Things not to miss

updated 4/19/2019
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#01 Beer

With over seven hundred different brews to choose from, picking your way through the beer menus of Belgium’s many cosy cafés is one of the country’s real pleasures.

© Pennypayton/Shutterstock

#02 The beach

Like many of the resorts along Belgium’s coast, Ostend

boasts a glorious stretch of beach.

© Illya Kryzhanivskyy/Shutterstock

#03 Kayaking and hiking in the Ardennes

The Ardennes’ stunning hills and valleys are perfect for a range of outdoor activities

, and you don’t have to be a well-equipped expert to have a go.

© trabantos/Shutterstock

#04 St-Baafskathedraal, Ghent

Ghent’s centre is a joy to discover, and its cathedral is home to Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb – one of the medieval world’s most astonishing paintings.

© Alfiya Safuanova/Shutterstock

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#05 Museés Royaux des Beaux Arts , Brussels

You’d have to go an awfully long way to beat Belgium’s best art museum, with superb collections ranging from Jan van Eyck, Bosch and Bruegel to Ensor and beyond.

#06 Grand-Place , Brussels

There are beautiful, delicately carved guildhouses in many Belgian towns, but none quite reaches the heights of those in the capital’s main square.


Galina Savina/Shutterstock

#07 Musée Hergé

Everyone knows Tintin, and this is an appropriately thoughtful homage to his creator, housed in a magnificent purpose-built structure.

© Ankur K Gautam/Shutterstock

#08 Antwerp ’s Cathedral

Perhaps the most beautiful Gothic structure in Belgium, with an interior graced by four fine paintings by Rubens.



#09 Carnival

Nowhere else in Europe celebrates carnival with the vim and gusto of Belgium. For originality, the pick of the carnival crop is at Binche

, Malmedy – and Stavelot , where hooded Blancs Moussis take over the streets.

© Alexander Narraina/Shutterstock

#10 Bruges

With its canals, museums and gorgeous medieval architecture, Bruges is without question one of Europe’s most beguiling cities.

© thesixthfloor89/Shutterstock

#11 Moules

Belgian cuisine is second to none, but has none of the pretentiousness of French food – and the national dish, mussels and fries, proves the point.

© NeydtStock/Shutterstock

#12 Brussels ’ Art Nouveau

The capital’s middle class took to this style of architecture like ducks to water; Victor Horta and Paul Hankar are the names to conjure with.

© E. Pals/Shutterstock

#13 Menin Gate

World War I was decided on the plain of Flanders

, a point hammered home by the interminable names on the hulking mass of the Menin Gate in Ieper – perhaps the world’s saddest war monument.

#14 Musée Magritte

One of Brussels’ unmissable sights, the Musée Magritte displays the definitive collection of works by Belgium’s most famous modern artist.

© Melanie Lemahieu/Shutterstock

Top image © Sira Anamwong/Shutterstock

Travel advice for Belgium

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updated 4/19/2019
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