10 Must Visit Places in Belgium

Belgium city buildings next to water

Belgium, a country renowned for its chocolates, waffles, and, of course, Belgian beer, is also a treasure trove of culture, history, and natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of Europe, this small but diverse nation boasts a rich heritage that has left an indelible mark on the world. In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the “10 Must Visit Places in Belgium,” each offering a unique experience.

Brussels: The Heart of Europe

Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union, serves as our first stop on this adventure.

Grand Place – A masterpiece of architecture

The Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning example of 17th-century architecture. Opulent guild halls surround this central square, the towering Town Hall, and the King’s House. Its ornate facades, adorned with gold accents, are a sight to behold, especially when illuminated at night.

Atomium – A futuristic icon

The Atomium is a symbol of modernity and innovation. This giant stainless steel structure, shaped like an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times, houses a museum and offers panoramic views of Brussels from its spheres.

Mini-Europe – A miniature world in one place

Right next to the Atomium, you’ll find Mini-Europe, a park featuring meticulously crafted miniature replicas of Europe’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a captivating way to explore the continent in just a few hours.

Bruges: The Venice of the North

Our next destination is the charming city of Bruges, often called the “Venice of the North.”

Historic Center – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bruges’ historic center is a step back in time, with its cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and picturesque canals. No wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a perfect place for leisurely strolls.

Canals of Bruges – A romantic boat ride

One of the best ways to experience the city’s charm is by taking a boat ride along its canals. The tranquil waterways wind through the city, offering a romantic and picturesque view of Bruges.

Belfry of Bruges – A panoramic view

Climbing the Belfry of Bruges rewards you with a breathtaking panoramic city view. It’s a workout, but the view from the top is worth every step.

Antwerp: A Blend of History and Modernity

Antwerp, a city with a rich history and a modern twist, is our next stop.

Cathedral of Our Lady – A Gothic masterpiece

The Cathedral of Our Lady, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, houses artworks by the legendary artist Peter Paul Rubens. The stunning interior and exterior are a testament to the city’s cultural significance.

Antwerp Zoo – One of the oldest zoos in the world

Antwerp Zoo is not just any zoo; it’s one of the oldest in the world, founded in 1843. It’s home to a wide variety of animals and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Fashion District – Shop till you drop

Antwerp is known as a fashion capital, and its Fashion District offers an array of high-end boutiques, concept stores, and designer shops. It’s a paradise for fashion enthusiasts.

Ghent: The Hidden Gem

Ghent, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Gravensteen Castle – A medieval wonder

Gravensteen Castle, also known as the “Castle of the Counts,” is a well-preserved medieval fortress. Its imposing walls, drawbridges, and torture chambers glimpse the past.

St. Bavo’s Cathedral – Home to the Ghent Altarpiece

St. Bavo’s Cathedral is famous for housing the Ghent Altarpiece, a renowned work of art. The cathedral’s stunning Gothic architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit.

Ghent’s Waterfront – Scenic walks along the river

Ghent’s picturesque waterfront offers lovely promenades along the River Lys. You can relax by the water and enjoy the view of the city’s charming skyline.

The Ardennes: Nature’s Retreat

Leaving the cities behind, we head to the Ardennes, a region known for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

Hiking in the Ardennes – Lush forests and picturesque trails

The Ardennes is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. Dense forests, rolling hills, and scenic trails await those seeking a retreat into the wilderness.

Bastogne War Museum – A Historical Journey

The Ardennes also have historical significance, mainly related to World War II. The Bastogne War Museum offers a comprehensive look at the Battle of the

Bastogne War Museum – A Historical Journey

The Bastogne War Museum offers a comprehensive look at the Battle of the Bulge, one of the most critical battles in WWII. It immerses visitors in the wartime experience through interactive exhibits and personal stories, making history come to life.

Dinant: Admiring the Meuse River

Dinant, a charming town nestled along the Meuse River, is our next stop in the Ardennes.

Collegiate Church of Notre Dame – Remarkable architecture

The Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, with its distinctive Gothic spire, is a masterpiece of architecture. The church overlooks the river and the town, offering a striking view not to be missed.

Kayaking on the Meuse – An adventure on the water

For a more active experience, consider kayaking on the Meuse River. It’s a fantastic way to explore the picturesque surroundings and take in the natural beauty of the region.

Saxophone Museum – Honoring Adolphe Sax

Dinant is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. The Saxophone Museum pays homage to his life and creations, making it a unique and harmonious addition to your trip.

Namur: A Quaint Capital

Namur, the capital of the Wallonia region, combines historical charm with a relaxed atmosphere.

Citadel of Namur – A historic fortress

The Citadel of Namur is an impressive hilltop fortress with a rich history dating back to Roman times. Explore its tunnels, ramparts, and museums while enjoying panoramic views of the city and the Meuse River.

Félicien Rops Museum – Art and history combined

The Félicien Rops Museum is dedicated to the renowned Belgian artist Félicien Rops. It houses a collection of his works and provides insight into the art and culture of the region.

Sambre River Promenade – Stroll along the riverside

Namur’s Sambre River Promenade is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing afternoon picnic. It’s a great place to unwind and soak in the tranquil ambiance of the river.

Leuven: The University Town

Leuven, a vibrant university town, is a hub of academic excellence and cultural enrichment.

KU Leuven – One of the oldest universities in Europe

KU Leuven, founded in 1425, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe. Its historic buildings, libraries, and lively student atmosphere create a unique and intellectual ambiance.

M-Museum Leuven – Art and culture

The M-Museum in Leuven is a cultural gem. It houses an impressive collection of artworks, historical artifacts, and contemporary exhibitions, offering a glimpse into the town’s rich cultural tapestry.

Oude Markt – Europe’s longest bar

Oude Markt, or the Old Square, is often dubbed “Europe’s longest bar” due to its concentration of bars and restaurants. It’s a vibrant place to enjoy Belgian beers and cuisine while mingling with locals and fellow travelers.

Ypres: In the Remembrance of World War I

Our final destination is Ypres, a town that holds a poignant place in history.

In Flanders Fields Museum – A poignant tribute

The In Flanders Fields Museum is a moving tribute to the soldiers who fought in the trenches of World War I. It provides a deep understanding of the war’s impact on the region and the world.

Menin Gate Memorial – Daily Last Post ceremony

Ypres’ Menin Gate Memorial is a solemn and emotional site where the Last Post ceremony is held every evening, honoring the memory of the fallen soldiers. It’s a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for over a century.

Tyne Cot Cemetery – A solemn visit

Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world, is a solemn place to pay respects to the thousands of soldiers who rest here. The serene landscape is a powerful reminder of the cost of war.

Belgium’s diverse tapestry of attractions, from historical landmarks to natural wonders, promises an unforgettable journey. Whether exploring the vibrant cities, hiking through lush forests, or paying tribute to the past, our friends at Pure Maintenance promise these are Belgium’s must-visit places. So, pack your bags and embark on this incredible adventure through the heart of Europe.