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#Belgium is a beautiful country, and those who have visited it will most likely agree with that. There are a lot of incredible cities in the country, all of which offer a combination of architecture, culture, and history to the tourists. What's so special about Belgium is that tourists will be able to spot old buildings that have been around for thousands of years.
At the same time, they will be blown away by the architectural works of today, giving them an idea of how amazing the whole transformation was. In addition, you will find many historic churches all across the country. A trip to Brussels, Bruges and Ghent has become at this point a classic itinerary in Europe. These 3 cities, very close to each other, have a wide variety of attractions to offer from its medieval architecture typical of Belgium and the Netherlands, to its interesting museums and churches.
And how not to name the typical Belgian food and drinks. Famous is the Belgian beer, but also on this trip we can also add waffles, mussels and French fries. Finding the right places to visit is almost as challenging as looking for the right TVandinternetdeal. But there is no need to fret! This article is going to help you out with that.
So, if you are planning to visit Europe, then here are some of the top places to visit in Belgium.
If you are going to fly to Belgium, then visiting Antwerp is a must. This city is famous for artists and craftspeople. It also serves as a trade port. So, what can you do in this city? Well, if you are into historic buildings, then you should head to the Grand Place (Grote Markt) where you will find old guild houses.
You can also go to the Butcher's Hall. There are also museums such as Plantin-Moretus, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) that you can check out. Apart from museums, there are some family attractions as well which you can enjoy. For instance, the city is quite famous for Chocolate Nation, where you can learn all about Belgian chocolate. There is also Antwerp Zoo which is occupied by more than 6,000 animals.
Today we will give you reasons to travel to Antwerp. The city is separated by the Scheldt, but the St Anna's Tunnel traverses it below the earth joining both banks. It was built as a pedestrian passage and for bicycles in the 30s. You must go down 31 meters under the river bed, and it will give you the feeling of having traveled in time, since everything is preserved exactly as when it was built.
You will also notice a sudden change in temperature as you have just started your descent to the center of the earth. On the other side of the shore, in the magic hour of the sunset, you will find yourself facing one of the best panoramic views of Antwerp. Vlaeykensgang alley is near the Grote Markt, but you will have to put yourself in the shoes of Sherlock Holmes to find it.
It is a set of courtyards and galleries that transport you directly to the medieval era. Among the things to do in Antwerp you can also stop for a coffee in some of the restaurants and bars that live in this alley today. The atmosphere in Meir zone is very pleasant since this neighborhood is very close to the historic center. Some of its streets intersect and the contrast of finding the Boerentoren building, the first skyscraper in Europe.
Antwerp City Card for 48 hours will give you free access to all monumental museums and churches, as well as public transport in the city.
The town of Baarle is one of the most interesting places on Earth. Baarle is a town inside Netherlands that is mostly Belgian but inside the Belgian parts there are smaller pieces that belong to Netherlands. In Netherlands, Baarle is known as Baarle-Nassau, while in Belgium it is known as Baarle-Hertog.
This quaint little town is not much popular. But it's borderlines makes it stand out from rest of the places. Baarle straddles on the international border between Netherlands and Belgium. This town is located between the northern part of Belgium and is also the southern part of Netherlands. These borders run through roads, shops, bars and even houses! So, eventually there are dozens of borders running through this town.
It would be an amazing feeling to set feet on two countries at the same time, or sit in a cafe which is located in two countries!
Ghent is sort of the best of both worlds between Antwerp and Bruges. It feels like a lively, lived-in city, like Antwerp, but it also has a quaint historical feel the way Bruges does. Bruges' center at least is tourist-heavy (though it's possible to avoid it if you stay along outside paths), while in Ghent you're likelier to be among locals or at least, other Belgian or Belgium-based visitors.
The city of Ghent is populated with many historic buildings which you will love to see. You will also be able to find a lot of guild houses as well as markets situated along the Graseli Canal. In addition, you can visit one of the oldest buildings called Romanesque Koornstapelhuis, which was built in the year 1200.
There is an old market area in Ghent where you can find Groot Vleeshuis. It is a medieval structure that was constructed in 1410. You can also visit Vismarkt, which was built in 1689. You can also find a lot of historic churches here, such as the Cathedral of St. Bravo and Saint Michael’s Church.
Brussels is the political and economic hub of Belgium. It has a much different feel than any of the country’s other cities. The city is a fun destination for tourists where they can find many cafes and restaurants. If you are planning to visit Brussels, then do go to Grand Place, which is home to many beautiful guild houses.
You should also go to one of the city's most popular landmarks, the Manneken Pis. Moreover, you will find many different attractions around the Royal Palace called Koningsplein, where the royal family of Belgium resides.
4. Burg Square, Bruges
This is simply one of the most romantic cities in Belgium. Bruges has many sleepy canals and cobblestoned streets. It has two main squares, Burge Square and Markt, which are situated at the heart of this historic district. With the Belfort in the background, the best plan in Bruges is probably to sit in the square and enjoy a good beer. Needless to say, the chocolate is first class and the square is a beautiful place to eat a meal.
The nerve center of the city is located in Grote Markt, surrounded by impressive facades such as the Provincial Palace, or De Lakenhalle and the imposing monument known as Atalaya, symbol of freedom and autonomy of Bruges.
5. Belfry of Bruges
If you visit the Markt, then do make sure to check out the Belfry. It is a bell tower that has a carillon of 47 bells. You can also go to the top of the building. However, do keep in mind that you will have to climb 366 steps to reach the top to experience the panoramic view of the city.
6. Groeninge Museum, Bruges
Bruges has several museums, but the Groeningemuseum is probably the best. Here you will find works of the famous Flemish primitives, such as Van Eyck and Memling.
Even though the city was badly damaged during both World Wars, there is a good deal of historic buildings that survived. If you are going to visit the city, then you should explore the Grote Markt first as you will find many different social activities there. You will also find Leuven University in the city.
It is one of the most respected and famous institutions in Europe. If you are going to visit the campus, then you will also find many old buildings that have been built over the ages.
Namur, due to its strategical position, had to face a lot of conflicts. It is a smaller city that allows tourists to discover fortifications like underground tunnels, barracks, and ramparts. Also, you can learn about the city's history by visiting museums. You can also go to Place d'Armes and enjoy the city life. If you are a fan of art, then do go to the Museum of Ancient Art where you will get to see regional art and crafts.
Dinant, within the province of Namur, is one of the most touristic and beautiful in Belgium. The city is located between two of the most attractive geographical features of the Wallonia region of the Mossa river, which runs through the town itself, and the rugged Ardennes reliefs. In short, Dinant is one of those essential destinations on any trip to Belgium.
If you travel to Dinant it seems necessary to drink a Leffe, since very close to here is the Abbey of Our Lady of Leffe, the origin of this prestigious beer, now known throughout the world.
Hallerbos is a beautiful, quiet forest in Belgium. When the Bluebells are in full bloom, it looks magical. Abundance of Bluebells under the giant Sequoia trees makes the place worth visiting.
And there you have it! These are some of the best cities that you should go to whenever you visit Belgium. All of these cities will offer you something different, making your vacation a memorable one. You can even learn about all the rich history of the aforementioned cities by going to the museums. So, which city are you going to visit first when you fly to Belgium?
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