I had the pleasure to live 6 months in Belgium (wondering why? Click here 😉)and during this period I took advantage of weekends to visit this beautiful country. Because of this, before telling you my favourite Belgian cities I have a little but really useful
TIPS WHEN TRAVELLING BY TRAIN IN BELGIUM
Train connections in Belgium are really good and not much expensive, especially if you use the GO-PASS. There are different kind of Go-pass:
GO PASS: For people under 26, you pay 50€ and you can use it for 10 trips inside Belgium.
GO PASS 1: Again for people under 26, you pay € 6 and use it for a single journey to anywhere in the country.
Plus, there are many discounts for seniors or if you travel during the weekend, so I suggest you to check all the options before buying the “normal” ticket 😉
MY FAVOURITE BELGIAN CITIES
I can say to have had an overview of the main cities so I’ve decided to share my opinion about them with this short list. For all my Belgian followers,please notice that it’s my personal opinion and some cities listed (like Liege and Antwerp), the day I was there the weather was not nice at all so maybe my opinion is influenced by that too! 😉
Liege is in the French speaking part of Belgium and the first thing you can notice when arriving is the amazing modern structure of the train station Liege-Guillemins. Unfortunately I do not have good pictures to show you but the roof is like an enormous wave made by white metal and glass. I’ve been there during the Christmas period and in the city centre there was a nice market!
Antwerp is an industrial city, again the train station (Antwerpen-Centraal) is one of my favourite buildings there. The style is pretty different from the one of Liege because is an historical structure with ornaments and decorations, definitely stunning ad first view when getting off the train.
While walking around the city, maybe between one shop and another – Antwerp is known around Belgium as the “perfect shopping city” – you will notice many different and outstanding buildings. Most of them are hotels or famous stores but they are the perfect example of typical Belgian constructions. Another attraction of the city is the Cathedral of Our Lady, which is a is a Roman Catholic cathedral.
#3 Brussels & Bruges
I really couldn’t decide between these two cities so I decided to put them at the same position.
I’ve been to Brussels for many occasions and each of the time I was there I discovered something new. I would define it a modern dynamic city but at the same time it still preserve many historical and classical aspects. I could tell lot of things about this city, that’s why I wrote this separate post about it. Go and check it out if you’d like suggestions and tips about what to visit and see there 😉
I’ve been to Bruges twice: the first time during the Christmas period, the second time during a cold, windy and rainy January day. The first time I felt literally in love with this city, the lights, the market, the cute little houses…when I went back maybe because the Christmas atmosphere was gone, but I had the feeling it was empty (despite the amount of people which were there was still impressive!). Anyway, what characterizes more this city is the medieval atmosphere, indeed Bruges historic centre was given UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000.
Ghent definitely surprised me. Before going to Belgium I heard a lot about Bruges so I kind of expected I would have liked it, while Ghent was a new discovery. I would describe it as a mix between Bruges, for its medieval buildings, and Brussels, for its dynamic atmosphere.
What I liked more about the city, beyond the historical centre in general, the two main churches: St. Nicholas’ Church and Saint Bavo Cathedral. The first one has stunning coloured glass windows definitely worth seeing!
Well Leuven will always remain on top of the list, Leuven is the place in which I studied and lived. Just 30 minutes by train from Brussels, Leuven is a little but certainly active student city. I really enjoyed staying there because despite the town itself is not modern, you can perceive the city is dominate by young and energetic people. So if you’re visiting Brussels I strongly recommend to take a day-trip here!
What about you? Have you ever been to Belgium? If yes, what did you like the most?