Nestled between Germany and France, Belgium is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, and among the best European destinations for Indians. This small European country is is all about a harmonious fusion of old world charm and modern culture and trends. From picturesque medieval towns and cites to modern architecture, shopping arcades and cobblestone streets laden with museums, this European gem is the home to many spectacular tourist attractions that will leave everyone awestruck. If you want a vacation to make a lasting impression as part of Europe tour packages, check our list of top places to visit in Belgium here.
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and the administrative hub of the European Union. It is also the principal seat of the Belgian Royal Family. Brussels is a charming place with stunning architecture and fascinating history. Grand facades, magnificent cathedrals, some amazing museums, and the imposing Atomium make Brussel one of the most popular destinations to visit in Belgium. The Grand Place, Atomium & Mini Europe, St. Michael Cathedral, Notre Dame Du Sablon, Le Botanique, Palais Royal, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Manneken Pis, Jardin du Petit Sablon, and Mont De Arts are some of the prominent Brussels Tourist Places. Besides, the place is also known for its world-class cafes, pubs, restaurants, and shopping arcades which make your holiday even more exciting.
Often dubbed as ‘Venice of the North’, Bruges is one of the most visited tourist places in Belgium due to its medieval architecture and thoroughly romantic ambiance. The main attraction in Bruges is the picture-perfect Old Town. Surrounded by picturesque canals and medieval walls, the historic district is teeming with beautiful old architecture including Romanesque and Gothic churches like the Church of Our Lady which houses a Michelangelo sculpture, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Markt Square belfry is a well-known landmark of Bruges where visitors can climb this 13th-century bell tower to admire spectacular views of the city. Other sites not to miss include during your Belgium tour are the spectacular Gruuthuse Mansion, Saint John’s Hospital, and the beach communities of Knokke and Ostend. The canals are one of the most charming features of Bruges, and no visit to the city is complete without a scenic canal boat tour.
If you want to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of a medieval town away from the crowds of Bruges, then visit Ghent, a quaint and serene town, endowed with historical sites, canal-side medieval structures, stunning churches, Michelin-starred restaurants, and quirky boutique stores. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the most powerful cities in Europe, and the second largest city north of the alps, after Paris. The impact of this rich past can be seen when viewing the imposing medieval architecture of churches and the houses of rich traders. The majority of historic guild houses can be found along the Graseli Canal and the Korenlei Canal, including the Koornstapelhuis, the Gildehuis der Metselaars, and the Tolhuisje. The famous landmark here is St. Bavo’s Cathedral, known for housing the Altar Piece. The other attractions include the 91-meter-high Ghent Belfry, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Vrijdagmarkt – a large square in the historic center which is popular for its Friday and Saturday market.
Antwerp, the second most famous Belgian city after Brussels, is offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life. Belgium’s second city is most well-known for the Diamond District, where more than 70 percent of the world’s rough diamonds are traded. The town touts grandiose Flemish houses, winding medieval streets overshadowed by the looming Gothic Cathedral, the glorious old home of Rubens, and an endearingly gaudy Red Light district where Toots Thielemans tunes echo past candlelit beer bars. And, then, it is also the birthplace of famous artists like Rubens and Van Dyck. Antwerp is also known for its excellent museums, which Red Star Line Museum, Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), and the Museum Mayer van den Bergh.
Lies along the sparkling Meuse River in the Namur province, Dinant is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium. The town is home to the famous natural caves, and caverns of Europe such as the Caves of Han and the Grotto of Dinant, as well as the best national parks in Belgium. Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, La Citadelle, Charles-de-Gaulle Bridge, Adolphe Sax Statue and Parc de Furfooz are some of the top places to visit in Dinant. Also, the city is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the man who invented the Saxophone. If you are a foodie, then try the delicious Flamiche (a bit like a Tarte Flambe) or Couques de Dinant which are delicious brittle honey biscuits.
Ardennes is one of the most stunning hilly destinations in Belgium, and among the must-include places in Belgium tour packages especially for adventure enthusiasts. Ardennes is one of the great places for hiking, biking, and camping as it is filled with thick forests, caves, and cliffs, that are home to exotic wildlife, several friendly villages, lots of castles, and a few other notable sights. The impressive caves of Han-sur-Lesse, the castle of Bouillon, and the modern Labyrinth of Barvaux are some of the best and must-visit places in Ardennes. Namur makes a great base from which to explore the Ardennes.
Famed for its boat tours and brewery tours, Mechelen is a lively place located near Antwerp in Belgium. It is one of the best places to experience Belgium Tourism. The main attractions here are the St. Rombout Cathedral’s, where one need to climb the massive tower to get the picturesque view of the Antwerp port and the Mechelen city and the magnificent Carillion School, where students come from across the globe to get instruction on playing this complex instrument of bells. Brouwerij Het Anker and Provincial Groendomein Vrijbroekpark are some of the other places to visit in Mechelen.
Located at the Belgium – France border, Tournai is another magnificent place to visit in Belgium. While in Tournai, dont forget to visit the spectacular Notre-Dame Cathedral, the five-towered Romanesque and early Gothic masterpiece is one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral houses the Shrine of Our Lady and works by Ruvens and Jordaens. Tournai also has the Museum of Fine Arts that is filled with masterpieces from primitive and contemporary artists ranging from Campin and Rubens to Roger Van der Weyden and Van Gogh. Besides, the town Belfry is the oldest in the country from where one can get the panoramic view of the entire city.
Sits on the river Dijle, Leuven is one of the most famous places to visit in Belgium. Home to one of the country’s oldest and most famous universities. , Leuven booms with a student population from different parts of the world that keeps the city alive. One can see many Gothic and other architectural marvels on the university campus and throughout the city, starting with Leuven’s City Hall which features 236 figures on its ornate facade. Besides, this picturesque place is famous for happening marketplaces, streetside pubs, cafes and churches, and galleries. Town Hall, Botanical Garden Kruidtuin, University Library & Bell Tower, and Saint Peter’s Church are some of the sightseeing places in Leuven.
Mons, the capital of the province of Hainaut, is another most beautiful destination in Belgium. Located near the French border between the Trouille and Haine rivers, the place is best known for the magical and surprising ringing of the glorious Belfry bells, which hail from the 270-foot tower. A large cobblestone square, Grand Palace, the eye-catching Gothic-style Mons Town Hall, Van Gogh House, and the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru are some of the prominent places to visit in Mons. Mons is also home to several good museums like Mons Memorial Museum, Mons Folklore Museum, Fine Arts Museum & Decorative Arts Museum Francois Duesberg. The Mons Memorial Museum has over 5,000 artifacts relating to the country’s involvement and occupation during both World Wars and also includes interactive exhibits.
Eifel Nature Park
Eifel Nature Park is one of the famous parks in Belgium. Often called as the North Eifel Nature Park, it is home to rare species of flora and fauna. With deep valleys, forested mountain sides, the park is truly a heaven for nature lovers. Extends over an area of 110 sq.km, the park houses animals like wild cats, wild boars, wildcats, black grouse, red deer, eagle owls etc.
Limburg is a province in Belgium and the easternmost of the five Dutch-speaking provinces that together form the Region of Flanders. Genk is one of the best places to visit in Limburg boasting great garden-city design, marshland nature reserves, a quiet park, and more. You can learn about coal mining in Genk by visiting one of the old coal mines such as André Dumont or take a hike or a bike ride through the beautiful Hoge Kempen National Park while in the city. Hoge Kempen National Park is Belgium’s solitary National Park, and a real patchwork of natural beauty that does well, to sum up, the wild hinterland of Eastern Flanders. Covering 60 sq. km, the park is home to rolling heath and undulating hills, misty pine forests, and mirror-like lakes, all dotted with packs of wild deer and sweeping blooms of lavender and thistle. Besides, the park has a whopping total of more than 200 km of winding hiking trails, countless bridal paths, and biking tracks which attracts a huge number of adventure junkies every year.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.