A trip to Belgium is a great idea. The people are friendly, the food is good (hello chocolate!), and there are many historic cities to explore. In this bucket list, I’ll share 15 beautiful places in Belgium.
Foto: Chris Curry | Unsplash
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 Grote Markt (the main square) and the town hall are really beautiful and a must-see. 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 Manneken Pis, 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.
Foto: Bernfried Opala | Unsplash
Would you like to go to the beach for a day? Oostende is the most well-known beach town in Belgium. Enjoy a day on the beach, or just go for a walk. There are also several musea you can visit and during summer months, there are a lot of fun events to attend.
Antwerp is probably my favorite city in Belgium. I go to Antwerp quite a lot since it’s only a 2-hour train ride from Amsterdam, where I 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 Hoge Venen
Would you like to see some nature while you’re in Belgium? All the way in the east, you’ll find a park called The Hoge Venen. 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 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 (a botanical garden, which is also a park). The historic town hall is a gorgeous building, it’s one of the most beautiful town halls I’ve ever seen in the world.
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.
Caves of Han-sur-Lesse
One of the highlights in this list with the most beautiful places in Belgium is the Caves of Han-Sur-Less. It sure is a tourist 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.
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.
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.
Foto: Alex Boschmans | Unsplash
The Hallerbos is a forest that you can find south of Brussels. It’s famous, because of the bluebell carpet, which covers the floor of the forest in Spring. It’s an amazing sight, it makes you feel like you ended up in a fairy tale.
You probably heard about Bruges, it’s one of the most famous cities in Belgium. The complete historic city center of Bruges is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. And for good reason, because it’s absolutely gorgeous! It’s for sure one of the most beautiful places in Belgium and it attracts a lot of tourists. Every year, the city welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world. Although it can get crowded, Bruges is still worth a visit.
Read more about Bruges: Top 5 things to do in Bruges
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.
Foto: Denis-Quentin Simon | Unsplash
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.
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.
Last but not least 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 castle (Gravensteen). During warmer months, it’s highly recommended to go on a boat tour and explore this beautiful town from the water.
This is it, these are the most beautiful places in Belgium. I don’t know about you, but I would love to go to Belgium right now, so many cool places to explore! Have you ever been to Belgium?
Do you need some more travel inspiration?
Check out one of these articles:
- 11 gorgeous places to visit in The Netherlands
- Bucket list: The most beautiful places in Germany
- These are the most beautiful places in Switzerland
Or check out one of these cool travel guides about Belgium and The Netherlands:
DK Eyewitness Belgium and Luxembourg (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg (Multi Country Guide)
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