From waffles to world politics, Belgium has it all. Check out the top cities around the country for some travel inspiration!
Full of surprises
It may be small, but Belgium is a truly unique and fascinating country with a rich history, great cuisine and huge international importance. It's been ranked one of the most peaceful countries in the world, with an incredibly high standard of living and education. The country has two official languages which are both spoken in the capital city of Brussels. Outwith the capital, the northern region of Flanders speaks Dutch and the southern region of Wallonia speaks French. Keep clicking to check out the cities from around the country that we think are most worthy of a visit!
Although the European Union has no official capital, Brussels is home to many of the institutions of the EU, and even has its own European Quarter in the centre of the city where these institutions are located. The top tourist places to visit include the Royal Palace, the Mannequin Pis statue, the amazing Atomium steel structure and Mini Europe, a scale-model outdoor museum of iconic European landmarks. While in Belgium, it's almost compulsory to eat their world-famous chocolate. La Maison de Pierre Marcollini is arguably the best chocolate in the country, using rare beans from all over the world to make their exquisite chocolate on-site.
Situated north of Brussels just below the border with the Netherlands is the beautiful city of Antwerp. Its port is the 2nd biggest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Its location further inland than most ports allows for easier access to the rest of Europe. Antwerp also has a huge diamond industry and is the producer of over three quarters of the world's diamonds. Its 16th-century guild houses at the Grote Markt, are an iconic sight as well as the Stadhuis (City Hall), its stunning Cathedral, and the Antigoon statue. The city is one of Europe's most important fashion capitals and boasts an incredible collection of haute-couture shops.
Bruges in western Belgium is a beautiful and quaint canal city, which makes sense since its name is derived from the word 'bridge'. The city's boundaries include the area of Zeebrugge, or Bruges-on-sea, so the city actuall stretches all the way to the coast. Not only is Bruges famous for its namesake black comedy crime film, In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell, it's also known for Choco-Story, a chocolate museum where visitors can watch chocolate being made and learn about its history and health benefits! Colin Farrell and chocolate, what more could you want from a city?
Ghent is full of beauty, with ancient buildings like this 12th century medieval castle, Gravensteen. Ghent is great for those looking to experience a similar city to Bruges but with fewer crowds of tourists. The northeastern city is known for its huge interest in vegetarian cuisine thanks to an initiative in the early 2000s to get its citizens eating healthier. Due to its safe, pedestrianised centre, Ghent is the perfect walking city for families with young children. Make sure to visit the stunning Gothic Saint Nicolas' Church!