Belgium, a small country in Western Europe, often gets overlooked by its neighboring countries like France, Germany, and the Netherlands. However, it's a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning architecture.
With its rich heritage, vibrant cities, picturesque countryside, and some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet, Belgium is a must-visit destination for every passionate traveler.
Top Reasons to Visit Belgium
- Historical and Architectural Marvels: Belgium is home to breathtaking medieval towns, enchanting castles, and impressive cathedrals. Explore cities like Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent to witness the glorious architecture and immerse yourself in old-world charm.
- The Art Scene: Belgium has been a hub of art and creativity throughout history. From the masterpieces of Flemish painters like Van Eyck and Rubens to surrealism and contemporary art, Belgium offers a plethora of artistic experiences.
- Gastronomic Delights: Belgian cuisine is renowned for its mouthwatering delicacies. Indulge in famous Belgian chocolates, waffles, fries, and a variety of beers that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
- Breathtaking Natural Beauty: From the rolling hills of Ardennes to the stunning coastline of the North Sea, Belgium's countryside is a true scenic wonder. Explore charming villages, hike through lush forests, and enjoy picturesque landscapes.
- Festivals and Celebrations: Belgium is famous for its vibrant festivals and celebrations. Join the local revelries during events like the Carnival of Binche or witness the colorful flower carpet at the Brussels Flower Festival.
Things to Do in Belgium
1. Explore Historic Brussels
Start your journey in Belgium by visiting its capital, Brussels. Walk along the charming streets of the historic city center, marvel at the iconic Grand Place, and visit the impressive Atomium for a panoramic view of the city. Don't forget to try some delicious Belgian chocolates along the way!
2. Experience the Fairytale Charm of Bruges
Known as the "Venice of the North," Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site that will transport you back in time. Take a canal cruise, visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood, and climb the Belfry for a breathtaking view of the city. Don't miss the opportunity to try the famous Belgian beer.
3. Discover the Artistic Ghent
Ghent, a vibrant university town, is a hidden gem that shouldn't be missed. Visit the medieval Gravensteen Castle, explore the St. Bavo's Cathedral with its famous altarpiece, and admire the street art in the Werregarenstraat graffiti alley. Enjoy a boat ride along the canals and savor some local delicacies.
4. Visit Antwerp, the Fashion Capital
Antwerp is a trendy city known as the fashion capital of Belgium. Explore the historic city center, visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, and don't miss the chance to see world-class fashion at the ModeMuseum. Enjoy shopping, indulge in fine dining, and experience the vibrant nightlife.
5. Venture into the Ardennes
For nature enthusiasts, a trip to the Ardennes region is a must. Hike through stunning forests, visit picturesque villages like Durbuy or Bouillon, and explore the caves of Han-sur-Lesse. The Ardennes also offers excellent opportunities for outdoor activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
6. Experience the Coastal Charm
Belgium's coastline, stretching for about 70 kilometers, offers beautiful sandy beaches and charming seaside towns. Visit places like Ostend or Knokke-Heist, relax on the beach, and try some freshly caught seafood in one of the beachfront restaurants.
7. Discover Unique Belgian Breweries
Belgium is famous for its diverse and flavorful beers. Embark on a beer-tasting journey by visiting traditional breweries, such as the Trappist Westvleteren Brewery or the historic Cantillon Brewery. Learn about the brewing process, sample different styles of beer, and immerse yourself in Belgium's rich beer culture.
8. Attend Festivals and Events
Plan your visit to Belgium to coincide with one of its many colorful festivals. From the Ommegang Pageant in Brussels to the Ghent Festival and the Tomorrowland music festival, there's always something happening in Belgium that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Belgium may be small in size, but it offers an abundance of experiences that will leave you captivated. With its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and warm-hearted people, Belgium is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list.
From exploring medieval towns to indulging in mouthwatering chocolates and unrivaled beer, Belgium offers a wide range of activities and attractions to suit all preferences. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this true European gem.