For a small country, Belgium has many things to see for tourists. It might only take three hours to cross the entire country but it has something to offer to every kind of traveler: castles, art museums, delicious Belgian chocolate and Belgian beer, unique monuments, history, and beaches. A proper visit to Belgium requires at least five days and a visit to the following highlights.
Table of Contents
Things to See in Brussels
The most famous sight of Brussels is undoubtedly Manneken Pis, a statue of a little boy peeing. But there are many more, and some would claim more interesting, things to see as for instance the Grand Place, the main square of Brussels, and the Atomium, a huge building in the form of an atom. This unique monument can be visited and most of the balls house expositions.
Things to See in Bruges
Bruges is the most popular tourist destination of Belgium. The entire historical center of this town has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage. With good reason, because many visitors find it more beautiful than Venice, the town it is often compared with. The best way to see Bruges is on a boat. Boat rides are offered all around the center and show tourists the highlights of the town from the Reien, the canals that characterize Bruges.
There are many museums in Bruges. Most of them are art museums but there are also more unusual museums such as the chocolate museum and the ‘frietmuseum,’ honoring Belgium’s most tasty snacks, chocolate and fries. Visitors that are not so fond of museums can take the train to the beach, only a 15-minute ride from Bruges.
Things to See in Ghent
Ghent is a lively city at only 30 minutes driving from Bruges. The historical center might be a bit less impressive than Bruges, it is noticeable that this city is more alive. After a day of strolling around the beautiful historical center and visiting the Gravensteen castle, visitors should explore Ghent’s many unique and lively bars, which often play live music.
Things to See in Antwerp
The second biggest city of Belgium, Antwerp, is the diamond capital of the world. A trip to this city therefore cannot go without a visit to the renowned diamond museum. Art lovers will definitely be more excited to visit the Rubenshuis, the house where Rubens grew up and which now is a museum dedicated to the world-famous painter.
Just outside of Antwerp, tourists can visit Fort Breendonk, which was used as a concentration camp during World War II. This former labor camp reminds visitors of the terrible things that happened in Belgium in 1940 – 1945.
A Visit to a Belgian Beer Brewery
For tourists who would like to know more about Belgium’s most famous export product can visit one of the many breweries. The Stella Artois brewery in Leuven offers a good tour of the beer brewing process and of course, visitors get to taste the final product in the end.
A tour of the Stella Artois brewery can easily be combined with a walk through the historical city center of Leuven with its impressive squares.
For nature-loving visitors who stay longer than five days, a trip to the lovely Ardennes in the South of Belgium perfect for long forest walks might be a good option. History aficionados might opt for an excursion to the Westhoek with its many reminders of the World War I front.