of the park.
The Legend of Minnewater
Local legend says the lake was named for a young woman named Minna, who was in love with a soldier from a neighboring kingdom. Because her family wanted her to marry someone else, she ran away to the forest to find her lover, only to die in his arms, exhausted from the ordeal.
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- Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde (Begijnhof)
- Market Square (Markt)
- De Halve Maan Brewery
- Diamond Museum (Diamantmuseum)
- Sint-Janshospitaal (Saint John’s Hospital)
- Old St. John Site (Site Oud Sint-Jan)
- Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk)
- Canals of Bruges (Brugse Reien)
- Bruges City Hall (Stadhuis van Brugge)
- Belfry of Bruges (Belfort van Brugge)
- Bruges Beer Museum (Brugs Biermuseum)
- Burg Square
- Historic Centre of Bruges (Historisch Centrum van Brugge)
- Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)