Welcome to my Belgium travel guide – where I uncover all the secrets to this enchanting land of delectable chocolates, charming cobbled streets and rich cultural institutions this beautiful country has to offer.
Can you see yourself sitting in the Grand Place, enjoying a refreshing beer and freshly-fried frites while people-watching busy locals on their commute? If so, you’ll love Belgium just as much as I did.
Let’s dive into all you need to know about visiting Belgium – what you should do, all the best places to stay, and when to go. I’ve also included all the need-to-know info you’ll require, like the best travel tips, to make your trip a breeze.
With the calmer temperatures and fewer crowds, I recommend you travel to Belgium in spring (April – June) or autumn (September – October).
If you want to attend an exhilarating festival or enjoy a canal-side beer under the sun, visit in the summer (June – August). For Christmas Markets and sumptuous, hearty dishes, winter (December – February) is ideal.
Skyscanner is a useful tool for finding the cheapest flights to Belgium.
Booking.com is a go-to for your airport transfer and accommodation needs.
G Adventures is the perfect solution for finding multi-day guided trips.
Where to Stay
Many travellers come to Brussels when visiting Belgium. With must-see attractions like the Atomium, the Grand Place, and the European Parliament, the city captures so much of Belgium’s history and charm. Stay at Radisson Red Brussels.
Belgium’s largest city Antwerp is part of the country’s diamond district, full of stunning buildings. And with cultural destinations like Rubenshuis and Snijders & Rockoxhuis, it’s a fantastic place to be. Stay at Hotel Rubens-Grote Markt.
Another picturesque Belgian city is Bruges, or “the Venice of the North”, promising a creative and quirky vibe – it’s a great place to be. There are also many great places to eat in Bruges and some of Belgium’s best beer. Book a stay at Hotel De Orangerie.
Another stunning destination is Ghent, a port city in northwest Belgium. This charming part of the country boasts picturesque scenery and a bustling nightlife scene. Book a stay at Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel.
While Belgium is an incredibly safe country to visit, you can’t always predict disasters like car accidents, lost baggage, and pickpocketing. That’s why travel insurance is incredibly vital when going on holiday.
Just because this country is full of modern cities doesn’t mean there are no hidden treasures.
Hike in the Ardennes
Belgium’s Ardennes region is full of rolling hills, mesmerising caves, idyllic villages, and, let’s not forget, lush forests. This makes it the ideal spot for hiking, whether in the Semois Valley or the majestic Anlier Forest.
Take a Dip in the North Sea
While Belgium may not be famous for its beaches, it is home to a few along the North Sea. Just outside of Bruges, at Ostend, Blankenberge, and Knokke – you’ve got a spot to swim. This is a welcoming offering, especially in Europe’s recent sweltering summers.
Appreciate the Views at Hautes Fagnes Wetland Nature Reserve
You’ll find the delightful Hautes Fagnes Wetland Nature Reserve on Belgium’s border with Germany.
The reserve is home to Belgium’s highest point at just under 2300 feet above sea level, and is a beautiful spot for strolling the boardwalks and appreciating nature.
Go Underground at Grotto de Han
Experience the subterranean delights of being in this cave with millennium-old stalactite formations and the underground Lesse River. As an interactive and educational experience, it’s quite literally one of Belgium’s best hidden gems.
How to See the Best of Belgium for Free
Belgium is sometimes renowned for being pricey, especially for expats and tourists. But it doesn’t have to be, as many activities cost nothing.
A free tour is an excellent option for walking tours in the four major cities. You can explore the historic centre and the European Parliament in Brussels for free.
In Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp, visiting most churches and wandering the streets are free.
Dishes to Try in Belgium
Frites – Fries served smothered in mayonnaise.
Moules frites – Steaming-hot mussels with broth served with frites and Dijon mayonnaise.
Waffles – Made with a lighter batter and deep pockets, these waffles are often served with whipped cream or ice cream.
Belgian chocolate – Described by many as the world’s best chocolate, these come with a high percentage of cocoa and stronger aromas.
Top Drinks in Belgium
Belgian beer –The country’s known to have over 1,000 types of beer.