Best of European travel list – Visit Belgium

Best of European travel list – Visit Belgium

Belgium is a perfect destination to get away from your everyday tasks and recharge your batteries while enjoying exquisite cuisine, craft beers, and soaking in the medieval scenery of picturesque towns. It makes an important piece of the European identity and it has a prominent place in art history: for example, Flemish painters from the 15th century are credited with inventing oil painting, which changed the course of art development and spawned new art forms. If you’re in the mood to widen your knowledge of European history – rich cultural offer, museums, and guided tours, as well as a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels can make your trip memorable.

To catch some nice weather, avoid traveling in August as it is often rainy. June, July, and September are usually the best months for a trip. Read on for some useful tips and must-sees in Belgium.

Getting there and getting around

Brussels Grand Place

Belgium has a great position in the heart of Western Europe and it is easily accessible by air, car, rail, even cruise. As long as your country is a member of Schengen Agreement or if you have met the visa requirements – Belgium is easy to enter. If you’re trying to find the best deal for airline tickets online, keep a few things in mind. Some traveling experts say you should browse tickets in incognito window since airline companies use your search history to track your data and then offer higher prices for frequently searched destinations. Also – consider purchasing your tickets in the middle of the week: prices tend to be lower.

Since Belgium is relatively small, you may want to consider traveling across the country. Go-Pass and Rail Pass booklet make wallet-friendly solutions while the regular intercity train ticket costs around €15 (for second class). Depending on the town, there might be buses, metros (€3 for a ride), or beautiful horse carriages (about €36 for half an hour) that are actually tourist attractions – not exactly means of transportation. As for the accommodation, it all depends on how flexible you are. Every town offers you hostels (around €20 per night) or budget hotels (around €45 per night). Generally speaking, Belgium is easy to get around.

Food, beer, and culture

Brussels winter Belgium
Belgium is well known by its finger-licking gourmet offer: famous waffles are just the tip of the iceberg! Belgians are really devoted to creating scenery for a full hedonistic dining experience: you can find dozens of restaurants and cafes located next to canals or tucked in the medieval cobble streets. For example, in Antwerp – there’s a number of cellar restaurants giving you an opportunity to indulge in amazing food while experiencing enjoying the feeling you’ve traveled through time. Another lovely Belgian gem, Bruges is known as the Venice of the North and a number of restaurants on the canal side offer you locally produced food while the surrounding landscape makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a fairytale. There is also an option of going on a barge travel cruise where you can enjoy amazing menus or even sign up for a cooking class. Belgians are really creative to come up with the most authentic traveling experiences for travelers. It’s a country that can boast with rich tradition: there is an actual law from 1884 that regulates the exact formula of Belgian chocolate and it has been preserved up to now.
Brussels chocolate
Sweet tooths will be pleased to hear there is a whole tourist offer designed 
especially for chocolate lovers: some of them are entry-free and prices of chocolate tasting vary (e.g. the Laurent Gerbaud’s chocolate factory in Brussels). With over 200 breweries, Belgium is practically a mecca for beer lovers: from dark beers and Flemish reds to Trappist beer, Lambic, and Omer – there’s something for everyone. If you plan on visiting in April, there is a Zythos Bierfestival held in Leuven in the end of the month.

Must-see sights

Brussels Atomium
When in Brussels, make a visit to the EU headquarters: it really helps you to get a fuller picture of what it means to be a European and how the political processes of the EU functions. The capital also offers you an opportunity to travel through Europe in only two hours, as it is home to Mini Europe – theme park showing roughly 80 European cities in small format. At the foot of it is Atomium, a stunning building with dining and activity options. Brussels is also a home to comic heroes such as Tin Tin and Smurfs, so check out The Belgian Comic Strip Center.
Bruges Belgium
Don’t miss The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, as well as seeing Jan van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch works in its Groeninge Museum. Ghent is a less touristy town best known by Gravensteen Castle: entrance fee is just €10 and you get to explore medieval armors and torture rooms. It is especially vivid during the festival called Gentse Festeen located by the river, where you can enjoy music, dance, and theater. Dinant is a great destination too: in addition to its prominent citadel located on the high rock, you can visit the natural wonders nearby: The Caves of Han and The Grotto of Dinant. Antwerp is home to the oldest European zoo (founded in 1844) that houses around 7000 different animals! While you’re there, visit the Cathedral of Our Lady in the city’s historical area: it houses a number of Rubens paintings. Take a tour of the famous painter’s house which is also an amazing architectural patchwork, a site by itself.

There are a lot of things to see and experience in Belgium. Map out your interests and make a route according to your preferences: guaranteed, the rich tourist offer will not disappoint you!

About the Author

Nicole is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures and she loves to share her experiences. She’s an architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes and jewellery. Also, she loves preparing and eating delicious food with her friends.

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