If you love exquisite chocolates, some of the best beer in the world (over 400 varieties!) and world famous waffles, you’re probably already in Belgium having the time of your life. But this Belgium travel guide is for those of you who haven’t yet discovered all the other things that Belgium has to offer.
Eating so much chocolate that you need to be airlifted home is all very well, but Belgium is home to an array of alternative treats and treasures that are less well known, and that make travelling to Belgium a truly rewarding experience wherever your interests may lie. Enjoy an idyllic day exploring the medieval city of Bruges, the heartland of Belgium tourism and truly a town lost in time. Alternatively, if you prefer to get away from the tourist centres, perhaps Ghent is more your thing. Flanders’ biggest university town is a lively place with an even livelier history, and you and the family can spend the day visiting the formidable medieval castle, known as the Gravensteen, or take a stroll beside one of the city’s many canals.
For the cool kids, or culture clubbers who want to catch the Belgian epicentre of fashion, style, chic clubs and diamond dealing, then Antwerp is a must. Be warned though: if diamonds are your girl’s best friend, leave her at home, or this trip might get expensive. Winding cobbled streets house cute boutique after cute boutique, gallery after gallery, and unique shops selling everything from chocolates that amount to individual works of art, to high quality diamonds and designer clothes. Browse to your heart’s content and take home some treasures, or explore any of the city’s architectural delights. There’s the medieval fortress, or the smorgasbord of architectural styles in the district of Zurenborg, where you’ll find everything from Art Nouveau and Gothic Revival to Neo-Renaissance and Neoclassical.
And if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and prefer things a little more rustic, then stop into the small but buzzing little town of La Roche-en-Ardenne. Tucked away in a stunning valley beside the Ourthe River, this town is loved by families. You’ll find all manner of outdoor activities here, together with some great restaurants and scenery to keep everyone happy.
The climate in Belgium means the weather can be changeable, with the odd rainy spell and grey skies throughout winter and early spring. Visiting in late spring and the summer months is the best time to go if you’re looking for warmer weather. This is the busy season however, and if you want the place to yourself then a journey in winter will see a chilly but relaxed Belgium, queue free, and maybe even a little romantic snow. Belgium’s weather isn’t a million miles away from Britain’s.