Attractions in Belgium
Belgium – places of interest
Belgium is definitely worth visiting, as the country has a long list of interesting things to do and attractions to offer. Visit cellphoneexplorer for West Europe Travel Guide.
So you shouldn’t miss a visit to the country’s capital, Brussels. Brussels is known for its exciting history and is a prime example of thatCultureBelgium. In Brussels you can go shopping and eat very well. There are also some buildings of modern architecture to be seen in Brussels.
AnothercityBelgium’s must-see is Antwerp. Antwerp has a wonderful old town to offer its visitors. The city is also considered a city of culture and you can also go out to eat very well here.
The city of Ghent has a number of buildings and monuments from the Middle Ages. The city is also particularly suitable as a holiday destination for young people, as there is an exciting nightlife here. Ghent is also known as the city of culture and science.
You should have seen the Belgian city of Bruges. The city is considered to be the most beautiful city from the Middle Ages in all of Europe. Due to the many historical buildings in the center, Bruges is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The beguinages are particularly impressive. They were founded by the women’s community of the Beguines. The special thing about the community is that although they dedicate their life to God, they still do not turn away from the world. The women’s community was founded in the 13th century.
The beguinages are interesting building complexes, as a single courtyard combines houses, churches and some outbuildings. The courtyards are a prime example of life in the Middle Ages, as the structural condition of these is still excellent.
Thirteen of these still preserved courtyards are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most interesting are the beguinages in Kortijk, Mechelen and Dendermonde.
The Benedictine monastery near Liège is also worth a visit. The Stablo Monastery was founded around 650 by the abbot Remaclus. The monastery experienced a boom under Odilio in the years 936-954 and belonged to the center of the Clunyazen reform.
You should definitely not miss a visit to the Val-Dieu monastery. The Cistercian monastery was founded in 1155 in the diocese of Liege near Aubel.
Another interesting religious building to see is the mother house in Antwerp. When exactly it was founded can no longer be traced. What is certain is that it was brought into its present form through structural changes in the eighteenth century.
The Atomium in Brussels is absolutely impressive. The atomium was partly modeled on the atomic compound of iron. It was built by the architect Andre Vaterkey, who had intended it for the world exhibition as a symbol for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
All nine spheres of the structure have a diameter of 18 meters and are held in place by 23 meter long connecting pipes. Overall, the structure has a height of 102 meters. The Atomium is the symbol of Belgium.
You should definitely see the four boat lifts in the province of Hainault on the canal du Center. All four works date from the 19th century and are still in excellent condition. They were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
In addition to this sight, a lift with a lifting height of 73 meters was opened at Strepy-Thieu in 2002. This elevator is considered to be the largest in the world.
A visit to Raeren Castle will certainly be interesting. It dates from the middle of the fourteenth century. Structural changes in the sixteenth century under Philip of Lomont gave it the appearance it still has today. After being restored in 1982 due to a fire, Raeren Castle has been a listed building since 1950.
Reuland Castle is also worth seeing. Today’s ruin used to be one of the largest structures in all of the memories. Reuland Castle was built in the tenth century on the remains of a Roman fort.
Other interesting sights are Alden Biesen Castle and Manneken Pis.
The library tower at the University of Ghent is particularly impressive. It was created by the architect Henry Van de Velde during his years there as a professor from 1926-36.
The book tower is the symbol of the city of Ghent and is an absolute model example of the architecture of the twentieth century. The townhouses in Brussels and La Grand-Place are also worth seeing.
The natural beauties that the country has to offer are the High Fens and the Ardennes. The landscape of the nature park is strongly characterized by moors and heathlands, while the Ardennes are the largest contiguous forest area in all of Europe. The Ardennes are divided into sixteen smaller nature reserves.
Belgium – traveling in the country
Airplane: due to the small size of Belgium, there are only domestic flights between Brussels and Antwerp. However, the journey is faster and cheaperby train . Therefore, domestic flights are rarely used.
Ship: the possibilities in Belgium by ship tootravel, are limited. The company EasyCruiseTwo offers multi-day cruises on the rivers and canals of Belgium and the Netherlands. The British company Hoseasons Holiday Abroad arranges one or two week cruises in Flanders. The start is in Nieuwpoort. The journey then takes you through cities such as Veurne, Ypres, Bruges, Kortrijk and Gent. Prices vary depending on the season.
Automobile: Belgium’s motorways are excellent and there are generally few traffic jams. There are of course exceptions: at rush hour traffic on the bypasses around Brussels and Antwerp often comes to a standstill. The E40 along the coast is often congested on nice and sunny weekends, especially in summer.
When traveling through Belgium, the use of different spellings in Flanders and Wallonia can create confusion. While the signage in Brussels is bilingual, in the rural regions the signs are either in Flemish or in French.
Motor insurance with at least triple coverage is compulsory throughout the EU. It is good to have your car insurer give you the green insurance policy. This is how the correct coverage can be confirmed. In Belgium, car insurance is an integral part of the rental package for rental cars.
Train: Belgium’s rail network is well developed and rail is an efficient means of transport.
Bus: Anyone traveling by bus in Belgium must expect longer waiting times, even for short distances, as buses rarely run. In contrast to the train, buses are only a secondary means of transport in Belgium. The Ardennes area is an exception. Only larger cities are connected to the rail network there. Many smaller towns can only be reached by bus.
De Lijn is Flanders’ public transport company and operates buses, trams and the Premetro. Bus tickets are cheaper directly on the bus than in advance sales.
The Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB) operates buses, underground trains, trams and the Premetro in and around Brussels and in the province of Walloon Brabant.
ThatTransport en Commun (TEC) operates the bus routes in Wallonia. Anyone traveling in the Ardennes will often travel with this transport company. At the bus driver or in the TEC offices there are so-called “Cartes Inter”, cards on which a certain amount can be loaded. Traveling with them is cheaper than buying single tickets or trading cards. Travelers should note that the buses run less frequently during school holidays and on weekends.
Local transport: the main cities have an efficient and reliable bus network and some also have a tram network. In Brussels and Antwerp there is also the metro and the light rail known as Premetro.
Taxi: Taxis in Belgium are metered and expensive.
Bicycle: Belgium invites you to be explored by bicycle. Bicycles can be rented or bought without any problems.