Belgium may be small, but it packs a powerful punch regarding things to do and see. Belgian brewers were among the first in the world to develop the beer-brewing process, and the nation has over 1,000 breweries. Additionally, the nation’s chocolate matches that of Switzerland, with decadent treats that will cause you to gain a few pounds while you’re there. Many historical places in Belgium will keep you occupied while you’re there. Well, I was overjoyed to travel to Belgium since I knew my itinerary was going to be the best. As a tourist, I visited Bruges, Brussels, and Ghent among other locations. Let’s learn more about the best places that I visited during my travel.
How to reach Belgium?
If you’re planning to land at Belgium international airport from India, I recommend choosing Mumbai as your origin point. The only city with nonstop flights to Belgium is Mumbai. There are 5 weekly flights to Brussels City Airport. Every day of the week, except Sunday and Wednesday, Brussels Airlines runs these flights. This is also the quickest flight, covering the distance in just 9 hours, 50 minutes, from India to Belgium. Moreover, various airlines run additional connecting flights via cities like Amsterdam, Munich, Zurich, London, and Dubai.
Best time to Visit Belgium:
Belgium is best visited in April, May, and June as well as in the period from September to October. These are the best seasons for activities since the weather is ideal, there are many festivals, and nature is at its most attractive. The next season is spring because everyone is anticipating the summer. In Belgium, the high season lasts from July through August, and the low season begins in November and lasts until March.
Getting around Belgium:
Train travel is the most convenient method to explore Belgium. The Belgian train system is excellent; both domestic and international trains operate extremely often, and the stations are typically relatively near to the town centers. With Bruges being the exception, getting to and from the train station requires catching a taxi or a local bus. I simply purchased tickets for this journey at each station I visited.
Moreover, since trains run so often, you don’t need to make reservations or arrive early. There are multi-trip tickets available, but if you just plan on taking this schedule, they are not cost-effective. However, if you intend to stay longer, you may get a multi-trip ticket that will provide you with ten trips throughout Belgium for a fixed price. The prices are either 55 euros for children or 87 euros for adults.
Best tips for Belgium:
Brussels: The capital of Belgium and the seat of the European Union and NATO.
- Belgium’s capital, Brussels, is thought of as having a region that is distinct from both Flanders and Wallonia.
- Belgium is best known for its beer if there is anything. Belgian beer comes in over 3000 different flavors, and the nation has over 200 breweries. The Trappist beer family includes some of the more distinctive and storied types of beer to come from Belgium.
- Rain is always a real possibility no matter what time of year you visit. Even though it’s far less likely to rain in the summer, small showers can still happen, so make sure you take a lightweight rain jacket.
- It’s important to note that ordering tap water to go with your meal is frequently not an option. Instead, you have to pay more money for a drink if you are thirsty while you travel to Belgium.
- Next, you should always have cash on you when traveling between Germany and Belgium. If you’re visiting a smaller independent establishment rather than a well-known chain, smaller transactions under €5 or €10 nearly never can be paid with a card.
- The Christmas Markets in Brussels are one of the best, with over 250 stalls. There is also a multitude of seasonal festivities (including a large Ferris wheel and ice skating). Moreover, one may uncover an all-around winter paradise thanks to its various illuminations and light shows.
My perfect 7 days Itinerary:
- 2 days in Brussels
I decided to land in Brussels with Lufthansa Airlines and explore the city before checking out other places. Brussels is the capital of Belgium, and, in my opinion, of chocolate. The majority of tourists in Belgium surely congregate here. Yet just a few blocks away from the main plaza are great secret lanes and neighborhood restaurants. A monument of a little child peeing into a fountain is the most visited landmark here. There are also a lot of important things happening in Brussels. I found a tour of the European Parliament to be fascinating. But if political science isn’t your thing, you might not find it as engaging.
Next, the Grand Palace, located on the main square, is a mini-Versailles that is extremely spectacular for its size. The royal family does not live at the Grand Palace any longer. Instead, their official residence is the Royal Palace, which is also open for tourists but only during the summer. The Royal Palace seems even more spectacular now that it is surrounded by grounds that you may explore on foot.
Moving forwards, it’s practically required to overindulge in Belgian chocolate while visiting the country. And Brussels’ city layout makes it incredibly simple because nearly every street leading off the main square is lined with chocolatiers. You can’t go wrong if you visit a few places with delicious-smelling aromas and get some pralines to go. As for the accommodation, I decided to stay in a hostel for these two days. I instead spend my money dining on delicious food from restaurants.
- 2 days in Brugge
Bruges: A fairytale-like city often called the Venice of the North.
The city of Brugge (or Bruges) is known for its canals, beer, fries, and, of course, its delectable waffles. The city’s canals are a component that is almost as old as Brugge itself. Visitors can view certain attractions that would otherwise be inaccessible as well as others from new perspectives thanks to them. On my trip, I was curious to check out as many sights as possible. Everyone gets off the vehicle at the train station. I then crossed the Barge Bridge and made my way towards the city. The distinctive shape and vivid red color of this contemporary bridge will attract your attention.
This directs to the Lake of Love, which has a terrace with the best view of the lake and is nearby a park. Beguinage is close to the lake. Women from a 13th-century Christian spiritual community called the Beguines called this structure their home. These women decided to live a life of poverty and service to the sick and less fortunate while giving their all to Christ. In Brugge, it is the sole beguinage that has been conserved. I explored both of these places and even asked some locals about their history. My stay was at one of the nicest Bruges Belgium hotels so after wandering spots, I went to my hotel to take some rest.
Next, I visited De Halve Man Brewery, the last remaining family-run brewery in Brugge. I proceeded to the Church of Our Lady which is also quite peaceful. Then, I ate Brunch while on the way to a shopping center. There, I soon discovered Brugge was quite expensive but still, I bought things to take home. Following, I wandered around the Quai of the Rosary, which is the beginning point of several boat tours. And let me tell you, it was one of the Brugge’s most breathtaking views. The ambiance at this place was wonderful and I couldn’t stop myself from photo-shooting this spot.
- 1 day in Ostend
Visitors having a little more time might like to visit the shore, where Belgians go to unwind, relax, and take in the cooling sea breeze. Its major city, Ostend, is close to Bruges, thus combining the two is an option rather than taking a ninety-minute train from Brussels. The country’s whole shoreline is overlooked by a wall of enormous high-rises that are unsightly to look at.
In addition to relaxing on its dunes throughout the summer, I rode a bike before stopping for some excellent seafood. The vibrant center of Ostend is also home to a large number of independent stores and several museums. Next, there is a sizable casino that also hosts some elite performances and entertainment options; well I went there to try my luck.
Moving forward, the Kusttram is a great way to view the entire nation’s North Sea coastline. With a total length of 67 km, it is astonishingly the longest tram line in the entire globe. You can always get off the bus along the way to explore the breathtaking dunes at Bredene. But I preferred to savor some fine dining in the upscale beach town of Knokke.
- 1 day in Ghent
Ghent: A vibrant university town with a rich history.
In my opinion, Ghent is Belgium’s most attractive town. It is on the Lys/Leie River and is home to a spectacular collection of spires and gargoyles-adorned gothic structures. Flanders is the region that includes Ghent, and its dukes and counts were extremely powerful during the Middle Ages. You may visit Gravensteen, which translates to “Castle of the Counts,” in Ghent to witness how the knights previously lived. Because it is voiced by a local comic, the audio tour at that location is especially useful. It will inform you about how the castle’s former residents used to live without being overly dry.
Besides, the walls of the stronghold offer fantastic views of the town as well. The price of admission, which includes the audio guide, is 12 euros for adults and 7 euros for children. Next, with a large number of eateries and beer gardens with outdoor seating, the riverbank region of Ghent is a food and beverage destination. You can stroll along the riverwalk or find a spot and relax while taking in the sights. I strolled along the riverwalk since I was very much excited to see all that the spot has to offer.
Ghent has a magnificent church. In the center of the square stands Saint Nicholas Church, which is more than 800 years old and very gorgeous. With several enormous panel paintings within, the cathedral also functions as a gallery. To get off the traditional tourist route, see a little more of the city, and pay a little less, I stayed on the other side of the river from the major sights.
- 1 day in Antwerp
Antwerp: A city with a rich artistic heritage and a vibrant fashion scene.
This was my last day in Belgium and I have decided to explore it to the fullest at Antwerp. The second-largest city in Belgium and a historical hub of trade and the diamond business is Antwerp. Regarding lodging, I made an effort to book a place close to the historic district. If I’m being really honest, Antwerp was my least favorite location in Belgium. But that was primarily because a significant portion of the city was under renovation. Since most of the stuff has now been finished, getting around should be much simpler and less noisy and chaotic.
Antwerp resembles Brussels in terms of size, but it has a more commercial vibe than Brussels, which is more of a political hub. Antwerp is unquestionably the place to go if you want to shop in Belgium. This area offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions in addition to shopping. The Cathedral and Rubenshuis are the top two I’d advise giving one day to. The Handschoenmarkt (Glove Market), a square in Antwerp’s Old Town, is where you’ll find the Cathedral of Our Lady, popularly known as De Kathedraal. This majestic Gothic structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Whereas, Peter Paul Rubens, a Dutch painter, lived in Rubens House, also known as Rubenshuis. One of the most well-known European artists, Rubens had a major impact on the development of Baroque painting. Many of his paintings include portraits and are fairly dark. You can view some of his works at the house, which has been renovated into a modest museum in homage to the artist.
I had a great time in Belgium, and if you’re thinking about visiting too, seek cheap tickets to Belgium. There are several of them that can transport you to this lovely land and allow you to discover it in person.
I’m Anurag Rathod and I’ve always had a strong affinity for travel. With my wife, I have set off on a journey to visit every country in Asia. Both of us enjoy traveling, whether it be an adventurous one or a relaxing trip.