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54 things to do in Belgium

Discover the Charm of Belgium: A Guide to What to Do in Belgium

Belgium is a small yet captivating country located in Western Europe. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and world-class beer, Belgium offers a plethora of attractions and experiences for travelers. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to explore beautiful cities, Belgium has something to offer everyone. In this article, we will guide you through the must-visit places and top activities that will make your trip to Belgium truly unforgettable.

1. Immerse Yourself in the Magic of Brussels

The capital city of Belgium, Brussels, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. Start your explorations at the iconic Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings, including the impressive Town Hall. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in some world-famous Belgian chocolates at the numerous boutiques scattered throughout the city. Explore the charming neighborhoods of Marolles and Sablon, known for their antique shops and art galleries. And of course, make sure to sample some delicious Belgian waffles and fries while wandering through the bustling streets of Brussels.

2. Get Lost in the Medieval Beauty of Bruges

No trip to Belgium would be complete without a visit to the enchanting city of Bruges. Known as the “Venice of the North” due to its network of canals, Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a living museum of medieval architecture. Take a stroll along the picturesque canals, visit the famous Market Square, and climb the Belfry tower for panoramic views of the city. Don’t forget to explore the charming cobblestone streets, lined with medieval buildings, and indulge in some authentic Belgian chocolate. And if you’re a beer lover, make sure to visit the De Halve Maan Brewery for a tour and tasting of their traditional Belgian beers.

3. Uncover History in Ghent

Ghent is a historic city with a vibrant and youthful atmosphere. Home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, Ghent boasts a rich cultural heritage. Start your visit at St. Bavo’s Cathedral, where you can admire the famous Van Eyck brothers’ masterpiece, “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Explore the medieval Castle of the Counts and take a boat trip along the canals to discover the city from a different perspective. Ghent is also known for its lively music scene, so make sure to catch a jazz concert or enjoy some live music at one of the many bars and clubs in the city.

4. Marvel at the Architectural Marvels of Antwerp

Antwerp, the second-largest city of Belgium, is renowned for its stunning architecture, thriving fashion industry, and its historical connection to the diamond trade. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, a masterpiece of medieval Gothic architecture, and climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the city. Explore the charming streets of the old city center and admire the beautiful Renaissance-style Town Hall. For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp is a must, housing an extensive collection of works by Flemish masters such as Rubens and Van Dyck. And don’t forget to indulge in some shopping in Antwerp’s fashion district, home to renowned designers and high-end boutiques.

5. Delight Your Taste Buds in the Beer and Chocolate Paradise

Belgium is world-famous for its beer and chocolate, making it a paradise for food and drink enthusiasts. Take a brewery tour in one of the many traditional Belgian breweries, such as De Koninck in Antwerp or Duvel Moortgat in Breendonk, and learn about the brewing process while sampling a variety of delicious beers. Don’t forget to visit the small family-run breweries in rural areas for a truly authentic Belgian beer experience. And of course, no visit to Belgium is complete without indulging in some mouthwatering Belgian chocolates. Visit the charming chocolate shops in cities like Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp, and immerse yourself in the rich and luxurious world of Belgian chocolate.

6. Experience the Unique Festivals and Events

Belgium is renowned for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. One of the most famous is the colorful and lively Carnival of Binche, recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. During the carnival, the streets come alive with vibrant parades, traditional costumes, and lively music. Another must-see event is the Ommegang Pageant in Brussels, a historical procession that reenacts the entry of Emperor Charles V into the city. And if you’re a fan of music festivals, don’t miss Tomorrowland, one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world, held annually in Boom.

FAQ

Q: What is the best time to visit Belgium?

A: The best time to visit Belgium is generally during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild, and the cities are less crowded. However, each season brings its own charm, so it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to engage in.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Belgium?

A: Whether you need a visa to visit Belgium depends on your citizenship. European Union citizens and citizens from several other countries do not require a visa for short stays. It is advisable to check the visa requirements for your country before traveling.

Q: How can I get around in Belgium?

A: Belgium has an excellent transportation system, with efficient trains and buses connecting major cities and towns. Additionally, each city offers public transportation options such as trams, buses, and metro systems. Renting a car is also a popular option for exploring the countryside.

Q: Is it safe to travel in Belgium?

A: Belgium is generally a safe country to travel to. However, as with any destination, it is important to take common safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and keeping an eye on your belongings.

Q: What are some traditional Belgian dishes I should try?

A: Belgium is known for its delicious cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying classic dishes such as moules-frites (mussels with fries), carbonade flamande (beef stewed in beer), stoemp (mashed potatoes with vegetables), and waterzooi (a creamy chicken or fish stew). And, of course, indulge in some authentic Belgian waffles and speculoos cookies.

Q: Can I drink the tap water in Belgium?

A: Yes, tap water in Belgium is safe to drink and of high quality. You can confidently refill your water bottle from the tap during your stay.

Belgium offers a perfect blend of history, culture, gastronomy, and natural beauty. With its picturesque cities, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, it is unquestionably a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of Belgium, and create memories that will last a lifetime.