Belgium is quite a small country, but it sure does have many more sights to see than some larger countries. When we first visited Belgium, we went to its capital – Brussels and we loved it so much that we wondered what else is to explore in this country. That’s why we started our itinerary and were not disappointed at all. So, in this blog post we bring you 5 must-visit cities in Belgium.
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Let’s explore amazing Belgian cities.
Brussels – the capital is the most visited Belgian destination and no wonder since it is full of great museums, palaces, chapels and mansions. Its architecture is amazing, it’s very artsy and there are tons of pretty great restaurants. The main square, Grand-Place is the focal point, it’s where you’ll see the extraordinary Gothic City Hall, surrounded with baroque, guild houses. One of the main Brussels’ attractions is the futuristic Atomium, the landmark building that represents a molecule’s nine atoms, you have to climb up to it and admire the views or take photos from the nearby park – very Instagram-worthy. We loved the Old England Building and Broodhuis – both buildings house museums today and have remarkable façades.
Bruges is one of our favourite small European cities and it’s the most touristic city in Belgium. With its medieval architecture, small houses, canals, gorgeous palaces and chapels, this small city makes such a romantic destination. The city centre is closed for cars, so take a walk or hop on a bike and explore its streets and then take a hot-chocolate-break in one of the authentic cafés on the main market square. Due to its popularity, Bruges is a bit pricey, but the experience is totally worth every cent spent. Spring is the perfect time to visit – when the weather is perfect and it’s less crowded than in summer when there are more tourists in the city than locals.
Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium, second largest port in Europe, and diamond capital of the world. Also, it is a city where a few Flemish artists used to work, such as Ruben and Van Dyke. You can even visit Ruben’s house and studio and admire his work. There are many museums in Antwerp that are worth visiting – like the whole country of Belgium, it’s just full of great museums. Also, Antwerp is known to be a very fashionable city, six great designers started their work here. When it comes to architecture, you’ll admire the Old Town and its amazing buildings.
Ghent is less popular among tourists and that’s why we loved it. It’s more of a laid-back university city with a cool vibe and tons of landmarks to explore. It houses 18 museums, 100 churches and over 400 amazing historical buildings. The city centre is closed for traffic so you’ll have to explore it on foot or bike, or you can rent a boat and explore its canals. One of the must-see landmarks is definitely Old Tower Belfry that dominates the cityscape. Also, there are St. Nicholas Church and St. Bavo’s Cathedral, both set near the Tower and both are such beautiful buildings built in Gothic style.
Dinant is another city that seriously took our breaths away, a small city with so much to see and photograph. Due to its location, it was often exposed to battles so it’s full of history and there are many fortresses to admire. One thing that we admire the most is Collegiate Church of Our Lady (Collégiale Notre Dame de Dinant) – the 13th-century Gothic cathedral with an unusual bell tower. What’s even more beautiful than the building itself is its position – it’s set beneath the town’s citadel that sits on a huge cliff. Climb up to that citadel and you’ll enjoy the best views over this charming Belgian city. Also, Dinant is the hometown of Adolphe Sax – the inventor of the saxophone, so you’ll find a lot of saxophone sculptures all around the city.
You’ll agree that Belgium is a very beautiful and picturesque country with so much to explore and see. These are just some of our favourite cities, but you should know that every city or town is worth exploring and you’ll fall in love with every place you visit.