The Best Cities To Visit When In Belgium


Brussels is a city known worldwide. Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is very important for both Belgium and the wider world. For a start, it is a significant economic area, providing 17% of the nation’s employment and one-fifth of Belgium’s GDP. Brussels also supplies a well-connected transport system, both with the rest of the nation and Europe, but also within the city itself, with a metro, tram and bus system. Brussels is a beautiful city with many sites to see, with a little something for every tourist. 

Want a good view of the city? The Atomium stands 100 metres tall (one of the largest in Belgium) and is an interesting structure made of six stainless steel-clad spheres, that contain exhibit halls and public spaces, with a restaurant and panoramic view of Brussels inside the highest sphere. Want to inspect Belgian art? The Royal Museums of Fine Arts is a group of six museums, full of old and new art alike. Can’t get enough of Belgian chocolate? Visit Choco Story Brussels for a delicious lesson on how it’s made. 

There are many other sites in Brussels to see, a visit there will rarely be long enough to see them all, but a few more amazing attractions would be the Grand Place in the central square of Brussels, which gives you a view into the history of Brussels, Tour Place Royale, a historical quarter for the Belgian Royals to stay at, Mont des Arts and the Museum of Parc du Cinquantenaire.


The third largest city in the country, Ghent is a city that has well-preserved medieval architecture, which is especially apparent with attractions such as the Gravensteen and Geeraard the Devil Castle. Gravensteen especially is a site to see as it is a full medieval castle, with walls, and a moat and is fully open to the public. There is also the picturesque St Bavo’s Cathedral and the ruins of St Bavo’s Abbey to visit, nicely joined with a stroll through the green gardens of Citadel Park and its accompanying contemporary art museum.


The second largest city in the country, Antwerp is a bustling industrial port city, but is also home to plenty of art galleries and museums, such as Rubenshuis, the former home of the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens, which is fully open to the public, or alternatively the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), which holds over 500,000 pieces of art varying from modern architecture, to the history of Antwerp and its importance internationally, to topics such as mankind’s approach to death and spirituality in different cultures. 

Maybe art galleries and museums don’t excite the kids too much, so what about a visit to the Antwerp Zoo? Right in the centre of the city, the zoo is considered one of the best in Europe due to its variety of species and care of animals, as well as its interesting architecture, such as the giraffe and elephant house in the style of an Egyptian temple. Afterwards, you could treat yourself to a tour of the largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world, where you will be guided through all the steps of making chocolate, chocolate’s place within culture and tradition, with an option to sign up to a chocolate workshop with goodies. 

For the religious or interested, there is the Cathedral of Our Lady, it is Belgium’s largest Gothic church, and has beautiful architecture and artwork displayed throughout. Finally, there is DIVA, Antwerp’s museum of diamonds, silver and jewellery, which guides visitors through all the different aspects of the diamond trade such as extraction, processing and industrial use, as well as a display of real cut and uncut diamonds along with copies of famous stones and a large showcase of Belgian silverwork.


The city of Mons has been quite bloodied over the years, and to commemorate this Mons has a memorial museum, half of which is dedicated to the first world war, this, along with a visit to the Chateau de Beloeil make for a good day out for a history buff. There is also the city hall to visit, which is surrounded by restaurants and shops, and the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru, a church with an interesting Brabant Gothic style and valuables inside its treasury. One of the best things to do in Mons is climb the steps to the top of the bell tower, which stands 87 metres high and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Written by Bernard De Laguiche