© visitbrussels | Jean-Paul Remy

3 days trip

through Belgium

3 Days trip

Explore Brussels and its surroundings in 3 days


Day 1:  Classy Brussels

Historical landmarks Cuisine & Gastronomy
Brussels skyline and City hall tower, Belgium

© Vladislav Zolotov | Getty Images/iStockphoto

Start your trip in the heart of Brussels and explore the Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in the beautiful 17th century architecture and visit the impressive Town Hall. Don’t forget to pay a short visit to the famous Manneken Pis and enjoy some Belgian delicacies such as waffles and speculoos.

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Start by taking a guided tour through the city centre. Discover the Grand-Place (UNESCO) & the famous Manneken-Pis. Don’t forget to visit the city of Brussels’ Town Hall, the main building on Grand-Place. Now you have some time left to taste an authentic Belgian waffle at Dandoy! In the evening, have dinner in one of the restaurants around the square to appreciate the unique atmosphere of its medieval streets.

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Day 2:  Visit Mechelen and Leuven

Historical landmarks Authentic Experiences
Central Square (Grote markt) - Mechelen

© Aikon

Just 15 minutes from bustling Brussels by train, Mechelen is ready to welcome you. Enjoy walks or boat trips on the river Dyle or explore the beguinage to find inner peace. Leuven, also close to the capital, offers great architecture and amazing sights you simply cannot miss.

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Both cities are only 15 minutes away from Brussels by train and make great trips!


Mechelen is a small and picturesque city that is big on charm and history, thriving with quaint shops, car-free areas and pleasant little squares. The grace of centuries-old palaces and majestic churches appeals to everyone. There are no less than 336 listed buildings and monuments, including eight gothic and baroque churches from the 14th-17th century.

Mechelen is a city for all ages. Young people can actively enjoy themselves in the Toy Museum or the Tivoli Children’s Farm, whereas the young at heart can entertain themselves at Het Anker, one of the oldest operating breweries in Belgium. Students from all over the world come to learn to play church bells at Mechelen’s carillon school. Sitting outside on the terrace of a cafe sipping a local beer while listening to the bell music coming from the sky is nothing short of delightful. It is also home to one of the last remaining places in the world that restores and repairs antique tapestries, at Royal Manufacturers De Wit.

Climb the St. Rumbold’s Tower, visit the Museum Hof van Busleyden and the brewery Het Anker. Walk along the Dyle or take a boat trip on the inner Dyle to see a different side of Mechelen. Stroll around in the large beguinage and visit the winter garden of the Ursuline nuns.


A vibrant student population and a rich history combine in the city of Leuven, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities (KU Leuven), founded in 1425. The university, one of the most important in Europe, has its roots in the centre of Leuven, and its historic college buildings dominate many of the squares and streets. A few lucky students even have the distinct privilege of living in the 13th century stone beguinage, a UNESCO world heritage site worthy of a visit. 28,000 students and professors lend a distinctly youthful atmosphere to the city. Or perhaps it’s the beer!

© Karl Bruninx

Leuven is Belgium’s reigning brewing capital – no small feat in a country that produces hundreds of delicious varieties. Leuven is the headquarters of Inbev, the second largest brewery in the world, famous for Stella Artois beers. Centuries of Flemish tradition and craftsmanship lie behind Leuven’s premium brews. Leuven is a great place for the curious traveller with time to explore. It is an intimate city; any spot can be easily reached on foot or by bicycle.

Visit the Town Hall of Leuven, The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts in Saint Peter’s Church and the University Library with its carillon tower and impressive reading room. Go to the Old market for a beer tasting session followed by a visit to the Great Beguinage and if you have some time left, visit the 12th-century heritage site Park Abbey.

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Day 3:  Travel through time in Walloon Brabant

Art & Fashion Authentic Experiences Historical landmarks
La butte du Lion de Waterloo

© Olivier Polet

Walk in Napoleon’s footsteps, straight to the battlefield where he made his final stand in 1815. Go to the beguiling ruins of Villers Abbey and see how Cistercian monks lived in the 13th Century. End your day with a visit to Musée Hergé and find out everything there is to know about Tintin’s father.

Mere minutes from Brussels, the Walloon Brabant province is perfect for outings from the capital city. Why not head for Waterloo where you can retrace Napoleon’s footsteps straight to the battlefield on which he fought his final battle on June 18th, 1815. Other highlights include the beguiling ruins of the Cistercian abbey at Villers-la-Ville, and the captivating Musée Hergé, which celebrates the work of Tintin’s father.

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Start your journey through time at “Waterloo 1815”. There are seven sites associated with the Battle of Waterloo to visit here – the Lion’s Mound, the Memorial 1815, the Panorama, Hougoumont farm, Mont-Saint-Jean Farm, Wellington Museum and the Last Headquarters of Napoleon. The Lion’s Mound is one of the most famous landmarks in Belgium. This 40-metre-high monument, erected in 1826 at the request of William I, King of the Netherlands, commemorates the spot where his elder son, the Prince of Orange, is presumed to have been wounded on 18 June 1815. It has a colossal lion at the top that symbolises the victory of the monarchies. The whole area is protected, and the rolling hills and fields look almost exactly like they did on the eve of battle.

Villers Abbey


Your next stop will be Villers Abbey. Built in 1146 and now in ruins, it gives a stunning example of how the Cistercian Monks lived. The site is considered one of the most complete representations in Europe as it features remains of all the buildings the monks used daily. This extensive monastic complex constructed in the 13th century is an evocative memorial to the small Cistercian community which initially settled here in 1146. Even though the monastery was ransacked during the French revolution and fell into disrepair over the following two centuries, a walk through the ruins still gives a vivid insight into abbey life over the centuries.

The Abbey lies in a fairly wooded valley and you can take themed-based guided visits or walks around the Abbey as its grounds are available for visitors.

Louvain la Neuve

© Nicolas Borel

Time to go back to the present and discover the modern and innovative university town of Louvain-la-Neuve. Not that many historic sites here, but Louvain-la-Neuve has quite a few museums worth visiting, including the Hergé Museum. Take a deep dive into the life and work of one of Belgium’s greatest cartoonists, and traverse the era in which he lived at the same time. The museum’s unique architecture alone is worth the visit: an abstract glass-and-concrete boat-shaped creation filled with multistorey geometrical forms slashed through with a central ‘light chasm‘ filling the structure with intriguing angles and views.

End your day in a burger bar or a gourmet restaurant, the choice is yours.

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