Even though it’s located centrally in Western Europe, Belgium is often shrugged off as a “boring” destination and overlooked by too many travelers. Home to landmarks such as Mannekin Pis and Flanders Fields, Belgium is a country that’s packed with attractions to see and activities to do. It’s anything but boring.
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Whether you want to shop till you drop, sample delectable sweets and national dishes, soak up the history, or simply admire the beautiful landscape, Belgium is the destination for you. Keep reading to find out why you should be adding this amazing country to your next travel itinerary.
10 Travelers With A Sweet Tooth Will Be In Their Element
If you’re a sweet tooth, then Belgium should be at the very top of your bucket list. The country is known as one of the chocolate capitals of the world and is home to endless chocolate shops where you can sample and purchase delectable Belgian chocolate. Here you’ll also find a variety of chocolate museums and a chocolate academy.
The country is also famous for the Belgian Waffle, which is almost too good to be true. You can buy a warm and gooey Belgian Waffle smothered in chocolate from street vendors around the country.
9 The Shopping Is Great
Belgium offers limitless opportunities for retail therapy. The city of Brussels is home to Les Galeries Royales Saint Hubert, which opened in the 1800s. The landmark is the place to go for luxury shopping in the city and is also great for those who simply want to walk through the majestic arcade and take in its beauty.
While in Brussels, be sure to check out Rue Neuve, where you’ll find chains and brands such as Zara, H&M, Primark, and Superdry. Visit during summer and you might be lucky enough to experience sales of up to 70% less.
8 The Country Is Small And Easy To Get Around
One of the best reasons to visit Belgium is the convenience of it. Nestled between countries that many travelers visit while in Europe anyway, such as France and the Netherlands, Belgium is so easy to add to your itinerary. Plus, the country is tiny and very easy to get around.
Trains connect the cities and often boast trips of only an hour to get from one major destination to another. It’s also easy to reach Belgium by train from other major cities in Europe, such as Paris and Amsterdam.
7 The Towns Look Straight Out Of A Fairytale
Belgium is a country of scenic beauty. The cities feature stunning architecture, while the smaller towns are home to charming homes, waterways, and bridges that you’d expect to see in a book of fairytales. Don’t even get us started on the gorgeous untouched countryside.
Perhaps the most famous town in Belgium is Bruges, which is picturesque and quaint with its serene canals that are reminiscent of Venice. Other gorgeous towns to visit include Ghent, Dinnant, Dame, and Veurne. They’re all equally beautiful and mesmerizing. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
6 It’s Home To Many Significant Historical Landmarks
Belgium is an ideal place to visit if you’re a history buff, since it’s home to several significant historical landmarks, particularly dating back to the First World War. Be sure to visit the hauntingly beautiful battlefields of Flanders, including Ypres and Passchendaele.
These mass graveyards are thought-provoking and visually striking at the same time. After paying your respects along the rows of white gravestones, visit the various museums and monuments which tell the story of those who lost their lives on the fields over one hundred years ago
5 And Many Unique Museums
The battlefields and landmarks aren’t the only highlights for history buffs to see while in Belgium. Another reason to visit the country is to check out the fascinating and unique museums that are scattered throughout.
One of the most interesting is the Museum of Original Figurines in Brussels, where you’ll be welcomed by a giant Smurf and get to know all about your favorite comic strip characters. There’s also the Museum of Musical Instruments featuring four floors of both usual and unusual musical instruments, including flutes that were created with human bones.
4 There’s Plenty For Nature-Lovers To Do
Outdoor enthusiasts should add Belgium to their next itineraries because of the spectacular landscapes to explore beyond the towns and cities. The forests in the eastern region of the country, the Ardennes, are a great place for hikers to trek and to also snap some impossibly amazing photos.
During spring, be sure to visit Halle’s Wood, otherwise known as Hallerbos. Residing just south of Brussels, the forest is home to thousands of blooming bluebells which create a carpet of purple and make the forest seem like something from another world.
3 It’s Home To The Vegetarian Capital Of The World
Belgium may be known for its sweet treats, but it’s also known for its contributions to the vegetarian scene. The town of Ghent is super veggie-friendly, to the point where it encourages meat-eaters to go veggie one day per week on “Veggie Thursday”. The city is also home to some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the world.
The national comfort food is Frites or fries, and you won’t find better ones anywhere else in the world. Sometimes they’re double and triple fried and smothered in ketchup and mayonnaise. To die for!
2 It’s The Best Place To Have A Spa
If you’re interested in any form of hydrotherapy, then you need to visit the Belgian town of Spa. In the 18thcentury, the town became so famous for its springs which are believed to be rich in important minerals such as iron and calcium, that its name was taken to refer to establishments dedicated to improving health and beauty.
Visit the swimming pools, wellness retreats, fountains and manmade lakes while in Spa. You can also check out one of the world’s oldest casinos, watch a Formula One race, and attend music festivals.
1 The Beer Is Second To None
Aside from its chocolate, fries, and iconic landmarks, Belgium is famous for its beer. There are about 450 types of Belgian beer to sample, including Stella Artois and Hoegaarden. Aside from the commercially successful brews, there are plenty of unknown varieties of Belgian beer that are waiting to be explored.
One Belgian beer, Westvleteren 12, won the title of the best brew in the world for a number of consecutive years. You can buy it from some specialty beer shops in the country, as well as from the abbey that creates it in Vleteren, Belgium.