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Top 7 places that you should go if you are traveling to Belgium

By Elif Ipek Demir for

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a state in Western Europe and a member of the European Union. It houses the headquarters of the Union and some international organizations such as NATO. The population of the country, which covers an area of 30,528 km2, is about 11.4 million people. With its impressive history, Belgium is one of the most stunning countries in Europe for sure.

Since I went to Belgium around January, It was pretty cold however thanks to my luck, the first two days were sunny! That’s why traveling around and having fun was easier for me. First of all, I want to start with some tricks. Before buying your ticket to Belgium, make sure that you are choosing Brussels airport. Otherwise, going back to the city center will cost you by bus and I am sure that you don’t want to pay for that! Another one, If your travel plan is during winter, keep in your mind that it will be freezing so, dress according to that.

Before traveling, create your plan according to your interests. Of course, it is better to travel around with someone who knows the city but, you can travel easily with maps or transportation. Be sure that you are leaving your place early in the morning because museums and other public places close around 4 or 5, otherwise, you will not be able to see all those brilliant historical places or exhibits.

Although I am pretty sure that there are more than seven places that you will visit, in this specific blog post, I will just talk about the seven that you must visit. The places that I will suggest are located in Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp.

Let’s start with Brussels.

1. The Grand Palace.

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You can easily travel there by train or bus and moreover, it is really close to the train station so this might be your first occasion to arrive. The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by many administrative buildings and two large structures, the City Hall in the city and the Breadhouse building, which contains the Museum of the City of Brussels. The square is the most important tourist attraction in Brussels and a symbol of the city. Additionally, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. You will be amazed by its structure.

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2. St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral

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In my opinion, St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral is the place where I felt the exact feeling of calmness and peace. Inside, you can find something for everyone. Since the entrance is free, you can spend a lot of time walking around and even praying. Sitting on one of the chairs and enjoying the scriptures will give you the silence that you may try to find. The structure has late-Gothic and Baroque chapels, and it was restored in the 19th century, which is when some of the neo-Gothic ornamental features, such as the stained glass windows in the aisles, were added.

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3. Moving on to Antwerp, Antwerpen-Centraal

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Antwerp Central Station is the main railway station of the city of Antwerp, Belgium. That is why I highly recommend you to go there by train by that, you will see the stunning sculpture. The station is considered the most beautiful example of railway architecture in Belgium today. in 2009, it was named the fourth most important railway station in the world by the American Newsweek magazine.

4. Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp)

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It includes paintings by painters including Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer, and Marten de Vos, as well as a number of notable pieces by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Since this cathedral was one of the first ones that I visited in Belgium in general, I was amazed, and still, each time I check the photos that I took, I am getting more amazed. Even though the entrance is not free, it was worth it. Do not hesitate to pay for it while entering because inside, you can basically find peace.

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5. Grote Markt

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Grote Markt is the central square located in the heart of the old town district of Antwerp, Belgium. There are lots of cafes and bars where you can get a drink or eat different meals. The city’s Renaissance Town Hall and other guildhalls with ornate façades locate it. The bulk of these renovations from the late 19th and early 20th centuries resemble Flemish painters’ depictions of the plaza.

6. Let’s jump right into Ghent, Gravensteen.

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Gravensteen is a medieval castle in Ghent in East Flanders in Belgium. The current castle dates from 1180 and was the residence of the Counts of Flanders until 1353. While visiting Gravensteen, don’t forget to walk around the city center too. Since Ghent is filled with historical buildings, you can see other exhibitions that may make you fall in love with the city. For example;

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7. Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent (MSK)

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Located on the east side of Citadelpark in Ghent, Belgium, the Museum of Fine Arts is a museum of art. There are over 9000 works of art in the museum’s collection, which range in age from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. I recommend you go early because the museum is quite big. While traveling inside, you may get lost in collections and forget about the time as I did! It is important to not leave these museums until the end of your trip since you may miss your bus or flight…

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Brussels was one of the best trips that I have ever done in my life, with awesome exhibitions and welcoming people, my overall trip was brilliant. Even though my trip was just for three days, I suggest you organize your trip plan according to four of five days to see everywhere around the country. Don’t forget to try or buy Belgium Chocolate!

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18 Responses

  1. That’s very interesting! I have never been there but for sure I’ll take into account this article when I’ll go!

  2. Thank you Elif especially for the tips. I was planning to visit a couple of places in Europe but I could not decide before. after reading your post now I am sure that I will visit Belgium!!!

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