Belgium, with its historic cities – most famously Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent – are the equal of any in Europe. Squeezed in between France, Germany and the Netherlands, this is historically one of the most complex and intriguing parts of Europe.
This little country probably has more to do per square mile than most other places on earth. The country is divided into two ethnic regions, Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north and French-speaking Wallonia to the south. Dividing them is an imaginary east-west line that bisects the country at Brussels. Brussels, the self-proclaimed “Capital of Europe.” You will find a cornucopia of culture, historic places and beautiful towns and cities you’ll find everywhere.
Also see such great museums as the Magritte, dedicated to Belgium’s famous surrealist painter. Cruise the canals of popular Bruges and Ghent, but also be sure to visit such treasures as Liege, Spa (luring spa-goers since the 14th century). As highly regarded as the masterpieces in its museums is Belgium’s well-deserved reputation for superb food and drink.
Brussels is a classic European city with small town charm and cosmopolitan attractions. Among the most celebrated attractions are the Grand Place, Europe’s most beautiful medieval square lined with guild houses. Originally built in the 13th century, the square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The historic center of Bruges is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city can be easily explored on foot, by boat along quiet canals, or by horse-drawn carriage on cobblestoned streets. The city of Liege, the largest French-speaking city in Belgium after Brussels, is a historical city situated along the Meuse River. Dating back to Charlemagne, Liege is a treasure trove of historical sites and celebrated collections. Less than an hour from Liege is the city of Spa, a picturesque Belgian town often referred to as the “Pearl of the Ardennes,” nestled in a wooded valley surrounded by rolling hills and countless rivers and springs. Having given its name to all spas, visitors from across Europe have traveled to Spa for its healing hot spring water treatments since the 14th century.
Namur, the capital of Belgium’s French-speaking region, sits along the Meuse River and is just 1-hour by car or train from Brussels. This impressive fortified town is surrounded by one of Europe’s largest ancient citadels, first built during the 3rd and 4th centuries. Located just 1 hour from Brussels, Mons is a city rich in history and tradition. The town hall building on the Grand Place of Mons, constructed between 1458 and 1477, has a Belfry, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.