Belgium is all about a harmonious fusion of old world charm and modern culture and trends. From vintage castles, mansions, museums, and churches to modern architecture, shopping arcades and amusements; this European gem is the home of many spectacular places for all types of vacationers. And if you are planning a trip to this mesmeric country, here’s a complete list of places to visit in Belgium. You may get spoiled by choices while going through the list, so it is recommended to pick the places as per the time in hand, vacation itinerary and likings.
1. Brussels – The iconic capital city
Being the capital city and one of the largest hubs of great museums, palaces, chapels and mansions, Brussels is one of the most popular places to visit n Belgium. This is also the administrative capital of European Union and pulls tourists from different parts of the World. Famous for world-class cafes, pubs, restaurants and shopping arcades- Brussels offers a plethora of options to make your European holiday enchanting and exciting.
Key attractions: Grand Palace, Atomium, Mini Europe, Mannekin Pis and Tintin Museum
Where to stay: Hotel Amigo, NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg, Radisson Blu Royal, Floris Ustel Midi
2. Bruges – Where time has stood still
One of the most stunning places to visit in Belgium is Bruges- a picturesque medieval town, gifted with historic buildings and canals. The gorgeous palaces, chapels, and mansions of Bruges reflect the history of Vikings while the network of canals, flowing through the city has helped Bruges to earn the title of ‘Venice of the North’. Explore this quaint town in bicycles, enjoy boating in the canal or indulge with Belgian hot chocolate at any of the quaint cafes of the main market square.
Key attractions: Grote Market Square, Belfry Tower, and Gruuthuse Mansion
Where to stay: Hotel Aragon, Floris Hotel, and Golden Tulip Hotel de’ Medici
3. Ghent – A picture-perfect medieval town
Another one among the best places in Belgium is Ghent- a quaint and serene town, endowed with historical sites, churches and medieval structures and buildings. Famous for housing the Alter Piece; Ghent is a favorite destination for art lovers and history buffs, but the quietude and charm of the place attract travelers of all kinds.
Key attractions: St Bavo’s Cathedral with Alter Piece located inside, Gravensteen, Belfry of Ghent and Saint Nicholas Church
Where to stay: Ghent Marriott, Golden Tulip Hotel de’ Medici and Hotel Gravensteen
4. Antwerp – A buzzing hub of art enthusiasts
A true Belgian delight; Antwerp is all about culture, art, and traditions. On one hand, it showcases vintage architectural wonders and palaces but on the other, there are some modern and trendy art galleries and museums. Known for great food and beer, this place is the diamond district of Belgium as more than 70% of world’s uncut diamonds are traded here.
Key attractions: Plantin Moretus Museum, Rubenshius, Museum aan de Stroom and Antwerp Zoo.
Where to stay: Leonardo Hotel, Ibis Hotel and TRYP by Wyndham
5. Ardennes – Heaven for adventure lovers
Ardennes is a hilly destination and one of the most favorite places in Belgium, among adventure enthusiasts. Ideal for trekking, camping, and biking, Ardennes boasts of thick forests, cliffs, caves and is known for thrilling wildlife like lynx, deer and wild boar.
Key attractions: Castle of Bouillon, Han-sur-Lesse and Labyrinth of Barvaux
Where to stay: Azur en, Hotel Eden and Hotel des
6. Tournai – A picturesque destination
Located at the Belgium-France border, this buzzing city houses the one of most beautiful cathedrals of the world. This is a hub of art and sculptures and allures art lovers and history buffs throughout the year. As one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium, Tournai has some great museums and art galleries and the town Belfry is the oldest in the country.
Key attractions: The Belfry of Tournai, Folklore Museum, Musee d’Histoire Naturelle et Vivarium and Notre Dame Cathedral in Tournai
Where to stay: Hotel Cathedral, D’ Alcantara and Floreal le Panoramique
7. Dinant – The cave city
Situated by the banks of Meuse River in the Namur province of Belgium, Dinant is another tourist delight of Belgium. Home to famous natural caves and caverns of Europe such as Caves of Han and the Grotto of Dinant, Dinant has a rich wildlife reserve with exotic biodiversity. Located 65 km from Brussels, Dinant is one of the must-visit places in Belgium.
Key attractions: Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, La Citadelle, Charles-de-Gaulle Bridge, Adolphe Sax Statue and Parc de Furfooz
Where to stay: La Panama, Hotel Ibis and Castel-de-pont-a-Lesse
8. Leuven – Home to oldest Catholic university in the World
Flaunting of best Belgian breweries, Leuven is another name in the list of best places to see in Belgium. This picturesque place is famous for happening marketplaces, street side pubs, cafes and churches, and galleries, like any other Belgian city, but being home to world’s oldest Catholic university, Leuven always buzzes with a student population from different parts of the world.
Key attractions: Town Hall, Botanical Garden Kruidtuin, University Library & Bell Tower and Saint Peter’s Church.
Where to stay: Pentahotel, Park Inn by Radisson and Hotel Ibis
9. Mons – Hear the melodies of Belfry bells
The list of best places to see in Belgium also features Mons. A large cobblestone square, Grand Palace, and age-old town hall await every tourist at Mons- the picturesque capital of Hainaut province of Belgium. But what attracts and fascinates every traveler here is the sweet tunes of town’s magnificent Belfry bells, perched at the top of 270 feet tower.
Key attractions: Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru, Jacques Du Broeucq alabaster statues and Van Gogh House
Where to stay: Congress Hotel Mons Van der valk, Hotel Dream and Hotel Lido
10. Mechelen – A vibrant town
Located close to Antwerp is Mechelen- another lively and picturesque place in Belgium. Mechelen is unique in many ways. Famous for boat tours and brewery tours; one can climb the massive tower of St. Rombout Cathedral to enjoy the breath-taking view of the Antwerp port or visit the world-famous Carillion School, which is famous for lessons on the complex instrument of bells. It will be really unfair, if we don’t mention Mechelen, while talking about best places to visit in Belgium.
Key attractions: Brouwerij Het Anker, St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and Provincial Groendomein Vrijbroekpark
Where to stay: Hotel Hobbit, Best Western and NH Mechelen
Belgium is the dream of many travelers and if you ever get to live it, make sure you at least visit some of these incredible places that make the entire nation proud.
Further Read: DO NOT Leave For Europe Without Packing These 8 Things