12 Reasons to Visit Belgium

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I asked myself and others the question a few years ago, “is Belgium boring?”, before finally deciding to travel there to see for myself. I have since been asked the very same question by other travellers wanting to know if I enjoyed Belgium, what I did when I was there, and would I go back again? The final question is I suppose a way of determining just how much I liked it — of which I can say a lot, as I have already re-visited and would not hesitate to visit again. So why do I love Belgium so much if it is so commonly referred to as boring? Read on to find out my top reasons to visit Belgium!

Gent Belgium

Picturesque Towns: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp

The first and most obvious reason to visit Belgium is for the incredible architecture, scenic small towns on lakes, and even a large city such as Antwerp that has so much to offer despite its larger size. The town of Bruges is undeniably the biggest tourist drawcard in Belgium. It is picturesque, charming and impossibly quaint – making it my favourite town in all of Belgium. While the streets are filled with tourists in the warmer months, the colder months at the beginning of the year (December is impossibly busy thanks to Christmas) are some of the best months to visit, as the streets are much quieter. But don’t just come to Belgium to visit Brugge! Just a short 20 minute train ride back towards Brussels is the equally gorgeous town of Ghent – a popular student city with an incredible amount of charm (pictured above). My third favourite in Belgium is Antwerp – a much larger city and constantly referred to as the fashion capital of Belgium. Antwerp is much nicer to visit than Brussels, with a great coffee culture, small boutiques and great local designers to match. This is perhaps the hotspot for 20s-30s year olds to kick back and spend a few days.

Read more: 48 hours in Ghent; 48 hours in Antwerp; 5 Things you Must Do in Bruges



If a picture could tell a thousand words… this one would be breaking the quota. If you haven’t tried a Belgian Waffle at least once in your lifetime, where have you been hiding!? Belgian waffles are popular throughout Europe and the rest of the world, but nowhere do they taste better than in Belgium itself. One of the most underrated points to be made about Belgium is the food… and it doesn’t stop at waffles!



Lets not forget about the national comfort food: Frites (fries). Now let me say this once and once only (if even just for effect), but you will not for the life of you find better fries in the world than those you will eat in Belgium. Yes, they’re likely to be double-fried. Yes, they’re even more likely  to be triple fried. But the most important part is yes, they taste damn good! One more tip: don’t skip out on either the ketchup or the mayonnaise. This is what makes them as fantastic as they are. Go for both or don’t bother at all!


Take a step back and let life pass you by

There’s a longstanding stigma that Belgium has worn for years: that it is boring. Indeed, when considering Belgium for the first time on my travels (it was strategically between France and the Netherlands by train), I thought to myself “What is even in Belgium!?” Sure, it gets a bad wrap for its weather and slow pace – but that is precisely what makes it so enjoyable! Belgium is the perfect chance to stop, relax, and let life pass you by. It is the perfect break between Paris and Amsterdam, just as long as you don’t spend that break in Brussels! (Read more: Is Brussels boring?)


Incredible Architecture

The architecture throughout Brussels is incredibly impressive and among some of the most intricate in Europe. The main squares (known as Grote Markt) are an absolute must visit and often feel like a time warp into a former era.

tintin in Brussels

Comic Culture

If comics are your thing, then you just might have a reason to visit Brussels – home to an array of clever murals featuring the famous (and famously Belgian) cartoon, Tin-Tin.



…Because you’ll need something to wash down those frites. Beer is an institution in Belgium and it is here where you will find plenty of tasty delights to keep you busy or ladies, if you want to take a moment or two to yourselves to take advantage of the Euro, you can send your boyfriend/partner/husband to the local nearby.


Diversity – languages

One of the most fascinating parts of Belgium is its diversity. The country is technically split in two – with the Dutch-speaking Flemish in the North and the French-speaking Wallonians in the South. In Brussels this is even more diversified, as it is the capital of the European Union and thus full of migrants from all over Europe. It is truly as diverse as they come!

Bruges, Belgium

Christmas Markets

Sure, they’re nearly everywhere in Europe (nowadays even on the Champs Elysees), but some of the most gorgeous Christmas Markets are in the small Belgian towns, just waiting for you to come, eat, drink, and be merry!

Vegetarian Main Course

Vegetarian Capital of the World

When I first heard of a self-dubbed “Vegetarian capital of the world”, I knew I had to find out more. As it turns out, the small town of Ghent in Belgium is extremely vegetarian friendly and even has a “Veggie Thursday”, where it encourages non-vegetarians to eat veggie for one day a week, every week! If you do go to the vegetarian friendly city of Ghent, see here for the best vegetarian restaurants in Ghent.

Train travel, Europe

Ease of train travel

Belgium is a relatively small country and thankfully has great train connections throughout. From Brussels you can reach Ghent in under one hour and Bruges in just over one hour, with bigger cities like Antwerp also only an hour away from the capital. Belgium is also well connected with the rest of Europe, closeby to the likes of Paris and Amsterdam.

Gent Belgium

Because Belgium isn’t Boring!

And so we conclude on the fact that no, Belgium is not boring and yes, you should stop by on your European travels. Belgium is a great country to stop in for a few days if travelling on popular train routes, especially if travelling from Paris through to the Netherlands and beyond. Be sure to make it a quick stop in Brussels, as the best of Belgium is arguably outside of the capital – a short train journey into the countryside (Brugge and Ghent) or further on towards Antwerp.


Have you been to Belgium? Where are your favourite cities and small towns?

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    April 1, 2016 at 12:51 am

    I agree with your analysis. However, do not forget the gem that Mechelen is. It is a smaller towen between Brussels and Antwerp and has more historic heritage buildings than Bruges! Definitely worth a visit!

    March 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    This dude sounds like Brussels has nothing to give. He’s completely wrong, I am from Belgium. Spend lot’s of time in beautiful Ghent and some time in Antwerp. It’s beautiful and all that BUT in Belgium there is one only one city that tops them all and that’s Brussels folks! Don’t miss out in Brussels, go check out place Saint-Catherine (there is this church always with youth coming together, feels like a backyard in summer) the atomium, grand place, …
    Not to forget the good bars and the DELIRIUM BAR, with over 3000 beers, you can get any beer you wish there. I would say, spend the same amount of time in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp. Don’t listen to him about Brussels, he doesn’t know. I feel like i needed to say this :’) thanks

    November 30, 2015 at 2:35 am

    I really like Belgium, even though I’ve only been to Brussels so far!
    I’ve heard Ghent is just gorgeous, actually, and way better than Bruges! So i’ll definitely come back to the country to see for myself 🙂

    Shelby Vogl (This Wild Romance)
    November 25, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I have been wanting to go to Belgium for so long and your post definitely made me want to go even more. Any place that is famous for beer and fries is a must see for me.

    November 24, 2015 at 4:35 am

    very thanksa dmin

    November 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t know why people would say Belgium is boring — it’s awesome! The architecture, landscapes, food, and the easiness of getting from one place to another makes it a great place to visit! It’s sadly been quite some years since the last time I was there (that time, I was in Bruges), but I can’t wait to visit again 🙂 Hoping to get a bit more of Brussels next time!

    November 23, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Having lived in Bruges my entire life I feel incredibly honored that you think of us so highly – which is totally deserved.
    Thank you for this post, the weather has been horrible these last few days, but this made me – almost – fall in love with it!
    All of mine and Bruges’s love,

    November 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Wonderful, informative post and fantastic photos. I’m saving this for trip planning!

    November 19, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Thanks for the informative post about Belgium! I am planning to stop by Belgium for 2 days in my upcoming trip early next year. Between Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Brugge, which one should I visit and spend more time in?

      November 19, 2015 at 6:26 am

      It depends what you want to do.. I can recomment also Kortrijk and Ieper..

    • Brooke Saward
      November 20, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Don’t miss Ghent and Brugge! You could do each of them in a day (each) and then a day in Antwerp if you’re in a rush! I spent a couple of days in each and loved them all 🙂

    November 19, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for reviewing my country! I was born and raised here and although I do complain sometimes, I would never leave.. I live in the country side near Brussels, so it’s the closed big city.. I studied there for 5 years and you do underestimate the beauty of the city.. Take a tour with a local and you will love it even more!

    November 19, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Can’t wait to visit Belgium! I would go for the food alone, but am very excited for the architecture and to experience their way of life!

    November 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I was lucky enough to travel to Belgium and visit Brussels and Bruges. I absolutely loved my stay in Belgium, a great country with very nice people.

    November 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Agreed! I went to Belgium for the first time this summer and I loved it. The food kind of won me over too – you can’t go wrong with waffles, chocolate, and fries with mayo.

    November 18, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Born and raised in Belgium, I ended up running away from my country mostly because of the cloudy weather, after having lived in Spain and having experienced what it is to live in a sunny country. Although I will probably never come back to live in Belgium, I still love my country but I’d like to thank you for this article, and for giving me reasons to like it a bit more :). Because I also happen to thin that Belgium is boring sometimes! Another thing that I like a lot about my country, it’s the multiculturalism and the openmindness we usually have. Some foreign friends living in Belgium made me realize that Belgian people tend to be more tolerant than other people. I think it’s also related to the fact that we’re a small country and we’re not really confident in what we are, so we don’t want to judge other people ahah :).

    Daniela Frendo @ Grumpy Camel
    November 18, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Beautiful! Must go – at least for the waffles.

    November 18, 2015 at 3:46 am

    I love Belgium! I went there earlier this year to Brussels and Bruges and loved it. I wish i had known about Ghent being super veggie friendly being one myself!

    Sarah - Tasting Lifestyle
    November 18, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for promoting my home Belgium, lovely post. Off course the chocolate we have is the best in the world! 😉

    November 18, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Thank you Brooke for making this post about Belgium. As a born and raised girl in Belgium I don’t always see ‘all’ the benefits. Thanks for pointing them out to me! I’m not a huge fan of the beer and fries (I’m used to them), but I do love Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp just like you. Although Brussels has it charm when it’s not crowded with tourists.

    If you (or someone else) ever needs a tourguide you can always contact me. I would love to show you some hidden gems across Belgium 😉

    November 17, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Loved Belgium, loads of history,art, chocolate and diamonds! We saw so much in the week we stayed there, and easy to access every city with our Benelux pass! Would love to return one day

    November 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I love Belgium. Bruges and Ghent were just a perfect, I loved everything. However I didn’t like Brussels. I always love all your travel tips…

    November 17, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Those are pretty good reasons.

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    November 17, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Belgium is one of the only places in Europe I haven’t visited and I really want to fix that! Those waffles look so good, omg.

    Tessa at

    November 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you for being so nice about my country! However, I think you underestimate Brussels. It’s a city with a lot of hidden secrets. Like you said; it has a lot of diversity which makes it beautiful. But it has more than that. The best bars are in Brussels, i’m talking about jazz bars, bars with 300 different beers, bars with cats, etc etc. Also the city is beautiful to see by night. But most of all, the people are so openminded in Brussels and are very likely to talk to you and party with you all night long, even though they only met you for 5 minutes. I hope you get the opportunity to visit Brussels once more and hopefully you will discover the hidden gems of Brussels! 🙂

    November 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I can’t believe you forgot the chocolate! 🙂 But honestly, I’m a Dutchie living in Belgium, and it’s not so bad here. I definitely agree on being able to enjoy the slower pace, the fries, and the beautiful cities. I studied in Antwerp for a few years and it’s a really great city.

    November 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I am studying in Brussels for one semester abroad and I love the country! I have fallen in love with the smaller cities – especially Ghent! 😉

    Toy Wholesale Australia
    November 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Belgium is a beautiful country .

    November 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    OMG you forgot the chocolate !!!
    We’re also well known for that 😀 guess we are pretty known for our food haha!
    & yes Ghent is really beautiful, sometimes you forget it because you’re used to it but this post makes me open my eyes again 🙂
    Lots of love from someone who’s born and raised in Ghent. xox Lyn

    November 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Lovely post! I visited Brussels for just two days last month as a stop between Paris and Amsterdam and totally fell in love. I can’t wait to go back to see more of Belgium. The frites…heaven. 🙂

    Madi @ Restless Worker
    November 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Yay! Good thing I’m going to be going over the Christmas holidays 🙂 I can’t wait! Although how I’m going to fit these 12 things into four days is another problem …

    November 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I’m a Malaysian, but was born in Brussels, Belgium – needless to say, I am in love with my birth country! We left when I was 4, but I revisited on my 18th birthday – the food alone is enough to convince me to go again! 🙂 Yay for Belgium!

    November 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Just 2 words: Thank you <3

    -one proud Belgian girl 🙂

    Jenn Flo Taylor
    November 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I so badly want to get to Bruges! Those waffles look exceptionally delicious! Reading this makes me want to get there even sooner!

    Charlene Precious
    November 17, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Great tips on traveling to Belgium. Love the country, especially the waffles! Great photos as well.

    November 17, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Loved your review of my country!

    November 17, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Loved your review on Belgium, I totally agree with all you said about my country!

    November 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Belgium looks so lovely, I’m intrigued to visit the vegetarian capital of the world! x

    November 17, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I would LOVE to visit Belgium sometime!

    November 17, 2015 at 8:20 am

    glad you love my city, Antwerp 🙂

    Oona Loontjens
    November 17, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Travelling by train is easy if they don’t strike or have delays…
    But indeed our little country is perfect for tourists 🙂

    November 17, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I just visited Bruges a week ago (wrote about it on my blog) and it is absolutely stunning! Belgium is such a great and underrated country, yet it has so much to offer. Totally agreed with everything in this post.
    Can´t believe I hadn´t been there before, since I live in Germany, only a few hours away.

    November 17, 2015 at 7:35 am

    It looks lovely! Oh I love the waffles…when I was in 1st Grade we were Belgium for International Day in Girl Scouts and we sold waffles.

    November 17, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Belgium actually has 3 official languages… German is also an official language as well as French and Flemish! And of course English the 4th and unofficial language. There are probably more English speakers than German speakers! Haha I lived in Brussels for 7 years and I absolutely loved it, I would live there again – the chocolate is the best (of course) and it most definitely is not boring! 🙂

    November 17, 2015 at 7:10 am

    I’ve visited both Brugges and Ghent before and the cities are too cute! Plus the waffles are amazing!

    November 17, 2015 at 7:05 am

    I am so in love with Bruges! It is so walkable and absolutely breathtaking! Great post, I need to see more of Belgium and, of course, eat more frites 🙂