Planning a citytrip to Mechelen? Find all the cool places to visit, eat & drink in this locals guide to things to do in Mechelen
the Kingdom of Belgium
Belgium might be a small country, but it is chock-a-block with things to do. Discovering Art Nouveau in Brussels, hiking up old mine shafts in Charleroi and trying one of the 3000 Belgian beers are but the tip of the iceberg.
Nestled between the Netherlands, Germany and France lies the Kingdom of Belgium which just happens to be the country I call home. Belgium is famous for Belgian chocolates (delicious), Belgian beer (deceptively strong), our inconceivably complex political structure and our quaint medieval towns and castles (3000 of them to be precise).
The city of Brussels holds a double function, serving as both the capital of Belgium and Europe. It is home to the European Commission & Parliament as well as NATO. In practice, this means the city is a true melting pot of different cultures with a very diverse culinary scene.
The weather in Belgium is fickle, although not the wettest place in Europe, it is safe to say we do get our fair share of rain. A good rain jacket and a backup plan of rainproof activities are good things to have when visiting Belgium.
When it comes to language, things become a bit tricky in Belgium. The vast majority of Belgians speak English, however, it is not their native tongue. The northern part of the country (Vlaanderen) speaks Flemish while Brussels and the south of the country (Wallonia) speak French.
Where to stay in Belgium
One of the great things about Belgium is the relatively small size of the country, and the comprehensive public transportation network. Base yourself out of Brussels and use it as a hub for your day trips. A one-hour train ride will take you all the way to the seaside or deep into the Ardennes.
Traffic in Belgium
The Belgian traffic is notoriously bad. It is not uncommon to find traffic jams on the ring of Brussels at midnight. Part of the explanation for the high amount of cars on the road lies in the culture of receiving a company car as part of the Belgian salary package. This has cultivated the habit of taking the car over public transport amongst the Belgian population. Traveling around Belgium is often faster if you take the train or the bus.
Places to visit in Belgium
Key facts about Belgium
|Flemish, French, German|
|UTC+1 / UTC+2|
|Right side of the road|
Practical information for visiting Belgium
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly into Brussels International Airport
or the smaller Brussel South Airport (also known as Charleroi airport)
Find a list of comfortable accomodations ranging from local guesthouses to luxury hotels.
Average Daily Budget: $85
Meals $20 a person; hotel accomodations $35- $100; activities (museums) $30
WHEN TO GO
Summer (June – September)
has the least amount of rain and the highest amount of sunshine.
Depending on the country of origin visitors can stay for up to 90 days; costs depending on the country of origin
TOURS & ACTIVITIES
Chocolate workshops, beer tastings, pub crawls, tours of Brugge or Ghent and so much more.
Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.
Blogposts on Belgium
A weekend in Antwerp: The comprehensive 2-days in Antwerp guide (including map)
There are a ton of fun things to do during a weekend in Antwerp. From museums to sunset picnics and even some good old shopping. Antwerp has it all!
One day in Brussels: A local’s Brussels one day itinerary
There are a ton of fun things to do during one day in Brussels. From museums to street art Brussels has it all!
2 Day Brussels itinerary: How to spend an unforgettable weekend in Brussels
There are a ton of fun things to do in Brussels on a weekend. Two days is just enough to convince you to come back!
Where to stay in Brussels: Best Area + Hotels
A detailed guide of where to stay in Brussels written by a local. Contains an overview of 10 areas to choose from, which hotels are worth looking into and a map to help you navigate Brussels.
10 Things to do in Charleroi before flying out of Charleroi Airport
There are plenty of delicious veggie restaurants in Antwerp. From the healthy restaurant to the slightly more indulgent, find the best ones
10 Most Beautiful Castles Near Brussels
The culinary scene in Mechelen has exploded over the past few years. Delve into these vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Mechelen for an awesome dinner!
31 Inspiring day trips from Brussels
32 Day trips from Brussels that will knock your socks off. From historical castles to magnificent caves and back to medieval towns. Find them all here!
Hidden Gems in Brussels
Discover some real hidden gems in Brussels and get a deeper understanding of the sheer beauty the city holds within.
16 Castle hotels in Belgium
Looking for a unique place to stay? Why not try some of the Castle Hotels in Belgium? From luxurious to budget there is a castle out there for everyone!
24 Beautiful places in Belgium for your bucket list
From castles to abbeys, ship streetart to romantic cobblestones, there are a ton of beautiful places in Belgium to go and explore.