10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belgium
Yes, history buffs, this is Waterloo; The place where Napoleon was defeated in the famous battle.
Today, the countryside where war once took place is a bucolic landscape of farm fields, but an artificial hill rises from the surrounding flatlands with a colossal lion statue on top to celebrate the day Napoleon’s army finally stopped.
For anyone interested in the history of Belgium and greater Europe, Waterloo is a must-visit destination.
2. Grand Place (Grote Markt), Antwerp
To the right of Antwerp is the city’s impressive Grand Place (also known as the Groote Markt), which boasts some of the finest examples of Belgian guild house architecture with its distinctive roofed form.
The town hall here is a well-preserved example of 16th-century architecture, and the interior is worth a visit for its collection of paintings depicting the history of Antwerp.
The guild houses that still surround the square are the main reason to visit the Grote Markt.
Among the best facades are Cooper’s House and The Grocer’s House, but all are well-preserved examples of Belgian architecture.
3. Simos Valley
A nature lover’s delight, the Simos Valley provides a much-needed dose of lush countryside after all that historic wanderings in Belgium’s cities and towns.
Here, in the southern corner of the country, the Samuis River cuts through farmland that overlooks forest-covered hills. It is Belgium’s main picnic area and is also a good place for a riverboat trip following the river’s winding curves.
Villages such as Membre, Laforet, and Alle offer good accommodation options, from mid-range guesthouses to camping within the area.
Come in the spring to see the valley at its most beautiful when wildflowers are in bloom.
4. Ancient Mons
The old city of Mons is a joy to explore.
At the center is the Grand Place, a central square with a variety of ornate buildings spanning a period of 400 years, dating from the 15th and 18th centuries, all while maintaining a sense of harmony.
In particular, the Toison d’Or House (1615) and the Church of Saint George (1604) are architectural highlights.
Away from the Grand Place, the old town hides many sightseeing opportunities.
The UNESCO-listed bell tower on the hill above the town and the Saint Vaudreu Church, whose interiors are filled with artistic and religious relics, are the main attractions.
5. St. Peter’s Church, Leuven
St. Peter’s Basilica, with its arched windows and buttresses, is one of the best preserved examples of the Brabant Gothic style in Belgium.
The church is located in the heart of Leuven on the city’s main square, or Grote Markt.
Also inside the impressive 15th-century church architecture, art lovers will find an added treat. The choir and ambulatory are home to a museum dedicated to religious art, which displays some of the best Flemish paintings depicting biblical scenes.
In particular, the Baroque carved pulpit and Dirk Boots’ Last Night painting are worth seeing.
6. The Wives’ Castle
This medieval castle in the style of fairy tales, equipped with round towers and richly decorated from the 18th century, is a tourist attraction in the province of Namur.
The architecture of the current Vêves Castle (Château de Vêves) dates back to the 15th century, as the earlier castle was destroyed by fire in the 12th century. However, this hilltop site, which conveniently guarded the main road between Danent and Rochefort, was the site of a fortified building as early as AD 670.
The castle is recognized as the best preserved example of medieval castle architecture in Belgium.
The castle is located on the edge of the village of Seals and is easily accessible from both Dinant and Namur.
7. Raversside Atlantic Wall
In Ostend, the historic site of Raversyde Atlantikwall is set amidst a large nature park of forests, meadows, and coastal dunes.
Inside is the Atlantikwall war shelter complex. It is one of the best preserved sections of the German defense line, which ran along the coast of occupied Belgium during the First and Second World Wars.
The Atlantikwall complex here consisted of WWI Aachen Battery and WWII Saltzwedel-neu Battery with tunnels, slipways and artillery positions between the coastal dunes.
Also within Raversyde Atlantikwall is the archaeological site of Anno 1465, which includes built houses from the medieval fishing village of Raversyde and a museum about the history of the site.
8. St. Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent
This magnificent cathedral, with its high Gothic choir and Romanesque crypt, showcases the finest religious architecture in Belgium and is a top tourist attraction in Ghent.
While the tall building, with its matching glass windows, is a highlight in itself, most people come to see the distinctive artwork that adorns the interior. Especially the Flemish masterpiece known as the Ghent Altarpiece.
Once you’ve seen the painting, don’t miss the mammoth crypt below the cathedral, which contains important tombs and some beautiful frescoes.
9. The Art Museum of Antwerp
Once home to the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the port city of Antwerp is now a prime destination for art lovers.
The palace-style house where Rubens lived and worked since 1610 is now the Rubenshuis Museum, which houses a large collection of the artist’s paintings and his life (including several periods of service as a diplomat). Show. pattern
The house itself is a tourist attraction with its peaceful manicured gardens. Ornate Italianate courtyard and façade.
Besides the Rubens permanent collection, the Rubenshuis also hosts a program of temporary exhibitions.
The Antwerp Museum of Modern Art is also located in the city and contains a world-class collection of contemporary art by Belgian and international artists.
10. Horta Houses and Museum
Victor Horta was the most influential architect and designer of the early 20th century known as Art Nouveau.
Many of his magnificent buildings have survived in Brussels and are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Start at the Horta Museum, housed in his former home and studio, preserved as he designed them, with original stained glass, mosaics, woodwork, and decorations.
Horta pioneered an artistic revolution that enhanced and diffused natural light and incorporated themes of nature into his intense curves. Horta’s aesthetics included attention to every detail of construction and decoration, from the layout of the house to its furnishings to the ornamentation of hinges and doorknobs.
Both included buildings that housed his home and studio displaying Art Nouveau at its height, and four of his grand homes – Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde and Maison & Atelier Horta – are also listed on the UNESCO site.