Nearby holiday destinations in Belgium
Surely it can’t be all work and no play, even if a trip to Mexico or Thailand is no longer an option in 2020. Have you ever thought about spending your holidays in Belgium? The country might be small in size, there is still a lot to explore for everyone. Fancy a day at the beach, a visit to one of Belgium’s well-preserved medieval cities or a weekend in the countryside? Discover the hotspots and some hidden treasures you should not miss out on.
Shopping, surfing, and nature-spotting at the coast
Who does not like the seaside? With its vibrant beach life, plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and fun recreational activities, the Belgian coast is a popular summer destination. But even during wintertime it is an attractive spot for hikers and nature lovers. Discover the region’s main attractions.
While Ostend might be the biggest and best-known coastal town, the 90 km long coastline has many more to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the Zwin Nature Park in Knokke-Heist, a beautiful preserve that is home to many migratory birds that overwinter there. What’s more, Knokke is a real shopper’s paradise. The resort town boasts plenty of designer shops and pricey restaurants. Foreknown is forewarned!
Sports, leisure, and spa in the Ardennes
Thinking of spending a relaxing weekend away in the arms of nature? Take a trip to the hilly landscape of the Ardennes in southeast Belgium, a marvelous area for hikers, cyclists, and mountain bikers. In winter, it’s also a great place for those who love to ski, if the weather allows. Many tourists come to visit the Thermes de Spa, a well-known beauty and wellness center where you can bathe in the waters of the area’s many thermal springs.
When you are nearby, it’s worth making a stop at Durbuy, also known as the ‘smallest city in the world’. The small picturesque town near the Ourthe River is simply magical. Take a stroll along the narrow streets of the old medieval town and you will feel as if you’re in a fairytale. There is even a hillside castle to complete the picture. Outdoor fanatics will love the cycling, climbing, horse riding offer and the chance to explore the water by kayak, canoe, or raft.
Going back in time in medieval Bruges and Ghent
Belgium is renowned for its stunning medieval cities, including Bruges and Ghent. There is an amicable rivalry between the two towns as to which is most beautiful, but we will let you decide for yourself.
Bruges calls itself the ‘Venice of the North’, and is home to many small canals surrounding the old city center. Take a carriage ride, hop on a boat, or roam the UNESCO-protected town by foot: no matter which you choose, it’s worth a visit. Many historic buildings and churches are excellently preserved, making it the perfect trip back in time. Treat yourself to a nice meal at one of the many award-winning restaurants while you are there.
Absorb more of the country’s rich medieval history in Ghent, famous for its Gothic churches and period canal-side houses. The city center is simply breathtaking. And due to its vibrant university scene, the town is always full of life. One of the city’s highlights is the Gravensteen, a medieval fortress that tells the tale of Ghent’s history.
Brussels and Antwerp
There’s never a dull moment in the humming capital of Brussels. You can find almost anything there: designer shops, charming antique markets, top museums, the European institutions, a spectacular mix of old and new architecture, the Royal Palace, and more. Make sure to stop by the Atomium, Belgium’s national landmark and a stunning structure, to say the least.
Your holiday is not complete without a visit to the popular city of Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world. Visit the diamond-shaped Port House or indulge in a guilt-free shopping spree in the city’s trendy boutiques. Antwerp is a creative, lively city with culture and museums in abundance. No doubt you will love it!
Discover the military history
While Waterloo might be as legendary as the ABBA classic, it is an infamous town in Belgium, where Napoleon I admitted defeat by the Duke of Wellington in 1815. Reminiscent of its military past, the city houses several war museums and monuments. You can also relive the heroic battle by taking a battlefield tour, and each year in June, a reenactment brings those epic days back to life. Learn all about Belgium’s military involvement in World War I and II in the Flanders Fields museum in Ypres and the Bastogne War Museum.
Remember, this is only a sneak peek at Belgium’s rich recreational offering. To discover the wide variety of must-sees and things to do, browse through the offer by region.
Want to make the most of your stay in Belgium?
At Link2Europe, we can help you find your way around. We are happy to provide you with plenty of information about things to do while you are here.