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BelgiumEurope

The land of chocolate and lace, this bilingual country is famous for its medieval towns, its cobblestoned streets and its frothy beer.

Small though it may be, Belgium manages to pack in an astonishing number of historic sights and pretty medieval towns. Its quirky capital Brussels could possibly be the country’s most fascinating city. Many residents here speak both French and Dutch, and it is most well-known as being the home of the EU headquarters. Admire the city’s grand architecture and lounge in relaxing cafés.

Wander around Brussels’ Grand Place, an iconic square surrounded by the town hall and over 40 historic guild halls. Sip a beer in one of the cafés that surround the cobblestoned square, or grab a Belgian waffle from the historic tearoom Maison Dandoy, just steps away. Take your photograph next to Manneken Pis, Brussels’ funniest landmark. The bronze statue, depicting a naked little boy peeing, was designed in the early 17th century.

Also in the capital is the Atomium, a unique structure that was created as an icon for the World Fair of Brussels in 1958. Explore the five spheres of the construction, which house a permanent exhibition and a panoramic 360-degree viewing deck.

Other alluring cities in Belgium include Bruges and Ghent, both known for their winding canals. Ghent features the Gothic St. Bavo’s Cathedral, home to Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Head to hip Antwerp, Belgium’s second city and biggest port to discover an under-the-radar shopping scene and a plethora of diamond dealerships.

Elsewhere, Belgium’s Flanders Battlefields offer a sobering look into the site of some of World War I’s most terrible battles. Book a multiday tour and visit the original trenches, the Le Trou Aid Post cemetery and the site of the Christmas Day Truce of 1914.

Two main airports service Belgium: Brussels Airport and Brussels South Charleroi Airport, the latter of which is a hub for low-cost airlines. Travel by train between towns and cities, or rent a car to explore the country extensively at your own pace.

If it is grand architecture, laid-back locals and quaint towns you seek, look no further than Belgium.

Popular cities in Belgium

La Grand Place featuring a castle, street scenes and a square or plaza
Brussels
Known for Business, Tours and Museums

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Reasons to visit

  • La Grand Place
    La Grand Place
  • Manneken Pis Statue
    Manneken Pis Statue
  • Belgian Comic Strip Center
    Belgian Comic Strip Center
Cathedral of Our Lady featuring street scenes, a church or cathedral and heritage architecture
Antwerp
Known for Shopping, Historical Buildings and Business

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Reasons to visit

  • Antwerp Market Square
    Antwerp Market Square
  • Cathedral of Our Lady
    Cathedral of Our Lady
  • Museum Aan de Stroom
    Museum Aan de Stroom
Bruges which includes a river or creek, a house and heritage architecture
Bruges
Known for Historical Buildings, Tours and Chocolate

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Reasons to visit

  • Bruges Market Square
    Bruges Market Square
  • Bruges Belfry
    Bruges Belfry
  • Minnewater
    Minnewater
Ghent featuring a city and boating
Ghent
Known for Historical Buildings, Tours and Culture

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Reasons to visit

  • Gravensteen Castle
    Gravensteen Castle
  • Saint Bavo Cathedral
    Saint Bavo Cathedral
  • Belfry of Ghent
    Belfry of Ghent
Royal Opera of Wallonia showing theater scenes and interior views
Liege
Known for Historical Buildings, Castles and Opera Houses

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Reasons to visit

  • Liege Cathedral
    Liege Cathedral
  • Place Saint-Lambert
    Place Saint-Lambert
  • Montagne de Beuren
    Montagne de Beuren
Leuven
Known for Bars, Shopping and Historical Buildings

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