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Belgium’s main attractions

The greatest interest in Belgium are cathedrals, castles, palaces, squares, museums, historical, cultural and architectural monuments, as well as natural attractions, they are in abundance in Belgium. And what festivals and carnivals!

Belgium is a small country in Western Europe, where the political and cultural life of the European Union is concentrated. It is worth coming here to see and feel the real Old World with all its pros and cons. Brussels today is the center of European political life. NATO headquarters and the governing bodies of the European Union are located here. Tourists will surely be interested to see all these sights.

Top 15 attractions in Belgium

So, what to see in Belgium? We offer you a brief description of attractions of this wonderful country with their names and photos. Here you can also learn about the customs and traditions of the Belgians.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Tournai

Notre Dame Cathedral in Tournai - Belgium

This magnificent monument of history and architecture was built in Tournai, Belgium, in the 12th century on the site of the burnt-out bishop’s palace, and a century later it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Its architecture is striking in its grandeur, sophistication and simplicity of the Northern Gothic. Inside the cathedral there are ancient paintings that are considered to be examples of medieval painting.

Belgium's landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in Tournai

The cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady and is the seat of the Belgian Catholic bishopric. Notre Dame in Tournai is deservedly considered one of the most beautiful architectural monuments in Europe. It has long been included in the famous UNESCO list. In 2008, the cathedral was robbed of many millions of euros worth of chalices, crosses and other valuable church property.


Atomium in Brussels - an interesting place in Belgium

This monument was built in 1958 for the World’s Fair. Since then, it has become one of the most famous landmarks of Brussels. The Atomium symbolizes that the 20th century is an atomic century, and the atom should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Originally the Atomium had an aluminum coating, but after the reconstruction in 2006 it was covered with steel.

Atomium in Brussels

The atomium is an image of the Fe crystal lattice, magnified many billions of times, and consists of nine spheres or “atoms” connected to each other in a single structure. Tourists can go inside the six spheres and wander there. The spheres are connected by escalators, corridors and elevators. In the uppermost sphere there is a restaurant and an observation deck.

Nemo 33

Nemo 33 is a Belgian landmark

In front of you is a magnificent recreation center, built in 2004 in the town of Ukkel, a suburb of Brussels. It is an indoor swimming pool designed for snorkelers. In Nemo 33 you can swim at your pleasure, both beginners and professional divers.

Nemo 33 in Belgium

Nemo 33 is an extremely interesting place in Belgium. The pool has several underwater windows through which the viewer can watch the swimmers at different depths from the outside. The largest pool in Nemo 33 is a flooded city. There are also many artificial caves, reefs – a real paradise for divers.

Menen Gate

Menen Gate - Ypres (Belgium)

This historical monument, located in the city of Ypres, was erected in honor of the Entente soldiers who died here during World War I. Until the 20th century this city had a medieval fortress. One of the fortress gates was called Menensky, as. Through them the road led to the neighboring town of Menen. But at the beginning of the war they were completely destroyed by German troops.

In Belgium, the Menin Gate is worth seeing

During the war, many soldiers died defending this strategically important city near Ypres. It was here that Germany first used chemical weapons – mustard gas. Most of the dead were British subjects, so in 1927 the new Menen Gate was built with funds from that country. Today, plaques with the names of tens of thousands of soldiers missing at Ypres are affixed to the inner walls of the gate.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts

Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium

This complex of city museums in Brussels and Ixelles appeared at the very beginning of the 19th century. They hold and exhibit many collections of paintings and sculptures, which are the property of the state. In particular, these are museums of ancient art, contemporary art, René Magritte, Wirtz, Meunier, etc.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

All of them are definitely on the list of the main attractions of Belgium, because. Here you can see invaluable collections of Flemish paintings, works by Pieter Bruegel and Rubens, paintings by van Dyck, the Little Dutch, Hieronymus Bosch, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Engres, Paul Gauguin, van Gogh, sculpture by Rodin, etc.

René Magritte Museum

René Magritte Museum - Belgium

For connoisseurs and lovers of the work of this famous Belgian artist, a visit to this museum is a real treat. The René Magritte Museum was opened in 2009, and even the building itself is dedicated to his surrealist paintings. Today it exhibits more than two hundred works, i.e. has the world’s largest collection of this master’s work.

Belgium's main attractions - the René Magritte Museum in Brussels

The Magritte Museum is part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts. But the Belgians love the works of their best surrealist painter so much that they set aside a separate building for them, turning it into a surrealist artifact. Since its opening, it has been one of the most visited museums in Belgium.

Antwerp Central Station

Antwerp Central Station - a Belgian landmark

One of the famous architectural landmarks of Antwerp and Belgium is the train station, which according to many surveys is considered one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Its construction began in the late 19th century, and the station was put into operation in 1905. After only 50 years, the building fell into disrepair and began to gradually deteriorate.

Antwerp Central Station - Belgium

Finally, at the very end of the 1990s, a complete restoration of this magnificent monument of architecture began, which lasted about 10 years. Thanks to the restoration work, the Antwerp railway station has not only regained its former baroque beauty, but has also acquired many technical improvements.

Belfry in Bruges

Description and photo of Belgian sights - the Bell Tower in Bruges

One of the most interesting places in Belgium is the beautiful ancient city of Bruges. There is a huge number of the best historical and architectural attractions of Belgium. One of them is the world famous medieval bell tower or Belfort Bruges.

Belfry in Bruges - Belgium

This bell tower was erected in the 13th century, when Bruges was the industrial and commercial center of Northern Europe. A steep and narrow spiral staircase leads to its top, which today can be climbed for a small fee to view all of old and new Bruges. And the bells on this bell tower notify the residents of important events in Bruges and Belgium every day.

Historic center of Bruges

Historic center of Bruges - Belgium

Bruges attracts tourists from all over the world. Its main attraction is the Old Town, where you can feel in the present Middle Ages. Bruges was once the commercial and cultural capital of Northern Europe, today many call it the second Venice.

Historic center of Bruges - Belgium

Here even today you can ride medieval horse-drawn carriages, visit the annual fairs and festivals, see the medieval Belfort, the Gothic Church of Our Lady, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of St. Nicholas. Walpurgis, the town hall of the 19th century, etc.

Grand Place

Grand Place in Brussels - Belgium

This ancient square, located in the heart of Brussels, is one of the main attractions of Belgium and its capital. Here you can see the famous Town Hall, as well as the Bread House or the King’s House. The whole ensemble of the square is included in the UNESCO list.

Grand Place - Brussels

The Grand Place first appeared in the 12th century on the site of a former swamp. The Bread House or King’s House was built a century later and the Town Hall in the first half of the 15th century. In the 17th century the Grand Place was almost completely destroyed by French troops, but after a few years rebuilt again. Its modern appearance is close to the 17th century. Currently, every two years in August at the Grand Place is the famous festival of flowers, attracting many tourists.

Peeing Boy

Peeing Boy - Belgium's main attraction

Many tourists, deciding what to see in Belgium, first of all go to this sculpture, located next to the Grand Place. The Peeing Boy is a small bronze statue of a naked boy peeing into a fountain. When and by whom it was created is unknown. There are also various legends about what the author wanted to say.

Peeing Boy in Brussels

Residents of Brussels are convinced that the Peeing Boy (Julien) appeared no later than the 14th century. Interestingly, from the end of the 17th century to the middle of the 20th century this statue was repeatedly stolen, and then replaced by a copy. Today it is customary to dress up the Pee Boy in various costumes for holidays and events, to replace the water pouring out of him with beer or wine, etc.


Mini-Europe in Brussels, Belgium

Mini-Europa is one of the most popular attractions in the country in Belgium, which is a park near the Atomium. Here are miniatures of famous sights and monuments of Europe, selected for their cultural, architectural and historical merits.

In Belgium it is worth visiting and seeing Mini-EuropaMini-Europa park

In Mini Europe you can see the Arc de Triomphe from Paris, the Tower of Pisa, the Acropolis of Athens, the Brandenburg Gate from Berlin, the Benedictine monastery from Melke, the Eiffel Tower from Paris, the Big Ben from London, etc. in miniature. All mannequins are known for the quality of their manufacture, their cost is paid by the EU countries where the originals are located.

Museum of Musical Instruments

Musical instruments museum - Belgium

This state museum is one of the largest musical instrument museums in the world. It has more than eight thousand exhibits in its exposition. There are academic, traditional, and folk musical instruments from all over the world.

Musical instruments museum - Belgium

The museum appeared at the end of the 19th century and was based on Indian folk musical instruments given to the Belgian king in India. Later, the collection was greatly expanded, so today concerts of early music on historic instruments are regularly organized here.

Castle of the Counts of Flanders

Belgium's beautiful castle - the Castle of the Counts of Flanders

The Gravensteyn in Ghent was erected in the 12th century. Today it is the last castle built during the Middle Ages in Flanders. Interestingly, all of its fortifications have been preserved almost in their original form. Many Gravensteyn was the residence of the Counts of Flanders, later a mint, a court, a prison and even a factory.

Chateau of the Counts of Flanders - Belgium

The castle was built in the 12th century. In those days for the city of Ghent it was a symbol of the power of the rulers of Flanders. But by the early 19th century Gravenstein had fallen into complete disrepair. It was later purchased from private ownership by the City Council of Ghent and restored. Today the Gravensteyn is home to the Museum of Justice and Arms, and is one of the most sought-after museums of Ghent by tourists.

Castle Walls

Sten Castle in Antwerp - Belgium

This fortress is located in the center of Antwerp and is part of its fortress wall. It was built in the 13th century and allows you to control the surrounding area for tens of kilometers. From the 14th to the 19th century, Sten Castle was used as a prison, after which it became a museum of archaeology.

Sten Castle in Antwerp - Belgium

Today the Sten Castle is home to the world-famous Maritime Museum. There is also a monument to the Canadian soldiers and officers who died in World War II. The castle is very popular with tourists interested in the Middle Ages.

Video overview of Belgian sights

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