Belgium is a small and densely populated country in the center of Europe. Nearly 11.5 million people live in this country which you can pass by in just a few hours.
That’s quite astonishing since the Walloon Region in the south is for the most part covered with dense forests.
The other two regions that make up the country are the Flanders Region in the North and the Brussels Capital Region in the heart of the country.
The largest cities in Belgium such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent, are filled with historic buildings, and Bruges is one of the most picturesque medieval cities you’ll ever come across.
In this post, you’ll discover some of the best things to do in Belgium, a country that has an extremely rich history and plenty of tourist attractions that you simply have to visit once in your life.
1. Grand Place, Brussels
If you happen to visit Belgium, then the month of August would be the best time to visit the capital city of the country, Brussels.
That’s because that is the time of the year that the already magnificent square gets covered with an amazing flower carpet, one of the most astounding sights in a city you’ll ever come across.
The setting of this magnificent flower carpet is the location of the most famous landmark in the city, a square that is lined by some of the city’s most iconic buildings
These include structures such as the City Hall and the Brussels City Museum, located within the equally impressive King’s House or Breadhouse.
This in combination with the fabulous Baroque guildhalls makes this a must-visit attraction in Belgium.
Read more on Listerious: 12 facts about Grand Place
Official website: Grand Place Brussels
2. Gravensteen, Ghent
It’s not common that you all around in the city and you’ll come across a medieval castle.
Well, if you walk around in the Flemish city of Ghent, this actually happens as this is the location of one of the most iconic castles in Europe!
The Gravensteen literally translates to the “Castle of the Counts” and the version of the castle we see today was completed in the year 1180.
It served as the official residence of the Counts of Flanders until the year 1353 and had quite a shaky history after that, serving many other purposes such as a court, prison, mint, and even a cotton factory.
The castle was completely restored to its former glory between 1893 and 1903 and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Read more on Listerious: 10 facts about the Gravensteen
Official website: Castle of the Counts
3. Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
The Cathedral of Our Lady, locally known as the “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal,” is the main cathedral in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium.
It’s considered to be one of the most iconic examples of Gothic architecture and was completed between 1352 and 1521.
Unfortunately, it was never completed as it was supposed to have two towers instead of just the one we see today.
The tower of the church reaches a height of 123 meters (404 feet) which makes it the tallest church in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg).
If you plan to visit Antwerp, make sure to enter this church because it features some of the most amazing works of art ever created.
Some of these are “The Raising of the Cross,” “The Assumption of the Virgin Mary,” and “The Descent from the Cross,” all three created by Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens.
Official website: De Kathedraal
4. Atomium, Brussels
Built for the same purpose as the iconic tower in the capital of France, the Atomium was built for the 1958 Brussels World Fair.
The structure represents an atom and consists of 9 huge stainless steel-clad spheres that have a diameter of 18 meters (59 feet) each.
The structure reaches a total height of 102 meters (335 feet) and the top sphere provides some of the most amazing views of the city possible.
The tubes that connect the spheres allow visitors to move from one sphere to the other as 5 of the 9 spheres can actually be accessed, each with a different purpose.
The Atomium also houses a museum and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brussels.
Read more on Listerious: 7 facts about the Atomium
Official website: The Atomium
5. Canals of Bruges
Bruges is the capital city of the West-Flanders province of Belgium, and even though it’s far from being the biggest city in the country, it’s definitely a must-go location when you plan to visit Belgium.
The unique medieval atmosphere of the historical center of the city is unique in many ways, and the canals of Bruges have resulted in the city being referred to as the “Venice of the North.”
The Golden Age of the city was between the 12th and 15th centuries, a period in history in which Bruges was one of the richest cities in Europe.
The city is full of historic buildings which have resulted in the entire city being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most popular ways to discover this picturesque medieval city is by taking a boat ride on the canals of Bruges, an amazing experience, that’s for sure!
Official website: Canals of Bruges
6. Hallerbos, Halle
The tourist attractions in Belgium aren’t all cities and historic buildings. The country offers some of the most fascinating feats of nature as well.
One of these remarkable spectacles can be admired in a magnificent forest called the “Hallerbos.”
This amazing piece of nature covers an area of 552 hectares (1,360 acres) and is for the most part located in the city of Halle near Brussels.
During the Springtime, huge crowds of tourists from all over the world come here to admire the bluebell carpet that covers the forest floor.
That’s why the first is sometimes referred to as “The Blue Forest.”
Unfortunately, this spectacle can’t be admired throughout the year as there are only a few weeks of the year that these flowers bloom.
Official website: The Hallerbos