Belgium, a small country in Western Europe, is often overlooked by travelers in favor of its more famous neighbors. However, this hidden gem is home to some of the most charming and beautiful cities in Europe. From the medieval architecture to the mouthwatering cuisine, Belgium’s cities offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. In this article, we will take you on a journey through some of Belgium’s most captivating cities.
Let’s start with the capital city, Brussels. Known for its stunning architecture and vibrant atmosphere, Brussels is a melting pot of cultures and languages. The iconic Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit. Marvel at the intricate details of the guildhalls and the Town Hall, and soak in the lively ambiance of the square. Don’t forget to indulge in some delicious Belgian chocolate and try the famous Belgian waffles while exploring the city.
Bruges, often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” is a picturesque city with winding canals, cobbled streets, and medieval buildings. Take a boat tour along the canals to admire the city’s beauty from a different perspective. Visit the famous Belfry of Bruges, climb to the top for panoramic views, and explore the charming Markt Square. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local beer and indulge in some mouthwatering Belgian fries.
Ghent, a vibrant university city, is known for its rich history and stunning architecture. The medieval city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to the impressive Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the famous Ghent Altarpiece. Take a stroll along the picturesque Graslei and Korenlei, lined with beautifully preserved medieval buildings. Ghent is also a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants offering both traditional Belgian dishes and international cuisine.
Antwerp, Belgium’s second-largest city, is a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage. Known as the world’s diamond capital, Antwerp is a shopper’s paradise, with numerous diamond shops and fashion boutiques. Visit the stunning Cathedral of Our Lady, explore the trendy neighborhood of Het Zuid, and admire the contemporary architecture of the MAS museum. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, Antwerpse Handjes (Antwerp Hands), a delicious almond cookie.
Located just a short train ride from Brussels, Leuven is a charming city famous for its prestigious university and vibrant beer culture. Explore the historic center, filled with beautiful Gothic architecture, and visit the stunning Town Hall. Don’t miss the chance to visit one of the many traditional Belgian beer bars and sample some of the world-renowned Belgian beers. Leuven is also home to the famous Stella Artois brewery, where you can take a tour and learn about the brewing process.
In conclusion, Belgium’s cities offer a delightful mix of history, culture, and gastronomy. Whether you’re exploring the stunning architecture of Brussels, cruising along the canals of Bruges, or immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Ghent, each city has its own unique charm. So, why not venture off the beaten path and discover the beauty of Belgium’s cities for yourself?