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12 Most Beautiful Places in Belgium

Here’s a comprehensive list of the most beautiful places in Belgium you should explore!

Belgium is more than just what it’s popularly known for worldwide—namely waffles, beer, French fries, and chocolate—because it’s so much more than just fantastic food! 

A country with a rich history and diverse landscapes, it’s a treasure trove of enchanting destinations and medieval and modern architectural marvels. 

If you’re looking for your next vacation destination, you’ve come to the right place: I’ve listed down the most beautiful places in Belgium that should be on your list. 

Whether you’re looking for a place with natural wonders, historic sites, or even both, there’s something for you as you travel Belgium!

a canal in bruges, belgium at sunset, a view of a town with buildings and a high church with a mountain at the back reflected on a body of water
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Overview: Most Beautiful Places in Belgium

  1. Explore Bruges
  2. Brussels Museums
  3. Ghent’s canals

1. Bruges

an aerial view of bruges with roofs and the belfry

This is on top of my list as one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium because of the overall fairytale feel of Bruges! 

From the picturesque canals around it, which make for a fantastic backdrop everywhere you go, add the medieval architecture, and it’s as close as you get to stepping back in time. 

  • Make sure to visit the iconic bell tower where the Belfry of Bruges is—it also provides a great view of the city from above that I found breathtaking! 
  • As far as charming streets go, strolling around the Market Square is a good start: it’s surrounded by guild houses, the Provincial Court, and the Belfry itself. 
  • Here’s a must-see: the revered relic in the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a cloth with the blood of Jesus Christ contained in a vial that attracts pilgrims and visitors worldwide. 

To add variety to your trip, go on a bike tour explore and enjoy Bruges from different perspectives! 

Of course, every trip anywhere in Belgium is complete with a food tour so definitely add it to your list of what to do in Bruges in 1 day!

If this city still needs to be one of your best places to visit in Belgium, it definitely should be! 

If your visit coincides with it, Bruges has one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium, if not Europe. It’s not as grand as other cities but has a more intimate, romantic atmosphere! 

If you’re staying for a while, it’s also best to know the best restaurants in Bruges to enjoy some good food.  

Where to stay: In keeping up with the fairytale theme of your visit to Bruges, I recommend staying in the small but elegant Boutique Hotel De Castillion.

Check out Bruges tours

2. Ghent

Castle Gravensteen in Ghent Belgium in summer time.

Ghent is one of the most exciting places in Belgium because of its historic charm and cultural attractions. It is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the country.

It’s become a popular tourist attraction due to its well-preserved medieval architecture and abundant historical events related to the city. 

Getting around Ghent is easy, whether on foot or by public transport, so you can explore the city while enjoying modern comforts!

  • You have to check out the Gravensteen Castle, right in the heart of the city. It is a 12th-century wonder with a museum and exhibits on medieval life, weaponry, and the castle’s history. 
  • Walk down the charming streets of Graslei and Korenlei by River Lys. There are many cafes and restaurants to choose from, and it was an excellent spot for me to get a feel for the locals and their way of life. 
  • Ghent is home to a masterpiece created by the Van Eyck brothers: the Ghent Altarpiece found in St. Bavo’s Cathedral. The cathedral itself is an architectural wonder with stunning Gothic architecture! 

I consider my visit to Ghent one of the best day trips from Brussels—you won’t regret stopping by to learn more about Belgium, I promise! 

Where to stay: If we’re going all out with a historical tour, the best place to stay in Ghent is an iconic building: 1898 The Post, formerly a post office but now a luxurious boutique hotel. 

Check out Ghent tours here.

3. Brussels

atomium brussels, a big silver tower of building shaped as an atom

Since we’re all about the most beautiful places in Belgium, I can’t forget to include the capital in this list! 

This is your chance to enjoy traditional Belgian food in Brussels since it’s the gourmet capital, but, more than that, it’s also considered the capital of Europe. 

You can find the European Commission, the European Council, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament in Brussels. 

One of the most beautiful places in Belgium to visit is Grand Place. Guild houses surround it and houses the City Hall and the Maison du Roi. 

Maison du Roi, or the “King’s House,” is a dedicated museum focused on the folklore and history of the city of Brussels. 

The city is also home to modern wonders like the Atomium, a unique structure that was initially constructed for the Expo 58 World Fair and is now a museum, among other things! 

There’s a reason the capital is one of the best tourist places in Belgium—there’s just so much to see, and you have to visit for yourself! 

Where to stay: Brussels is a mix of modernity and history, so Art de Sejour is a charming bed and breakfast. It’s set in a 19th-century townhouse with modern amenities and is just a five-minute walk from the Grand Place.

Check out Brussels tours now

4. Dinant

a view of a town with buildings and a high church with a mountain at the back reflected on a body of water

Dinant is both beautiful and dramatic, and its location along the Meuse River, backed up by steep cliffs, makes it even more charming! 

It’s among my top beautiful places to visit in Belgium because staying there feels so dreamy: something about the city is postcard-worthy. 

The Citadel of Dinant is a must-see for its military history museum and exhibit on the saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax, but I went to the fortress for a breathtaking view of the city! 

Home to a Gothic church famous for its unique and impressive onion-shaped dome, the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame is a must-see.  

Dinant is also an excellent place for outdoor activities: it’s home to ”the highest adventure park in Belgium,’ overlooking the Meuse.

We’re talking about simple nature walks to monkey bridges, ziplines, and more! 

As far as small towns in Belgium are concerned, this is one place you don’t want to miss out on for a relaxing trip brimming with fantastic sights.

Where to stay: A unique place to stay in Dinant is the former monastery La Merveilleuse by Infiniti Resorts. It is a short uphill or downhill walk to and from town, which means more time to enjoy the fantastic scenery.

Check out Dinant tours here

5. Ardennes

hotels in bouillon, day trips from luxembourg, day trip from brussels, hotel de la poste, ardennes, bouillon, wallonia, hiking in belgium, food, restaurant, castle

Thanks to its unspoiled beauty—lush forests and rolling hills — this has to be among the prettiest towns in Belgium. 

An interesting fact about Ardennes is how it covers areas of two other countries: France and Luxembourg. 

It has the best hiking trails in Belgium. As an outdoor enthusiast, the Haute Sûre Forêt d’Anlier Nature Park provided a great escape from the hustle and bustle of bigger, busier cities. 

Netherlands vs Belgium? Why not both when you can cycle along the Meuse from Langres to the mouth of the river where it joins the Rhine delta, all the way in the Netherlands? 

In this region, you have to take beer seriously, which means visiting several breweries, and there are many

If you’re looking for more things to do in Ardennes, Belgium, visit the area’s smaller villages, including Durbuy. 

Remember to add this to your list of the most beautiful cities in Belgium when you plan your visit! 

Where to stay: The top recommendation for accommodations in this beautiful town is Hotel Bô Rivage. It’s a charming place to stay.

Check out Ardennes tours now

6. Antwerp

Christmas on Grote Markt in Antwerp. Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium with a large christmas tree, a building, and a clock tower at night
Christmas on Grote Markt in Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium

Antwerp is where culture, fashion, and the arts all come together in one of the many beautiful places in Belgium. 

Home of the world’s top fashion academies and known as the world’s diamond capital, this city is one you shouldn’t skip!  

Antwerp is home to the Rubenshuis, former residence and studio of renowned Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens.

Some of Rubens’ masterpieces can also be found in the Cathedral of Our Lady, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the city, and a breathtaking Gothic masterpiece—believe me, you have to see it in person. 

When you arrive in the area by train, Antwerpen Centraal is an architectural marvel, but even then, there’s more to see: the city is brimming with historical landmarks! 

  • As the diamond capital, it’s the best place to buy (and bargain!) these precious stones, and the area with the most stores in one place can be found in Vestingstraat, Pelikaanstraat, and De Keyserlei.  
  • To see one of many unique castles in Belgium, drop by Het Steen, an impressive medieval fortress built between 1200 and 1225.  

For many reasons, Antwerp is one of the most beautiful places in Belgium, and it is worth visiting more than once. 

Where to stay: An artsy city means you’ll want an equally artsy hotel: Hotel Flora with its beautiful vintage-looking rooms—I didn’t feel like I was in the middle of a busy tourist destination!

Check out Antwerp tours here.

7. Hallerbos

violet flowers growing on a land with trees in the forest

Hands down, this is among the most beautiful places to visit in Belgium because of what the area is known for: valleys of wild, purple hyacinth that blanket the forest in spring! 

It’s not just about the flowers, though: giant Sequoia trees make the forest even dreamier—believe me, it’s an unforgettable sight. 

The bluebell forest blooms between mid-April and the beginning of May, so if you’re going to Hallerbos specifically for the flowers, these are the best times to visit! 

It’s also an excellent place to walk to enjoy the scenic forest: the Plateau, Sequoia, or the Roebuck walk.

However, I prefer the last one since it is a more adventurous trail and includes three of the four valleys in Hallerbos.

Since the hyacinths only bloom for several weeks a year, expect to see many other people visiting with you. 

Remember to bring a camera because, flowers or not, the area is so breathtakingly beautiful that you’ll want to capture the incredible views! 

More than just in photos, when you go there yourself, you’ll realize, like me, why it’s considered one of the most beautiful places in Belgium. 

Where to stay: An equally dreamy place to stay in this charming town is Hallerbos B&B—it’s surrounded by nature, and the hosts were superb.

Get the ultimate Belgium travel itinerary

8. Leuven

a view of the second floor and up of the univesity library of Leuven on a bright day

One of the best small towns in Belgium is Leuven, which has a historical ambiance thanks to well-preserved historic landmarks. 

It’s also known as a university town thanks to the presence of one of the oldest Catholic universities in the world, which has a campus across the city. 

The Catholic University of Leuven, also known as KU Leuven, was founded in 1425 and is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious universities. 

The University Library, meanwhile, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture—not only is it a sight for sore eyes inside and out, but it also has a fantastic collection!

I was amazed by the Town Hall for having what I discovered was called Brabantine Gothic architecture; very interesting to learn the other variants of Gothic architecture! 

When in Leuven, don’t forget to visit the “longest bar” in Europe, Oude Markt, which is called so because you won’t find as many catering establishments one after the other anywhere else!

Leuven is certainly worth a visit, and because of its overall historic feel and fantastic architecture, it has to be among one of the most beautiful places in Belgium! 

Where to stay: My recommended accommodation while you’re in this lovely town is Martin’s Klooster—it used to be a 16th-century convent turned into a hotel with modernized rooms!

Check out Leuven tours here

9. Durbuy

radadesh durbuy things to do, a woman in red in a walkway leading to castle manor

Often underrated, Durbuy is one of Belgium’s most beautiful towns and charming in its way! 

The great thing about visiting this charming little town is that it isn’t as crowded as the rest of the country’s more popular destinations. 

It’s an excellent place for a walk, and the medieval Old Town is surrounded by forest and hills—it’s not just postcard-worthy but relaxing, too!

Even though Durbuy is considered the “smallest city in the world,” it still has its castle, Chateau De Durbuy, which can only be viewed from the outside. 

If you’re looking for fun outdoor things to do in the area, which I’m always on the lookout for anywhere I go, don’t miss Adventure Valley Durbuy!

Before I forget, here are a few more things to do in Durbuy. Like the rest of the area, you’ll have access to the stunning Belgian countryside, which is just waiting to be explored further! 

Where to stay: Consider staying at the nearby Hotel Côté Cour, which is very cozy and situated in the center of Durbuy.

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10. Waterloo

facing upwards, a stairs uphill with a lion monument on top

Perhaps one of the top tourist attractions in Belgium, Waterloo is best known for the Battle of Waterloo, an essential event during the Napoleonic Wars.

The battle marked Napoleon’s final defeat, which ended his rule as an Emperor of the French and ultimately led to his exile to the island of Saint Helena.

One of the most visited monuments in the area is The Lion’s Mound, a lion sculpture sitting on top of an artificial hill built to commemorate the Prince of Orange. 

As a historical site, there are a lot of museums to visit in Waterloo, and my top picks include Hougoumont Farm, with its many exhibits, and the Visitor Center. 

The Battle of Waterloo concluded a 23-year-long war, and as in any large-scale conflict, there’s much to learn from its history.

So, we can ensure that our generation and the next don’t make the same mistakes. 

More than just the sights that Waterloo offers, just like any other city in Belgium, this place is also a must-visit for its rich history. 

Where to stay: Le Côté Vert is a top pick for where to stay because it’s peaceful and quiet, plus the overall hotel was beautifully maintained, too!

Check out Waterloo tours here

11. Sonian Forest

a path through the woods with autumn leaves on the ground

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and another area to add to the most beautiful places in Belgium is the Sonian Forest! 

It’s close to the edge of Brussels and is a large area with many beech and oak trees and a diverse flora and fauna. 

It also has an extensive network of well-maintained cycling trails like the Welriekendedreef,  making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts like me! 

There are so many routes into the forest, and it’s all a matter of choosing which is the most convenient—plus, there are guided walks and hikes if you need them, too. 

The Sonian Forest has up to 40 indigenous species of mammals and 18 species of bat and is the only forest in the country with 7 different species of woodpecker in one place. 

For nature enthusiasts, the Sonian Forest is undoubtedly the most beautiful place in Belgium. 

Where to stay: A beautiful place where you can have a quiet time relaxing that also takes you as close to the forest as possible is The House Chantecler.

12. Hageland

best wineries door county, rows of vineyard trees in the sun

Close to Leuven on the east side, this is one of the most beautiful villages in Belgium that you don’t want to miss! 

Think sprawling vineyards and hilly landscapes—that’s the Hagueland, and it’s picturesque at every turn. 

You can choose either a walking vineyard trail or a cycle route to check out the vineyards in the area and enjoy the sights—of course, I did both! 

I learned a lot about the local wines at the Hagueland Wine Visitor’s Centre, where you can also hold wine tastings for a minimum of 15 people. 

Exploring the Hagueland Valley by bike was an experience. The route I chose took me from Leuven, passing by the vineyards of Rillaar, where wine tasting was also an option.  

Cycling in Hagueland offers different kinds of roads: hilly or flat, through forests and fruit trees, and breathtaking sights!

Regarding beautiful places in Belgium, the Hagueland, though less famous, should be on your list!

Where to stay: What about staying in a cozy, quiet farmhouse with a large garden? Hageland Holiday Home is a perfect place to relax and be surrounded by nature.

Get the ultimate Belgium travel itinerary

My final thoughts on the most beautiful places in Belgium

a woman sitting on lovers bridge bruges belgium with a stone house on the background

Historic architecture, bustling central squares, nature… Belgium has a little bit of everything and more! 

You don’t have to travel far to sightsee because of the country’s diverse offerings of beautiful places. 

Make sure to add these enchanting destinations to your list during your trip to Belgium because you won’t regret visiting them.