TOP 30 Things to do in Belgium + Travel tips

In this Belgium travel guide, you’ll find more than just the best things to do in Belgium and highlights. With JOURNICATION’s Belgium travel tips, you’ll find everything you need to plan your trip. Besides the best places to visit and the must-do activities in Belgium, you will learn about the best time to travel to Belgium, tips for easy travel and recommendations for accommodations and hotels. You’ll get an overview of the BIG5, i.e. best activities, photo spots, off-the-beaten-track destinations and culinary highlights.

In this Belgium travel guide, I’ll tell you the 30 best Belgium attractions with map, as well as the most important travel tips for this small country in Western Europe. You will see that there is much more to discover in Belgium than just the Atomium in Brussels, Maneken Pis and waffles. So you are well prepared for a trip to Belgium in 2022!

What do you learn in this article?

Checklist of the 30 best Things to do & Places to visit in Belgium

Here you have an overview of the 30 highlights in Belgium, so to speak your personal Belgium Bucket List to check off. It includes the best places to visit as well as the must-do activities of Belgium. This way you can make sure that you don’t miss any of the best things to do in Belgium during your city trip.

  1. Admire the Leuven City hall
  2. Leuven: Taste Belgium’s liquid gold 
  3. Walk from Brussels’ Grand Place to Maneken Pis
  4. Visit the famous landmark Atomium in Brussels
  5. Visit the historic old town of Antwerp 
  6. Antwerp: Admire the artworks of Rubens
  7. See the “Three Towers of Ghent”
  8. Learn about the history of Gravensteen Castle
  9. Ghent: Relax at iconic Graslei & Korenlei
  10. Climb the Bruges Belfry 
  11. Bruges: Take a boat to explore the channels
  12. Relax in the dunes of Flemish North Sea Coast
  13. Ride the world’s longest coastal tram
  14. Walk the old town of Mechelen
  15. Visit the Cathedral of Mechelen
  16. Taste the amazing Belgian pralines
  17. Admire the Cloth Hall of Ypres
  18. Visit the infamous Flandern Fields 
  19. Enjoy La Roche-en-Ardenne
  20. Have fun with water sports in Bouillon
  21. Learn about WW2 history in Bastogne
  22. Climb the citadel ofNamur
  23. Taste the famous Liège waffels 
  24. Liège: Climb the steep Montagne de Bueren 
  25. Hike through the forests of the Ardennes
  26. Enjoy the view from Dinant citadel 
  27. Dinant: See one of Belgium’s most famous Instagram spots
  28. Explore the historic city of Mons
  29. Learn about the 4 Wonders of Huy

 

The 28 best things to do are followed by useful travel tips you should know before visiting Belgium.

 

Wallonia Things to do in Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: View from the citadel on the old town and bridge of Dinant

View from the citadel to the old town and bridge of Dinant

#1 Things to do in Belgium: Admire the Leuven City Hall

Leuven is a real insider tip in Flanders, Belgium. Leuven not only has an imposing name but also an impressive historic old town, plenty of “liquid gold” and lively nightlife.

The old town attracts with many cultural sights such as the St. Peter’s Church with many works of art. Just across the street you will be amazed by one of the most famous town halls in the world. The Gothic masterpiece of architecture with its 236 statues in facade looks especially great in ensemble with the guild houses of the Grote Markt of Leuven.

With the large Beguinage as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Kruidruin as the oldest herb garden in Belgium, Leuven has more highlights to offer for an exciting city trip.

Due to its location, Leuven is particularly well suited for a day trip from Brussels – or vice versa 🙂

Things to do in Leuven Flanders Belgium highlights one day travel tips hotel recommendation: The city hall of Leuven in the evening light before the sunset

#2 Things to do in Belgium: Taste Belgium’s liquid gold

The university city Leuven is known for its many breweries (including Stella Artois) and the “liquid gold” produced there, which is famous far beyond the Oude Markt there as the “longest bar table in Europe”. With the main brewery of Stella Artois, one of the world’s most famous and popular beers comes directly from Leuven.

Many other Belgian cities also have their own breweries and a pronounced attachment to their “liquid gold”. Since there is no purity law like in Germany, Belgian brewmasters can be very experimental. That’s why very strong beers are popular, but also strawberry or cherry beers.

Each beer also requires its own typical glass. I was very impressed by the fact that most bars and restaurants also really stock all the special types of glasses required for the beers on the menu.

So, enjoying a real Belgian beer freshly tapped in a marketplace is definitely something you shouldn’t miss in Belgium!

Things to do in Leuven Flanders Belgium highlights one day travel tips hotel recommendation: The Stella Artois beer from Leuven is known far beyond the Oude Markt

The Stella Artois beer from Leuven is known far beyond the Oude Markt

#3 Walk from Brussels’ Grand Place to Maneken Pis

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and a great metropolis in the heart of Europe.

The enchanting Grand Place or Grote Markt (Belgium is a bi-lingual country) literally floods you with magnificent historic buildings, first and foremost the impressive City Hall. On and around the Grote Markt, numerous beautiful cafés await you, where you can sample every Belgian delicacy: From original handmade chocolates and waffles, to Belgian fries and gourmet dinners.

The Grote Markt of Brussels

The Grote Markt of Brussels

 

Well fortified, the tour continues to world-famous sights in Brussels such as the Maneken Pis and the Royal Castle.

Things to do in Belgium: Maneken Pis is a landmark of Brussels and Belgium

Maneken Pis is a landmark of Brussels and Belgium

#4 Things to do in Belgium: Atomium in Brussels

Brussels presents you with one architectural highlight after another. You will discover stylish Gothic and Baroque buildings, as well as imposing EU palaces and the truly impressive landmark of the city: the Atomium. It is without a doubt one of the most famous sights in Belgium.

The Atomium is the landmark of Brussels

The Atomium is the landmark of Brussels

 

Ein weiteres Highlight sind die vielen Street Art Graffitis und Wandmalereien. Halte beim Flanieren durch die schmucken Gassen der „Hauptstadt des Comics“ auf jeden Fall die Augen offen. Aber auch alle andere Kunst- und Kulturfans kommen in den sagenhaften 80 Museen ihren Interessen nach.

#5 Things to do in Belgium: Explore the historic old town Antwerp

One of the highlights of Flanders: Antwerp, famous for diamonds and the painter Rubens! Your tour of Antwerp is best started at the extraordinary central station, because this is one of the most beautiful 5 in the world! The magnificent iron and glass dome building above the station hall offers more than just a simple arrival and departure point.

The impressive city hall with the many guild houses around the market square as a vibrant center are one of the best photo spots in Antwerp. In the center the Brabo Fountain immediately catches the eye here.

The numerous museums are not only about art and diamonds – although these are the highlights in Antwerp. The city also impresses with futuristic architecture as a reflection of the many possibilities for visitors in the city on the Scheldt. Don’t miss the … and the Museum aan de Stroom (M. A. S.) here.

Belgium travel tip: You can even climb the M. A. S. for free if you book online in advance. From the top you have a great view of the old town of Antwerp, the Scheldt and the foothills of the second largest port in Europe.

Things to do in Belgium highlights Flanders Wallonia travel tips Travel Guide: The market place of Antwerp with the city hall and old guild houses

The market place of Antwerp with the city hall and old guild houses

#6 Things to do in Belgium: Admire the artworks of Rubens

Go on a discovery tour in Antwerp, a magnificent baroque and merchant city at the same time. Here you will follow in the footsteps of the famous painter Rubens through the Church of Our Lady, the largest Gothic church in the region. Here four famous works such as the Erection of the Cross are on display for the public. From the tower you have a fantastic view of the entire region.

It is not surprising that the Rubens House and his tomb in Saint James Church are among the most famous sights in Antwerp.

#7 Visit the Three Towers of Ghent

Ghent is a prosperous medieval city bursting with life and cultural charm.

Ghent is also called the “city of three towers”. This fascinating ensemble is formed by the Cathedral of St. Bavo, the Sint-Niklaskerk and the Ghent Belfry – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ghent is simply a place to enjoy and feel good for everyone, absolutely recommendable and one of the highlights in Flanders, Belgium.

Things to do in Ghent Flanders Belgium highlights one day itinerary travel tips hotel recommendation: View from castle Gravensteen to the 3 towers of Ghent

View from castle Gravensteen to the 3 towers of Ghent

#8 Places to visit in Belgium: Gravensteen Castle in Ghent

You must have noticed, where you have one of the best views of the “three towers of Ghent”: Exactly, from Gravensteen Castle. It is one of the highlights in Belgium.

So don’t miss the mysterious Gravensteen Castle, located in the middle of the city. The entrance fee is worth it. There is an audio guide for every visitor. Throughout the castle, an exciting, individual guided tour with more than 20 stops awaits you. From the outdoor facilities to the living quarters, dungeons, the battlements and the roof. Everything is explained in detail.

 

 

When in Ghent, besides the Gravensteen Castle, you should also marvel at the world-famous masterpiece of the Van Eyck brothers, the “Ghent Altar” in the St. Bavo Cathedral.

#9 Relax at iconic Graslei & Korenlei

The historic old town with the river Leie and tranquil canals offers postcard motifs virtually on every street corner.

You’ll find quaint restaurants everywhere, especially along the old quays Graslei, Korenlei and Kraanlei. If you want to enjoy yourself in the “culinary heart of Ghent”, the Patershol is the right address.

Things to do in Belgium Hightlighs Travel Tips: Graslei with medieval houses

Graslei with medieval houses

#10 Things to do in Belgium: Climb the Bruges Belfry

Some of the most famous sights in Flanders and all of Belgium can be found in Bruges! Bruges will enchant you with its medieval alleys, romantic canals and the entire picturesque city center. Since 2000, the entire city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Immerse yourself in Bruges’ golden age. As one of the most important centers of the textile industry, Bruges’ economic boom began as early as the 13th century. And you can still marvel at the resulting prosperity today. In the heart of Bruges lies the Grote Markt, or Market Square, surrounded by picturesque buildings like the Provinciaal Hof. The square and the whole cityscape are dominated by the Belfry. From up here you have a great view from 83 meters above the whole city.

Things to do in Belgium highlights Flanders Wallonia travel tips Travel Guide: The Grote Markt of Bruges is a popular photo motif

The Grote Markt of Bruges is a popular photo motif

#11 Must-do in Belgium: Explore the Bruges channels by boat

A special highlight in Bruges is the boat tour through the canals of the city. From the boat you can enjoy the great view of romantic bridges and medieval facades on the canals. You will definitely pass by the Rozenhoedkaai (Rosenkranzkai), one of the most famous photo spots in Belgium.

During your city trip to Bruges, don’t miss the Church of Our Lady with works of art such as the Bruges Madonna (Michelangelo), the brewery “De Halve Maan” and a visit to the dreamy beguinages (also designated as cultural heritage).

#12 Places to visit in Belgium: Flemish North Sea Coast

After so many sights in Belgium, there should also be time for relaxation. Then I have a very hot tip: The Flemish North Sea coast invites you after all the cities with many UNESCO sites and highlights to relax in the dunes.

In the untouched dunes of De Haan and its neighboring towns with a salty sea breeze in your face, the impressive Belgium sights of the last few days can be wonderfully reviewed. An atmospheric end to your Flanders trip.

Things to do in Belgium highlights Flanders Wallonia travel tips Travel Guide: In the dunes of the Belgian North Sea coast near De Haan

In the dunes of the Belgian North Sea coast near De Haan

#13 Things to do in Belgium: Ride the world’s longest coastal tram

The “Kusttram” is the world’s longest coastal streetcar with 67 kilometers of track (!) and makes jumping from beach to beach easy and completely stress-free – without parking problems.

In 13 seasideresorts, everyone will find their own personal paradise: Whether stormy water sports, culture in abundance, strolling in shopping streets, feasting on fresh fish. Or strolling along the beach promenades, simply sunbathing and bathing on the wonderfully endless white sandy beach. On the North Sea coast of Flanders you have many options.

The center of the coastal region is Ostend. With a large seaside resort, a spa and more than 300 restaurants and cafes, Ostend is a popular destination.

#14 Things to do in Belgium: Explore the old town of Mechelen

The impressive old town of Mechelen is almost circular, with a diameter of only one kilometer. Here you will find over 300 listed buildings – an impressive density.

Worth seeing in Mechelen are especially the City Hall, the Brussels City Gate and the Cloth Hall. It has its own exciting Belfry. As in many other cities in Flanders, there is also a large beguinage in Mechelen, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.

Don’t miss the many playful townhouses in Mechelen, such as Sint Jozef, De Duivel, Het Paradis or De Beyaert. Other highlights in Mechelen can be found along the historic street IJzerenleen like the Oud Schepenhuis.

Belgium travel tip: As a railroad junction, Mechelen is particularly well suited as a starting point for further travel in Belgium. From here you can easily get to Leuven, Ghent, Antwerp or Brussels.

Things to do Places to visit in Belgium: Mechelen is one of the insider tips for destinations in Belgium

Mechelen is one of the insider tips for destinations in Belgium

#15 Things to do in Belgium: Visit the Cathedral of Mechelen

This tranquil town in Flanders is famous for its rich history and its massive cathedral.

Since the 15th century, the Gothic Cathedral of St. Romuald stands in the center of Mechelen. From the 98 meters high tower you have a great view of the city and the surrounding countryside. Therefore, the tower of the cathedral was used as a belfry. It belongs to the UNESCO world heritage. In the cathedral, there are many important works of art by famous painters to admire.

Things to do in Belgium highlights Flanders Wallonia travel tips Travel Guide: The cathedral is the center of Mechelen

The cathedral is the center of Mechelen

#16 Must-do in Belgium: Taste the famous Belgian chocolates

Besides beer and waffles, Belgium is world famous for another culinary delicacy: Belgian chocolates! And you shouldn’t miss them either.

Jean Neuhaus from Brussels is considered the inventor of pralines. He presented his first creation to the public in 1912.

Today, you can find chocolatiers and stores not only in Brussels, but also in many other Belgian cities.

Belgium travel tip: The Belgian chocolates are also great as a souvenir and your friends and family at home will certainly be happy about this little delicious attention.

In the little streets of the old town of Huy

#17 Belgium Highlights: Admire the Cloth Hall of Ypres

The city in the west of Flanders is inextricably linked with the cruel Flanders battles of the First World War.

However, not only old trenches await you here, but also great Flanders sights such as the market square and the Sint-Maartenskathedraal.

The market square is surrounded by magnificent town houses. Especially worth seeing is the Lakenhal, the Cloth Hall of Ypres. Like many others in Flanders, the 70-meter-high belfry is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its Gothic architectural style, the hall strongly resembles a church. However, it is actually one of the largest secular – i.e., non-ecclesiastical – buildings in all of Europe.

Things to do in Belgium highlights Flanders Wallonia travel tips Travel Guide: The old Cloth Hall of Ypres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The old Cloth Hall of Ypres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

#18 Visit the infamous Flanders Fields near Ypres

Near Ypres, the real “Flanders Fields” are still home to many exciting World War I relics and exhibits such as trenches.

An absolute must for history buffs and those interested in the First World War in Europe.

The soldier cemeteries of the Flanders Fields are silent witnesses of the First World War

The soldier cemeteries of the Flanders Fields are silent witnesses of the First World War

#19 Belgium travel tip: La Roche-en-Ardennes

La Roche-en-Ardennes is picturesquely situated on the river Ourthe. The town in the forests of the Ardennes is a very popular destination, not only for locals.

The heart of La Roche-en-Ardennes is overlooked by a fortified castle. You see this in many places in Wallonia. Take your time to look around the old town. Here you’ll find many restaurants and cafésParticularly popular is “Le Quai Son” with tables directly on the river – and even some deck chairs.

For active travelers, an exciting pedal boat ride on the river or a round with the stand-up paddle is a great option.

The beautiful location on the river and the deep forests of the Ardennes makes the town especially popular with hikers. Maps for these are available at the local tourist information office (website). Had enough walking, but still not tired?

The culinary highlight of the region is the famous Ardennes ham.

Belgium Insider Tip: You will find free parking just a short distance outside the center towards the campsite.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: Paddling on the Hermeux River in La Roche-en-Ardenne

Paddling on the Hermeux River in La Roche-en-Ardenne

#20 Things to do in Belgium: Water activities and castle in Bouillon

In Bouillon you will find equally picturesque scenery. The small town is located in the Ardennes directly on the French border. Worth seeing in Bouillon is the defiant castle. You can visit it. Especially interesting are the double drawbridge and the well-preserved Gothic hall.

Take a relaxed stroll through the old town and along the Semois River. From the bridge you have a great view of the city, the river and the surroundings.

You want to make exciting excursions on the water? No problem: With the provider “La Vanne” you can make great tours by kayak directly from Bouillon or the nearby Alle-sur-Semois.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: Great atmosphere in Bouillon on the Semois

Great atmosphere in Bouillon on the Semois river

#21 Learn about Bastogne in Second World War

Bastogne is an ancient city in the forests of the Ardennes. Despite its small size, it is known far beyond the borders of Belgium.The name Bastogne is for many inseparable from the last months of the Second World War. The small town in the Ardennes was initially liberated by American troops in September 1944. In the course of the German Ardennes offensive in the winter of 1944, parts of the 101st Airborne Division were encircled in Bastogne, but held their ground bravely without surrendering.

So it is not surprising that most of the sights, besides the Romanesque church of Saint Pierre and the Porte de Trèves, revolve around this theme.

Already in the center an original American Sherman tank is waiting. Especially worth seeing is the Bastogne War Museum. Here you can follow the events during the German offensive in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944 by means of exhibitions and videos. You can get a good overview on the official website of the museum

In many places, tanks from the Second World War are a reminder of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 - here in La Roche-en-Ardenne

In many places, tanks from the Second World War are a reminder of the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 – here in La Roche-en-Ardenne

#22 Belgien Highlights: Climb the Citadel of Namur

Namur is the capital of the whole Wallonia. The city is dominated by the mighty Citadel, one of the largest fortifications in Europe.

It guards the confluence of the Sambre and ..You can get a great overview of Namur from the citadel. Here there are many old walls and towers and various buildings to visit.

Wallonia Things to do in Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: The Walloon flag flies in front of the Namur Citadel

The Walloon flag flies in front of the Namur Citadel

 

At the foot of the citadel is the Élysette, the Walloon Parliament. There is much to discover in the historic old town! Besides the Meat Market and the Porte de Gravière, the Old Chamber of Commerce stands out.

Architectural treasures are the Saint-Aubin Cathedral and the Belfry. Like many others in Belgium, the Belfry is a UNESCO World HeritageSite.

The alleys of the old town are ideal for strolling, shopping and enjoying Walloon delicacies.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: The magnificent old town of Namur is largely a pedestrian zone

The magnificent old town of Namur is largely a pedestrian zone

#23 Belgium must-do: Try the world-famous Liège Waffels

Liège is the second largest city and the cultural center of Wallonia. It was once the cradle and center of the continental European steel industry.

Along the Meuse River, you will pass through various neighborhoods to the historic old town. The old town is full of buildings worth seeing, such as the town hall, the prince-bishop’s palace at Place Saint-Lambert and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Belgium is world famous for its waffles. They come in Brussels and Liège varieties. So: Don’t miss it!

The famous waffles of Liège - don't miss out!

The famous waffles of Liège – not to be missed!

 

#24 Places to visit in Belgium: Montagne de Bueren

You ate too many waffles in Liège? No problem at all!

You can work off the calories on the Montagne de Bueren: The staircase leading up to the citadel is considered one of the steepest in the world. From the top, you have a great view over the city and the Meuse Valley from the Bellevue lookout.

Wallonia things to do in Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: A highlight of Liège: the steep steps of the Montagne de Bueren

A highlight of Liège: the steep steps of the Montagne de Bueren

 

If you are traveling by train, you will experience the first highlight on arrival: the Liège-Guillemins train station is an architectural masterpiece by the Spanish architect Calatrava.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: The Liège-Guillemins train station is an architectural landmark

Liège-Guillemins station is an architectural landmark

 

Liège is especially known for the many street art pieces all over the city. The student city of Liège has with “Le Carré” a widely known nightlife district

#25 Explore the smallest town in the world Durbuy

A real insider tip in the Ardennes is Durbuy. It is the “smallest town in the world”.

One of the best sights is the castle of Durbuy. It is directly adjacent to the cozy old town. You can take great photos from the bridge or from the opposite river bank.

The picturesque old town is often crowded with tourists, accordingly many restaurants, cafes and bars you can find here. My recommendation for a café in Durbuy: C’est de la faute de maman, literally “My mother is to blame.” Here you should definitely try the homemade lemonades and the daily freshly baked cake.

Travel tip: Some free parking is available right in the center, especially in the hills. The city center is a pedestrian zone, accordingly expensive and usually difficult to find a parking space.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: Durbuy Castle and Old Town

Durbuy Castle and Old Town

 

#26 Things to do in Belgium: Discover magnificent castles

All over Belgium, but especially in Wallonia, you will find several magnificent castles.

A particularly fine example is the Château de Vêves near Dinant.

If you can fit it into your route, the Walzin Castle or the Kasteel Ooidonk is well worth a visit!

Vêves Castle near Dinant is worth the detour

Vêves Castle near Dinant is worth the detour

#27 Things to do in Belgium: Enjoy the view from Dinant Citadel

Dinant has gained notoriety especially in recent years through social media. Photos from the viewpoint of the citadel or the bridge are particularly popular here.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: View from the citadel on the old town and bridge of Dinant

View from the citadel to the old town and bridge of Dinant

 

The citadel of Dinant is perched on a rock above the narrow Meuse valley and the church of Notre-Dame de Dinant with its ornate west wing.

#28: Visit one of Belgium’s most famous Instagram spots

Dinant is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. And this is what you can see: on the Meuse Bridge you can see playful saxophones in many colors. The bridge with the church Notre-Dame de Dinant and the citadel in the background is one of the most popular places for Instagram photos.

Worth seeing in Dinant are the more than 40 meters high needle rock Bayard and the historic city center around the town hall.

Nearby you will find the Abbey Notre-Dame de Leffe, namesake of the world-famous beer.

Things to do in Dinant Wallonia Belgium Sightseeing Highlights for a Day Travel Tips Hotel Recommendation: On Dinant's Pont Charles de Gaulle you have great opportunities for Instagram photos

On the Pont Charles de Gaulle of Dinant you have great opportunities for Instagram photos

#15 Belgium Insider Tip: Historic old town of Mons

Mons is picturesquely situated on an almost circular hill. The prominent location is also reflected in the name of the city: the Latin word “Mons” means mountain. Mons city was built as a military camp during the reign of Julius Caesar against the Gauls.

The most famous sights in Mons are the Waltrudis Church Collégiale Sainte-Waudru with the golden chariot and the Grand Place with the 15th century town hall. The historic old town is overlooked by the belfry “El Catiau”, the landmark of the city.

Mons has other UNESCO sites to offer: Nearby, Spiennes is home to Europe’s oldest flint mine and the Le Grand Hornu coal mine.

Mons is an insider tip for destinations in Belgium

Mons is an insider tip for destinations in Belgium

#30 Things to do in Belgium: The 4 wonders of Huy

The small town of Huy is picturesquely located on the Meuse between Liège and Namur, so it can be super combined with an excursion.

Here you will find the “Les Quatre Merveilles”, the four wonders of Huy. They still bear the old Walloon names. They are…

  • the rose window of the church of Notre-Dame de Huy (Li Rondia)
  • the 15th century castle (Li Tchestia)
  • the bridge on the river (Li Pontia)
  • the intact fountain on the Grand-Place (Li Bassinia)

The 4 wonders also represent the best sights of Huy. Especially worth seeing is the Citadel, from which you have a great view over the Meuse and the whole region.

Wallonia Belgium round trip itinerary route sightseeing tips: Church and Fortress Li Tchestia of Huy

Church and Fortress Li Tchestia of Huy

 

You are interested in a Belgium round trip with the highlights of the country? Then the detailed articles from JOURNICATION will surely help you plan your trip:

Flanders: 

Wallonia:

BIG5 Things to do in Belgium, & Travel Tips

You don’t want to miss any Belgium highlights in one day? Find all travel tips and your city trip checklist for one day in Belgium here:

BIG5 Belgium – Speed Date

What should you know before your trip to Belgium? So let’s go on a speed date:

What is outstanding in Belgium?

The great historic city centers offer great postcard motifs on almost every corner and invite you to explore. Take your time and enjoy great destinations in Belgium like Ghent, Bruges, Namur and Antwerp.

What sucks in Belgium?

Some destinations in Belgium such as Brussels, Bruges or Dinant are particularly popular with tourists and can be correspondingly crowded in the high season. Therefore, it is recommended to travel in the “shoulder months” such as May or September and consider the travel tips of the “BIG5 off the beaten track” for route planning.

What you should definitely DO in Belgium?

A vacation in Belgium can be incredibly varied: magnificent historic old towns, a far-reaching exciting history, relaxing beach vacations in the North Sea dunes or hiking and adventure in dense forests – in Belgium you can experience all this within a few days. Take advantage of it!

What NOT TO DO in Belgium?

Don’t just stay in one place! Belgium’s manageable size makes it especially easy to incorporate multiple destinations into your trip by car or public transportation.

What not to tell your mother about Belgium?

Even the “standard” beers in Belgium can be very strong. So be careful with tastings, if you are still on the road with the car 🙂

BIG5 Belgium – Rapid Fire Q&A

What is typical for Belgium?

Belgium is typically known for its countless types of beer and its culinary specialties such as French fries and Belgian waffles.

Where is the most beautiful place in Belgium?

Belgium is particularly beautiful in the Ardennes and on the North Sea coast. Each region has its merits and offers a welcome change from the big cities.

What is special about Belgium?

Belgium is a bilingual country. In Flanders, the northern part, Flemish is spoken. In Wallonia, the southern part, French is spoken.

What are the most popular destinations in Belgium?

Each region in Belgium offers great destinations and attractions. Here are some recommendations:

  • City breaks Flanders: Ghent | Leuven | Brussels | Bruges | Antwerp
  • City trips Wallonia: Liège | Namur | Dinant | Mons | Huy
  • North Sea coast: Oostende | De Haan | Knokke-Heist
  • Ardennes: La Roche-en-Ardenne | Durbuy | Bouillon | Bastogne

What should you not miss in Belgium?

The best places to visit in Belgium are without a doubt the historic old cities of Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. Here you can visit many UNESCO World Heritage sites and take great photos!

Sint-Veerleplein in front of castle Gravensteen

Sint-Veerleplein in front of castle Gravensteen

BIG5 Belgium – Orga

What is the best travel time for Belgium?

The best time to travel to Belgium is the warm summer in June, July and August. Pleasantly warm temperatures and little rain you have also in May, September and October.

How to get to Belgium?

Do you need a visa for Belgium? 

Visa: Check here whether you need a visa for Belgium with your passport

Which airports are in Belgium?

Belgium has several international airports that you can use for your journey to Belgium:

  • Brussels-Zaventem (IATA: BRU) – very good connection to Brussels
  • Brussels-Charleroi (IATA: CRL) – used mainly by low-cost airlines
  • Antwerp (IATA: ANR) – mainly used by small aircraft due to short runway
  • Liège / Liege (IATA: LGG) – good connection for a trip to Wallonia, Belgium’s south

Bus: The major cities in Belgium – especially Brussels – are very well connected to the rail network in Western Europe.

Train: The major cities in Belgium – especially Brussels – are very well connected to the rail network in Western Europe.

Next, head to northern France, the Netherlands or Germany with exciting destinations like Cologne and the romantic Middle Rhine Valley of the Loreley.

Price Level / Budget for Belgium?

  • What is the currency in Belgium? – The currency in Belgium is Euro (EUR)

Withdraw money:  Finding ATMs in Belgium is no problem at all. There is a lot of cashless payment here. To save money when traveling, you should use a credit card that does NOT charge additional fees abroad. I have been using the free DKB VISA credit card for many years.

Beer indicator:  For a freshly tapped Belgian beer in Leuven you should calculate about 2.70 euros for 0.25 liters, 3.30 euros for 0.33 liters. 0.5 liters cost around 5.00 euros.

Cost for public transport: In most cities in Flanders, the tariff of “De Lijn” applies:

  • The single ride from “De Lijn” costs 3.00 euros and is valid for 60 minutes.
  • A day ticket costs 7,00 Euro, a ten ticket costs 16,00 Euro.

Do you need a travel adapter plug for Belgium?

In, E sockets are used with a voltage of 230 V with a voltage of 50 Hertz.

Do you need a travel adapterfor the sockets in ? Then I can recommend you SKROSS Pro World travel adapter, which I myself have in my luggage for some time:

What are the best Restaurants, Bars & Cafés in Belgium?

Belgium has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. Here you will find everything from upscale star restaurants to delicious snack bars for your typical Belgian fries.

BIG5 Belgium – The must do Activities

What activities should you not miss in Belgium in any case? Here are my BIG5:

  • Visit the old town of Bruges from the water with a boat tour
  • Relax with a walk in the dunes of the Belgium North Sea coast
  • Taste Belgian waffles in Liège
  • Enjoy the view from the Citadel in Namur
  • Taste delicious Belgian beer in one of the breweries in Leuven

BIG5 Belgium – The best Photo spots

You may wondering about the best photo locations to take pictures for Instagram or your holiday album. Here we go:

  • The picturesque market square in Bruges
  • From the citadel in Dinant with a view of the old town and the river Meuse
  • View from Gravensteen Castle in Ghent with a view of the “Three Towers”
  • The town hall of Leuven is one of the best photo motifs in Belgium
  • The Grote Markt of Antwerp 

 

 

BIG5 Belgium – Insider Tips / Things to do off the beaten track

  • Leuven – the “city of liquid gold” is somewhat overshadowed by its famous neighbors Brussels and Ghent.
  • De Haan – cozy small town on the North Sea coast, less crowded than Blankenberge or Ostend
  • Roche-en-Ardennes – great base for hiking or water activities in the Ardennes
  • Book village Redu – a cozy village in Wallonia with books everywhere
  • Mons – a real insider tip in Belgium

BIG5 Belgium – Communication

What language do you speak in Belgium?

Belgium is a bilingual country. In Belgium, Dutch is spoken in the Flemish north and French in Wallonia, the south. In Brussels, both languages are spoken.

Here is an overview of the most important expressions for a nice word in the national language:

In Flanders and parts of Brussels, people speak mainly Dutch, in Belgium it is called Flemish (“vlaans”)

  • thank you – Met dank
  • yes – ja
  • no – nee
  • hello – Hallo
  • goodbye – Tot Ziens

In Wallonia and parts of Brussels, French is the main language spoken.

  • thank you – merci
  • yes – oui
  • no – non
  • hello – Salut / Bonjour
  • goodbye – Au revoirs

BIG5 Belgium – Culinary Journey: What to eat in Belgium?

  • French fries
  • Waffles: There are two types of Belgian waffles:
    • Brussels style
    • Liège style
  • Mussels and seafood
  • Belgian chocolates
  • Kotmadam – delicious pastry filled with minced meat with vegetables

Additional tip: In Belgium, beer, the “liquid gold,” cannot be missing from the list of culinary delights. The fact that, unlike Germany, there is no purity law here means that interesting flavors such as “strawberry” or various strong beers are produced.

The 30 best things to do in Belgium 🇧🇪

Once again summarizing the Belgium Highlights for you at a glance:

  1. Admire the Leuven City hall
  2. Leuven: Taste Belgium’s liquid gold 
  3. Walk from Brussels’ Grand Place to Maneken Pis
  4. Visit the famous landmark Atomium in Brussels
  5. Visit the historic old town of Antwerp 
  6. Antwerp: Admire the artworks of Rubens
  7. See the “Three Towers of Ghent”
  8. Learn about the history of Gravensteen Castle
  9. Ghent: Relax at iconic Graslei & Korenlei
  10. Climb the Bruges Belfry 
  11. Bruges: Take a boat to explore the channels
  12. Relax in the dunes of Flemish North Sea Coast
  13. Ride the world’s longest coastal tram
  14. Walk the old town of Mechelen
  15. Visit the Cathedral of Mechelen
  16. Taste the amazing Belgian pralines
  17. Admire the Cloth Hall of Ypres
  18. Visit the infamous Flandern Fields 
  19. Enjoy La Roche-en-Ardenne
  20. Have fun with water sports in Bouillon
  21. Learn about WW2 history in Bastogne
  22. Climb the citadel ofNamur
  23. Taste the famous Liège waffels 
  24. Liège: Climb the steep Montagne de Bueren 
  25. Hike through the forests of the Ardennes
  26. Enjoy the view from Dinant citadel 
  27. Dinant: See one of Belgium’s most famous Instagram spots
  28. Explore the historic city of Mons
  29. Learn about the 4 Wonders of Huy

 

Now you know the 30 best things to do in Belgium and see what a great destination Belgium is. Are Belgium highlights like Brussels, Antwerp or Liège now on your bucket list? What do you find particularly exciting?

 

If you want to know more about Belgium attractions or need more info, feel free to let me know via message or in the comments.

 

Things to do in Belgium – Helpful Websites & Resources

  • For current information on entry requirements and safety in Belgium, please contact the German Foreign Office.
  • As an additional source of inspiration and practical travel guide I recommend the Lonely Planet for Belgium:

Are you interested in a Belgium round trip with the highlights of the country? Then the detailed articles of JOURNICATION will surely help you with your travel planning:

Flanders: 

Wallonia:

 

Pin the article on Pinterest for your future travel plans:

 

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2 Comments

  1. Fred

    Wow Phil, an amazing collection of Belgium highlights!
    Thanks for the inspiration, we put it on the list for next year!

    Stay safe
    Fred

    Reply
    • Phil

      Thanks Fred!
      Have a great time in Belgium – you will enjoy!

      Best regards
      Phil

      Reply

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