Belgium is a country rich in history and culture, an ideal destination for a road trip, wandering from one city to another admiring its beautiful landscapes and getting lost in the famous Flanders.
When organizing an itinerary, the city to start from is certainly Brussels, but don’t miss other smaller cities, very special and unique in their kind, which you can easily reach by train from the capital thanks to the many direct connections, such as Bruges or Ghent. So, here are the 10 most beautiful cities in Belgium.
The capital of Belgium, is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe! This is the perfect starting point for a trip to this country, whether it’s a road trip by car or traveling by train. In fact, Brussels is optimally connected to all cities.
At least a weekend should be dedicated to the capital, because there are so many things to do and see! It is a destination suitable for everyone, perfect for both teenagers and families with children, both for those looking for fun and for those who want to experience a weekend of culture.
The itinerary can only start from Grand Place, the main square and the beating heart of the city. Among the things to see absolutely there are the Royal Palace, the European quarter and the Atonium, the only attraction further away from the historic center. There is no shortage of museums, suitable for both adults and children.
Bruges is one of the most beautiful and loved cities by tourists who travel to Belgium and who always include it in their itineraries. It is located in the north-western part of the country, not very far from Ostend and the border with the Netherlands.
This medieval city, very romantic and fairytale, is called the “pearl of Flanders”. Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is spread over two main nuclei, which correspond to the two most important squares of the city, the Burg and the Markt, and then Burgplatz and Marktplatz.
To experience it at its best, get lost in its streets, have a drink at one of the tables overlooking the squares and taste the delicious chocolate in one of the many workshops. But the favorite activity among tourists is undoubtedly the romantic boat ride through the canals of Bruges, to be able to admire it from another point of view.
In western Belgium, halfway between Bruges and the capital Brussels, lies the extremely beautiful and charming the town of Ghent.
With enchanting medieval palaces and squares, the city is crossed by romantic canals, on which to enjoy a relaxing boat ride, to admire it from a different point of view.
Its historic center is the largest pedestrian area in Belgium and is full of museums, art galleries and small clubs where you can stop for a drink while contemplating the slow pace of this town.
Perfect to visit in a day, you absolutely cannot miss its bell tower, 91 meters high and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of St. Bavo and the Gravensteen, the castle of the counts of Flanders.
It is located in the north of Belgium, on the border with Holland. It has its own airport, the Luchthaven Antwerpen, but the flights are not cheap, so the best solution is always to arrive in Brussels and then reach the city by direct train from the capital in about 50 minutes.
Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium and is the country’s main port. Despite being a dynamic and modern city, it still retains its medieval charm, which you can discover in its historic center, whose main place is the Grote Mark, the market square.
Thanks to its mix of nightlife, multicultural atmosphere and architectural wonders, it is one of the most popular Belgian cities and suitable for everyone, both for families and for young kids looking for fun.
On your visit, don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady and Het Steen, a medieval fortress that stands out above the city.
It is a seaside town located on the Flanders coast, not far from Bruges.
This is the perfect place if you love the sea, fish-based cuisine and if you are always looking for destinations far from mass tourism.
Ostend is one of the most important ports in Belgium and really has a suggestive charm. In the summer the promenade comes alive and is filled with people looking for a relaxing weekend away from the cities and all worries. The city is in fact also equipped with a very long beach. It was once the seaside resort of the Belgian bourgeoisie!
Stroll through its streets, enjoy the smell of the sea and the sun’s rays on your skin and, after a few hours of relaxation on the beach, visit its main attractions: the Casino Kursaal Oostende (one of the symbols of the city) and the Fort Napoleon.
It is located in the center of Belgium and it is very close to Brussels, which is just under 26 kilometers away.
Recommended to be visited in the day, it will be really easy to reach it from the capital thanks to the many direct trains!
Leuven is primarily a university city! Its strengths are without a doubt its lively and innovative character and spirit and the beer! You must know that this city is the birthplace of Stella Artois beer, appreciated and drunk all over the world. Obviously, the city is full of breweries, where you can also do different tastings and taste all the typical local beers. On the other hand, we know that in this field Belgium is in the first places!
And between tastings, also visit other magnificent attractions of the city, such as the Gothic-style town hall, the Church of San Francesco and the Church of San Michele and its beautiful parks, such as the Dijlepark.
Located in the eastern part of the country near the border with the Netherlands and Germany, it is one of the most popular cities in Belgium.
It is perfect for a day trip, as it is only an hour by train from Brussels. Located on the banks of the Meuse River, this small town will immediately steal your heart.
Stroll through the streets of the historic center, starting from Place Saint Lambert, the main square of the city, where St. Paul’s Cathedral is located. Also, don’t miss the beautiful Parc de la Boverie park, where the famous La Bovarie art museum is located.
But one of the main attractions is without a doubt the Bueren mountain, the most famous staircase in Belgium! Climb to the top by tackling 367 steps, which is really hard but the view will pay off all the effort!
It is located in the southeastern part of Belgium, approximately halfway between Brussels and Dinant.
It is a romantic and charming city that develops around the Meuse River. This destination is also perfect for a day visit and thanks to direct trains from Brussels it will be very easy to reach!
The best way to discover Namur is to stroll through its characteristic alleys, full of small boutiques and typical restaurants. We recommend that you climb to the top of the Citadel, from where you can admire a beautiful view over the whole city.
But Namur is famous above all for its famous characters Djoseph and Francwès (not well known outside the national borders) and the snail, one of the greatest local products and now a true symbol of the city!
A little curiosity about the city: it is said that this is the place where French fries were born! In the 18th century, when the inhabitants of the city loved to eat fried fish, the lake froze due to a very cold winter. In the absence of fish, the inhabitants came up with the idea of cutting the potatoes into small pieces and then frying them.
It is a small town in the East Flanders region, halfway between Ghent and the border with France.
Being small and the main attractions close together, it is perfect to visit in one day, thanks to the direct trains that depart from Brussels and arrive at their destination in an hour.
But Oudenaarde is famous above all for one reason: it is the city of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders, the famous cycling competition!
In the center you will also find a dedicated museum, the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen, with interactive exhibits and displays that pay homage to the big names in cycling. But besides this sport, this city is also known for its beer, so a visit to the Liefmans Brewery, founded in 1679, is a must.
It is located in the southeastern part of Belgium, not very far from the border with France.
It is a small town, not very well known, but that is really worth visiting: the landscape that you will find once you arrive in Dinant you will hardly forget!
This town is in fact located on the banks of the Moselle River and is surrounded by rocky hills that rise almost vertically around it. A postcard landscape!
But in addition to the fantastic view, Dinant is also known for being the birthplace of Sax and Leffe beer. Pe rfect for a day trip, as it is easily accessible from Brussels thanks to direct trains, among the things to see absolutely there are the Citadel, located on top of the hill, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the whole city, no doubt the best viewpoint. You can climb 408 steps or take the cable car to climb.