Belgium is a relatively small country in Western Europe. Contrary to its size, it has a lot of history. If you are planning to visit Belgium for a vacation, there is no shortage of places that you should make plans to see.
Belgium has everything that you as a tourist would want. There are many historic landmarks which are surrounded by beautiful nature. There are also loads of cultural attractions that you should definitely go and see.
Belgium has many cities, and almost all of them have sites worth seeing. There are old cities like Ghent and Bruges that have many churches and canals that are breathtakingly beautiful. Among these beautiful sights, Belgium also has delicious food. Delicacies such as Belgian waffles and more should definitely not be missed. Read ahead to find out all the gorgeous places in store for you when you visit Belgium.
Bruges is a city that is a must to visit if you ever end up in Belgium. The entire city has a romantic ambiance to it, and that is thanks to the gorgeous medieval architecture. The canals of Bruges are another charming feature that adds to the scenic beauty of this city.
There are two main squares in Burges namely the Burg Square and the Markt Square. They sit adjacent to each other in the center of the city. Many impressive buildings surround Markt Square, and the most prominent of them all is the Halle. It is an imposing building that has an 83m belfry. It also has around 47 bells and is a place where tourists can gather to view the city in all its glory. However, to do that, you have to first climb around 366 steps that lead to the top.
Additionally, Bruges is located near the coast, so it also has seaside and beach areas. Knokke and Ostend are two communities that you can visit to take full advantage of the beach.
Upper Meuse Valley
Belgium is home to the Meuse River, which splits the country into north and south. On the upper side, there is a valley known as the upper Meuse valley, and it is known for its dramatic limestone cliffs along with small idyllic towns. Lush forests filled with trails are another characteristic feature.
In the heart of a valley is a small place called Namur. It is home to many historic landmarks. It also has a large university of its own. There is also the Namur Citadel, which sits a little higher than the town. It is an excellent place to explore and have a panoramic view of the entire valley.
In this town, you can find some of the best sightseeing areas which are situated along the Rue de Fer. Here, you can find several museums as well as plenty of shops and cafes. There are also many historic churches to be explored here. Churches such as the Church of Notre Dame and the Cathedral of Saint Aubain are some examples.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is a must-see for everyone visiting this beautiful country. Named the heart of Europe, Brussels has many tourist attractions that one can take advantage of. It has the Brussels Town Hall, The Grand Palace, and the Guild Houses. You can find the very famous Mannekin Pis statue near Brussels as well.
The architecture of the city is fantastic, and there are many different museums as well. The Mont des Arts are home to many museums. The Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts, which hosts within it gorgeous art pieces, is an example. There are more national museums as well, such as the Parc du Cinquantenaire and more. The Belgian Army Museum, The Royal Art and History Museum, and the Museum of Military History are worth checking out.
Antwerp: The Port City
Antwerp is another city of Belgium that has a rich cultural history. It is essentially a port city known for industrial and artistic influences. Many of the most significant and historical buildings are situated around the Grand Palace, which is located in the center of the town.
The Chocolate Nation, the largest Belgian Chocolate Museum, is also located here. Furthermore, the Antwerp Zoo is also a place worth visiting. Founded back in 1843, it is home to over 950 species of animals. It also has gorgeous Art Deco architecture as well as animal habitats that are super stylized.
Within Antwerp, many different museums can be explored and enjoyed. There is the Red Star Line Museum, the Museum aan de Stroom, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.
Ghent- The City of Canals, Castles, and Cathedrals
Ghent, like Bruges, is a medieval city that has a gentle romantic touch to it. In addition to the delightful environment, Ghent also has architectural and historical significance that makes it a city you should definitely not miss.
The most prominent feature of Ghent is the historic guild houses that are along the Graseli and Korenlei Canal. These houses date all the back to the early 13th century.
Ghent is also home to the Gravensteen, which is moated and massive. This medieval fortress is a sight to behold along with other beauties in Ghent. There is also the Laarne Castle that is a mere 11 kilometers away from Ghent. The Laarne Castle is yet another fortress. It is pentagonal in shape and houses many historic exhibits.
Grand Place in Brussels
The Grand Palace, also known as La Grand Palace or De Grote Markt, is a sight to behold when you visit Brussels, Belgium. It is a grand building rimmed with expertly preserved guildhalls. It is truly a showcase of vernacular architecture that Belgium is famous for.
On one side of the Grand Palace, there is an ornate medieval town hall that has all the characteristic features of Gothic architecture. It is a domineering building, and it will capture your gaze with all the intricate details it has.
The Grand Palace, with its representation for late 17th century Gothic architecture, was named UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
Ghent’s Gravensteen and Old Town
Ghent’s Gravensteen is a huge fort that was once the home for the counts of Flanders. The inspiration behind this impressive castle came from Syria, where the crusaders made bulky castles which they were impressed by. The Gravensteen is no doubt one of Europe’s best-moated fortress that has stood tall for all these years. It has also been well-preserved, which is why we can admire its beauty even today.
The walls of this caste are thick and high and rise above all the rooftops around it. The architecture of this castle is extremely detailed and beautiful. The rood showcases a panoramic view of Ghent’s gorgeous stone-paved streets.
Peter’s Church, Leuven
The St. Peter’s Church in Leuven is one of Europe’s best-preserved Brabant Gothic-styled structures. It has all the elements you would expect to see in a gothic church. It has arched windows which are pointed along with sheafed pillars and so much more. Additionally, the 15th-century architecture that the church houses are simply gorgeous.
This church sits in the heart of Leuven, which is the town’s main square, also known as Grote Markt. The church also contains within itself beautiful art and architecture. Hence, it is a treat for art-lovers. It also has some of the best Flemish paintings, which depict biblical scenes in great detail.
Mechelen Old Town
Mechelen is an old town with great structures. It often reminds the visitors of the history of Europe with its delightful buildings and overall atmosphere. The architecture is gabled, and all the old buildings are well-preserved. In the center of the town is the central Grote Markt. It is surrounded by fine architecture such as the Town Hall, Lakengall, and the Sint-Rombouts Cathedral. The cathedral has an impressive clock tower, that rises above all and is a magnificent structure.
Moving away from the main square, you will be able to see many guild houses that depict the history and culture of this town and Belgium as a whole.
For those who want to see a bit of nature to take a break from all the gorgeous architecture, the Semois Valley is a great place to visit. It has lush countryside that is breathtaking. Situated at the southern corner of Belgium, the Semois valley has farmlands as well as forest-clad hills that are perfect to hike through. Additionally, the Semois valley is a great place for riverboat trips as the Semoius river is nearby and gentle.
Belgium may be a small country but is filled with gorgeous castles and churches. Along with beautiful architecture, the towns are quaint yet beautiful. This country has many places that are culturally and architecturally significant, and hence, worth the visit. The article above lists all the different attractions, including architecturally and scenically beautiful places. Visiting these places will surely make your vacation worth it.