Between Zuidzandstraat and Nordsandstraat there is an area called the Zilverpand which has a mixture of covered arcades and courtyards and is home to numerous clothes shops and boutiques. However if you are looking for local specialiaties you do not have to look far. Because of all the tourists in Bruges, it is easy to find Flemish specialities such as lace, hand-made chocolates and beer.
Lace was once the main product of Bruges and to this day it is one of the most popular souvenirs for tourists. As you walk around Bruges you will see numerous lace shops with window displays crammed full of delicate lace ranging from inexpensive placemats to luxurious clothing such as dresses and shawls. Because of the abundance of lace shops in Bruges (some of better quality than others) it is not possible to list them all here. However, if you have time, do visit the Lace Centre (Kancentrum) in Peperstraat and then take a look in their small shop. Here you can buy fully authenticated lace (in other words lace that is guaranteed to be handmade) plus all sorts of things for the lace maker including bobbins, yarn and cushions. And, just a short walk from the Kancentrum is another lace shop called T Apostelientje (in Balstraat) which has a selection of hand-made lace in both traditional and modern designs.
Belgian chocolates are well known all over the world and Bruges certainly has its fair share of shops selling fine chocolates and confectionary.
At The Chocolate Line in Simon Stevinplein all of the chocolates are handmade using only natural ingredients (with chocolate truffles a house speciality) and so are a bit more expensive than some of the other chocolate shops in town but definitely worth it. At Pralinette in Wollestraat you can actually watch the chocolates being made in big cauldrons before deciding what to buy from the mouth watering selection.
The Bottle Shop just off the Markt in Wollestraat sells hundreds of types of beer including the well-known Trappist beer. You can even buy special glasses to enjoy your drink in. The Belgians like to use different glasses for different types of beer. The shop also has a wide variety of spirits including gin (locally known as jenever). The Woolstreet Company also in Wollestraat has a wide range of locally produced and Belgian beers at reasonable prices together with the appropriate glass for each kind.
For another excellent selection of Belgian beer (and glasses) visit Brugs Bierpaleis in Katelijnestraat. You can also buy T-shirts here with beer slogans.
In addition to all of the shops in Bruges you may also enjoy the visiting one of the local markets. Every Wednesday from 8am to 1pm there is a general street market in the Markt. On Saturday you can visit the market held in Zand square (from 8am to 1pm) and from Tuesday to Saturday (8am to 1pm) fresh fish from the north sea is sold at the Vismarkt (fish market) with raw herring a speciality. It is worth visiting this purpose-built market just to see the stone slabs (where the fish are laid out for sale) beneath the classical colonnades.
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