Discovering the Best of Belgium: Top Places to Visit


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Belgium is a country known for its rich culture and history. Located in Western Europe, it is often overlooked as a tourist destination, but it has so much to offer. From stunning architecture to delicious cuisine, Belgium has something for everyone. Tourism plays a vital role in the country’s economy, and visitors are drawn to its historical sites, beautiful landscapes, and unique experiences. In this article, we will explore some of the top attractions and experiences that Belgium has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Belgium is a country with a rich culture and history.
  • The Grand Place in Brussels is a must-visit tourist attraction.
  • Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fascinating history.
  • The Atomium in Brussels is a marvel of modern architecture.
  • Belgian chocolate is considered some of the finest in the world.

The Grand Place in Brussels

One of the most iconic landmarks in Belgium is the Grand Place in Brussels. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a central square that dates back to the 15th century. It is surrounded by stunning architecture, including the Town Hall and various guildhalls. The Grand Place has been the heart of Brussels for centuries and is a must-visit for any tourist.

The architecture and design of the Grand Place are truly breathtaking. The buildings surrounding the square are a mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Louis XIV styles. The intricate details and ornate facades make it a photographer’s dream. The Town Hall, in particular, is a masterpiece with its tall spires and intricate sculptures.

When visiting the Grand Place, be sure to take your time and explore all the nooks and crannies. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the view. If you visit during the summer months, you may even catch one of the many festivals or events that take place in the square.

The Historic City of Bruges

Another must-visit destination in Belgium is the historic city of Bruges. This medieval city is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its network of canals and picturesque streets. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Bruges has a rich history and culture that can be seen in its well-preserved architecture and charming cobblestone streets. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks, including the Belfry of Bruges, the Church of Our Lady, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visitors can also explore the many museums and art galleries that showcase the city’s artistic heritage.

One of the top attractions in Bruges is taking a boat tour along the canals. This allows you to see the city from a different perspective and take in the beautiful scenery. Don’t forget to try some of the famous Belgian chocolates while you’re there!

The Atomium in Brussels

Aspect Metric
Height 102 meters
Weight 2,400 tons
Number of spheres 9
Number of floors 5
Construction year 1958
Architects André Waterkeyn, Jean Polak, and André and Jeanne Lagrange
Location Brussels, Belgium
Visitors per year over 600,000

The Atomium is another iconic landmark in Brussels that is worth a visit. Built for the 1958 World Expo, it is a unique structure that resembles an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It stands at 102 meters tall and consists of nine interconnected spheres.

The Atomium was designed to represent the peaceful use of atomic energy and symbolize progress and modernity. Today, it serves as a museum and exhibition space, offering visitors a glimpse into Belgium’s scientific and technological advancements.

When visiting the Atomium, be sure to take a ride in one of the escalators that connect the spheres. This will give you a panoramic view of Brussels from different angles. You can also visit the various exhibitions and learn more about Belgium’s contributions to science and innovation.

The Belgian Chocolate Experience

Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and no visit to the country would be complete without indulging in some sweet treats. The country has a long history of chocolate making, dating back to the 17th century when cocoa beans were first imported from South America.

Belgian chocolate is known for its high quality and craftsmanship. It is made using traditional methods and only the finest ingredients. There are numerous chocolate shops and factories throughout Belgium where you can witness the chocolate-making process firsthand and sample a wide variety of flavors.

Some of the top chocolate shops to visit include Neuhaus, Leonidas, and Godiva. These brands have been around for decades and are known for their delicious pralines and truffles. You can also take a chocolate workshop and learn how to make your own chocolates.

When indulging in Belgian chocolate, be sure to take your time and savor the flavors. Each piece is a work of art, and it would be a shame to rush through the experience. Don’t forget to bring some chocolates home as souvenirs for friends and family.

The Ardennes Mountains

For nature lovers and adventure seekers, the Ardennes Mountains in southern Belgium are a must-visit destination. This region is known for its stunning landscapes, dense forests, and picturesque villages. It is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature.

The Ardennes offer a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking or biking along the many trails, explore the caves and gorges, or try your hand at kayaking or canoeing on the rivers. During the winter months, you can even go skiing or snowboarding in some areas.

One of the top attractions in the Ardennes is the town of Durbuy, which is often referred to as the smallest city in the world. It is known for its medieval architecture and charming atmosphere. Other notable places to visit include the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse, the High Fens nature reserve, and the picturesque town of Bouillon.

When exploring the Ardennes, be sure to pack appropriate clothing and footwear, as the terrain can be rugged. It’s also a good idea to bring a map or GPS device, as some areas can be remote and difficult to navigate. Don’t forget to take plenty of breaks and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

The Battlefields of Flanders

Belgium played a significant role in World War I, and the region of Flanders was the site of many battles and conflicts. Today, visitors can pay tribute to the fallen soldiers and learn about the history of the war by visiting the various battlefields and memorials.

Some of the top sites to visit include the Menin Gate in Ypres, which is a memorial to the missing soldiers of the British Commonwealth; the Tyne Cot Cemetery, which is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world; and the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, which provides a comprehensive overview of the war.

When visiting the battlefields of Flanders, it’s important to show respect and honor the memory of those who lost their lives. Many visitors choose to participate in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, which takes place every evening at 8 pm. This moving tribute includes buglers playing the Last Post, followed by a minute of silence.

The Belgian Beer Culture

Belgium is known for its beer culture, and it is home to over 1,500 different types of beer. The country has a long history of brewing, dating back to medieval times when monasteries played a significant role in beer production.

Belgian beers are known for their diversity and unique flavors. They range from light and refreshing to dark and complex. Some popular styles include Trappist beers, lambics, and abbey ales. Each beer has its own story and brewing tradition, making it a fascinating experience for beer enthusiasts.

There are numerous breweries and bars throughout Belgium where you can sample different beers. Some of the top breweries to visit include Westvleteren, Rochefort, and Orval. You can also take a beer tour and learn about the brewing process and history of Belgian beer.

When exploring Belgium’s beer culture, be sure to pace yourself and drink responsibly. Some beers have a high alcohol content, so it’s important to know your limits. It’s also a good idea to try different styles and flavors to get a well-rounded experience.

The Diamond District of Antwerp

Antwerp is known as the diamond capital of the world and is home to the famous Diamond District. This area is filled with diamond shops, workshops, and markets, making it a paradise for jewelry lovers.

Antwerp has been a major player in the diamond industry since the 15th century when diamonds were first imported from India. Today, it is one of the largest diamond trading centers in the world, with billions of dollars worth of diamonds passing through its doors each year.

When visiting the Diamond District, be sure to take your time and explore the various shops and markets. You can learn about the different cuts and qualities of diamonds and even purchase a piece of jewelry for yourself or a loved one. It’s also a good idea to get a certificate of authenticity for any diamonds you purchase.

The Coastal Town of Ostend

If you’re looking for some relaxation and beach time, then the coastal town of Ostend is the perfect destination. Located on the North Sea coast, it is known for its long sandy beaches, lively promenade, and vibrant cultural scene.

Ostend has a rich history as a fishing village and has been a popular seaside resort since the 19th century. Today, it offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. You can also explore the town’s many museums and art galleries or enjoy some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants.

One of the top attractions in Ostend is the Mu.ZEE museum, which showcases Belgian art from the 19th century to the present day. The town is also known for its annual summer music festival, which attracts top international artists.

When visiting Ostend, be sure to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen. The beaches can get crowded during the summer months, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to secure a good spot. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy the beautiful views of the sea.

Belgium is a country that is often overlooked as a tourist destination, but it has so much to offer. From the stunning architecture of the Grand Place in Brussels to the natural beauty of the Ardennes Mountains, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Belgium has it all.

In this article, we have explored some of the top attractions and experiences that Belgium has to offer. From indulging in delicious Belgian chocolate to exploring the battlefields of Flanders, there is no shortage of things to see and do. So why not plan your next trip to Belgium and explore its rich culture and history for yourself? You won’t be disappointed.

Looking for some inspiration on places to visit in Belgium? Check out this article on EU Wellbeing that explores the power of Menoquil ingredients and understanding the natural formula for menopause relief. While it may not be directly related to travel, it’s always important to prioritize your well-being, especially during your adventures. So, take a moment to revitalize your energy and explore effective menopause tiredness treatments. Happy travels! (source)


What are some popular tourist destinations in Belgium?

Some popular tourist destinations in Belgium include Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and the Ardennes region.

What is the best time to visit Belgium?

The best time to visit Belgium is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is mild and there are many outdoor festivals and events.

What is the currency used in Belgium?

The currency used in Belgium is the Euro.

What are some famous Belgian foods?

Some famous Belgian foods include waffles, chocolate, fries, mussels, and beer.

What is the official language of Belgium?

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

What are some must-see attractions in Brussels?

Some must-see attractions in Brussels include the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Atomium, and the Royal Palace of Brussels.

What is the transportation system like in Belgium?

Belgium has a well-developed transportation system with trains, buses, and trams connecting major cities and towns. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

What is the legal drinking age in Belgium?

The legal drinking age in Belgium is 16 for beer and wine, and 18 for spirits.


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