Where To Go On Holiday In Belgium
Dubbed the Venice of the North, Bruges sweeps visitors off their feet with its stunning backdrop of canals, architecture and calm, and it is therefore no surprise that it’s city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Top attractions include the imposing Belfry (if you’re feeling energetic climb the 366 steps to the top for commanding views over the city), the Choco-Story Museum charting the production of chocolate, and its countless chocolate shops (compulsory surely?!). Exploring the city is best enjoyed via horse drawn cart or tour boat, and if you have some money to burn, then the best way to really see the city is via hot air balloon.
Giving Bruges a run for its money is Brussels, a hot bed of art and culture. Countless attractions are littered across the city, most notably the Grand Place-Grote Markt, the Manneken Pis statue and the Horta Museum. A stroll around Brussels Historic Centre is a must, and taking a bike tour is a fantastic way to be introduced to all that the city has to offer.
Other popular city breaks include Ghent and Antwerp, both famed for their architecture. Ghent boasts the beautiful Het Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) and Sint-Baafskathedraal (St. Bavo's Cathedral) as examples of this. To soak up the city relax on one of the many canal cruises on offer. In Antwerp the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Grand Palace steel the show, and its fantastic Antwerp Market Square is also worth a look in.
Outside of the cities is where you can see the real Belgium. The Ardennes are a simply beautiful mix of rolling hills, caves and forests and offer a perfect chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Popular activities in the region include cycling, hiking and nature watching (keep your eyes peeled for wild boar and lynx).
If visiting in February a stopover in the town of Binche is a must to enjoy the country’s most famous festival, the Carnival de Binche. In the few days leading up to Mardi Gras revellers are treated to music and fireworks displays, with the festival culminating in local men dressing up as Gilles (court jesters) and throwing oranges at spectators.