Belgium is a country in Western Europe that fascinates its visitors with its medieval-inspired architectural structures, delicious chocolates, cities reflecting the traces of its deep-rooted historical past, natural beauties and museums. Considered the capital of the European Union, the country has a considerable foreign population as it hosts numerous international institutions and organizations.
Belgium, which has a deceiving appearance that feels cold and distant from the outside with the influence of the bureaucratic culture, is a country that fascinates its visitors with its charming streets, where time flows slowly, exquisite architectural structures with a medieval inspiration, delicious chocolates, cities with a deep-rooted historical past and natural beauties. Belgium is a country that everyone will love, from modern cities with the best quality shops to small villages where you can find the most friendly local people.
Belgium Travel Guide
Belgium is one of the countries located in the northwest of Europe. Bordering with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the country has an area of 31 thousand square kilometers. Belgium, which is among the founding members of NATO and the European Union, is also a part of the Benelux group states along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The first settlers in Belgium, whose history dates back to the 1st century BC, are the Romans. The Romans, who named the new region Gallia Belgica, ruled the region from the center. After the Migration of Tribes, the administration of the region, which was transferred to the Merovingian Dynasty by the Franks, remained in the hands of landlords and small groups for many years.
The Belgian territory, which was the scene of a power struggle between France-Spain and France-Austria during the 17th and 18th centuries, became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815. The country gained its independence with the Belgian revolution in 1830, I. and II. It was occupied by the Nazis during the World Wars.
The mines transported from the colonies to Belgium played an important role in the fact that Belgium, which has established many colonial states in Africa throughout history, is one of the richest countries in Europe.
More than 11 million people live in the country, whose population is mostly Dutch, German and French. Dutch is spoken in parts of Belgium where Dutch communities live, French is spoken in parts of French communities, and German is spoken in parts close to Germany.
Belgium, which has the title of the greenest country in Europe, deserves this title when you see the vast green areas in the middle of its cities. The Belgians’ observance of the rules and the value they attach to tranquility, as well as the architectural order in the cities making the country a livable place, has identified Belgium with the word peace, literally.
Traveling in Belgium brings to mind medieval buildings, beautiful canals, delicious beers and incredible chocolates. But there is much more to this magnificent European country than that. Time passes slowly, people are friendly and kind to tourists.
The capital of Belgium and the European Union, the cosmopolitan city of Brussels, where the headquarters of many international organizations are located, Bruges built around the canals with its fairy-tale appearance, Antwerp with its diamond processing workshops and a busy port, Ghent, the hidden beauty of the country, are some of the cities to visit in Belgium.
Belgium is a country that is very easy to travel in general. In Belgium, English is widely spoken, being a small country, organized cities and tourist-friendly approach attracts a considerable number of tourists to the country every year.
It is not a dream to start with the historical texture of the city of Brussels and take a journey in the past by jumping on a train. Its capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union and hosts the NATO Central Headquarters. Brussels, the city that hosts the most foreign tourists in the country, is literally an open-air museum with its museums, squares and historical buildings.
You can embark on a journey that covers the cities of Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent with pleasant train journeys in Belgium. The second largest city in the country after Brussels is Antwerp, which is also considered the capital of the world’s diamond production. Antwerp, a port city in the north of Belgium, is also known for its colorful nightlife.
Bruges is a city that stands out with its 17th century architecture and New Art Movement masterpieces. Durbuy, located in the Ardennes region of Belgium and the smallest city in the world with a population of 500, is a fascinating stop with its medieval structures that have been preserved until today.
If you have a short holiday plan of two or three days, you can choose the destination you want from this route, and if you have a longer time frame, you can complete the entire route. Prepare yourself for a historical journey and enjoyable images in advance!
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and also the capital of Europe. The general directorate of many institutions that shape European politics is located here. That’s why you might think that Brussels has a very bureaucratic feel. However, Brussels may surprise you with its colorful cultural world, creativity, interesting places and diversity.
Brussels is a small city with a lot of personalities. Blended with Dutch, German and French culture. It is possible to see all kinds of cultures together thanks to the European bureaucrats it hosts and immigrants from Congo, Turkey and Morocco.
The Grand Palace, the square where the heart of the city, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, beats, magnificent European buildings and the modern Ixelles region, the Atomium Tower designed for EXPO, the Chocolate Museum, the Manneken Pis statue of a peeing child are among the must-visit places in the city.
The city is also famous for its waffles and chocolates. There are many cafes and bars with gardens in the city center, which belongs to the 13th century. Shopping is almost limitless, especially in St. You will love Hubert’s spaces, which are equipped with shops, cafes and cinemas.
Preserving all its splendor from the middle ages to the present day, with its chocolate shops, historical buildings and luxury stores in the city’s vital center, the Place du Grand Sablon, St. Catherine’s Church and Comic Book Museum are must-visit addresses to get to know Brussels.
Bruges is located in the West Flanders region of Belgium, 100 km northwest of Brussels. The elegant city on the UNESCO List seems to have been frozen in the Middle Ages. This has made it a very famous and touristic destination.
It is nicknamed the “Venice of the North” because of its pristine architecture and canals that run through traditional 12th-century steep-roofed houses. The spirit and history of the Vikings still roams Bruges’ canals. Famous for its chocolate, beer, lace and flower markets, the city is one of Europe’s most photogenic destinations.
It reflects the richness and creativity of the Middle Ages with its cobblestone streets around the historical city center, historical stone houses, small stone bridges and swans swimming in its canals. Taking a boat tour on the canals reminiscent of Venice, wandering around the cobblestone streets and taking lots of photos, walking in its parks are necessary for you to fully experience Bruges.
In the city, which is very easy and enjoyable to travel, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Madonna and Child Statue, the Holy Khan Basilica and the City Hall are important places to visit. The strikingly beautiful Belfry Tower is located just north of the historic square.
Other not-to-miss attractions include the magnificent Gruuthuse Mansion and the impressive St. John’s Hospital. Renting a bike and walking around the Lovers Lake, visiting Minnewater Park, climbing the Belfry Bell Tower to watch the breathtaking city view, and seeing the Groeningemuseum are among the indispensable activities.
Bruges stands out from its historical weight with its charming views of chocolate shops, calm and quiet cafes, and local breweries that beer lovers never leave empty-handed. If you are one of those who can never say no to chocolate, you may want to try every chocolate shop in the city. The city even has a Chocolate Museum.
Ghent is located in Belgium, in the Flemish region of the Dutch-speaking community, at the confluence of the Schelde and Lys Rivers. The most hidden beauty of Belgium, Ghent is a city of history. It has always been one of the most powerful cities in Europe since the middle ages.
It was considered the second largest city in the Alps after Paris. This rich past is evident when looking at the architecture used in the city’s churches and houses. If you are making a list of places to visit in Belgium, this is a must-have city.
The entire city center looks like it will create a fashion trend on its own, and it still maintains the atmosphere of a medieval city. Especially the old Graslei Harbor and the great Medieval Cathedrals and Gravensteen Castle are among the places that will make you feel this feeling most intensely.
The medieval city takes you on a journey through time with its buildings and squares that excite you with its Romantic architecture. st. Bavo Cathedral, St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Michael’s Church, Gravensteen Castle, Stadeljik Museum, Ghent Design Museum and Gravensteen Castle are among the city’s main must-see addresses.
On the other hand, the city becomes very colorful during the Ghent Festival, which takes place with the participation of millions of visitors every year.
Antwerp (Antwerp) is Belgium’s second largest city after the capital Brussels. Antwerp, one of the oldest cities in the world, is home to the second largest port in Europe. It is a city proudly preserved by Belgium with its medieval texture accompanying the 350 km-long Schelde River view that runs through the city.
Antwerp, which differs from other Belgian cities in terms of its architecturally impressive historical structures and urban aesthetics, has this structure, and has the financial power that has guided the world diamond trade for centuries. Although it is not very historically preserved like Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city and can wonderfully combine history and today in the instantaneous flow of life.
On the other hand, with artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck, it continues to live and keep alive its elegance, history and the sweet harmony it has achieved with today. Among the architectural works of 1351, the Gothic cathedral of the Virgin Mary and St. The legendary combination of baroque and gothic architecture in St. Paul’s Cathedral is worth seeing.
Antwerp appealing to antiques and jazz lovers, the Brabo Statue in the town’s central Town Hall, the Zuid District enriched by design-loving creators, the baroque works of Peter Paul Ruebens and the Plantin Morteus Museum are definitely worth seeing. Antwerp Contemporary Art Museum and Fashion Museum, where examples of contemporary art are exhibited, impress with MoMu.
Antwerp is a city with more than one face. Although mostly known for the ‘Diamond District’, where 70 percent of the world’s rough diamonds are processed, art flows from all over Antwerp. This is the city for those who want great food, great beer and a good time.
The Ardennes (Ardennes) is a densely forested, hilly region, most of which falls within the borders of Belgium and Luxembourg, and some even falls within the borders of France. The region, which has a very rich fauna and flora with its broad-leaved fir forests, lush hills and rivers, consists of small villages scattered in the valleys.
Although the strategic location of the Ardennes has made it a battleground for European powers for centuries, today the region’s beautiful landscapes and outdoor sports such as hunting, cycling, hiking and canoeing allow for practice. For this reason, it is one of the important tourism regions of Belgium.
The Ardennes, which is visited by nature lovers who enjoy sports such as fishing, canoeing, cycling and climbing, especially in the spring, resembles a corner of paradise. Cities to visit in the Ardennes include Dinanat, Bouillon, Malmédy, and Stavelot. There are many wonderful places, such as the Han-sur-Lesse Caves, Bouillon Castle and the modern Barvaux Labyrinth.
Ostend is located on the English Channel coast in the West Flanders region of Belgium. Ooestende, one of the most important summer holiday centers in Belgium, is flooded with visitors during the summer months. Since the city is Belgium’s closest connection point to England, there are direct fast ferry services to England.
Among the places to visit in Ostend are James Ensor House, where frightening paintings and works of art are exhibited, Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk Church, the city’s central church built in 1908, the ship museum known as the pearl of Ostenden, Mercartor Museum, where you can witness the history of the world wars. There is the Open Air Museum, Fort Napoleon, which is used as the German headquarters, and the coastal part of the city.
Mons is located in southwest Belgium, close to the French border. The city where Van Gogh’s home is located is the capital of the Hainaut region. Historical residence of the counts of Hainaut, who had a significant impact on the history of the region.
The city is known for its magical Belfry bells. It would not be wrong to say that it is a visual feast for every visitor with its 80-meter-high tower, winding streets and magnificent architectural examples. Belfry Tower, 87 meters high, is the most touristic structure of Mons.
The Gothic-style town hall is located in the historic square of Mons. The house where Van Gogh spent a part of his life is open to visitors as a museum today. St., where there are great examples of 16th century Jacques Du Broeucq sculptures. Waudru Church should also be added to the list.
Dinant is located in the Wallonia region of Belgium, 100 km southeast of the capital Brussels. Located in the sparkling Meuse River Valley, the city is known for its picturesque river views. The city is surrounded by protected natural beauties.
Grotte La Merveilleuse and Han caves, which attract a lot of attention, are within this protection zone. Some of the caves are indeed much larger and more beautiful than their European counterparts.
If you want to go to Dinant’s temples, remember that you need to book in advance, but Beauraing temple is open every day. Of course, Notre Dame Church, which represents the city, is a work that has been reconstructed by adhering to the original, but still retains its glamor with its gigantic dimensions and beauty.
Dinant Castle, which has an enchanting beauty with its magnificent view on a hill overlooking the city, Freyr Castle saluting the city from the riverside, Charles de Gaulle Bridge with the saxophone statue are among the places to see in Dinant.
Leuven is home to the Catholic University of Leuven, the country’s largest and most important university, operating for over a century in the Flemish region of Belgium. About 35 thousand of the 100,000 people living in Leuven are students, and this young group manages to keep the city very lively and dynamic.
Historic city centers such as Brussels and Antwerp have grown around the Grote Markt Square. Among the historical buildings around the square, St. Peter’s Church, the Belfry Bell, the town hall and the Grand Beguinange.
The rather long streets are brimming with many interesting shops and galleries. It’s a really nice sight when places like the town hall are adjacent to great restaurants, cafes and bars.
The UNESCO-listed Leuven Groot Begijnhof is a well-preserved neighborhood full of flowers, churches and small brick houses. The city’s M-Museum, which has a collection of 46 thousand works, is also among the places to see. Leuven has also been one of the world’s most important breweries since the 18th century.
Liege is the cultural center of Belgium and a Belgian city where industry is very developed. Liège, the third largest city in its country and the largest city in the Walloon Region, is the main industrial center of the region. It has a deep-rooted commercial history as the first place where coal mining started in Europe.
The city is also Belgium’s main educational and important logistics centre. Having the third largest river port in Europe, Liège is connected to Antwerpen, Rotterdam and Germany by the Meuse River and the Albert Canal.
Among the must-see places in Liege are Eveques, the old bishop’s palace, Feronstree, the city’s former workers’ quarter, St. Barthelemy’s Church built in the 12th century, the Meuse River shoreline, Republic Square where the city’s pulse beats, the Museum of Modern Art, Ourthe Valley, St. Lambert Square and Liege. It has a castle.
The main attractions in Liege are the Eglise St-Barthélemy, the Comédie Centrale de Liège and the Montagne de Bueren. You can also take an excellent walking tour of the Coteaux de la Citadelle and see the unique view of the city. Do not even think of returning without witnessing an excellent opera performance at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie.
Tournai is located on the banks of the Schelde River in southwestern Belgium. Located on the French border, Tournai has a quiet atmosphere far away from the chaos of larger Belgian cities. Known for tapestries and copperware in the middle ages, and for carpets in the 18th century, Tournai still maintains this feature today.
The five-towered Gothic and Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and houses the mausoleum of the Virgin Mary and works by artists such as Ruvens and Jordaens. The cruciform cathedral is one of the most beautiful basilicas in Europe.
Other notable churches from the Middle Ages include St. Quentin, St. Churches of Jacques, Ste.Marie Madeleine, St.Nicolas, Ste.Marguerite and St.Brice are among the important addresses to visit in the city.
The bell tower, 72 m high, built around 1188, the 13th century Trous Bridge, the VIII. Henry’s Tower, the 18th century town hall and the tomb of Childéric I, discovered in 1653, are other important historical landmarks.
The fine arts museum, on the other hand, exhibits masterpieces of primitive and contemporary times. Among them are names ranging from Campin and Rubens to Roger Van der Weyden and Van Gogh.
Mechelen is located in the Flemish region of Belgium, 37 km northeast of the capital Brussels. Mechelen, which has a very active life, remains in the shadows as a city that passes through on the route between Brussels and Antwerp. As an artistic production center during the Renaissance, many artists lived here for a period of their lives.
Although it is a very lively city, it does not attract as many tourists as other Belgian cities, but in our opinion, Mechele is one of the most beautiful places in Belgium. The Dyle River runs through the center of the city, which has villages where you can experience traditional village life in Belgium such as Walem, Heffen, Leest, Hombeek and Muizen.
In Mechelen, which was included in the List of 10 Future European Cities by the Financial Times with its young and educated population, St. Rumbold Cathedral, II. Kazerne Dossin , the hideout of Jews rescued by the locals from the persecution of the Nazis in World War II , should be visited.
Start with activities such as breweries, boat tours and immerse yourself in St. It’s only a matter of time before you find it while watching the panoramic view of Antwerp Harbor and this beautiful city from the top of Rombout Cathedral. One place you should never miss is the Carillion School, where students from all over the world come and learn to ring these interesting bells.
Flanders (Flanders) is a historical region on the North Sea coast consisting of the former County of Flanders and its surrounding lands. Flanders, which is located in the Flemish Region in the northwest of Belgium, the region of the Dutch living in some parts of the territory of Flanders, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. In the region whose capital is Brussels, Flemish is also spoken besides French.
The largest cities of Flanders, consisting of 5 regions: West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Antwerpen and Limburg, are Brugge, Ghent, Antwerpen, Mechelen, Leuven and Hasselt. These beautiful Flemish cities, each of which contains valuable historical structures, deserve to be explored.
Chocolate, waffles, fried potatoes and mussels are among the first foods that come to mind when Belgian cuisine is mentioned. You can find endless varieties of chocolate in Belgium, one of the largest chocolate producers in the world. If you are a true chocolate lover, it means that you will return from Belgium with lots of chocolate.
The local cuisine of Belgium has been influenced by many different cultures. Moules Frites, where boiled mussels with vegetable and onion juice are served with fried potatoes, Carbonade, the steak specialty with mustard sauce, cooked with beer, and Belgian stew, Waterzooi, which can be preferred as fish or chicken, are the dishes closest to the Turkish palate for those who want to taste local dishes.
While in Belgium, it is impossible not to try local beers with many varieties. Local beers such as Blonde, Lambics and Dubbel are Belgium’s famous beers that go beyond the borders of the country.
Having a wide beer culture, Belgium’s pleasant cafes are perfect for both socializing and tasting different beers that will contribute to your beer culture.
where is Belgium
Belgium is located in the northwest of Europe. It borders France to the south, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, and the Netherlands to the north. The northern coastline is 60 km long.
How to get to Belgium
Belgium has a temperate maritime climate. In the country located in Western Europe, it is quite cold, snowy or rainy in winter; In summer, the oceanic climate is seen with moderate temperatures. While the lowest temperature is 3 degrees in winter, the average temperature is 22 degrees in summer.
The best time to explore Belgium is spring and autumn. In the country where the ideal air temperature is seen in these months, it is possible to walk every step of the way due to the low rainfall.
It is possible to reach Belgium by direct flights from Turkey . Turkish Airlines and Pagasus Airlines have direct flights between Istanbul and Brussels, seven days a week. Flight time from Istanbul to Brussels is 3.5 hours. Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul Airport to Brussels Airport, and Pegasus flies from Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Brussels Charleroi Airport.
There is also the possibility of connecting to Belgium by plane, bus and train services from many European cities. Antwerp is 29 minutes, Ghent 32 minutes, Bruges 55 minutes and Liege only 60 minutes away by train from Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
Belgium , which hosts the headquarters of many institutions and organizations that are of great importance in European and world politics , is worth seeing with its fairy-tale cities where you can follow the traces of the middle ages, cute villages lined up in valleys, developed and organized cities and delicious food.