Exploring Belgium: 12 Exciting Things to See and Do

By Camille Poire | BLOG

Aug 18
exploring belgium exciting things to see and do

Belgium is a country filled with history, culture, and all sorts of exciting sights and activities. If you're unfamiliar with the country, it can be challenging to dial down on your itinerary. To help you figure out what you can do in Belgium, here are 12 exciting things that you should see and do:

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Explore Brussels' Grand Place

When you find yourself in Brussels, it makes sense that you should spend some time visiting some of the capital's most popular spots, such as the Grand Place.

The Grand Place is a plaza that's home to all sorts of establishments and institutions, both historical and modern. You can see how prosperous this area used to be from the golden gildings on the side of the buildings!

The best thing to do here would be to go on a walking tour, or to join a walking tour that stops by the Grand Place along its route. This way, you'll be able to understand the importance of this majestic square better.

Aside from that, other critical areas to visit on and around the Grand Place are the many museums there. There's the Museum of Chocolate, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Music Museum, and so much more.

Read more: Where to Stay In Brussels? Here Are Your Options!

Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady

antwerp belgium cathedral of our lady

It won't be a European trip if you don't find yourself admiring a church or cathedral at some point. Thus, you should visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, which is located in Antwerp. The Cathedral of Our Lady is Antwerp's tallest building, and it's also a popular tourist spot in the city.

If you're a fan of Gothic architecture, then the Cathedral of Our Lady will be quite a feast for your eyes. You can also enjoy some fascinating paintings around the cathedral.

The Cathedral of Our Lady is a sight to behold, and it would be a shame if you ended up missing this sky-piercing piece of art.

Explore the Musical Instrument Museum

When you visit a museum, more often than not, you look at things there more than you listen to them. But in this particular case, the Musical Instrument Museum is a treat for both the ears and the eyes. In fact, it's even more of a feast for the ears, especially since the labels are in French and Dutch.

Whether you're a music fan or not, you'll find the Musical Instruments Museum worth a stop for its various collections. You'll see familiar instruments, but also some unfamiliar ones. It's easier to create all sorts of sounds now, but back then, you had to invent the music that you wanted. It's an exciting thing to find out what people created to get the sound that they wanted.

Discover Unique Cars and Motorcycles in Autoworld

If you're a fan of cars and motorcycles, you'll find joy in going to Autoworld in Brussels. Autoworld also goes by the name of the Belgian National Automobile Museum.

Back then, Belgium was the second-most proficient automobile producer in the world. It's a simple museum wherein everything is on the floor, and they arrange it by era. So it's like a literal walk through time.

Witness the Iconic Atomium

things to see and do in belgium atomium

If you're looking for a brief stop while in Brussels, you should stop to take in the iconic sight of the Atomium.

The Atomium is a massive structure meant to replicate an atom. You can go up elevators to see the spheres inside the Atomium and get a bit of a history lesson.

Cool Down at the Aqualibi Water Park

If you're in Belgium with your family and your kids, you should spend a day at the Aqualibi Water Park. Your kids will enjoy splashing around in this water park. It is also a great break away from the historical sights that you usually tour when visiting Belgium.

Of course, the best time to go there would be during the warmer months. However, try and avoid the school holidays, so you don't suffer from dealing with the crowds.

Hike at Château de Bouillon

Ensure that you don't forget to pack your trekking poles because hiking at Château de Bouillon is a great way to visit some of the best castles and fortresses in Belgium.

When you hike the Château de Bouillon, the best sight you'll encounter is the thousand-year-old Bouillon Castle. The castle is overlooking the Bouillon town and the Semois River running beside the city.

Although you can consider Château de Bouillon a tourist spot, you will notice that it has a different crowd. The town and the castle are even more beautiful in the evenings.

Have a Whistle-Stop Tour in Mini-Europe

mini-europe-brussels

Speaking of a theme park, another exciting stop along your Belgium exploration would be the Mini-Europe.

Mini-Europe exhibits miniature versions of all major sights that you can find in the European Union. From the Acropolis to the Eiffel Tower, this is undoubtedly an engaging way to give your kids a "short" introduction to the best cities in Europe.

Indulge in Belgian Chocolate

You can't go to Belgium and not even try the world-famous, and arguably the best, chocolate in the world.

Many chocolate shops around Brussels will give you a great introduction to great Belgian chocolates.

Visit a Brewery and Enjoy a Beer

One interesting fact about Belgium is that their entire beer culture has been given UNESCO World Heritage status. Therefore, it makes sense as a tourist to visit a local brewery and enjoy some of that Belgian beer.

There are tons of beers around Belgium that you can try during your stay.

Climb the Lion's Mound in Waterloo

lions mound waterloo belgium

Even if you don't know what exactly happened, you still probably have heard of the Battle of Waterloo.

The most famous site in Belgium involving the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon met his demise, is the Lion's Mound.

You can climb up the Lion's Mound and picture the previous battlefield. You can also enjoy knowing that you're sitting on an essential part of history.

Explore Underground Caves at Grotte de Han

If you want to look at something mystical, you should stop by the Walloon countryside and go to the Grotte de Han. The Grotte de Han is a cave complex with a variety of chambers and even an underground river.

When you're there, try and get the chance to stay the night at the trapper's log cabin. You might be able to feed a bear in the morning.


Final Thoughts

From a world heritage beer culture to a Gothic church towering the city, Belgium is a unique and exciting place for any tourist.

If it's your first time there, try out the activities listed above to get a taste of the best of what Belgium has to offer.

Who knows? You might end up going for round two after exploring these sights we've listed in the article!

Read more:
12 Must See Cities for First Time in Europe
Top 7 places to visit in France

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Camille! I'm a 30-something "ex-French" girl turned world explorer. In 2013, I quit my life to travel the world - and I haven’t stopped since! I have lived in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, and Colombia, and have visited 50+ countries as a location-independent travel writer and affiliate marketer. I like sleeping in hammocks, riding scooters, eating all the foods, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I now share this journey with my nomadic boyfriend Mr B, with whom I recently bought a home base in the mountains of Bansko, Bulgaria.

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