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The 10 Best Places to Visit in Belgium

Unveiling the Beauty of Belgium

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Belgium, a small yet captivating European country, often goes unnoticed by travelers in favor of its neighboring countries. However, Belgium is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

With its rich history, diverse culture, and picturesque landscapes, this compact nation has something for everyone.

From the vibrant capital city of Brussels to the enchanting medieval town of Bruges, let’s dive into the best places to visit in Belgium and uncover its hidden gems.

Brussels: A Blend of Culture and Culinary Delights

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As the capital of Belgium and the heart of the European Union, Brussels is a multicultural city that seamlessly blends history, art, and gastronomy. Start your journey in the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and a true architectural masterpiece.

Marvel at the intricate details of the buildings surrounding the square, such as the Gothic Town Hall and the opulent Maison Cauchie.

Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, which houses an extensive collection of masterpieces, including the iconic works of René Magritte.

For a taste of Brussels’ vibrant street food scene, head to the Sablon district and indulge in the famous Belgian fries at one of the outdoor kiosks or savor the fluffy Brussels-style waffles at Maison Dandoy.

No visit to Brussels is complete without sampling the world-renowned Belgian beer. Visit Delirium Cafe, a beloved bar offering over 2000 types of beer, including the legendary Trappist beers.

And don't forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with mouthwatering Belgian chocolates at Pierre Marcolini.

Bruges: A Fairytale Town Steeped in History

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Step into a fairytale by visiting Bruges, often referred to as the Venice of the North.

This medieval town is renowned for its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved architecture. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Old Town, admiring the intricate Gothic brick buildings that give the city its enchanting allure.

Explore the Markt and Burg squares, the heart of Bruges, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Embark on a canal boat tour to marvel at the 54 bridges that connect the city, offering a unique perspective of Bruges' beautiful scenery. For panoramic views, climb the Belfort, one of Bruges' most iconic landmarks.

Beer lovers will find paradise in Bruges, with numerous bars offering a wide selection of Belgian brews. Visit De Halve Maan, a historic brewery that has been producing beer for generations.

For a cultural experience, visit the Groeningemuseum, which showcases an impressive collection of Flemish Primitive paintings.

Ghent: A Hidden Gem with Rich History

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Often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, Ghent is a hidden gem that should not be missed.

This vibrant city boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and a lively cultural scene. Begin your exploration in the historic center, where you'll find the Graslei and Korenlei, picturesque streets lined with beautifully preserved medieval buildings.

Visit the Gravensteen castle, a medieval fortress that offers a glimpse into Ghent's past. Admire the Gothic masterpiece of Saint Bavo's Cathedral, home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece painted by the Van Eyck brothers. Art enthusiasts should not miss the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an impressive collection of Flemish and Belgian art.

Ghent is also a culinary haven, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes offering delicious Belgian cuisine. Indulge in traditional Flemish dishes such as stoverij (beef stew) and waterzooi (a creamy chicken or fish stew). For a unique dining experience, visit the Holy Food Market, a former church turned food hall that offers a variety of international cuisines.

Antwerp: A Fashionable Haven and Architectural Marvel

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Known as the fashion capital of Belgium, Antwerp is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends fashion, design, and architectural marvels.

Explore the Fashion District, home to renowned fashion designers and trendy shops. Visit Het Modepaleis, the flagship store of Dries Van Noten, and immerse yourself in the world of Belgian fashion.

Architecture enthusiasts will be captivated by Antwerp's diverse architectural styles. Marvel at the Antwerp Port House, a modern masterpiece designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Explore the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom), a striking building that offers exhibitions and collections showcasing the history and culture of Antwerp.

To immerse yourself in the local culture, visit the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and admire the works of Flemish masters such as Peter Paul Rubens. Indulge in a vast selection of Belgian beers at 't Brugs Beertje, a legendary beerhouse with over 300 Belgian brews on offer.

Namur Province: A Nature Lover's Paradise

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Escape the bustling cities and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Namur Province.

Known as the "Land of Valleys," this province is surrounded by rivers, cliffs, and lush greenery. Explore the picturesque town of Dinant, nestled along the Meuse River.

Take a scenic cruise along the river, ride the cable car to the fortress, and savor the regional specialties, such as the Couque de Dinant.

For a unique culinary experience, visit Liernu, a tranquil town known for its exceptional dining scene. L'air du Temps, located in a beautifully renovated farmhouse, offers a fine-dining experience with dishes sourced from their onsite garden.

Namur, the capital of the province, is home to one of Europe's largest citadels. Explore the historic fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Visit the Musee Felicien Rops, dedicated to the life and work of the scandalous 19th-century Belgian artist.

Leuven: A Blend of History and Student Vibes

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Home to one of the oldest Catholic universities in the world, Leuven is a vibrant city that combines rich history with a bustling student atmosphere. Explore the Grote Markt, the lively heart of Leuven, where you'll find the impressive City Hall and a variety of dining options.

Immerse yourself in the historic charm of the Grand Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This enchanting district features cobbled streets, red-brick buildings, and picturesque Flemish facades. Beer enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the InBev brewery, one of the largest breweries in the world.

Leuven's location makes it an ideal base for exploring the rest of Belgium. With excellent transportation connections, you can easily venture out to other cities and attractions while enjoying the vibrant student atmosphere of Leuven.

Mons: A Cultural Capital with Architectural Marvels

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Proudly holding the title of European Capital of Culture, Mons is a cultural capital that boasts a rich history and architectural marvels.

Begin your journey in the Grand Place, where you'll find the elaborate facades of the Town Hall and the Baroque belfry, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the Maison Van Gogh, the former house of the iconic post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Ducasse festivities, a traditional celebration featuring biblical re-enactments, horse parades, and pitched battles.

Art enthusiasts should not miss the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an impressive collection of artworks ranging from primitive to contemporary. Wander through the winding cobblestone streets and soak in the history and charm of this captivating city.

Spa: A Haven of Relaxation and Natural Beauty

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Known worldwide for its healing waters, Spa is a haven of relaxation and natural beauty. This charming town offers a tranquil escape, with its Belle Epoque architecture and serene surroundings.

Visit the Thermes baths and indulge in a rejuvenating spa experience while overlooking the downtown streets.

Spa is not just about wellness; it also offers a taste of Belgian culinary delights. Sample the region's famous snails, Petits Gris de Namur, known for their sustainable sourcing.

Take a leisurely stroll through the town and savor the peaceful ambiance.

The Belgian Coast: Sun, Sand, and Seaside Delights

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For a delightful seaside escape, head to the Belgian Coast. With its long stretches of sandy beaches and charming seaside towns, this coastal region offers a perfect getaway.

Explore De Haan, a picturesque town with a low beachfront skyline and unspoiled grassy dunes. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the beach and soak in the refreshing sea breeze.

Discover the vibrant town of Ostend, known for its lively atmosphere and cultural events. Visit the Mu.ZEE, an art museum that showcases Belgian art from the 19th century to the present day.

Indulge in delicious seafood at one of the many seaside restaurants and savor the flavors of the coast.

The Ardennes: Nature's Playground

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For nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, the Ardennes is a playground waiting to be explored.

This rugged region offers dense forests, rolling hills, and picturesque villages. Immerse yourself in nature by hiking or biking through the Ardennes' scenic landscapes.

Explore the impressive caves of Han-sur-Lesse, one of Europe's largest cave systems. Discover the medieval castle of Bouillon, perched on a hill overlooking the Semois River.

For a unique experience, venture into the modern Labyrinth of Barvaux and test your navigation skills.

The city of Namur serves as a great base for exploring the Ardennes. Visit the imposing Citadelle and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Ardennes and discover the friendly villages, castles, and hidden gems that await.

Visit Belgium

Belgium, with its diverse culture, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes, is a destination that deserves to be explored.

From the vibrant city life of Brussels to the fairytale charm of Bruges, from the hidden gems of Ghent to the natural wonders of the Ardennes, each place offers a unique experience.

Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Belgium has something to captivate every traveler.

So pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the best places to visit in Belgium.

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