15 Best Places to Visit in Belgium
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If you’re planning a trip to Europe, make sure to add Belgium to your itinerary. This small but remarkable country is packed with must-see places, top attractions, and tourist spots that will leave you in awe. From the vibrant capital of Brussels to the fairytale charm of Bruges, Belgium has something for every traveler.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, Belgium offers a wealth of travel destinations. Explore the medieval streets and canals of Bruges, marvel at the stunning architecture of Brussels’ Grand Place, or escape to the natural beauty of the Ardennes.

No matter where you go, you’ll be immersed in Belgian culture and hospitality. Sample delicious Belgian chocolates, try the famous local beer, or take a romantic canal ride in Bruges.

Plan your trip today and discover the 15 best places to visit in Belgium. This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through Belgium’s top attractions, hidden gems, and cultural experiences. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Brussels – The Vibrant Capital of Belgium

As one of the top cities in Belgium, Brussels is a must-visit destination for every traveler. The city is known for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning architecture, and rich cultural heritage. Start your exploration at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful squares in the world.

Admire the intricate facades of the surrounding buildings, including the iconic Town Hall. Take a stroll down the Rue de Bouchers, a lively street famous for its numerous restaurants serving traditional Belgian cuisine.

No visit to Brussels is complete without seeing the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue that has become a symbol of the city’s irreverent spirit.

top cities in Belgium

For art and history enthusiasts, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and the Royal Palace of Brussels are a must-see. The museums host an impressive collection of Belgian and international art, while the palace offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture.

Brussels is also a shopping paradise, with numerous high-end boutiques and specialty shops selling famous Belgian chocolates, lace, and beer.

Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s history and culture, indulge in culinary delights, or simply soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Brussels has something for everyone.

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Bruges – A Fairytale City Frozen in Time

Journey to Bruges, one of the top cities in Belgium and a fairytale city that seems frozen in time. Explore the medieval streets and canals, and marvel at the charming architecture that has earned it a spot on the list of must-see places in Belgium. Bruges has become a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the charm and romance of a bygone era.

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Bruges is through a canal ride. Drift along the picturesque canals and admire the stunning architecture from a unique perspective. The city has also become famous for its delicious Belgian chocolates, so don’t forget to indulge in this sweet treat.

Top Attractions in BrugesDescription
Markt SquareA bustling square lined with historic buildings and cafes
Belfry of BrugesA medieval bell tower with panoramic views of the city
Church of Our Lady BrugesA stunning gothic church with a famous Michelangelo sculpture

Bruges is also known for its lace-making tradition, so be sure to visit some of the lace shops and admire the intricate designs. Whether you’re strolling along the Minnewater, also known as the Lake of Love, or indulging in some Belgian delicacies, Bruges is a must-visit destination in Belgium.

Bruges canal

Ghent – Where History Meets Modernity

Ghent is one of Belgium’s top cities and a must-see destination for any traveler. Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, Ghent is a city where history and modernity merge seamlessly.

The city boasts a rich history and is home to some of the most impressive architecture in Belgium. One of the city’s top attractions is the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, famous for its stunning altarpiece by Jan van Eyck. The Gravensteen castle is another must-visit attraction, offering a fascinating insight into the medieval history of the city.

top cities in Belgium

Ghent is also a vibrant and modern city, with a lively atmosphere and plenty of things to see and do. The city is known for its vibrant graffiti street art scene, and exploring the colorful murals is an experience not to be missed.

When it comes to dining and nightlife, Ghent has plenty to offer. The city has a thriving culinary scene, with local specialties such as stoverij (beef stew) and waterzooi (a creamy fish or chicken stew) being popular choices. In the evening, you can enjoy a drink in one of the many traditional Flemish bars or dance the night away in one of the city’s trendy nightclubs.

Overall, Ghent is a city that offers a perfect blend of history and modernity and is a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Belgium.

Antwerp – The Fashion and Arts Capital

Antwerp is a city that is famous for its thriving fashion and arts scene. Known as the “Diamond Capital of the World,” Antwerp is home to some of the most talented fashion designers and innovative artists.

One of the must-see places in Antwerp is the Cathedral of Our Lady, a stunning gothic-style church that houses masterpieces by famous painter Rubens. For those interested in contemporary art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA) is a must-visit.

Antwerp is also a shopper’s paradise, with the trendy Het Zuid district being the go-to spot for fashion lovers. Here, you can find unique designer pieces and browse through the latest collections from up-and-coming designers.

Fashion and Art in Antwerp

And of course, no visit to Antwerp would be complete without a visit to the Antwerp Central Station. Considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, the station boasts an impressive blend of architectural styles. Be sure to have your camera ready for some Instagram-worthy shots.

Dinant – A Charming Town on the Meuse River

When you visit Belgium, be sure to discover the charming town of Dinant, located on the banks of the Meuse River. This hidden gem is one of the must-see places in Belgium, with its stunning Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame and beautiful citadel.

The town is famous for its saxophone heritage, as the inventor of the instrument, Adolphe Sax, was born here. You can visit the Saxophone Museum and learn about the history of this iconic instrument.

A relaxing boat ride along the Meuse River is a great way to take in the town’s picturesque scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or try rock climbing on the town’s cliffs.

While in Dinant, be sure to try the local specialty, couque de Dinant, a delicious honey-flavored biscuit. You can also sample some Belgian beer at one of the town’s traditional pubs.

tourist spots in Belgium

“Dinant is a charming town with scenic views of the Meuse river. The town’s saxophone heritage and local specialty biscuits make it a unique destination in Belgium.”

Namur – Where History and Nature Unite

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Belgium, Namur should be at the top of your list. This charming town offers the perfect blend of history and nature, making it one of the must-see tourist spots in Belgium.

Start your exploration with a visit to the iconic Citadel of Namur, a fortress that has guarded the town for centuries. Admire the stunning views from the top and learn about the history of the fortress at the onsite museum.

Take a walk along the banks of the Meuse River and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Cross the river to explore the beautiful gardens of the Félicien Rops Museum, where you can take in the stunning scenery and learn about the life of the famous Belgian artist.

For a bird’s eye view of the town, head to the Namur Citadel viewpoint, where you can take in panoramic views of the entire area. And if you’re a beer lover, don’t miss the opportunity to sample some of the local brews at the town’s traditional pubs.

Namur Citadel

“Namur is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of history and nature.”

Leuven – A Historic University Town

Leuven is a top city in Belgium and a picturesque university town worth visiting. Located just 30 minutes from Brussels, Leuven boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and a lively atmosphere.

Begin your tour by visiting the magnificent gothic-style Town Hall in the central Grote Markt square, one of the must-see places in Belgium, also known as the Great Market Square. Built in the 15th century, the Town Hall features intricate sculptures and carvings that showcase the town’s history and culture.

Next, visit the iconic University Library, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe. The library, which dates back to the 15th century, features stunning architecture and houses a vast collection of books and manuscripts.

If you’re a beer lover, Leuven is the perfect destination for you. As the birthplace of Stella Artois, one of the most famous Belgian beers, the town has a thriving beer culture. Visit the traditional pubs and enjoy a pint of local beer while soaking up the lively atmosphere.

Leuven

Leuven is also home to several annual festivals, including the famous Leuven Beer Festival and the Leuven Jazz Festival. These events offer visitors a chance to experience the vibrant culture of the town and enjoy live music, delicious food, and, of course, beer.

Table: Top Attractions in Leuven

AttractionsDescription
Grote MarktThe central square of Leuven, featuring the Town Hall and a lively market
University LibraryA historic library with stunning architecture and a large collection of books and manuscripts
Stella Artois BreweryThe birthplace of Stella Artois, offering tours and tastings
Leuven Jazz FestivalAn annual festival featuring international jazz musicians
Leuven Beer FestivalAn annual festival showcasing the best of Belgian beer

Visit Leuven, one of the top cities in Belgium, and experience the perfect blend of history, culture, and beer. It’s a must-see place in Belgium, and you won’t regret taking the time to explore this charming university town.

Waterloo – Relive an Epic Battle

Step back in time and experience one of the most significant battles in European history at Waterloo. This small village in Wallonia, just south of Brussels, is known for the famous Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated and exiled.

Waterloo battlefield

Visitors can explore the battle site, which has been preserved and turned into a historical attraction. Follow the trail of the battle, which includes interactive exhibits, films, and audio guides, and learn about the events of that fateful day in 1815.

One of the highlights of a visit to Waterloo is the Lion’s Mound, a 43-meter tall artificial hill that offers panoramic views of the battlefield. You can climb up the 226 steps to reach the top and see the surrounding countryside, giving you a clear perspective of the strategic importance of the site.

“It was the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life.” – The Duke of Wellington

The Waterloo Memorial, located next to the Lion’s Mound, is a tribute to the soldiers who fought and died in the battle and includes a museum with artifacts and personal stories of the soldiers who fought there.

If you’re a history buff, Waterloo is a must-see destination in Belgium. It offers a unique and immersive experience that allows you to relive one of the most decisive battles in European history.

The Ardennes – Explore the Natural Beauty

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Ardennes, one of the must-see places in Belgium. This region, located in the southeast of the country, offers breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of outdoor activities.

Explore the lush forests, hike along the meandering rivers, and discover charming villages such as Durbuy and La Roche-en-Ardenne. For a truly unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy panoramic views of the Ardennes from above.

One of the top natural wonders in Belgium is the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse, a complex of underground caves that stretches for over 5 miles. Take a guided tour and marvel at the stunning rock formations and prehistoric artifacts.

Outdoor Activities in the Ardennes

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Ardennes is the perfect destination for you.

  • Go kayaking or canoeing along the rivers Ourthe, Lesse, and Semois
  • Take a bike tour and explore the scenic countryside
  • Go horseback riding and admire the beauty of the region from a different perspective
  • Experience the thrill of rock climbing and rappelling in the stunning natural setting
  • Go fishing and enjoy the calmness of the river

The Gastronomy of the Ardennes

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local cuisine of the Ardennes, which is rooted in traditional Belgian cooking and makes use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Try the famous Ardennes ham, which is smoked over woodchips and has a distinctive flavor. Another regional specialty is the Cwarantes, a rectangular-shaped meat pie filled with pork, beef, and chicken. Finish your meal with the delicious tarte au riz, a rice tart with a crispy crust that is a staple of the Ardennes cuisine.

natural wonders in the Ardennes

The Ardennes offers a unique and unforgettable experience for any nature lover. From the stunning landscapes to the wide range of outdoor activities and the delicious local cuisine, the Ardennes is a must-see place in Belgium that should not be missed.

Ypres – A Somber Reminder of World War I

If you’re interested in history, a visit to Ypres should be at the top of your must-see places in Belgium. This town played a significant role in World War I and is home to several historical sites that offer insight into this devastating conflict.

The In Flanders Fields Museum is a must-visit. This immersive museum uses interactive exhibits to tell the story of the Great War from the perspective of soldiers, civilians, and children. You’ll gain a better understanding of the impact of the war on the region and the world.

“The In Flanders Fields Museum is a must-visit. This immersive museum uses interactive exhibits to tell the story of the Great War from the perspective of soldiers, civilians, and children.”

Another important site is the Menin Gate, a memorial to the missing soldiers of World War I. The Last Post ceremony takes place every evening at the gate, a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the war.

If you’re interested in seeing the conditions that soldiers faced, a visit to the preserved trenches of Sanctuary Wood is a must. Walk through the trenches and experience the cramped and dangerous conditions that soldiers endured.

Table: Historical Sites in Ypres

SiteDescription
In Flanders Fields MuseumAn interactive museum that tells the story of World War I
Menin GateA memorial to the missing soldiers of World War I
Sanctuary WoodPreserved trenches from World War I

Plan your visit to Ypres and pay your respects to those who lost their lives in World War I. It is a somber but important reminder of the sacrifices made by so many.

In Flanders Fields Museum

Ghent – A Culinary Delight

Experience the culinary delights of Ghent, one of the must-see places in Belgium. Indulge in traditional Belgian cuisine, including moules-frites (mussels and fries) and waffles. You can find these dishes in many restaurants, but for a real taste of Ghent, head to the city’s bustling food markets. At the Groentenmarkt, sample local cheeses and charcuterie, or try the fresh seafood at the Viskmarkt.

You can also immerse yourself in the local food culture by taking a cooking class. Learn to make traditional Flemish stews or the famous Belgian chocolates. The city offers many options for cooking classes, from small-group workshops to private lessons with local chefs.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, reserve a table at one of Ghent’s many popup restaurants. These temporary eateries, hosted in unusual locations such as abandoned factories or private homes, offer an unforgettable culinary adventure.

Where to Eat in Ghent

Ghent has a thriving food scene, with many restaurants offering creative and innovative cuisine. Here are some of the top places to eat in the city:

RestaurantCuisinePrice Range
De SuperetteBakery, Brasserie, Bar$-$$
VrijmoedGastronomic, International$$-$$$
PubliekFlemish, European$$

For a casual meal, head to the Patershol neighborhood, where you’ll find many cozy cafes and bistros. Or, if you’re looking for a more upscale experience, try the restaurants in the historic city center.

Ghent cuisine

“The food of Ghent is a celebration of simple, fresh ingredients and bold, hearty flavors.”

Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a taste of local culture, Ghent is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Belgium.

Cultural Experience in Belgium: Leuven – Beer Lover’s Paradise

If you are a beer lover, Leuven is the perfect destination for you. This charming Belgian city is famous for its beer culture, with a long brewing tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. Here, you can explore historic breweries, taste a wide range of Belgian beers, and learn about the beer-making process.

Beer in Leuven

Start your beer journey at the Domus Brewery, a family-owned microbrewery that produces a range of artisanal beers. Taste their signature beer, the Domus Aurea, a delicious Belgian ale with notes of caramel and hops.

Next, head to the Stella Artois Brewery, one of the world’s largest breweries and home to the famous Stella Artois beer. Take a tour of the brewery and learn about the beer-making process, from the selection of the finest hops and barley to the bottling and packaging of the beer. Finish the tour with a tasting of Stella Artois and other Belgian beers.

Other Must-See Places in Leuven

Aside from its beer culture, Leuven has much to offer for cultural experiences. Make sure to visit the historic gothic-style Town Hall and iconic University Library. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the famous local beer, Stella Artois, at one of the traditional pubs.

Must-See Places in LeuvenWhat to Do
Domus BreweryExplore the brewery and enjoy a tasting of their artisanal beers
Stella Artois BreweryTake a tour of one of the world’s largest breweries and taste a range of Belgian beers
Town HallAdmire the gothic-style architecture of this historic building
University LibraryVisit the iconic library and discover its collection of rare books and manuscripts
Traditional PubsTaste the famous local beer, Stella Artois, at one of the many traditional pubs in the city

“Leuven’s beer culture is truly unique and offers a glimpse into Belgium’s rich brewing tradition.” – Traveler from the US

Make sure to include Leuven in your itinerary when visiting Belgium. This charming city is a beer lover’s paradise and offers a range of cultural experiences that are not to be missed.

  • If you love beer, Leuven is the perfect destination for you
  • Explore historic breweries and taste a wide range of Belgian beers
  • Visit the iconic Town Hall and University Library, and taste Stella Artois beer at traditional pubs

Antwerp – A Shopping Haven

If you’re looking for the ultimate shopping experience in Belgium, Antwerp is the place to be. This city is known for its trendy fashion boutiques, unique designer pieces, and exquisite jewelry. Whether you’re looking for high-end luxury brands or local Belgian designers, Antwerp has it all.

Must-See Places in Antwerp for ShopaholicsCultural Experiences in Antwerp for Fashion Enthusiasts
  • The Fashion District
  • The Antwerp Diamond District
  • The Meir Shopping Street
  • Visit the ModeMuseum (Fashion Museum) for an in-depth look at Belgian fashion history
  • Check out the Fashion Walk to discover the city’s unique fashion boutiques
  • Experience the Antwerp Fashion Festival, a bi-annual event that showcases the latest trends and designs

Antwerp’s diamond district is considered one of the world’s most important diamond trading centers, so make sure to visit Antwerp’s Diamond Museum, which shares the history of Antwerp’s love affair with diamonds. And if you’re looking for luxury fashion, head to the designer boutiques that line the fashion district’s streets for a truly exclusive shopping experience.

One of Antwerp’s most famous streets, the Meir shopping street is filled with international fashion brands like H&M and Gap, as well as unique Belgian brands like Essentiel Antwerp. The street is also home to the Wapper, a plaza featuring local artists and musicians.

Antwerp street with fashion shops

“Antwerp’s fashion scene is one of the most vibrant in Europe, with a unique blend of high-end luxury brands and emerging local designers.”

Antwerp’s fashion scene has been making waves in the industry for decades, with big names like Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Margiela all emerging from the city’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts. But it’s not just about high-end fashion in Antwerp – the city has a thriving streetwear scene too.

If you’re a fashion enthusiast, make sure to visit the ModeMuseum (Fashion Museum) for an in-depth look at Belgian fashion history. And don’t miss the Fashion Walk, a self-guided tour of Antwerp’s unique fashion boutiques.

Lastly, if you’re lucky enough to time your visit to Antwerp right, you’ll be able to experience the famous Antwerp Fashion Festival. This bi-annual event showcases the latest trends and designs from Belgian and international designers and is a must-see for any fashion lover.

Bruges – Romantic Canal Rides

Bruges is a must-see destination in Belgium, and one of the best ways to experience its fairytale charm is by taking a romantic canal ride. Drift along the picturesque canals while admiring the medieval architecture, and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of this enchanting city.

As you float along the canals, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Bruges’ iconic landmarks, such as the Belfry of Bruges and the Church of Our Lady. Your guide will share fascinating stories about the city’s history and culture, making this an immersive and educational experience.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a romantic stroll along the Minnewater, also known as the Lake of Love. This serene lake, surrounded by lush greenery, is the perfect spot for a picnic or a romantic moment with your loved one.

Exploring Bruges by canal is a unique and unforgettable experience that should not be missed. Book your canal ride today and discover the romantic charm of this beautiful city.

Romantic canal ride in Bruges

Experience more cultural delights in Belgium with our comprehensive guide to the best places to visit, including must-see destinations, top cities, and unforgettable cultural experiences.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you now have a comprehensive guide to the 15 best places to visit in Belgium. From the vibrant capital city of Brussels to the fairytale charm of Bruges and the natural beauty of the Ardennes, Belgium offers a wealth of attractions for every type of traveler.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or culinary delights, Belgium has something to offer. You can explore iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and everything in between. Belgium is a small but remarkable country that packs a big punch when it comes to tourism.

Now that you have a better understanding of the top attractions and must-see places in Belgium, it’s time to start planning your trip. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or family, Belgium is sure to make for an unforgettable travel experience. So, book your tickets, pack your bags, and embark on an adventure to one of the most captivating countries in Europe!

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