Belgium, a small country nestled between France, Germany, and the Netherlands, packs a big punch when it comes to beauty. From storybook canals and medieval towns to lush Ardennes forests and dramatic coastlines, Belgium offers something for everyone. So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to be enchanted by these top 10 most beautiful places in Belgium:
1. Bruges: Bruges, often called the “Venice of the North,” is a fairytale town straight out of a dream. Canals lined with colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and picture-perfect squares like the Grote Markt and Minnewater Park make Bruges a must-visit for any traveler. Take a canal cruise, climb the Belfry tower for panoramic views, or simply wander the charming streets and soak in the atmosphere.
2. Ghent: Ghent, a vibrant university city, offers a lively mix of medieval architecture, contemporary art, and trendy cafes. Explore the historic Graslei and Korenlei quays, marvel at the St. Bavo Cathedral with its famous Ghent Altarpiece, or take a boat trip on the Leie River. Don’t miss the Gravensteen, a formidable 12th-century castle that’s now a museum.
3. Antwerp: Antwerp, Belgium’s cool kid on the block, is a city of diamonds, fashion, and cutting-edge art. Admire the stunning architecture of the Grote Markt, browse the trendy shops and boutiques, or visit the MAS museum for a unique perspective on Antwerp’s maritime history. Take a walk along the Scheldt River for stunning city views, or catch a performance at the stunning Antwerp Opera House.
4. Ardennes: The Ardennes region is a nature lover’s paradise, with rolling hills, dense forests, and charming villages. Hike through the Hoge Venen Natural Park, kayak on the Semois River, or explore the picturesque towns of La Roche-en-Ardenne and Durbuy. In winter, the Ardennes transforms into a wonderland for skiing and snowboarding.
5. Dinant: Nestled along the Meuse River in the heart of the Ardennes, Dinant is a charming town with a colorful past. Take a cable car up to the Citadel for breathtaking views of the valley, visit the Leffe Abbey where the famous Belgian beer is brewed, or simply wander the narrow streets and admire the colorful houses.
6. The Coast: Belgium’s coastline boasts long sandy beaches, charming seaside towns, and delicious seafood. Relax on the beach in Knokke-Heist or De Panne, stroll along the bustling boardwalk in Ostend, or visit the historic town of Blankenberge. Don’t miss a taste of the famous Belgian “mosselen” (mussels) at a cozy seaside restaurant.
7. Leuven: Leuven, a vibrant university town, is home to the oldest Catholic university in Belgium. Explore the beautiful Oude Markt square, climb the St. Peter’s Church tower for panoramic views, or visit the impressive Leuven University Library. Don’t miss a taste of the local beer at one of the many student pubs.
8. Mechelen: Mechelen, often overlooked by tourists, is a hidden gem with a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Admire the stunning Grote Markt square, visit the magnificent Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral, or explore the charming Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a boat trip on the Dijle River or visit the Technopolis science center for a fun family outing.
9. The Zwin Nature Park: The Zwin Nature Park is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Spot migrating birds in the salt marshes, take a boat trip to see seals, or hike through the dunes and forests. The park is also home to a fascinating open-air museum that showcases traditional life in the region.
10. La Hulpe Castle: La Hulpe Castle is a stunning French-style chateau surrounded by a picturesque park. Explore the castle’s elegant interior, wander through the beautiful gardens, or rent a boat and paddle on the lake. The park is also a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities.
This is just a taste of the many beautiful places to visit in Belgium. With its rich history, charming towns, and stunning natural landscapes, Belgium is a country that will leave you enchanted. So start planning your trip today and discover the magic of Belgium for yourself!