A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bruges vs. Heidelberg for Old Town, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Bruges or Heidelberg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Bruges and Heidelberg. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Bruges

Bruges is a historic, cultural, and beautiful city. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a charming, scenic, and character-filled town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Bruges and Heidelberg: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Is there more to do in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Bruges than Heidelberg. While Heidelberg is larger than Bruges, Bruges has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Bruges is very popular for its museums and quaint atmosphere, while Heidelberg attracts visitors for its nightlife. Bruges is more touristy than Heidelberg and is known for its scenic old town, charming streets, local chocolate, and unique Christmas market. It is also well known for Bruges' Markt (The Main Square). Heidelberg is famous for its picturesque beauty, romantic atmosphere, and its classic old town.

How is Bruges different from Heidelberg?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Heidelberg and Bruges. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Bruges is a great city for its historical sights. However, Heidelberg does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Bruges. The city is filled with charming hidden corners as well as notable landmarks. The main square is Bruges' Markt which is where you'll find the the Belfry Tower. Other must-see sights include the Historium, Groeninge Museum, the Town Hall, and Brugse Vrije Museum.

Heidelberg does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Bruges or Heidelberg? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Both Bruges and Heidelberg offer excellent local cuisine and restaurants.

Bruges has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. From its world class breweries to its famous chocolate shops, there is plenty to eat and drink around town. In the old town prices can be a bit high, but the dishes and atmosphere are great. Popular local dishes include Belgian waffles, fries, mussels, and beef stew.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Heidelberg makes for a great culinary experience. The old town is filled with local restaurants that offer an assortment of traditional dishes. The restaurants offer a mix of outdoor and indoor seating and classic dishes include saumagen, lewwerkneedl, and dampfnudeln.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Nightlife?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Heidelberg is great for its evening party scene. Also, Bruges is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

Many people head to Heidelberg for the nightlife scene. As a university town, you'll find a very young population and many bars, pubs, and nightclubs where you can hang out.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bruges. It's famous for its beer and breweries, so you'll find a number of places to gather in the evening. There is a lack of nightclubs, so if dancing and partying hard is your style, then this may not be your place. The vibes are generally chill and relaxed at night. Most places are concentrated around old town or near Kuipersstraat or Zilverstraat.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for its Old Town?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Visitors enjoy the terrific old town areas in both Bruges and Heidelberg.

Bruges has a world-famous historical area. The old town is the main attraction, with its quaint cobblestone streets and beautiful brick architecture.

The historic old town of Heidelberg is revered around the world. The charming old town, or Altstadt, is lined with cafes that spill out onto the street and churches with bells that chime hourly. The area is filled with activity and there are many shops, ice cream vendors, and restaurants to choose from.


Is the Shopping Better in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Bruges
Heidelberg

If you're looking to go shopping, Bruges and Heidelberg both offer plenty of nice spots.

Bruges has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city offers plenty of shopping, whether you're looking for souvenirs, trendy European brands, or local items. It's more geared towards tourists than locals, and you want find the same diversity that you get in some of the larger nearby cities, but you'll find unique lace items and other local goods in the old town. The streets around Markt Square, Steenstraat, Geld Monstraat, and Jakobstraat are the main shopping areas.

Heidelberg is a great destination for shopping. The pedestrian area is the best place to pass your time shopping. There are name brand stores mixed in with local independent shops which you'll mostly find on the side streets. Popular items to buy include wooden toys, Christmas decorations, and candy.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Families?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Both Bruges and Heidelberg are nice family-friendly destinations.

Bruges offers lots of family activities. Kids will enjoy sampling the unique chocolate around town, eating their fill of waffles, and getting their energy out in the park or at a local playground. There are also canal boat tours and horse drawn carriage rides that are fun for the whole family.

Heidelberg is a family-friendly place to visit. With its many ice cream shops, playgrounds, and impressive castle, this city makes a nice stop for families with kids. The restaurants usually have a kid's menu and there are a number of kid-friendly museums and activities.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Couples?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Bruges and Heidelberg both excellent destinations for a couple.

Bruges is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. This romantic city has amazing restaurants, charming streets, and impressive architecture. Couples will enjoy exploring the canals by boat or taking a horse drawn carriage ride through the old town. There are also a number of cute bed and breakfasts where you can stay.

Heidelberg is a very popular place to visit for couples. This beautiful city offers an impressive backdrop for a couple's getaway. The view from the castle looks out beautifully over the city and the old town has many excellent restaurants and activities that are great for couples.


Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bruges
Heidelberg

For backpackers, both Bruges and Heidelberg are excellent places to visit.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Bruges. There are a few good hostels around town. The city sees its share of tourists, but many arrive as part of tours or river boat cruises. If you stay in a hostel, you shouldn't have trouble meeting other young travelers though. There are also plenty of well known breweries where you can gather with friends.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Heidelberg. Prices are reasonable and there are a handful of hostels around town. As a university town, you can be assured there are plenty of fun activities and cheap places to eat.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Students?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Bruges is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Heidelberg. It is a beautiful student town with a lot of activities for young visitors. This is not the most popular study abroad destination, but it does have a lot to offer for those who visit.

Bruges is not popular with students.

Is Bruges or Heidelberg Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Heidelberg is great for times when you don't have a car. Also, Bruges is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Heidelberg. There are trams and buses that connect the old town to the train station.

Bruges has a few public transit options. There is a bus system that connects the train station to the old town. Otherwise, the city is best explored on foot.


Is Bruges or Heidelberg a more walkable city?

Bruges
Heidelberg

Bruges is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Heidelberg is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its walkability.

Bruges is a very easy city to get around on foot. The train station is a short walk from the old town but the city is very walkable and best explored on foot.

Heidelberg is very walkable. The old town is particularly walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Bruges Worth Visiting? and Is Heidelberg Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Heidelberg or Bruges?

How long in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Bruges and Heidelberg. In our opinion, Heidelberg has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Heidelberg than Bruges. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Bruges than Heidelberg. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Bruges, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Heidelberg than Bruges if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Heidelberg.


  • How many days in Bruges or Heidelberg? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bruges 1-3 
    Heidelberg 1-3

One day in Bruges or Heidelberg?

With museums and nightlife around the charming city of Bruges, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bruges, one day is sufficent for most.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the quaint destination of Heidelberg. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Bruges or Heidelberg?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Bruges, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Heidelberg is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Bruges, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Heidelberg. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Bruges or Heidelberg?

Bruges is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the scenic destination of Heidelberg. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to Belgium, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Belgium, The Best 10-Day Tours from Berlin, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Berlin.


Which place is cheaper, Heidelberg or Bruges?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bruges is €123, while the average daily cost in Heidelberg is €142. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bruges and Heidelberg in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bruges 59
    Heidelberg 93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bruges 118
    Heidelberg 186
Compare Hotels in Bruges and Heidelberg

Looking for a hotel in Bruges or Heidelberg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bruges


Hotels in Heidelberg


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bruges Hotel Prices and Heidelberg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bruges 17
    Heidelberg 17
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Bruges

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Bruges:


  • Five Day Bus Pass
    15
  • Bike Rental for Day
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bruges

Also for Bruges, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shuttle Transfer Bruges <-> Paris (1 to 8 PLACES): $296
  • Transfer Shuttle Bruges <-> Disneyland Paris (1 to 8 SEATS): $296
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bruges to Amsterdam: $279
  • Transfer Bruges <-> Schipol Airport Amsterdam (1 - 8 Places): $233
  • Transfer Ghent <-> Schipol Airport Amsterdam (1 to 8 Places): $178
  • Private Transfer from Zeebrugge Port to Brussels Airport BRU: $146
  • Private Transfer from Zeebrugge Cruise Port to Brussels hotels : $146
  • Brugge Airport: 1-Way Private Transfer to Brugge: $111
  • Private Transfer from Zeebrugge Cruise Port to Bruges hotels: $33
  • Private Transfer from Bruges City Hotels to Zeebrugge Cruise Port: $33
  • Bruges hotel to Ostend Airport (OST) - Departure Private Transfer: $32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heidelberg

Also for Heidelberg, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • One Way Private Transfer from Mannheim to Frankfurt : $254
  • Airport transfer from Karlsruhe Airport to Baden-Baden: $106
  • Badenweiler Thermal to Zurich Airport (ZRH) - Departure Transfer: $77
  • Private Transfer from Badenweiler Thermal to Basel EuroAirport: $64
  • Karlsruhe Airport (FKB) to BadenBaden Round-Trip Private Transfer: $46
  • Karlsruhe Airport (FKB) to Baden-Baden - Arrival Private Transfer: $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Bruges or Heidelberg?

Prices for flights to both Heidelberg and Bruges change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bruges 52
    Heidelberg 37
Typical Food Prices in Bruges

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bruges:


  • Cup of Tea
    2.00
  • Sandwich for Lunch
    3.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bruges

For Bruges, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The 10 Tastings of Bruges With Locals: Private Food Tour : $143
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $145

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Heidelberg

For Heidelberg, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Food Tour typical German: $86
  • Rainy Day Sightseeing Food Tour with Umbrellas Provided: $91
  • Craft Beer and Street Food Tour: $644

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bruges 15
    Heidelberg 11
Typical Entertainment Prices in Bruges

For Bruges, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Groeninge Museum Entrance
    8.00

Tours and Activities in Bruges

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Bruges.

  • Best Bruges Shore Excursion and Venice of the North Canal Cruise: $73
  • "Edges of Brugge" Photo Tour - 2hr open city tour & workshop: $78
  • "Essential Brugge" Photo Tour - 3hr private city tour & workshop: $278
  • "Hidden Brugge" Photo Tour - 2hr open city tour & workshop: $78
  • "Shades of Brugge" Photo Tour - 3hr private city tour & workshop: $278
  • 2-Hour Bruges Walking Tour with Chocolate Tasting: $3.32
  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour of Bruges: $233
  • Best Bruges Shore Excursion including Deluxe Canal Cruise: $98
  • Best Bruges Tour from Your Ship with Canal Cruse & Leisure Time: $74
  • BikeTour Bruges & Damme in Spanish and English: $94
  • Breathtaking Bruges – Private Walking Tour: $279
  • Breathtaking Bruges - Private Walking Tour: $154

Tours and Activities in Heidelberg

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Heidelberg.

  • 2 1/2h Guided Bicycle Tour Discover Heidelberg: $46
  • Alternative Heidelberg Tour.: $72
  • Amazing Schwetzingen Garden Tour: $241
  • Beer and Old Town Tour: $99
  • Bicycle Tour from Heidelberg to quaint Ladenburg.: $122
  • Culinary city tour in Heidelberg with delicious samples: $43
  • E.Bike Tours around Heidelberg: $155
  • Evening Heidelberg tour with historical night watchman: $18
  • Experience the Local Food around Mannheim: $65
  • Fairytale Heidelberg Castle with Certified Tourist Guide: $221
  • Fascinating Heidelberg Sightseeing Walking Tour: $54
  • Food & Fables Tour of Heidelberg : $133

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bruges 11
    Heidelberg 17

Sample the Local Flavors in Bruges

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Bruges:

  • Bourgogne des Flandres Brewery and Distillery Visit: $17
  • Private: Discover Bruges beers & brewery with chocolate pairing by a young local: $288
  • Beer walking tour with visit Brewery Bourgogne de Flandres: $654

Sample the Local Flavors in Heidelberg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Heidelberg:

  • Highlights of the romantic Black Forest & brewery, private tour: $296


When comparing the travel costs between Bruges and Heidelberg, we can see that Heidelberg is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Bruges Expensive? and Is Heidelberg Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bruges or Heidelberg?

Heidelberg has a larger population, and is about 23% larger than the population of Bruges. When comparing the sizes of Bruges and Heidelberg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Bruges or Heidelberg?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bruges or Heidelberg in the Summer?

Both Heidelberg and Bruges are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Bruges because of the family-friendly experiences. Also, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Heidelberg this time of year.

Bruges is cooler than Heidelberg in the summer. The daily temperature in Bruges averages around 17°C (63°F) in July, and Heidelberg fluctuates around 21°C (69°F).

It's quite sunny in Heidelberg. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bruges. Bruges usually receives less sunshine than Heidelberg during summer. Bruges gets 202 hours of sunny skies, while Heidelberg receives 224 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Bruges usually receives less rain than Heidelberg. Bruges gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Heidelberg receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bruges 17°C (63°F) 
    Heidelberg 21°C (69°F)

Should I visit Bruges or Heidelberg in the Autumn?

Both Heidelberg and Bruges during the autumn are popular places to visit. The shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Bruges this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Heidelberg for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Bruges is around the same temperature as Heidelberg. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Bruges in October average around 12°C (54°F), and Heidelberg averages at about 12°C (54°F).

In the autumn, Bruges often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Heidelberg. Bruges gets 105 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Heidelberg receives 102 hours of full sun.

Bruges usually gets more rain in October than Heidelberg. Bruges gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Heidelberg receives 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bruges 12°C (54°F) 
    Heidelberg 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Bruges or Heidelberg in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Bruges and Heidelberg. Many travelers come to Bruges for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Heidelberg in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Heidelberg can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Bruges. In January, Bruges is generally a little warmer than Heidelberg. Daily temperatures in Bruges average around 3°C (38°F), and Heidelberg fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

Bruges usually receives more sunshine than Heidelberg during winter. Bruges gets 47 hours of sunny skies, while Heidelberg receives 38 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Bruges usually receives more rain than Heidelberg. Bruges gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Heidelberg receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bruges 3°C (38°F) 
    Heidelberg 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Bruges or Heidelberg in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Bruges as well as Heidelberg. Many visitors come to Bruges in the spring for the natural beauty. Additionally, most visitors come to Heidelberg for the natural beauty during these months.

Bruges is cooler than Heidelberg in the spring. The daily temperature in Bruges averages around 8°C (47°F) in April, and Heidelberg fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

In the spring, Bruges often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Heidelberg. Bruges gets 158 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Heidelberg receives 155 hours of full sun.

Bruges usually gets less rain in April than Heidelberg. Bruges gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Heidelberg receives 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bruges 8°C (47°F) 
    Heidelberg 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Heidelberg and Bruges

Bruges Heidelberg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 3°C (37°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 4°C (39°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Mar 6°C (42°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 8°C (47°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 11°C (52°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 16°C (60°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 19°C (65°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 21°C (69°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 16°C (60°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 75 mm (2.9 in) 7°C (44°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Dec 5°C (40°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 4°C (38°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)