Small and inviting, Belgium is the founding member of the European Union. Very modern, yet with a bohemian flair, we’re counting down the top 10 sights to see in Belgium, while on a budget.
1. Bruges world heritage center
The Bruges world heritage center is a prominent UNESCO site. It measures 430 hectares and has a cultural and physical significance to the history of the world. You can admire the Church of Our Lady, one of the highest brick towers in the world.
The European Union’s de factocapital and the capital of Belgium, Brussels is the home city of artist Rene Magritte. You can visit the Belgian Comics Museum or take in the scenery while eating waffles and drinking beer in the park.
3. Grand place square
The central square found in the middle of Brussels is surrounded by the Town Hall and the Breadhouse. The Grand place square is the heart of the city and if you’re in Brussels, be sure to check it off your list.
Belgium’s third largest city is a favorite destination for the Belgians themselves. The center of the city is closed for cars – best explore the area by bicycle or rent a small boat and take a ride on its many picturesque canals.
The battle of Bulge took place in this city, next to the border with Luxemburg. Over 76.000 American soldiers were killed here and the Mardasson Memorial pays homage to them. Pause and say a prayer for them and then take a stroll in the Wood of Peace outside of the city, where 4.000 trees were planted at the 50th anniversary of the battle.
Also known as the capital of cool, Antwerp is known for its nightlife and its medieval buildings. Antwerp is also the biggest diamond center in the world. It doesn’t cost a penny to admire the stones.
7. De Haan
Albert Einstein used to live in this small city by the sea. It is very peaceful and you can stay at one of the small hotels here or rent a room in villa. Take a leisure walk on the beach or in the forest and don’t forget to take the camera with you!
In 1815 Napoleon’s dreams of founding an Empire were crushed at this historical site. There is a statue of the Napoleon Bonaparte in the city and many souvenirs to be bought.
9. Planckendael Zoo
Hop in the car and in 30 minutes you arrive at thePlanckendael Zoo in the city of Mechelen. Elephants are a new addition to the zoo and it has small habitats that mimic South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Reserve one day for this fun location.
10. Do some Window Shopping at the St. Hubert Royal Galleries
The huge shopping arcade whose construction started in the 1800s has everything for everybody. In fact this motto, in Latin (Omnibus Omnia), is engraved on the fronton of the façade.
Yes, Belgium is not renowned for its size, but is known for the quality of its attractions… Brussels, the Capital of Belgium, is one of those fabulous cities where an indescribable amount of activities are happening every day. Culturally, Brussels is a very open city and all nationalities are represented here, but at the same time a unique home-grown culture is deeply incrusted. Travels to Brussels are easily reached on the western side of Europe, and eastern European countries are also accessible because of its central location.
France has had a big influence on the history of Brussels which explains why French is the first language of the city. The population of Brussels is good with languages and you can find people who are fluent in French, Dutch, and English. This guarantees that integration into the city’s activities will be easy during vacation. The famous statue Manneken Pis is an example showing the degree Dutch and French multiculturalism exists in Brussels.
It is located close to the Grand Place, another important sight to visit in Brussels, holding a place on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. Every two years in August the Grand Place unfolds an enormous carpet made of flowers which attracts tourists from around the world. The Town Hall, King’s House and Guildhalls can also be seen in this charming area of Brussels.
The Royal Palace of Brussels is a must for visitors, as it is a large and truly amazing site. A wonderful promenade is also available in the lovely public park which faces the Palace.
The Cinquantenaire is a park that not only possesses monuments of grandeur like the Triumphal Arc, but close by are interesting museums — the Military museum, Aviation museum, Art museum and the Auto World museum.
The Atonium, one of the most fascinating sights, is composed of 9 steel spheres all connected together, creating a cell-like shape of pure iron crystal. It stands 335ft (102m) above the ground and from the top a spectacular view of the whole city can be seen. Most of the spheres are accessible via escalators, with souvenir shops and exhibition halls.
Flights to Brussels from London are very affordable, and budget packages can be found from destinations around the world. The Cheapest flights to Brussels can be found at rates as low as £69 ($112) from countries in Europe. Driving to Brussels by car is also easy from England and even easier from Germany. Brussels to Cologne, another touristic city to visit, located in Germany, is only separated by a distance of 112 miles (180km).
Budget travelers will be pleased to know that Brussels has numerous cheap places to stay. Hotel New Galaxy is located only 2 minutes from a subway station, the North Station. Prices here range from 42€ – 60€ ($57 – $82). For a more luxurious sojourn the Royal Windsor Hotel is available. Situated in the heart of Brussels only one step away from the Grand Place, rates start at 160€ ($220).
Belgium has a reputation for having delicious chocolates, amazing fries, and tasty Waffles. They also have a high standard of kindness toward strangers that invites travelers from around the world to come once, and then come again, to Brussels.