I grew up in a small village in the east of Belgium but soon enough moved to Antwerp, the country’s vibrant fashion city. In my youth, each year we traveled with our family to Spain. Up to this day, it remains a country close to my heart. I traveled outside of Europe for the first time when I was 20.
It was an incredible backpacking trip through Vietnam and Cambodia for three weeks. I immediately fell in love with traveling after that. A year later, I left for Kenya and New York. Nowadays, I take around six to eight trips a year and keep a recording of all my experiences on my blog Bey of Travel.
In the beginning, my website was more like a diary but after a few months I learned more about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and started to approach my blog a bit more professionally. I started focusing on photography and further expanded my social media channels.
I’m passionate about adventurous travels and hikes while my husband is a fanatic urban dweller. We always try to combine both when we travel. I aim to inspire people to take on adventures, to thoroughly explore a country and to challenge themselves to not just enjoy the sun, sand and sea.
Why Belgium should be on your Bucket List
Belgium is a small country but it sure does pack a punch. This makes it super easy to travel through. You are never further than about three hours away from the most northern or the most southern point, during which you will be surprised with astonishing and ever-changing sceneries.
We have beautiful cities to visit, full of history, such as Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent. But you can also enjoy the most beautiful walks or cycle through unspoiled nature. Overall, Belgium is an awesome country.
Favourite Place in Belgium: Lommel Sahara
Recently, because of coronavirus, I was unable to travel abroad and so I was “forced” to explore my own country a bit more. For example, I finally went to visit Dinant – a beautiful city in the French-speaking part of our country. It was a real pleasure to tick this place off my Belgium bucket-list.
All in all, my favourite area in Belgium is without doubt the Lommel Sahara. This is where I grew up and I love to visit time and time again. You can go for a nice walk here or just relax and do nothing. It’s a beautiful natural area of the country that I highly recommend everyone experience.
10 Things To Do in Belgium
From the fashion capital Antwerp, to the chocolate shops in Bruges, to the beautiful architecture of Ghent – there’s never a dull moment in the underrated European gem of Belgium. Below you will find my top 10 recommendations for things to see and do, be it your first visit or tenth.
1. Discover the Lommel Sahara in Beautiful Limburg
Sand dunes in Belgium, you read that right. The Sahara is a beautiful natural area where you can relax. On the one hand, you can enjoy a picnic with friends by the water. But you can also enjoy a nice walk. You can even get yourself a free hammock on the go when you register at the info desk.
2. Enjoy a Beer at the Breweries of Antwerp
You haven’t been to Antwerp if you haven’t visited a brewery. De Koninck Brewery is one of Antwerp’s oldest breweries and several kinds of beer have been brewed here since 1833. You can visit for just under 30 Euros per person and, in addition to the tour, taste five types of Belgian beer.
There are a few other regional products served such as artisan cheeses and chocolates. Read more about these tastings and the brewery here.
3. Shop at the Best Chocolate Shops in Bruges
Bruges has some of the best chocolate shops in the world. This city is an absolute must see – not only for the chocolate but also for the Medieval architecture. Stroll around the streets and stumble upon chocolate shop after chocolate shop where the best chocolatiers in the world reside.
4. Wander through the Beautiful City of Dinant
Wander through the beautiful city of Dinant, without a doubt one of Belgium’s best hidden gems. Historically speaking, its strategic location on the water and along the trade routes Cologne – Paris – Brussels – Luxembourg supported the development of this charming town.
Dinant is located in the French-speaking municipality of Namur and is known for its colourful scenery. Enthusiasts for culture, adventure and nature frequently visit the city to enjoy an unforgettable city trip.
5. Explore the Amazing Belgian Ardennes
Ardennes is a region in southeast Belgium famous for its rugged terrain, rolling valleys, lovely rivers, unique caves, dense forests and fantastic hiking paths. This area is a place for both young and old to enjoy. Walk along some of the most beautiful rivers in Belgium such as the Semois and Ourthe.
6. Party at the Tomorrowland Festival in Antwerp
Many foreigners visit Antwerp every year for the famous Tomorrowland festival. Is this festival really worth a trip around the world? The short answer is yes! I’ve enjoyed about ten editions of Tomorrowland myself and I must say it is simply a phenomenal festival that blows you away.
Not only because of the music but also because of the never before seen details such as the podium constructions and signalisations. Tomorrowland is a fairytale environment that will show you a unique and special time.
7. Discover St Anna’s Tunnel in Antwerp
On the other side of the water, on the left bank, you will find the most beautiful view over the city. You can get there through the pedestrian tunnel at Sint-Jansvliet. Do you want to escape the buzz of the city?
Pay a visit to the beach of Sint Anneke. St Anna’s Tunnel is also worth checking out when you do not intend to cross over to the other side as it truly is a hidden pearl in the City of Diamonds (nickname for Antwerp). It opened in 1933 and the tunnel has kept its authenticity up to this day.
8. Eat Fries at the Grande Palace, Brussels
Eat some fries (and I left out the French part on purpose!) at the Grand Place in Brussels. The Grand Place of the capital is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Belgium. Here you will find yourself surrounded by historical buildings to admire with a bag of fries in hand.
9. Stroll through the Inner Streets of Ghent
Ghent is a super nice city for shopping where you will find boutique shops in a gorgeous authentic setting. Be sure to enjoy a drink or a snack with a beautiful view of the water. Or take a boat trip through the city center.
10. Visit Central Station in Antwerp or Liege
We have some of the most beautiful train stations in the world. Whether you need to take a train or not, checking out one of these amazing stations is a must-do when visiting our country. Take your camera and snap up a storm in these unique places bursting with amazing architecture.
Belgium: The Land of Fries and Chocolate
Belgium is the land of fries and chocolate. You will find a fries stand on every corner of the street and chocolate shops of all scents and colours are never far away. We are Burgundians who love good food and eating out.
In addition, of course, we are known for our beer and breweries. We have about fifty fantastic breweries all over our country that brew all kinds for everyone. It will therefore not surprise you that we like to go out to bars.
Best Accommodation Options in Belgium
Favourite Memory from my Travels in Belgium
One of my most favourite recent memories was when a dear friend and I decided to visit Dinant after the lockdown. We were so happy that we could go out again – so we decided to visit a city which we had never visited before. It felt like a real getaway, although we stayed in our own country.
We enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in Dinant. When the sun went under, the city skyline turned golden. There was almost no one around. I guess people were still afraid to go out after lockdown. The city was calm and we decided to explore it to the fullest by also visiting a castle close by.
While enjoying the sunset we were wondering if life would ever get back to normal and how long it would take before we could go out and travel again. We made ourselves a promise that we would never take travel for granted and more importantly we would travel more ecologically.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
Public transport in Belgium is not always reliable and unfortunately it’s very expensive. I recommend hiring a car for your journey so you can travel with freedom and flexibility. We have many great festivals in Belgium – from hard rock to techno. Definitely try to catch a festival during your visit.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your visit to the wonderful Belgium!