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Things to do in Belgium

Things to do in  Belgium

Welcome to Belgium

Multicultural Belgium—the political center of Europe—is a small-but-important country that entices visitors with its specialty beers, tantalizing chocolate, and myriad waffles, along with an equally rich history. Belgium's location, squished between Germany and France, give it an often-outsized historical importance, with World War I and II having left notable marks; day tours from the capital make stops at historic sites related to the well-known Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Waterloo. Brussels itself boasts a warren of medieval architecture, the Houses of Parliament, and plenty of that renowned Belgian beer and chocolate that you won't want to leave without sampling. Head just an hour outside the capital, though, and big city life fades away in favor of the picturesque fields of Flanders, and secondary cities such as Antwerp and Bruges. Visitors can easily see one or both in a single day with the help of a guided tour. Antwerp's beautiful port and majestic town square open to reveal celebrated art by Rubens and the intense center of the diamond industry. Meanwhile, Bruges' quaint serenity creates a timeless fairy-tale scene where travelers can step back a few centuries via canal cruises or walking tours through the town.

Top 10 attractions in Belgium

#1
Grand-Place (Grote Markt)

Grand-Place (Grote Markt)

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Arguably Europe’s most beautiful square, Brussels’ Grand Place—in the heart of the historic and hip city—is surrounded by nearly 40 baroque and gothic guildhalls and the stunning Brussels Town Hall. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the large cobblestone square, also known as Grote Markt, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belgium.More
#2
Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

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The Manneken Pis—sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy’s small bronze statue of a little boy urinating into a Brussels fountain—is one of Belgium’s most beloved landmarks. Built in 1619, the boy is hailed as the capital’s oldest resident and remains a favorite of both locals and tourists, with a host of myths and legends to his name.More
#3
Atomium

Atomium

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One of Brussels’ most iconic structures, the futuristic Atomium is a gargantuan structure designed to resemble an iron molecule magnified 165 billion times. It was created in 1958 for the Expo 58, and though it was originally slated for demolition, it was so popular with locals that it became a permanent feature of the city’s skyline.More
#4
Bastogne War Museum

Bastogne War Museum

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The Ardennes town of Bastogne is a Walloon town in southern Belgium and it was the site of one of World War II’s most notorious struggles, the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Most of the town’s attractions relate to this landmark battle, including the star-shaped Mardasson American War Memorial; the Wood of Peace, where 4,000 trees were planted on the 50th anniversary of the battle; and the Sherman tank that belonged to the US Army’s 11th Division. Opened in 2014 and housed in a striking contemporary building whose roof echoes the shape of the Mardasson memorial, the Bastogne War Museum relates the backstory of the build-up to World War II, from the US stock market crash in 1929 that heralded economic depression across the world, to the emergence of Nazi fanaticism in Germany. A collection of modern, interactive exhibits pays homage to the 76,890 US soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge through a series of personal testimonies, displays of uniforms, maps and weaponry, and graphic black-and-white footage of the battle’s aftermath. Vivid interactive displays allow visitors to experience machine-gun bombardment in a Bastogne café and gunfire in a mortar emplacement.More
#5
Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)

Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)

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Dating back to the 18th century and fronted by the idyllic Parc de Bruxelles (Brussels Park), the Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal Bruxelles) might no longer be the official residence of Belgium’s royal family, but it remains one of the capital’s most magnificent landmarks and the site of various royal and state events.More
#6
Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)

Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)

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Spearheading the rejuvenation of the once derelict Willemdok harbor area,Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) (which translates as ‘Museum on the River’) opened in 2011 to great acclaim – as much for its stellar architecture as its thoughtful, well-curated exhibitions paying homage to the city of Antwerp, its history and culture. Sitting just north of the city center on a dock commissioned by Napoleon in 1811, the museum was designed by Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk and towers 60 m (197 ft) above the harbor. It is comprised of layers of bright-red sandstone bricks held together with glass and steel; the five themed floors of interactive and entertaining displays make use of nearly half a million artifacts – including anything from Old Master paintings to model boats, newsreel, penny farthings, model ships and personal accounts on video – to showcase Antwerp’s development into one of Europe’s largest ports, a diamond capital and a multiracial center of learning and culture. On the ninth and top floor an outdoor terrace gives views stretching over the city to the River Scheldt, where the Antwerp story began. Unusually for a museum, MAS also has the double-Michelin-starred restaurant ‘t Zilte, presided over by chef Viki Geunes. Outside is the MAS Boulevard, with a couple of small temporary exhibition galleries and pretty views over the bobbing boats in the harbor.More
#7
Gravensteen Castle (Castle of the Counts)

Gravensteen Castle (Castle of the Counts)

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One of Belgium’s best-preserved medieval fortresses, Gravensteen Castle (also known as the Castle of the Counts) boasts thick stone walls, crenellated towers, and a history laced with intrigue and torture. Today, the landmark is a historical gem in the heart of Ghent; stop by to learn its often dark history firsthand.More
#8
Market Square (Markt)

Market Square (Markt)

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The medieval-style Markt (Market Square) is the setting for Bruges’ most photogenic landmarks, including the belfry (Belfort) and the Provinciaal Hof. At its center stands a statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, who played leading roles in the Flemish resistance against the French in the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs.More
#9
Minnewater (Lake of Love)

Minnewater (Lake of Love)

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Surrounded by a park that’s long been known as a romantic place for a stroll, Minnewater—also known as the Lake of Love—is a great place for anyone looking for some quiet time in nature. Swans are a common site on the lake, and the traditional Belgian brick houses around it make the park particularly photogenic.More
#10
Historic Centre of Bruges (Historisch Centrum van Brugge)

Historic Centre of Bruges (Historisch Centrum van Brugge)

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Bruges often tops the list of Europe’s most picturesque cities, and its Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, abounds with photo opportunities. A warren of cobbled lanes and scenic canals opens out onto grand medieval squares framed by colorful old buildings and dramatic Gothic facades.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

How to Spend 3 Days in Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Bruges Tours from Brussels

Recent reviews from experiences in Belgium

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The best tour ever
Shore_J, Jan 2022
Historical Walking Tour: Legends of Bruges
We missed one morning tour since it was not in English.
star-5
Great Tour and Lots of Food!
Samantha_K, Oct 2021
Walking food tour: Introduction to Ghent through food
It was a great way to see Ghent, learn about the city, and enjoy some great food.
star-5
Authentic, exciting, tasty
Alison_B, Sep 2021
Brussels Chocolate Beer Waffle and Belgian Whiskey All-in-One Tour
It was also nice to see smaller ‘districts’ or neighborhoods along the tour.
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Taking accommodating to a new level.
LARRY_B, Sep 2021
Private 2-Hour Sightseeing Tour in Brussels
In addition to the traditional stops, I also was fortunate enough to see an antique market.
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Worth it!
jamarbfoster, Feb 2020
Bruges and Ghent - Belgium's Fairytale Cities - from Brussels
Both cities are definitely great destinations to visit when you’re in Belgium.
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Great Experience
sachinp102019, Aug 2019
Bruges and Ghent - Belgium's Fairytale Cities - from Brussels
Will try to visit again
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Great Tour
LAURA_O, Jul 2019
Brussels Small-Group Chocolate Tasting Tour
The tour was a great way to see Brussels while experiencing some chocolate tastings and learning about the history of the famous chocolate makers of Belgium.
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Amazing Chocolate, Tasty Beers, Incredible Guide
John V, Nov 2018
Hungry Mary's Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour - Brussels
This tour, with an engaging, knowledgeable, and humorous guide, was the perfect way to not only learn about Belgium's beers and chocolates, but to see Brussels as well.
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Great tour! I have always wanted to...
Erin S, Jul 2017
Luxembourg and Dinant Day Trip from Brussels
I have always wanted to see Luxembourg, but I did not want to commit to staying a night in this city.
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Anyone with a connection to WWI...
Kyle H, Aug 2017
Remembrance tour. The fairytale city of Bruges & the poppies of Flanders Fields
It really is a powerful feeling to visit the graves of so many young men, and see the areas where they fought.
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The best of five tours we took with...
Larry_B, Oct 2016
Antwerp: Diamonds galore, elegance, arts and stunning architecture
Had an adequate amount of time to walk through the old city, but as with all beautiful old cities, not nearly enough time to see everything.
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Worth the visit. The tour guide was...
Michelle H, Aug 2016
Luxembourg and Dinant Day Trip from Brussels
We had plenty of time to see Luxembourg then we visited Dinant in Belgium.
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We only had a day in Brussels and...
Sally C, Nov 2015
Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop
We only had a day in Brussels and this tour was the perfect way to see the city and indulge in chocolate Belgium style at the same time.
star-5
Great Guide! Great group! great...
Ashley R, Nov 2014
Marc's Belgian Beer Tour in Brussels
great way to see the city and experience the beer culture of Belgium!
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I had just one day to spending in...
Leighann P, May 2014
Marc's Belgian Beer Tour in Brussels
I had just one day to spending in Brussels before taking a train to Paris so I thought taking a beer tasting tour would be the best way to see the sights and enjoy one of the best parts of Belgium, the beer!
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We had a very qualified guide who told...
VIOREL D, Aug 2008
The glory of Holland: Amsterdam and windmills galore
She speaks English, French, Spanish etc.
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Chocolate walk
Priscilla_Y, Mar 2020
Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop
I especially like the order in which the shops were presented so that we really got a good sampling and were able to see the variations in the tastes of different makers.
star-5
Super way to see Bruges
Margaret_A, Mar 2020
Day Trip to Bruges from Brussels
The central meeting place and time in Brussels were very convenient and our small group of 8 had no trouble catching the train and getting to see some of Belgium during the hour-long trip.
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Best Birthday Euro-Trip, EVER!
Garfield_L, Mar 2020
Bus day trip to Bruges & Ghent from Brussels
But also getting to see Ghent was amazing'er!
star-4
The tour was great! We were staying...
Emma J, Jul 2016
Bruges and Ghent - Belgium's Fairytale Cities - from Brussels
We were staying in Brussels for 2 nights so this was a fantastic way to see more of Belgium in a short space of time.
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