12 Oct Paulina on the road – 20 most beautiful cities in belgium
This is a featured post from the Blog Award participant Paulina on the road. You can find more similar articles on her blog.
A guide to most beautiful cities in Belgium including small towns, amusement parks, historic sites in best cities in Belgium
A country filled with vibrant surprises: Belgium is an inevitable part of every traveller’s bucket list.
It is admired for its postcard perfect destinations such as Bruges or Antwerp, its awe-inspiring landscapes of Wallonia and Flanders, and delicious cuisine.
Each of the cities in Belgium speaks a story of its own and gives a peek into the country’s rich and prosperous heritage.
With a myriad of architectural gems and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Belgium is one of the most favored tourist destinations in Europe.
The best part about this country that I love is that it is equally loved by visitors of all ages.
From beaches, amusement parks, historic sites, to chocolates and dining venues, it has something to offer for everyone.
I adore every city and even the smallest towns in Belgium as it promises a rewarding wanderlust experience. Here is a list of 20 Most Beautiful Cities in Belgium that are worth-a-visit.
The smallest city of Belgium holds big surprises for its guests with its history, landscape, and cobblestone streets.
An impressive castle and monuments are also part of this tiny city that is worth a visit. It’s also home to one of the most beautiful and best castles in Belgium named Durbuy Castle.
The natural Rocher de la Falize and the Halle aux Blés are the popular attractions of this city. Besides historical sites, Durbuy is famous for its options for fun outdoor activities.
While you can enjoy paintballing and rock climbing at the Adventure Valley Durbuy, Topiary Park lets you enjoy a nature walk.
You can even plan several things to do in Durbuy, Belgium during Christmas Time, like enjoying the Christmas market and Durbuy’s famous jams.
Durbuy has more surprises to offer than even the biggest cities in Belgium. Be prepared to be amazed on your trip to Durbuy and create memories for a lifetime.
Where to stay: Hotel La Calèche ***
A picturesque city that looks straight out of a fairy tale, Bruges attracts visitors with its medieval charm. It’s the pride of Belgium’s Flemish region and is aptly referred to as the “Venice of the North”.
It is one of the most beautiful places in Belgium with scenic views, canals, cobblestone streets, and splendid architecture.
The city has some of the famous tourist spots in Belgium like the iconic 13th-century Belfry of Bruges. – Check walking tours here
Other popular landmarks are its historic center and the Church of our Lady which is the world’s second tallest brickwork. It features Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Madonna and Child as its altarpiece.
Bruges is also famous for its textile technique: lace and the beer brewery: De Halve Maan .
It’s ideal to visit this spectacular city from June to August as it’s when the weather is at its best. This weather also makes it the house of best Instagram places to click pictures.
Visit this amazing city to get a glimpse of Belgium’s heritage in every step.
Located in the Belgian province of Namur, Dinant brings life to the quote “Great things come in small packages”.
This little gem lies on the shore of River Meuse and is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium.
It gives tough competition to big cities in Belgium with its amazing castle and serene views of nature.
The fortified Citadel of Dinant and the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant are of the iconic sights of the city. Another popular attraction is the house of Adolphe Sax: the inventor of Saxophone.
Munch on the Couque de Dinant, Europe’s hardest biscuit as you explore this city of its origin.
The classic blend of heritage and modernity makes Ghent one of the best places to visit in Belgium. Located in the East Flanders region, Ghent is the second most populous city of Belgium.
It is home to numerous architectural masterpieces that offer a treat to the eyes.
The Gothic St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry, and the marvellous Gravensteen Castle are the must-visit places in Ghent. You can take a delightful walk and explore the beauty of the city as the centre is a pedestrian zone. – Check guided tours here
Visitors throng the city during its 10-day long annual music and theatre festival: the Gentse Feesten.
Another interesting part about Ghent is its astounding culinary scene. Unlike many European cities, Ghent is known to encourage and promote vegetarianism.
It even has the greatest number of vegetarian restaurants per capita in the world! Don’t forget to take home the special cuberdons: the candies with a liquid, sweet raspberry centre.
If you are visiting it during Christmas time then you must visit the Ghent Christmas Market of Belgium which will be a total delight to your eyes. It’s often seen as one of the best Christmas Markets in Belgium.
The area of Ghent is great for hiking, thus it’s perfect when looking for the best hiking trails of Brussels.
Situated on the banks of the river Schelde, Antwerp is regarded as one of the main cities of Belgium.
For its exquisite collection of diamonds, it is referred to as the diamond capital of the world. Besides diamonds, the vibrant city is home to amazing museums, churches, and historical buildings.
The museums like Rubenshuis, Plantin-Moretus, and MAS will leave you spellbound with its art collections. – Get entrance tickets here
The Cathedral of Our Lady, the Saint Paul Church and the Antwerp Zoo are some other places that deserve a visit. Even the central train station is a destination unto itself with impressive architecture.
The city also hosts an amazing music festival: the Cultuurmarkt van Vlaanderen in August every year. The zealous event attracts a huge crowd with the performances of local and international artists.
Visit the Meir shopping street in Antwerp to collect the best souvenirs. Whether you are shopping for a gift or a souvenir to relieve the treasured memories, the market will spoil you for choices.
To make the most of our trip to Antwerp, it is recommended to visit from May to September.
Check all activities in Antwerp here
While talking about the most beautiful places in Belgium, the capital city Brussels cannot be missed. It is located in the heart of Belgium and boasts many architectural landmarks and UNESCO world heritage sites.
The famous attractions include the iconic Grand Palace, the bronze statue Manneken Pis and the Atomium. – Check all tours in Brussels here
If you identify happiness with chocolate, jazz, beer, comics, and shopping, Brussels is the best destination to be. It’s a shopper’s paradise with upscale shopping arcades like the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.
Visitors also throng the Rue Neuve shopping street to get their hands-on splendid collections by popular chain stores.
From lively jazz concerts and comic strip walks to the most delicious waffles, the city has a lot to offer to its visitors.
Check foodie tours in Brussels here
Home to the world’s largest brewery, Leuven is an interesting city in Belgium to visit.
It is located 30 km east of Brussels and has some of the best options for sightseeing in Belgium. – Book your day trip to Leuven here
A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Leuven like the Great Beguinage and the St. Peter’s Church promises an enriching experience. It also has the Gothic Town Hall and the Arenberg Castle which ranks among major attractions in Belgium.
The best way to explore this city is by taking a tour of its breweries, museums, and the university. The city is the birthplace of popular beers like Stella Artois and Domus.
With numerous bars serving local and international beers, this is the best place to relish a sparkling drink. It’s also a great day trip from Brussels.
Check all activities in Leuven here
A city renowned for its folk festivals and glittering nightlife, Liege is one of the popular tourist places in Belgium. It is situated in the Meuse Valley and has stunning architectures that will take you back in time.
With its collegiate churches, cuisines, art, museums, and party hotspots, the city never fails to impress. These are the attractions you shouldn’t miss in Liege.
Among the famous attractions here, the 17th century Grand Curtius Museum tops the chart. It is followed by the 374- steps stairway Montagne de Bueren that is ranked among the world’s most extreme staircases.
The annual electro-rock festival Les Ardentes also attracts visitors to Liege from every part of the world. Even if you only have 1 day in Liege, you need to taste its food! It serves one of the best traditional Belgian foods.
Other popular destinations here are the city center, the Liège-Guillemins railway station, and the La Boverie museum. A stunning piece of architectural brilliance at every step makes Liege one of the best cities in Belgium to visit.
Located between the two major cities in Belgium; Brussels and Antwerp, Mechelen is an easily accessible destination. The historic city is home to medieval buildings and some of the best monuments in Belgium.
Visitors happily mount the 514 steps of the St. Rumbold’s Tower for spectacular panoramic views of the city.
The dynamic city caters to the interests of visitors of all generations. The Mechelen Toy Museum, the Planckendael Zoo, and the 13th century Brusselpoort are some of the highlights of this city.
Do not miss to try the Gouden Carolus classic beer while in Mechelen, as it is the city of its origin.
Ieper, popularly known by its French name Ypres is a city associated with the battles of the First World War. It is located in the West Flanders province and has several war memorials that pay homage to the braveheart soldiers.
The Lakhenhalle on the Grote Markt and the Gothic Saint Martin’s Cathedral are the impressive attractions in Ypres.
You can witness the Last Post Ceremony that pays respect to the soldiers of the First World War. The city brilliantly portrays and assures that there is always light after darkness.
There are several great remembrance hiking trails close by, thus it’s perfect to bring your vegan hiking boots or backpacks made from reycled material.
A seaside city in the province of West Flanders, Nieuwpoort is one of the best places to go in Belgium. It’s a beautiful destination where the best of history and nature walk hand-in-hand.
With an old medieval center and a thriving resort side referred to as Nieuwpoort Bad, this city attracts myriad visitors. No wonder that it is often considered one of the best beach resorts in Belgium.
The staketsel, the marina, the vismijn, and the West Front Newport are some of the must-visit places here. The best way to explore Nieuwpoort is by walking or cycling along the Frontzate.
As the serene Yser river flows through the city, the marvelous views will tempt you back time and again.
Where to stay: Hotel Cosmopolite ****
Namur, the impressive capital of Wallonia takes tourism in Belgium to the next level of brilliance. The most prominent highlight of the city is the Citadelle that played a great role in the history of Namur.
It offers unrivaled views of the city and the Meuse river which is a delightful feast for the eyes.
It is home to the St Aubin’s Cathedral which is a masterpiece of academic Late Baroque style. At Namur, you can spend your day shopping at the Rue de L’Ange or taking a boat tour along the Sambre.
You will be greeted by iconic landmarks like the Wallonian Parliament through the journey.
A vibrant seaside resort located in the Poldar region along the North Sea, Knokke-Heist is a paradise for beach lovers.
It is one of the best cities in Belgium with colourful events and music festivals happening throughout the year. The Zwin Nature Reserve and the Scharpoort are the notable attractions of the city.
Knokke-Heist offers splendid choices if you are wondering what to do in Belgium. Regardless of whether you indulge in adventurous water sports, relish a drink at beach bars, or visit amazing museums, every experience is enthralling.
Knokke is also known for being the beach resort of the rich & famous! You can enjoy several things to do in Knokke like shopping, bike ride etc.
Where to stay: La Reserve ****
Nestled in the Luxembourg province of Wallonia, Bouillon is one of the charming cities to visit in Belgium.
The Bouillon Castle, which is ranked among the famous places in Belgium astonishes the visitors with its century’s old history.
The small city also allows you to immerse yourself in nature with unparalleled views. If you love hiking it is a great place to go to, you can enjoy some of the best hiking trails in Belgium here.
It is also from those beautiful places near Luxembourg you must give a visit if you want to enjoy nature.
The view of the Semois River from the Le Tombeau du Géant and the Point de Vue Frahan lets you escape into a world of tranquillity. It’s an ideal destination to reconnect with nature and for enjoying a relaxed and holiday.
Where to stay: Hotel de la Poste – Relais de Napoleon III ****
A tiny Mediterranean gem in Wallonia, Torgny marks the southernmost part of Belgium. Pretty streets, stone buildings, and colourful plants adorn this cozy village. It is known for its gorgeous landscapes and the gentle microclimate.
The vineyards add to the charm of this village and deserve a spot in the best places to see in Belgium. Here, you can also explore Belgium’s oldest nature reserve: The Raymond Mayné nature reserve.
The La Grappe d’Or by Michelin Star chef Clément Petitjean takes you on a gastronomic journey with scrumptious cuisines made from the freshest of ingredients.
Veurne in West Flanders is a well-deserved addition to the list of best cities to visit in Belgium. The beautiful central market of the little city showcases remarkable examples of Renaissance-style buildings.
A walk along the cozy streets of the city walk route will reward you with impressive views.
The Castle Beauvoorde in Veurne, with a stunning collection of 17th-century furniture, is among the top things to see in Belgium. Other popular attractions include the Saint Nicholas Church and the marvellous City Hall.
For those searching for a destination for a vacation with the kids, Veurne is the best place to be.
Damme is filled with witnesses of Belgium’s glorious past. It’s conveniently located 7 km northeast of Bruges, which is one of the top cities in Belgium.
The city is referred to as “book town” as it has a plethora of book shops and hosts regular book fairs.
Visitors admire the city for its towering gothic buildings, architectural marvels, boat trips, and state-of-the-art dining venues. It has the finest response to the question of what to see in Belgium.
The iconic landmarks include the town hall Stadhuis and the windmill Schellemolen.
A walk along the cobblestone street Kerkstraat lets you admire many monuments along the way.
A destination identified with its natural mineral springs, Spa is one of the best towns in Belgium to unwind. This popular tourist hub is located in the valley of Ardennes mountains in the province of Liege.
This is the place where the word “spa” originated and its cold springs are considered to have healing properties. If you want to enjoy a perfect weekend breaks in Belgium then Ardennes is the best place to go.
Indulging in revitalizing hydrotherapy in the Thermes de Spa is one of the best things to do in Belgium. Besides, Spa also has some amazing heritage sites like the Pouhun Pierre-le-Grand and the Casino de Spa, the world’s oldest casino.
Visit Spa to take a break from the hustle of the city and get rejuvenated by its magical water.
Check wellness hotels in Spa here
Mons was one of the well-kept secrets of Belgium until 2015 when it was declared as the European Capital of Culture. Located in the Wallonia region, the city has some of the best places of interest in Belgium.
Mons is associated with the rich architectural heritage of Belgium which is reflected in the buildings throughout the city.
The Main Square, the Baroque belfry, the town hall, and the Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church are its phenomenal landmarks. You can also go museum hopping to get a deeper understanding of the celebrated past.
Tournai is reckoned as one of the oldest and largest cities in Belgium. It’s a Wallonian city located on the river Scheldt to the southwest of Brussels.
With UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Notre Dame de Tournaiand the belfry, it grabs the admiration of numerous visitors. It is also the best option if you are planning for some cool things to do in Brussels in a Day.
The Grand Palace and the Pont des Trous also lets you witness an incredible style of architecture. Tournai happily caters to the needs of its little guests too with a “Jungle City” exclusively for kids.
The museums, the Romanesque buildings, and the historical charm make Tournai one of the most interesting places in Belgium.