© uitinvlaanderen

9 days trip

through Belgium

9 days trip

Discover the three regions of Belgium in just 9 days


Day 1:  Beautiful & delicious Bruges

Historical landmarks

© Tomas Kube

When one imagines Belgium, they often are thinking of Bruges. Canals loop across the town like a string of pearls. With cobblestone paths, brick archways, stone churches and quaint bridges. The addition of swans on the water, horse drawn carriages in the lanes and daffodils in the park make it nearly magical.

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Listed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Bruges has the best-preserved example of a medieval city centre, with its bell tower leaning over the wide open market. With the centre closed off to cars, all the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city can be easily explored on foot, although a boat ride along the quiet canals is something not to be missed.

Although a small city, to truly uncover the many pleasures it offers, from lace boutiques and chocolates shops to architectural and historical treasures, give yourself plenty of time to get happily lost.

© Milo Profi

Experience the historic city of Bruges: Take a boat trip on the canals and see the ‘little Venice of the North’ from a different point of view, or walk the cobbled streets and visit the beguinage or the belfry. Visit the Duc de Bourgogne brewery to taste their very own beer. Another must-see is the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The Roman Catholic Basilica is a beautiful piece of architecture you can visit for free.

Hotels and restaurants are amazing in this city, so don’t be shy to stay overnight!

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Day 2:  Flemish heritage in Antwerp

Art & Fashion Historical landmarks
Cathedral of Our Lady - Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe-kathedraal 06

© Cathedral of Our Lady

Antwerp has some great sights in store for you. Take in all the art history by visiting the Rubens house or go to the new MOMU if you’re into fashion. There are many museums to check out in Antwerp but whatever you do, the cathedral of Our Lady is a must see!

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Whether you’re in the central train station or MAS, the remarkable town museum, it’s impossible not to find the architecture attractive. It ranges from medieval buildings like the impressive town hall and square, to the contemporary courthouse, to numerous Art Nouveau gems in between. From stylish buildings to well-dressed window displays, Antwerp is a good-looking city.

This isn’t a new accolade either as it was one of the greatest, richest cities in all of Europe in the 1500’s.  A century later, the iconic Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens called Antwerp his home, along with Anthony Van Dyck.  In more recent years, canvas has been replaced by cotton and the artists of note are fashion designers. This city is home to world-renowned shopping, the famous Antwerp Six and a bustling diamond trade.

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Day 3:  Limburg

Activities Authentic Experiences

© GettyImages

Spend day three savouring nature by taking a walk or riding a bike for a day. Countless routes will lead you along woods and rivers which guarantee breath-taking views. A great place to go is Bokrijk, the open-air museum. “Cycling through water” will ensure you’ll never forget your trip to Belgium.

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Spend the day in the breath-taking nature of Limburg. Limburg has so much to offer. Cycling and walking, lots of nature, varied landscapes, fun activities, great sights, art and culture, good food and drinks. The greenest province in Flanders is a pleasant place to be all year round. It is a vibrant place where everyone is welcome.

Countless walking and biking routes will lead you through woods and along rivers, giving you a serene getaway in gorgeous Belgium. One of the most impressive spots in Limburg is Bokrijk, the open-air museum. It offers nature walks and teaches you a thing or two about history along the way. But the bike rides in Bokrijk are wonderful as well. The most unique experience is definitely “Cycling through Water”. You can take that literally; this cycle path offers a unique cycling experience in harmony with the natural environment.

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Day 4:  Classy Brussels

Historical landmarks Cuisine & Gastronomy
Grand Place Square in Brussels, Belgium

© GettyImages

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 5:  Tasty & Cultural Brussels

Cuisine & Gastronomy Authentic Experiences

© Tony Le Duc – 2020

Wake up to the delicious smell of chocolate and make your own pralines at a real chocolatier. Take your time to explore the Atomium and Mini-Europe or discover the heart of Europe by visiting the European Quarter and the House of European History. End the day with a unique dining experience you’ll find only in Brussels.

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Wake up with a Chocolate Workshop and create your own pralines at Concept chocolate. When you’re done, check out the Art-Nouveau house where architecture meets art.

One month a year (and under conditions), you can sign up for Brussels’ famous Dinner in the Sky for lunch. However, all year long anyone can enjoy a lunch in the top sphere of the Atomium (at 100 meters) Atomium Restaurant. After your lunch, the rest of the Atomium awaits you. Take a guided tour of the monument and explore the symbol of Brussels yourself.

At the base of the Atomium, the miniature park Mini-Europe is a must see. The whole of Europe is represented in a few square meters which makes it a fun spot to take pictures.

When you head back to the city centre, consider paying a visit to the European Institutions district and the House of European History.

© visit.brussels – Sophie Voituron – 2019

Searching for a restaurant in Brussels? There are so many options. If you enjoy seafood, then travel to the Saint Catherine neighborhood and try amongst others Noordzee a delicious fish bar. Want to eat and drink where the locals go? Head on over to Flagey or Châtelain, where you can discover a ton of little international eateries and plenty of bars such as the Café Belga in the Flagey theater.

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Day 6:  A different side of Brussels

Authentic Experiences Art & Fashion

© Georges De Ki

Explore an unexpected side of our capital by visiting one of its typical flea markets. If flea markets aren’t exactly your style, you can always take a quick shopping trip to Avenue Louise. Take the edge off at one of the breweries in Brussels and round of the day by visiting Villa Empain.

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  • Discover a typical flea market with or without a guide (20+)
  • Visiting a brewery is a must. Choose between the historical Brussels brewery Cantillon or the youngest brewery l’Ermitage Nanobrasserie
  • If you want to escape from the city to take a deep breath of nature, lunch at the Chalet Robinson in the Bois de la Cambre is a truly charming place.
  • Before coming back to the centre, don’t miss Villa Empain, a stunning example of the Art Deco style. The building now houses the Boghossian Foundation of modern art
  • What’s a holiday without shopping? Head to Avenue Louise for some prime shopping time.
  • End the day in a restaurant that uses only local and seasonal products : VICTOR, Bozar café or at La Quincaillerie.
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Day 7:  Breathtaking views at Namur & Dinant

Activities Historical landmarks

© GettyImages

Take your time to explore Namur and its incomparable sights. Its rich heritage, the charm of its little streets, terraces and restaurants are sure to leave you enchanted. Head over to Dinant after lunch and be blown away by the spectacular view. End your day with a stop at Dinant’s Adolphe Sax Museum.

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A visit to the highest point of the city, the Citadelle, is a must. The Citadelle is sheltered by one of the largest fortresses in Europe. From the top, you’ll get the most amazing view over all essential places of your visit.

In the historical heart of Namur, discover some architectural gems: the Cathedral of Saint-Aubain, the theatre, the Belfry and stroll through the old town, taking a walk along the quays.

Did you know that French (or Belgian, really) fries were created in Namur. Yes, this city on the banks of the Meuse was fond of fried fry, a small fish, in the eighteenth century. Unfortunately, during a very harsh winter, the river froze and fishing was impossible. The Namurois decided to cut pieces of potato in the shape of fish and fry them. Shrewd people, those Namurois!

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After lunch, head up to Dinant. Dinant provides a stunning spectacle, especially when you look across the Meuse and lift your gaze towards the Citadelle and the onion-domed tower of the Collegiate church. For a breath-taking view, take the cable car to the Citadelle.

© Lorado | GettyImages

If you’re more adventurous, visit ‘La Merveilleuse’ cave or take the exciting challenges offered by Dinant Évasion. Heritage lovers will enjoy visiting nearby castles and abbeys.

Adolphe Sax, the celebrated inventor of the saxophone, was born in Dinant, and the town celebrates him with a small museum in his former house and several statues around the town.

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Day 8:  Bouillon & Durbuy

Activities Cuisine & Gastronomy Authentic Experiences
Bouillon - chateau fort

© Christel François

Bouillon is famous for its stunning nature and perfect for history lovers. Go hiking or biking to take in the wonderful panoramas and enjoy some of the local delicacies. Durbuy embraces hopeless romantics like no other.

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During your second day in Wallonia you’ll follow in the footsteps of Godefroid de Bouillon. The pretty town of Bouillon, situated on the banks of the Semois, will delight tourists who love history and nature. The magnificent castle, set on a steep rock, was the home of Godefroid de Bouillon before he set off on the Crusades.

Bouillon’s other greatest asset is its nature. For sports-lovers, the exceptional natural setting of the region lends itself to a multitude of activities: walking and hiking, cycling, mountain biking, motorbiking, fishing, canoeing on the Semois etc.

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© Gettyimages

When your stomach is full, continue to the smallest city in the world, Durbuy. What immediately appeals to visitors to Durbuy are its charming old stones and cobbled streets, where many treasures are to be found. Among these are the ancient ramparts, which long ago enabled Durbuy to obtain the status of a ‘city’. Strolling along these you might even come across one of the original entrance gates.

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Day 9:  Spa & Liège

Historical landmarks Activities Authentic Experiences

© Gettyimages

To end your stay in Wallonia, head over to UNESCO world heritage candidate Spa. You’ll feel right at home in this beacon of well-being, just like the royals in the 18th century. Followed by a visit to the warmest Belgian city, Liège, to eat some Liège waffles to remember us by!

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Spa will be the starting point of your ninth day. As a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status, Spa is part of the European cultural itinerary of historic thermal towns alongside Bath or Vichy.

Ideally located at the heart of the Fagnes region, and particularly loved by royalty, the town is a true place of well-being.

The town may be focused on well-being, but it’s lively all year round thanks to its prestigious casino, fascinating museums and many events which take place here. F1 enthusiasts will also delight in the events taking place at its world-famous racetrack: Spa Francorchamps.

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End your trip in the “warmest city” of Wallonia, Liège. The Liègeois are welcoming, warm, and like to party through the night.

Liège, delights lovers of good food with its celebrated Liège waffles with flavours of cinnamon, caramel and vanilla, or its meatballs with Liègeoise rabbit sauce accompanied by home-made fries, beautifully served at the Café Lequet.

Pèkèt, originally a white alcohol made of juniper, is available today in a variety of flavours. Since 2004, Pèkèt has been joined by another spirit that adds to the city’s international reputation by appealing to whisky enthusiasts: ‘Belgian Owl’.

A famous landmark in the city is its train station Guillemins train station, designed by the Spanish architect Calatrava.

Liège also combines tradition and charm of the past, which are found in the Place du Marché, at the foot of the steps, a symbol of the freedom of the city. Incredible religious buildings are part of the scene, such as the fabulous Cathedral of Saint-Paul of Liège, the Collegiate Church of Saint-Denis, and many more…

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