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Best Places to Visit in Belgium, Top Attractions
Traveling in Belgium brings forth images of medieval rooftops, lovely canals, tasty beer, and even more indulgent chocolates. However, there is much for one to see in this remarkable European country, where time seems to move at a slower pace and the people are friendly and welcoming to tourists. Belgium is Europe’s best-kept secret, known for its rich history, three official languages, medieval towns, diamond industry, music festivals, an incredible variety of waffles, and more. This beautiful country is famous for its quirky and unusual attractions- from vintage castles, museums, and churches to modern architecture, amusements, and arcades. Travelers from multiple destinations come to visit this compact yet culturally diverse gem. From tasty delicacies to accessible nature breaks, picturesque towns, and trendsetting art scenes, there are plenty of things for everyone to experience in Belgium. There is a myriad of places to visit in Belgium, offering uniqueness. Brussels in Belgium is best known for its shopping, street food, and museums. Bruges is best for romantic escapes, often called Venice of the North. It is one of the most attractive places in Belgium. Namur Province has the best Belgium tourist attractions, including forts, nature, and river views. To admire the spectacular views, visit Ghent and indulge in architectural masterworks of Castles, cathedrals, and old commercial buildings. Belgium is overwhelmed with chocolates and unlimited waffles. As you walk down any street in the Belgium cities, you will definitely bump into one or two chocolate shops. Ardennes is a lush-green hilly destination in Belgium. It is among the favorite Beligium tourist spots for adventure enthusiasts, ideal for camping, biking, trekking, and hiking. If you are planning a trip to Belgium, find out what you can do here. La Grand Place is one of the most delightful Belgium attractions that showcase the country’s vernacular architecture at its best. It is also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding 17th-century architecture. The Canals of Bruges on the river Reie are mesmeric reminders of Bruges history.
#1- Meuse Valley
The Meuse Valley, south of Brussels, is one of the best places to get a feel for Belgium's rural heartland. The Meuse River offers Belgium's most scenic river trip opportunities, with dense forest countryside interspersed with hilltop craggy castle and fortress ruins, and little waterfront towns backed by limestone cliffs. Head to either the towns of Namur or Dinant to plan your river trip. Both these small centers act as gateways to this region.
#2- Mechelen Old Town
Its monuments may not be as famous as those in visitor favorite Bruges, but Mechelen's old town area is a great place to capture a sense of medieval Belgium, with plenty of gabled architecture and fine old buildings still in situ. The central Grote Markt is bordered by some exceptionally fine buildings including the Town Hall and Lakenhall, while the impressive Sint-Rombouts Cathedral with its tall clock tower rises up just behind.
#3- Ghent's Canals
Several companies offer sightseeing trips (both public and private options) upon Ghent's waterways, which wind through the city's medieval old town district, passing by the famed guildhall facades that line the canals, its medieval harbor, and some of Ghent's monasteries and churches. Most canal cruise options are either 40 minutes or one hour. Departures are regular throughout the day, from approximately March through November, with fewer departures during winter.
the place where Napoleon was defeated in the famous battle. Today, the countryside where the battle once roared is a bucolic landscape of agricultural fields, but an artificial hill rises up from the surrounding flatlands with a memorial lion sculpture atop the summit to commemorate the day when Napoleon's army was finally stopped.
#5- Grand Place
The Town Hall here is a well-preserved example of 16th-century construction, and the interior is worth viewing for its collection of paintings that show Antwerp's history. The guild houses that still rim the plaza are the major reason to visit the Grote Markt though. Among the best facades are the Coopers' House and Grocers' House but all of them are well-preserved examples of this Belgian-style of architecture.
#6- Semois Valley
A nature-lover's delight, the Semois Valley provides a needed dose of lush countryside after all that historic rambling through Belgium's cities and towns. Here, in the southern corner of the country, the winding Semois River cuts through farmland overlooked by gently undulating forest-clad hills. It's Belgium's prime hiking territory and also a good place for riverboat trips following the sinuous curves of the river. Villages such as Membre, Laforet, and Alle offer good accommodation options, from mid-range guesthouses to camping within the region.
#7- Mons Old Town
At the center is the Grand Place, a main square graced by a variety of typically ornate buildings that span a 400-year period, dating from between the 15th and 18th centuries, yet still retain a sense of symmetry. The UNESCO-listed bell tower on the hill above town and the Church of Sainte-Waudru with its interior crammed full of artistic and religious relics are two of the most important attractions.
#8- St. Peter's Church, Leuven
With its pointed arch windows and sheaf pillars, St. Peter's Church is one of Belgium's best preserved examples of Brabant Gothic style. The church sits right in the heart of Leuven on the town's main square or Grote Markt. As well as the church's splendid 15th-century architecture, inside, art-lovers will find an extra treat. The choir and the ambulatory are home to a museum dedicated to religious art, where some of the finest Flemish paintings illustrating biblical scenes are shown.
#9- Castle of Vêves
The architecture of the present-day Castle of Vêves (Château de Vêves) dates back to the 15th century, as the previous 12th-century castle was destroyed by fire. This hilltop position, though, which easily guarded the main route between Dinant and Rochefort, has been the site of a fortified building since 670 CE. The castle is renowned as Belgium's most well-preserved example of medieval castle architecture.
#10- Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is not only impressive for its blending of Romanesque and late Gothic architecture but also for the sacred relic kept inside. The upper chapel is home to the famous vial for which the church takes its name; said to contain a drop of Jesus Christ's blood that was brought back to Belgium after the Second Crusade. The interior of the church is a dazzling riot of gild work that was completed in the 16th century and provides ample reason for a visit even if you're not interested in holy relics.
#11- Ghent's Gravensteen
Its strong and impressively thick and high walls soar up from the waters of the river Lieve right in the middle of the old town of Ghent, rising above the rooftops of the surrounding streets. Inside, the vast arched halls and chambers contain exhibits of medieval life, but it's the castle's architecture itself that is the real star of the show. Climb up the staircase to the roof for panoramic views across town before strolling through Ghent's charming stone-paved streets.
#12- The Belfry of Bruges
Dating from the 13th century, this medieval era tower is attached to a building that once functioned as the main town market hall and has been wonderfully preserved, allowing visitors a real taste of the architectural might of the Middle Ages. Climbing the 366 winding and narrow steps of the belfry to the observation deck, which sits at 83 meters high, is one of the most popular things to do for tourists in Belgium. Once at the top, the views of church spires and steeple-roofs provide one of the country's best-known panoramas.
#13- The Battlefields of Flanders
For many visitors, Belgium's role on the front line of World War I, and in particular the Battlefields of Flanders around Ypres are the main reason for a journey here. Not only important historically, the battlefields are a major pilgrimage site. The preserved trenches run for kilometers around the town of Ypres, while this area is also scattered with vast cemeteries for the thousands of soldiers who died here.
#14- The Canals of Bruges
Today, the canals are beautiful reminders of Bruges history, and taking a sightseeing cruise along them is one of the most popular ways to explore the city. Sightseeing boat trips, departing from five docks, dotted along the main canal in the central city, run half-hourly from March to November (and less frequently in the depths of winter) with trips winding down the length of the main canal. This is one of the best opportunities to get photos of both Bruges' famous canal-side terraced house architecture and some of its finest buildings.
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