The most beautiful places in Belgium

28 Most Beautiful Places in Belgium – Bucket List

Belgium is a great travel destination! There’s much to explore, from old cities to beautiful nature reserves. These are the most beautiful places in Belgium.

What makes Belgium a great travel destination?

Belgium is an enchanting travel destination because of its historic cities, rich cultural heritage, and culinary delights such as delicious chocolate and craft beer. The landscape ranges from the green hills of the Ardennes to vast beaches on the coast. Moreover, lively festivals and hospitable people make every traveler feel at home. With a mix of charm, diversity, and history, Belgium is the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation.

The most beautiful places in Belgium

What are the most beautiful cities in Belgium? And what are the best places to go hiking? These are 28 fun places in Belgium to visit.

Brussels

Of course, Brussels, the capital of Belgium, has to be included on this list of the most beautiful places in Belgium. And to be honest, it certainly is not the prettiest city on this list, but some parts are definitely charming.

The Royal Castle of Laken (the main square) and the town hall are gorgeous and can’t be missed. And did you know that Brussels is also a great city for food lovers? For example, you can find the best Belgium waffles in Brussels! Also, take a look at the tiny statue of Royal Castle of Laken, which is the most famous statue in all of Belgium. Of course, Brussels is also known for the best Belgium chocolate brands! So make sure to eat some chocolate while you’re in Brussels.

Large market in Brussels
The Grand Place in Brussels is incredibly beautiful!

Laeken

Laeken is a neighborhood in the north of Brussels. It is home to the majestic Palace of Laeken, the official residence of the royal family of Belgium. Besides the castle, the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken is another notable attraction that is opened to the public annually. These lush conservatories contain a wonderful collection of rare plants and flowers and offer a unique opportunity to experience the opulence of royal heritage.

Besides the royal sights, Laeken also offers other interesting attractions, such as the Atomium, an iconic structure. Consisting of nine spheres connected by tubes, it offers panoramic views of the city.

  • Where to stay: B&B Marianne is a cozy and colorful bed and breakfast a 15-minute walk from Laeken Park.
  • Fun thing to do: Visit the Atomium and see Brussels from above.

Ostend

Ostend is perhaps the most famous seaside resort in Belgium. Enjoy the beach or stroll along the promenade. In addition, you can also visit several museums, and fun events are held regularly. There are also great hotspots in Ostend where you can eat and drink great food, such as the Belevingsbrasserie in Fort Napoleon.

Ostend - Photo Bernfried Opala via Unsplash
Fancy a day at the beach? Ostend is the place to be.

Photo: Bernfried Opala | Unsplash

Antwerp

Antwerp is probably my favorite city in Belgium. I visited Antwerp since it’s only a 2-hour train ride from Amsterdam, where I used to live. When I arrive, I feel right at home. I love to go to the river (Schelde) for a walk, visit the museums (I can recommend visiting the MAS, you’ll have a great view of Antwerp from the roof), explore the old city center and visit the enormous cathedral (with paintings of the famous painter Rubens).

The Grote Markt in Antwerp
The Grote Markt in Antwerp.

Gaasbeek Castle

The medieval Gaasbeek Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Belgium. It has majestic towers and lush gardens and is truly a picture to behold! The castle has had several owners over the centuries, including noble families and wealthy art collectors, which has contributed to the diverse and rich collection of artwork and antiques on display here.

You can visit the castle and explore its beautiful rooms, parlors and galleries. The surrounding gardens and landscaped park add a touch of romance to the whole and invite you to take a leisurely stroll.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Klein Nederlo (3⭐) is a cozy hotel in a quiet village about a 10-minute walk from Gaasbeek Castle.
  • More information: check the official website for more information about Gaasbeek Castle.

The High Fens

The High Fens (de Hoge Venen) is a natural park all the way in the east of Belgium and is the largest nature reserve in the country. This is a peat area on a plateau and here you’ll find the highest point of the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). It’s a pristine landscape and a perfect place to unwind. During winter months, this place looks like a fairytale, as you can see in the video above this paragraph.

Leuven

Leuven is a student city close to Brussels. There are many great and affordable eateries and beautiful squares. If the weather is good, I would recommend going on a stroll in the green Kruidtuin. This is a gorgeous botanical garden, which is also a park. The historic town hall is an incredible sight, it’s one of the most beautiful town halls I’ve ever seen in the world.

Read more: The best things to do in Leuven

City Hall in Leuven
The beautiful city hall in Leuven.

Durbuy

Close to The Hoge Venen, you’ll find a medieval town called Durbuy. It’s quite a small town, but it has a great location, at the river and it’s surrounded by steep rock walls. It also has a castle, which makes it feel like you’re back in the Middle Ages.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Sanglier (5⭐) is a luxurious hotel in a great location in Durbuy.

Viroin-Hermeton natural park

Although it’s not very well known, I have to include Viroin-Hermeton Natural Park on this list of the most beautiful sights in Belgium since it’s gorgeous! This natural park is located in the Ardennes, almost against the French border. It is a true paradise for nature lovers and peace seekers with its forested hills, unusual rock formations, picturesque villages and meandering rivers.

The varied landscape is great to discover on foot as there more than 700 kilometers of hiking trails. In addition, there are also many trails for mountain biking.

  • Where to stay: la chocolaterie is a charming bed and breakfast in a quiet location.

Caves of Han-sur-Lesse

One of the best highlights in this list with the most beautiful places in Belgium is the Caves of Han-Sur-Less. It sure is a very popular touristic place, but for a good reason: it’s one of the most gorgeous and largest cave complexes in all of Europe. During your visit, you will see impressive chambers with stalactites.

Bouillon

A couple of years ago, my brother and I were on a road trip from Spain to The Netherlands and we needed a place to sleep. We ended up booking a hotel room in a town called Bouillon, and that place is gorgeous! From our hotel room, we could see the medieval castle, where Godfrey of Bouillon used to live. He was one of the leaders of the First Crusade in the 11th century. In Bouillon, I would recommend visiting this castle and enjoy some great food in one of the restaurants in town.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Panorama (3⭐) is a beautiful hotel located on a hill overlooking the village and the castle.
Bouillon in Belgium
From our hotel room we had a nice view of the Castle of Bouillon.

Namur

Namur is the capital of Wallonia. It’s a fun city with a historic center, with winding narrow streets and beautiful squares. The large citadel (which is the largest of its kind in Europe) is very remarkable, located on a hill between two rivers: the Maas and La Sambre.

  • Where to stay: Le Jardin Des Secrets is a gorgeous B&B located in a quiet location just outside of the city.

Borgloon

Located in the Belgian province of Limburg, Borgloon is a picturesque town steeped in history and surrounded by a beautiful hilly landscape. The charming center is characterized by narrow streets, historic buildings and cozy squares. Beautiful sights in the town include St. Odulphus Church and ‘s Grevenhuis (City Hall).

One of the most notable attractions in Borgloon is the famous “see-through church,” also known as “Reading Between the Lines.” This unique work of art is a modern structure of steel and glass that blends into the landscape and offers stunning views of the surrounding rolling countryside.

  • Where to stay: B&B De Kersentuin is a cozy bed and breakfast in a traditional Belgian mansion from the eighteenth century. There are many hiking and biking trails in the area.

The Hallerbos

The Hallerbos (bos is Dutch for forest) is a fairytale forest known for its overwhelming carpet of wild hyacinths in spring. In spring, the forest transforms into a magical scene, with the ground completely covered with a sea of purple and blue flowers. It is a breathtaking sight that attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the floral splendor and serene atmosphere.

Besides the hyacinths, the Hallerbos also offers miles of hiking trails, meandering streams and ancient trees, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers looking to escape the crowds

Hallerbos - Photo Alex Boschmans via Unsplash
The Hallerbos: fairytale beauty due to the blue hyacinths.

Photo: Alex Boschmans | Unsplash

Bruges

The entire historic center of Bruges is listed as a medieval city on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and not without reason. It is beautiful! It is therefore a real tourist attraction for good reason, annually millions of people from all over the world come here to wander the medieval streets. Although it can be very crowded, the city is well worth a visit.

Read more: The best things to do when visiting Bruges

Bruges in Belgium
Back to the Middle Ages in Bruges.

Knokke-Heist

Knokke-Heist is the second beach town on this list, and it’s located close to the Dutch border. Just like Oostende, it’s one of the most famous beach towns in Belgium, but it’s more luxurious and classy. Next to Knokke-Heist, you’ll find Zwin Nature Park, a great place to go for a walk.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Villa Verdi (3⭐) a great hotel in a fantastic location. It’s only a few steps to the beach.

Liege

Located in the French-speaking part of Belgium, Liege is a dynamic and vibrant city with a rich history and culture. This city on the Meuse River offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern flair.

The beautiful old buildings, such as the Palace of the Prince Bishops and the Montagne de Bueren with its 374 steps, are witnesses to a rich past. Stroll through the narrow streets, discover cozy squares, and enjoy local gastronomy in the many restaurants and cafes. Besides the historical sights, Liège is also a vibrant university city with a young and energetic atmosphere.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Neuvice (3⭐) is a cozy hotel with modern rooms in a great location in the historic center of Liege.

Dinant

Another great town in the southern part of Belgium is Dinant. It has a perfect picture location in a valley, between a steep rock cliff and the river. Besides a really cool church, you can also visit the Citadel of Dinant, located on top of the cliff. If you like to climb stairs, this is the place to go, because to visit the Citadel, you’ll have to climb 408 steps! You can also go on a boat tour on the river, so you’ll have a great view of the Dinant skyline.

  • Where to stay: The historic La Belle Étable is a unique place to stay. It’s located about 5 kilometers from Dinant in a cute small town.
Dinant - Photo Denis Quentin Simon via Unsplash
What a picture! Dinant in the Ardennes.

Photo: Denis-Quentin Simon | Unsplash

Ypres

When you’re interested in World War I, you definitely need to visit Ypres. Ypres was the center of the battle between the allies and the Germans. You can visit the museum about WWI, and there are many war cemeteries (140!) to be found in and around the city. Every night at 8 p.m. a trumpet player will play the Last Post underneath the Menenpoort, to honor the British soldiers who lost their lives during the war.

  • Where to stay: Main Street Hotel (4⭐) is a beautiful hotel in a historic building located in the city center of Ypres.

Recreational area Dee Schorre

De Schorre, located in Boom, is a diverse recreational area known for its green opulence and unique events. It is most famous for the annual Tomorrowland music festival, but it has much more to offer.

The park has vast meadows, beautiful ponds and winding paths that invite relaxation and natural beauty. One of the most striking attractions are the giant trolls that live scattered around the grounds. Designed by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, these impressive art installations are made from recycled materials and seem to have come straight out of a fairy tale.

  • Where to stay: Hotel Domus (4⭐) is a beautiful and luxurious hotel in the center of Boom. From here it is about a 10- to 15-minute walk to De Schorre.

Ghent

Another great city in this list with the most beautiful places in Belgium is Ghent. It’s close to Bruges and actually just as pretty! The historic city center is beautiful (especially at the river bank) and you can even visit a very impressive castle (Gravensteen). During warmer months, it’s highly recommended to go on a boat tour and explore this beautiful town from the water.

  • Where to stay: 1898 The Post is one of the most beautiful hotels in Belgium. This boutique hotel only has 38 rooms and is housed in a former post office. The rooms and suites are decorated with antique furniture. A unique place to stay!
  • Fun to thing to do: Beer and Sightseeing Adventure

Read more: The best things to do in Ghent

Ghent in Belgium
Chilling along the quay in Ghent.

Le Bois du Cazier

Chaleroi is best known for its airport, but on the south side of town you will also find a very special museum. Le Bois du Cazier was once a coal mine made tragically famous by a mining disaster in 1956 that killed 262 miners.

Today it is a memorial and museum that pays a powerful tribute to the victims and hard lives of the miners. The remains of the mine site, with its old buildings and coal laundry, offer insight into the region’s industrial history. It is a place of remembrance, reflection and tribute to Belgium’s mining past.

Lommel Sahara

A Sahara in Belgium sounds pretty exotic, doesn’t it? This is a beautiful nature reserve near Lommel, near the Dutch border. Belgium has a lot of forests, which really makes this a special place. In fact, it consists of vast expanses of sand, dunes and clear waters.

It is a beautiful landscape to explore, you can hike or bike well along the marked trails and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. The Lommel Sahara is an ideal destination for relaxing, picnicking, or simply enjoying the unique natural environment.

  • Where to stay: ‘t Wilgenhuys is a cozy bed & breakfast and you can walk from here straight into the Lommel Sahara.

Cascade du Bayehon

The Bayehon waterfall is a hidden gem in the Belgian Ardennes. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and rocky cliffs. The sound of flowing water fills the air as the crystal clear water from the waterfall clatters down, forming small streams that further color the landscape. Fairy tale-like beauty!

  • Where to stay: Bois & Repos is a cozy B&B and is only 3 kilometers from the waterfall.

Japanese Garden in Hasselt

The Japanese Garden in Hasselt is one of the largest and most impressive Japanese gardens in Europe. The garden covers an area of about 2.5 acres and offers a beautiful and serene landscape with numerous traditional Japanese elements and plantings.

The garden design is infused with symbolism and harmony, with carefully laid paths, bridges over babbling brooks, and carefully placed stones and plants. Ponds with koi carp and lush vegetation create an enchanting spectacle, while traditional pavilions and tea houses invite you to meditate and enjoy the tranquility.

The garden is open from late March to late October and at its best in April when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

  • Where to stay: Boetiekhotel Hemelhuys (3⭐) is a cozy and small-scale hotel with only 8 rooms in the center of Hasselt.
Waterfall in the Japanese garden in Hasselt

Lier

Lier is a charming town and is not far from Antwerp. It exudes timeless beauty with its atmospheric streets and historic buildings. This picturesque city has a rich cultural heritage visible in its beautiful architecture, such as the imposing St. Gummarus Church and the City Hall on the Grand Place.

The winding Nete River adds a touch of romance to the city, with cozy cafes and restaurants along its banks where you can enjoy a snack or drink. Lier is also known for its beguinage, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a peaceful oasis with its green courtyards and traditional houses.

Another highlight is the Zimmer Tower. This impressive 14th-century tower houses one of the oldest astronomical clocks in the world, designed by Liège clockmaker Louis Zimmer in 1930.

  • Where to stay: Zimmerhof Hotel (4⭐) has modern rooms in a historic building. It is in a nice location in the center of town.
  • More information about Lier can be found on this website.

Villers Abbey

Villers Abbey is a place I saw once while taking a train trip through Belgium and it looked so impressive! This Cistercian abbey has a history dating back to the 12th century and was once one of the largest in Europe.

Today, it is a remarkable ruin that takes visitors on a journey through time. Take a walk through the remains of the imposing buildings, such as the cloisters, church, and bell tower, and admire the architectural splendor of yesteryear. A perfect place for peace seekers and history lovers.

Doel (ghost village)

You have probably heard of American ghost towns, but did you know that there is a ghost town in Belgium as well? Doel is an abandoned village in Belgium, making it a haunting and intriguing place steeped in history and mystery. Once a vibrant community, the village was affected in the 1960s and 1970s by plans to expand the port of Antwerp. Most residents had to leave their homes, and Doel was left as a ghost village with abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

It has since become a draw for urbex (urban exploration) enthusiasts and photographers, attracted by its melancholic atmosphere and unique opportunity to explore an abandoned village. The deserted streets, overgrown houses, and forgotten artifacts create a surreal and unreal ambiance that leaves an indelible impression on those who visit the desolation of Doel.

  • Where to stay: Factory Hotel (3⭐) is a nice hotel about 12 kilometers from Doel. You can nicely combine your visit to Doel from here with the nearby Fort Liefkenshoek.

After all these beautiful places, I’m definitely getting all excited about a trip to Belgium! Which place would you like to visit?

Most beautiful places Belgium map

This is a map of the most beautiful places in Belgium that are mentioned in this.

Most beautiful places belgium map

This is an image, click here to zoom in on the map.

Book a trip to Belgium

Are you interested in visiting Belgium? Book your trip now!

✈️ Plane tickets – Brussels has a large international airport. Check WayAway to find the best deals and get cashback on plane tickets.

🚆 Train tickets – Belgium has a good train network and has good connections with The Netherlands, France, the UK, and Germany. Check Rail Europe for train tickets.

🚘 Rental Car – Although you can get around in Belgium by public transport, it is very useful to have a rental car if you want to visit more rural places. Check Rental Cars to find the best deals.

💊 Travel insurance –  This will give your more peace of mind during your trip. Check out Insubuy (general) or Safetywing (for digital nomads and remote workers) to find the travel insurance that fits your needs.

Discover more beautiful places in Belgium

These were all my tips for a trip to Belgium! Would you like to learn more about Belgium? Get one of these travel guides for more travel tips and information.

Fodor’s Essential Belgium

Rick Steves Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent

More travel inspiration

Belgium is just one of the incredible countries in Western Europe you definitely want to explore. Here are a few more articles that will fuel your wanderlust:

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This article was published in May 2020. Last update with more tips: July 2023.

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The most beautiful places in Belgium
Co

As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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