This list of the most beautiful cities in Belgium will help you prepare your trip through one of the most incredible countries in the world, beyond getting to know its fairytale towns, getting to know some of its most impressive cities. So beautiful that you fall in love at first sight due to its historic quarters of medieval architecture, which concentrate a fantastic network of narrow streets and in some cases canals and corners full of charm, we are sure that as soon as you see the first one you will want to continue enjoying all of them without rest.

In addition to its cities, Belgium is also known for being the country of craft beers, waffles, mussels with chips and delicious chocolate, something that together with its extensive cultural heritage, thanks to the great Flemish masters of the centuries. XV and XVI, which you can discover when you visit museums and churches in the main Belgian cities, will make this an unforgettable trip.

Based on the experience of the different trips we have made to this country, during which we wrote this list of tips for traveling to Belgium and this Belgium guide, we have made this list of what we think are the  10 most beautiful cities in Belgium . Let’s start!

1. Witches

Bruges, declared a World Heritage Site and the great jewel of the Flanders region, is one of the most essential cities to visit in Europe. It is not surprising that it is the most visited city in the country, since its historic center full of beautiful medieval-style houses, cobbled streets and canals, we are sure will leave you speechless. Among its most magical corners are the Muelle del Rosario, the Grote Markt, the Minnewater Park or the Plaza Burg, although the true claim of the city is to lose yourself aimlessly through its streets or take a boat trip through its canals. A good way to discover all its points of interest is to follow this itinerary of Bruges in one day and complete this list of the most essential places to visit in Bruges.

To get to this city you can take a train from any of the main stations in Brussels that make the journey in one hour. For more information you can read this post on how to go from Brussels to Bruges.

 2. Ghent

Ghent, which rivals Bruges in beauty, is another of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and one of the most essential cities in Belgium . In addition to being able to walk through its streets more calmly than in its neighbor Bruges; Ghent also has several channels and a great student atmosphere that will make your stay even more entertaining. During a route through its old town you cannot miss the beautiful Graslei and Korenlei docks, the Church of San Nicolás, climb the Belfort Tower, cross the San Miguel Bridge and visit the Castle of the Counts of Flanders, among many other things . In order not to miss anything important, we recommend you follow this route of Ghent in one day and complete this list of the most essential places to visit in Ghent.

To get to the Ghent station (Gent-Sint-Pieters) you can take a train from Brussels which takes about 40 minutes. For more information you can read this post on how to go from Brussels to Ghent.

 3. Brussels

Brussels, the political capital of the European Union and the country, is for us another of the most beautiful cities in Belgium, although we know that some travelers feel for her a kind of mixed feelings. Its historic center, which revolves around the Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, concentrates a large part of its historic buildings such as the Cathedral and tourist attractions such as the Saint Hubert Galleries or the Manneken Pis, although the city has many more attractions. like the charming Sablon neighborhood where you can take a pleasant walk among chocolatiers, antique dealers and boutiques, and which is also among the essential places to visit in Brussels. Do not forget that another of the best things to do in Brussels is to try various craft beers in specialized places such as the Delirium Café, eat the typical mussels and chips (moules-frites) at Le Marmiton and snack on a delicious waffle from a street stall. 

At the Grand Place

4. Antwerp

Antwerp, known for its diamonds and for being the place where the great Rubens lived for almost 30 years, is another of the most beautiful cities in Belgium.. This city, which was one of the most important commercial centers in Europe thanks to its enormous port, which allowed it to accumulate great wealth that can be seen in the fantastic medieval buildings in the historic center, we are sure it will become one of your favourites. In this case, a route through Antwerp must pass through its fantastic Grote Markt, surrounded by spectacular guild houses from the 15th century, and then continue with a visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady and other charming corners such as the Vlaeykensgang alley, the Church of San Carlos Borromeo or the Plantin-Moretus Museum. In addition to the oldest area, Antwerp also has more modern neighborhoods such as Eilandje, the city’s old port, where its old hangars have been transformed into design venues and cultural centers.

To get to Antwerp’s beautiful central station (Antwerpen Centraal) in 40 minutes, you can catch a train at any of the 3 stations in Brussels: Midi (South), North and Central. For more information you can consult this post on how to go from Brussels to Antwerp.

5. Leuven, one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium

Famous for its great university atmosphere, the small and increasingly touristy Leuven has managed to carve out a niche among the most essential cities in Belgium.since the 30 minutes by train that separate it from Brussels are already worth it, even if it is just to see the spectacular facade of the City Hall, the most beautiful we have seen in the world. After observing all its decorative details, you can start a route that will take you through places like the University Library, the Church of San Pedro and above all, the Gran Beaterio, declared a World Heritage Site. Not forgetting that another of the best things to do in Leuven is to go to the Oude Markt, known as the longest bar in the world, to have a drink on one of its terraces and enjoy the good student atmosphere. A good way to get to know all its tourist attractions is to complete this list of essential places to visit in Leuven. 

6. Dinant

Known as the “Daughter of the Meuse” for its privileged location along the riverbed of the Meuse, Dinant is another of the most beautiful cities in Belgium . Located two hours by train from the central station of Brussels, this city offers incredible experiences such as going up its imposing Citadel by cable car, visiting the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame and crossing the Meuse River to have the best postcard of this small city. sandwiched between rock formations. Other pleasures that the city offers are trying Caracole beer, the Couque de Dinant biscuit, a flamiche de Dinant tart and learning about the history of its most famous son Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone.

dining

7. Mechelen, one of the essential Belgian cities

Mechelen or Mechelen, located in the beautiful region of Flanders and famous for its beer, is one of the best excursions from Brussels that you can do if you have an extra day in the city. Despite the little fame of this city compared to that of its neighbors Bruges and Ghent, it has enough attractions to include it in a trip, such as its fantastic Grote Markt, the cathedral and Tower of San Romualdo with 97 meters high, both beguinages, the palace of Marguerite of York and the Schepenhuis town hall. Another of the best experiences that Mechelen offers is to take a boat trip on the Dijle river that crosses its historic center and visit the Het Anker brewery, which has been brewing the famous Gouden Carolus beer for centuries, the favorite of Emperor Charles V.

clean

8. Namur

Namur, capital of the Wallonia region and located at the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers, is another of the most beautiful cities in Belgium . With the Citadel as the most important place, located on top of a cliff and with fantastic views of the city, this is one of the oldest and largest defensive constructions in Europe, which we recommend you not miss on your visit to the city. After coming down from the citadel, we recommend you to get lost in the pedestrian streets of the old town, starting with the Plaza de Armas and going through its main historical buildings such as the Cathedral of Saint Aubain, the Palacio de Congres, the Royal Theater, the Tower of Saint- Jacques and the Church of Saint-Loup.

To get to Namur you can take advantage of its proximity to Dinant, to get to know both in one day by taking a train excursion from Brussels.

Namur, other of the most beautiful cities in Belgium

Remember that in order not to pay commissions and always have the current change, we recommend using the Revolut card and the N26 card. They are the ones we use, they are free and they will mean a great saving. You can find more information in this article about the best cards to travel without commissions.

9. Liège

Liège, known as the Burning City for the fame of its welcoming, cheerful and party-goers, is another of the most essential cities in Belgium. This city in the Wallonia region fills up with Erasmus students every year, who make the most of its great offer of nightlife and bars, concentrated in the Le Carré area. But in addition to having fun and getting to know its cosmopolitan spirit, this city has an important historical heritage that is distributed throughout the center, around the iconic Saint-Lambert Square, with interesting places such as the Palace of the Prince-Bishops, the Saint-Lambert Collegiate Church, Barthélemy and the Saint-Paul Cathedral, which we are sure will enchant you. In addition to this, its gastronomic offer is also among the best in the country with products such as the Liège waffle, meatballs with fries (boulets de Liège) or Galler chocolate, all accompanied by the delicious local Jupiler beer.

To get to the impressive Liège station, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, you can take a train in Brussels that takes less than an hour to complete this route.

liege

10. Tournai

Tournai, one of the oldest Belgian cities and the only Belgian city that has belonged to the British Empire, stands out for its important architectural heritage that has been preserved since medieval times. The great reference of the city is the Cathedral of Our Lady, which amazes with its five bell towers and which, together with the Beffroi tower, have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Other of its essentials are the majestic Grand Place surrounded by fantastic buildings such as the Cloth Hall or Halle aux Drap, the Church of San Quentin, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Pont de Trous, a bridge built over the Scheldt river.

The best way to get to Tornai is to take a train from Brussels which takes just over an hour.

Tournai
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