Outside of Bruges & Brussels

March 13, 2015

Belgium is famous for a number of reasons, beer, chips, chocolate, but isn’t exactly known for having a wide range of popular tourist cities, outside of Bruges and Brussels.

There are plenty of fantastic cities around the country which deserve just as much attention as its capital, or its famous fairytale town.


One for younger travellers, Antwerp has some of the best nightlife in Belgium, with a ton of cool bars and great restaurants sure to give you a night to remember. For many Belgians, Antwerp is the capital of cool, with a world-famous Fashion Academy, but for tourists it is a beautiful city which juxtaposes modern architecture with beautiful historic buildings and a fantastic artistic heritage.


Ghent is one of the most popular cities with Belgians, and it’s no surprise really. Most of the city’s town centre is closed to cars, meaning the best way to get around is either to walk, cycle or take a barge up the pretty canals. With Gravensteen Castle, 100 churches, hundreds of historical buildings and a whole host of museums, there’s no shortage of culture in Ghent, but if you’re after a fun, relaxing city break then you’ll find plenty of cafes, bars and the ten-day Ghent Celebration Festival, with plenty of locally-brewed Stropke Beer!


Belgium’s largest French-speaking city, after the capital, it is perhaps fitting that Liege is connected to Paris by high-speed rail thanks to its stunning, modern train station. Liege is also home to several historic buildings, including galleries and museums such as the Grand Curtius, which is home to archaeology, decorative art, religious and Mosan art museums, as well as weaponry and glass museums too. History buffs should head up to the Citadel of Liege for an incredible panoramic view across the city, or to the Henri Chappelle American Military Cemetery, the largest of its kind in Belgium.


Often referred to as the Pearl of the Ardennes, Spa is a traditional and picturesque Belgian town just outside of Liege. Perfect for outdoors types, it is surrounded by beautiful forest and rolling hills, just begging to be explored. The world’s oldest casino, dating back to 1763, is also in Spa and the city hosts the biggest French-speaking music festival, The Francophiles, each year.

Spa was named because of its hot springs, which saw it become a popular resort, these days it also hosts the formula 1 every August at its famous Spa-Francorchamps racetrack.


Namur is the capital of Belgium’s French-speaking region and is an impressive fortified town surrounded by one of Europe’s most ancient citadels. First built around the 3rd and 4th century, the citadel was rebuilt more than 100 years later.

The city of Namur itself is pretty and has plenty to do, including its famous boutique shops, but more adventurous travellers can travel to out to Dinant and Wepion, picking up some food from the farmers markets.

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