Belgium is a microcosm of everything that can be found on the European continent. You’ll find medieval towns that look like they are straight from the pages of a fairy tale and bustling, hi-tech cities, eye-catching historical palaces and churches, streets with chic bars and hip cafes catering to the very latest trends as well as beautiful landscapes. Belgium’s centuries-old status as a meeting point of European culture guarantees an experience that is at once both diverse and unique.
At the crossroads of Europe, Belgium has long been a beacon of European multiculturalism – best exemplified by its two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp. Start to explore the capital from the Grand Place, arguably one of the continent’s most stunning central squares. From here, Brussels blossoms forth into different districts reflecting a range of diverse cultures and an array of architectural styles from the opulent 17th-century guild houses to the shimmering glass facades of the European Union’s administrative buildings. By contrast, Antwerp is one of the busiest ports in Europe, the centre of the world’s diamond trade, and arguably home to the coolest and hippest Belgians. Cutting-edge artists and designers have hung out here for centuries.
If you want to explore further afield, there are other cities that are an easy trip from Brussels. The medieval towns of Ghent and Bruges are dreamy destinations to explore. Ghent is perhaps the country’s best-kept secret and is much beloved by Belgians and visitors alike for its relaxed attitude and lovely, unpretentious architecture. Some of Belgium’s finest museums and art galleries are to be found here too. Bruges is particularly picturesque and its setting is both magical and very romantic. Head to the historic centre and wander along the pretty and much-photographed canals – the most enchanting times are as dusk descends or in the mists of early morning.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Belgian’s cuisine. Moules-frites (mussels and fries) are a delight, while the famous Belgian waffles are simply divine. Belgians are very proud of their famous chocolate-making tradition, so do make sure you taste some. And the Belgian beer is so good that it was granted Unesco heritage protection as a part of its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, so don’t leave the country without trying it.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.