Discover Belgium’s Best: Top Places to Visit!


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Belgium, a small country in Western Europe, may often be overlooked as a tourist destination compared to its neighboring countries like France and Germany. However, this charming country has so much to offer to travelers who are willing to explore its top destinations. From the vibrant city of Brussels to the picturesque medieval town of Bruges, Belgium is a treasure trove of culture, history, and natural beauty. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of Belgium’s top tourist destinations and why it is important to venture beyond the usual tourist spots.

Key Takeaways

  • Belgium has a variety of top tourist destinations, ranging from medieval towns to natural havens for outdoor activities.
  • Brussels is the heart of Belgium’s culture and history, with iconic landmarks such as the Atomium and Grand Place.
  • Antwerp is known for its art, fashion, and diamond trade, with attractions such as the MAS museum and Antwerp Zoo.
  • Bruges is a picturesque medieval town with a rich history, featuring attractions such as the Belfry Tower and the Church of Our Lady.
  • Ghent is a vibrant university city with a medieval twist, offering attractions such as Gravensteen Castle and St. Bavo’s Cathedral.

Brussels: The Heart of Belgium’s Culture and History

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is a must-visit destination for any traveler. The city is known for its stunning architecture, with the Grand Place being one of its most iconic landmarks. This UNESCO World Heritage site is surrounded by beautiful buildings that showcase the city’s rich history and culture.

Another must-visit attraction in Brussels is the Atomium, a unique structure that was built for the 1958 World Expo. Visitors can explore the interior of the Atomium and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. Next to the Atomium is Mini Europe, a miniature park that showcases famous landmarks from all over Europe.

No visit to Brussels would be complete without indulging in some Belgian chocolate and waffles. The city is famous for its chocolatiers and patisseries, where you can sample some of the finest chocolates and waffles in the world. Don’t forget to also visit Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue that has become one of Brussels’ most beloved symbols.

Antwerp: A City of Art, Fashion, and Diamond Trade

Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, is known for its thriving art scene, fashion industry, and diamond trade. Art enthusiasts should not miss a visit to Rubenshuis, the former home and studio of the renowned painter Peter Paul Rubens. The museum houses a collection of his works as well as other Flemish masterpieces.

Fashion lovers will be delighted to explore Antwerp’s fashion district, where you can find a mix of high-end designer boutiques and independent fashion stores. The city is also home to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, which has produced many talented fashion designers.

Antwerp is also famous for its diamond trade, and visitors can learn more about this industry by visiting the Diamond District and the Diamond Museum. Here, you can discover the history of diamonds in Antwerp and even see some exquisite diamond jewelry up close.

Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate the stunning Antwerp Central Station, often referred to as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. This architectural masterpiece combines various architectural styles and features a grand entrance hall with a glass dome.

Bruges: A Picturesque Medieval Town with a Rich History

Category Metric
Population 118,284 (2019)
Area 138.4 km²
History Founded in the 9th century, Bruges was a prominent center of trade and commerce during the Middle Ages. It was also a major artistic and cultural hub, with notable contributions to the Flemish Primitives movement.
Landmarks Bruges is home to many historic landmarks, including the Belfry of Bruges, the Church of Our Lady, and the Groeningemuseum.
Tourism Bruges is a popular tourist destination, known for its picturesque canals, medieval architecture, and rich cultural heritage.

Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” is a picturesque medieval town that seems frozen in time. The town is known for its canals, which can be explored by boat tours that take you through the charming streets and under picturesque bridges.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Bruges is the Belfry, a medieval bell tower that offers panoramic views of the town. Visitors can climb the 366 steps to reach the top and enjoy breathtaking views of Bruges’ rooftops and canals.

Bruges is also famous for its chocolate and beer. Chocolate lovers can indulge in chocolate tastings and visit chocolate shops where they can witness the art of chocolate making. Beer enthusiasts, on the other hand, can visit local breweries and sample a wide variety of Belgian beers.

In addition to its culinary delights, Bruges is also known for its traditional crafts. Lace-making is one such craft that has been passed down through generations. Visitors can learn about the history of lace-making and even try their hand at creating their own lace.

Ghent: A Vibrant University City with a Medieval Twist

Ghent, a vibrant university city, is a hidden gem in Belgium that offers a unique blend of medieval architecture and modern culture. The city is home to Gravensteen Castle, a medieval fortress that offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Visitors can explore the castle’s towers, dungeons, and even try on medieval costumes.

Art lovers should not miss the Ghent Altarpiece, one of the most important art treasures in the world. This masterpiece by the Van Eyck brothers is housed in St. Bavo’s Cathedral and depicts various religious scenes.

Ghent is also known for its cultural events, with the Ghent Festivities being one of the highlights of the year. This 10-day festival takes place in July and features music, theater, street performances, and fireworks.

Ghent is also home to Ghent University, one of Belgium’s top universities. The university campus is a mix of historic buildings and modern facilities, creating a unique atmosphere. Visitors can explore the university’s libraries and museums or simply soak up the vibrant student life in the city.

The Ardennes: A Natural Haven for Outdoor Activities and Scenic Beauty

The Ardennes region in Belgium is a natural haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The region is known for its rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque villages. Hiking and cycling are popular activities in the Ardennes, with numerous trails that take you through stunning landscapes.

For those who prefer water activities, kayaking on the rivers of the Ardennes is a great way to explore the region. The rivers offer both calm stretches for beginners and more challenging rapids for experienced kayakers.

The Ardennes is also home to several caves and waterfalls that are worth exploring. The Caves of Han and the Caves of Remouchamps are two popular attractions where visitors can discover underground chambers and impressive rock formations. The Waterfalls of Coo, located near the town of Coo, are another natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed.

History buffs will also find plenty to explore in the Ardennes. The region is dotted with castles and historic sites, such as the Castle of Bouillon and the Battle of the Bulge Museum. These sites offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and provide a deeper understanding of Belgium’s past.

Leuven: A Charming University Town with a Rich Beer Culture

Leuven, a charming university town located just outside of Brussels, is known for its rich beer culture and historic landmarks. One of the highlights of a visit to Leuven is a tour of the Stella Artois brewery, where visitors can learn about the brewing process and sample some of Belgium’s most famous beers.

The town hall, located in Leuven’s Grote Markt (Market Square), is another must-visit landmark. This Gothic masterpiece is adorned with intricate carvings and features a 236-foot-high tower that offers panoramic views of the city.

Leuven is also home to the University Library, one of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in Europe. The library houses a vast collection of books and manuscripts, including some rare and valuable works.

Food lovers will appreciate Leuvense Fijne Vleeswaren, a local delicacy that consists of thinly sliced cured meats. This traditional dish can be enjoyed at local restaurants and delicatessens throughout the town.

Ypres: A City of Remembrance and World War I History

Ypres, located in the Flanders region of Belgium, is a city that holds great significance in World War I history. One of the most poignant experiences in Ypres is attending the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. This daily ceremony, which has been held since 1928, pays tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in World War

The In Flanders Fields Museum is another must-visit attraction in Ypres. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of the war and its impact on the region. Visitors can learn about the experiences of soldiers and civilians through interactive exhibits and personal stories.

Ypres is also home to several war memorials and cemeteries, including the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world. These sites offer a somber reminder of the sacrifices made during the war.

In addition to its World War I history, Ypres is also known for its historic landmarks. The Ypres Cloth Hall, a medieval building that was partially destroyed during the war and later rebuilt, now houses the In Flanders Fields Museum. The town’s medieval ramparts and gates are also worth exploring.

Dinant: A Small Town with a Big Personality and Stunning Scenery

Dinant, a small town located along the Meuse River, is often overlooked by tourists but offers a unique blend of history, music, and natural beauty. The town is dominated by the Citadel, a fortress perched on a cliff overlooking the river. Visitors can take a cable car or climb the 408 steps to reach the top and enjoy panoramic views of Dinant.

Dinant is also known as the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. The Saxophone Museum pays tribute to Sax’s life and work and showcases a collection of saxophones from different eras.

One of the best ways to explore Dinant is by taking a river cruise along the Meuse River. These cruises offer stunning views of the town’s picturesque buildings and natural scenery.

Nature lovers will appreciate Dinant’s surrounding countryside, which offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and rock climbing. The Bayard Rock, a massive limestone formation that resembles a bridge, is a popular spot for rock climbers.

Mechelen: A Hidden Gem with a Rich History and Cultural Heritage

Mechelen, a hidden gem located between Brussels and Antwerp, is often overlooked by tourists but offers a rich history and cultural heritage. The town is home to St. Rumbold’s Cathedral, a stunning Gothic masterpiece that features a 97-meter-high tower. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy panoramic views of Mechelen.

The Toy Museum is another must-visit attraction in Mechelen. The museum showcases a collection of toys from different eras and offers interactive exhibits that are fun for both children and adults.

Mechelen is also home to the Dossin Barracks, a former transit camp during World War

The barracks now houses the Kazerne Dossin Museum, which tells the story of the Holocaust in Belgium through personal testimonies and artifacts.

Beer enthusiasts will appreciate Brouwerij Het Anker, one of Belgium’s oldest breweries. Visitors can take a tour of the brewery and learn about the brewing process before sampling some of their award-winning beers.

Belgium may be a small country, but it is packed with incredible tourist destinations that offer something for everyone. From the vibrant city of Brussels to the picturesque medieval town of Bruges, Belgium is a treasure trove of culture, history, and natural beauty. It is important to venture beyond the usual tourist spots to truly experience all that Belgium has to offer. So why not plan a trip to Belgium and discover its hidden gems for yourself? You won’t be disappointed!

Looking for the top places to go in Belgium? Check out this article on EU Wellbeing that provides a comprehensive guide to the must-visit destinations in Belgium. From the charming canals of Bruges to the historic landmarks of Brussels, this article covers it all. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a picturesque getaway, Belgium has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the beauty of Belgium! Read more


What are the top places to visit in Belgium?

Some of the top places to visit in Belgium include Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven.

What is the best time to visit Belgium?

The best time to visit Belgium is during the months of April to June and September to October when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.

What is the currency used in Belgium?

The currency used in Belgium is the Euro.

What is the official language of Belgium?

The official languages of Belgium are Dutch, French, and German.

What is the most popular food in Belgium?

Some of the most popular foods in Belgium include waffles, chocolate, fries, and beer.

What is the transportation system like in Belgium?

Belgium has a well-developed transportation system that includes trains, buses, trams, and metros. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Belgium?

Some popular tourist attractions in Belgium include the Atomium, Grand Place, Manneken Pis, the Royal Palace of Brussels, and the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.


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