16 Reasons to Travel Belgium

It has been a year since my trip to Belgium. (starts crying hysterically)

Anyway moving along…

As a travel obsessed blogger, I thought why not write yet another post about how much I loved this little country?

What can I say I am feeling kind of nostalgic over here!

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1. The Architecture

Belgium was once one of the most powerful regions in Europe. You may be surprised when you travel through the country to see palaces, churches and other buildings with intricate details and amazingly preserved beauty.

Dutch homes are freaking magical. In places such as Ghent and Bruges, the gabled houses near the canals are picture perfect.

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2.  Beer, Beer, Beer

This is obviously worth mentioning. There are over 180 breweries in Belgium and there are around 1150 different Belgium beers. Um, ya. Basically a beer lovers dream. There is a flavor for everyone and if you are not a beer enthusiast when you arrive you will be when you leave. I tried a bunch, and although I am not a huge beer drinker myself it was awesome to have such variety, I managed to walk away with a deeper love for a brew.

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3. The Grub

Check out my Belgium food diary to discover what some of my favorites were because there were so many. Belgium has amazing food, yummy comfort dishes that go great with… you guessed it, a beer! Eating amazing food is one of my favorite parts of traveling and Belgium did not disappoint in that department!

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4. Low Key Vibes

Something I really enjoyed about Belgium that I was not expecting was its low-key vibe. Outside of larger cities like Antwerp and Brussels, there is a real calm and chill atmosphere. Even in crowded tourist towns like Bruges. It is easy to get into restaurants, to visit museums and walk around with ease. There is no sense of hustle and bustle at every turn which makes relaxing a little easier.

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5. Affordable

Yes, you are still going to be paying European prices for most things, but I was surprised to discover that if you stay out of the super touristy spots you can get very affordable meals. Many museums are free or next to nothing in price and many churches only ask for a donation to visit. You can also find affordable accommodations in both hotels and Airbnbs. Again just remember you will be paying more in Brussels.

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6. War Memorials

Being Canadian I was eager to pay my respects to the countless memorials for Newfoundland and Canada that are in Belgium. The Flanders Museum in Ypres does an amazing job at showing the war in an honest and educational way and its effects on all countries that fought, especially the damages that WWI had in the Flanders area, which is still evident today. This was an amazing experience for me, and one I will not ever forget. Check out my heart filled post about my visit to one of those memorials here.

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7. Medievalness

I have always had a slight obsession with medieval times, I don’t now why. Maybe because all of my favorite movies are old-timey, or maybe I am a giant nerd, or maybe both.

Staying in Ghent was an amazing example of the very old and new. It was easy to imagine what life was once like just by walking the streets. We visited the museum of medieval torture devices in Bruges. I have to admit it was a little too real fo me, so I had to leave while my boyfriend finished the tour. However, if you are looking to discover what Flanders was like during the medieval ages then you will have lots of opportunities in places like this.

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8. The Chocolate

Guys, I freaking love chocolate, I can not stress how much. In fact, the chocolate was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Belgium in the first place. I tried so many different kinds and brought back so much that a year later I am still eating it. Browsing around Belgium and visiting chocolate shops was beyond incredible.

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9. Beautiful Canals

How romantic are canals? We stayed in Ghent while in Belgium and on our first evening after a day of exploring we grabbed a beer and sat by the canals people watching. It is one of my favorite memories. The canals in Bruges and Ghent were the perfect place to hang out, relax, and people watch.

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10. Awesome Shopping

Antwerp is known as a huge shopping hub and people all over Belgium travel there to spend some serious cash. I did more shopping than I probably should have while in Belgium, but I regret nothing. There is something for everyone and all budgets. The picture below was an outdoor Sunday book market. It was wonderful!

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11. Easy Communication

Belgians learn three languages in school, Dutch, French and English and sometimes even German. Every single person we came across spoke English. A very helpful bonus, although I do suggest learning some dutch as it will help with your own personal navigation and food ordering. Something I regret is not learning more dutch food names.

12. So Many Castles

Being a Potterhead since the age of 11, I must admit my fascination with castles is both magically infused and enchantingly profound. Basically, I love me some castles. As we don’t really have any in Canada visiting somewhere like Belgium where there are over 400, was kind of a dream come true.

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13. Beautiful Churches

Back in the day, people took their religion very seriously. King, Queens, and Counts built beautiful churches and cathedrals as a way to pay homage and be closer to god and win over their underlings no doubt. As a result, the churches in these regions are filled with sculptures, paintings, and masterpieces of all kinds and charged with inspiration. The architecture and art found in the churches and cathedrals of Belgium was a wonderful way to enjoy the art of the time in its original home. It was simply breathtaking.

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14. Holy Relics

Speaking of churches the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges is said to house drops of Christ’s blood. This place is so elaborately decorated it is worth waiting in the line to go see. Not to mention if you are a believer this is an amazing holy relic that has been viewed here for hundreds of years. I wrote more about it in this Bruges post.

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15. Easy Transportation

Belgium’s train system is so easy to use it made getting from one side of the country to the other a piece of cake. Not to mention many of the trains are new, clean and spacious. There was always lots of room on the trains and buying our tickets ahead of time through Eurail meant we didn’t have to worry about purchasing. Using trams, cabs, and buses were also easy to navigate.

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16. Safety

When we traveled to Belgium it was weeks after the terrible airport bombings. The country was under a terrorist threat and extra security forces were seen in many of the main areas. I have never felt safer visiting a country. Outside of the hustle and bustle of Antwerp and Brussels, the cities were quiet the people friendly and I felt no threat of pickpockets or scams.


If you are interested in reading more about my Belgium adventures you can check out the below posts.

69 COMMENTS

  1. Kallie Elizabeth | 9th May 17

    Haha you had me at “beer.” I loved seeing all your pictures! I’ve wanted to go to Belgium for a long time so I don’t need much convincing but this post was awesome!

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Thanks a bunch! It is really affordable, you should go for it!

  2. wonderwall360blog | 9th May 17

    Love Belgium as have Belgium ancestry. Amazing chocolate! I travelled to Berlin around same time just after Brussels bombings and found same feeling of safety; showing small minority don’t have spoil travel experiences.

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      So true! It is so authentic and the people and culture so beautiful!

  3. starringpamela | 9th May 17

    Your post really makes me want to experience Belgium someday! I totally would go just for the chocolate!

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      It would be so worth it too. I just finished my last chocolate bar and I am so sad about it. It is an awesome little country to visit even for just a few days!

  4. Christie Brown | 9th May 17

    I’ve had a case of wanderlust for a long time now, but I think this post has put me over the edge haha. I’m insanely jealous of you – Belgium looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to visit. Great photos, girl. 🙂

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Thank you! I am feeling the travel fever myself now too! I can’t wait to go on another trip. What’s your next trip?

  5. MaryAnne | 9th May 17

    Amazing pictures but I would really visit that place because of the chocolate place LOL

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Thank you! So much chocolate it is hard to choose one. I spent almost a full day walking in different places and eating whatever looked good. It was a lot of fun!

  6. Wm. Allen | 9th May 17

    Wonderful post, thanks

  7. Monte Parker | 9th May 17

    Alright I’m convinced, I’ll book my flight right now 😉

  8. usathroughoureyes | 9th May 17

    Its always fun reminiscing isn’t it. Great photos. What moved you to visit there?

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Thank you! My boyfriends father was stationed there for many years during the war so it was always a dream of his to visit. I thought it was a great idea… and the chocolate!

  9. Megala | 9th May 17

    Lovely place! Amazing photos! Not sure whether I could get a chance or not!

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      It is a lovely place. Thank you for reading 🙂

  10. Kristin | 9th May 17

    This is an amazing post. Makes me really want to go to Belgium! Are you Belgian descent? 😀

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Nope I am Candian! Just really love it there 🙂

  11. Binging on Beetroot | 9th May 17

    I went to Belgium a few times when I was younger (I have relatives there) and I definitely didn’t appreciate it as much as I would now. I plan on visiting in the next year or so! I know I definitely agree about the chocolate haha! The thought of seeing all of those beautiful buildings again gets me very excited. Brilliant post 🙂

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      I think you will really appreciate it more now. I know I would never really appreciate the architecture and art in the same way that I do now. You are lucky to be able to see it all again. You should write about it 🙂

  12. the happiest pixel | 9th May 17

    Great post, my happy pixel!! I would love to live in Belgium for a while, or at least, visit the country for a week or so….
    I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed your trip!!
    Love, thp

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      It was wonderful! You should do it!

      • the happiest pixel | 10th May 17

        I’ll do it! I’m planning my next trip, but I haven’t decided yet where to go… 😉

        • StephJ | 10th May 17

          Definitely go to Bruges and Ghent! You will love it 🙂

          • the happiest pixel | 10th May 17

            They will be on my list!! 😉

          • StephJ | 10th May 17

            Yay! when are you thinking of going?

          • the happiest pixel | 10th May 17

            I have a couple of possibilities, including too Italy, or somewhere with a cycling race, so I can watch a stage 😄😄

          • StephJ | 10th May 17

            That would be so cool!

          • the happiest pixel | 10th May 17

            Thank you, my happy pixel!! I love cycling on tv, so it has to be great to see them in person!! 😉

  13. untravelingthemind | 9th May 17

    Ah, so great to hear you loved my country this much! And you’ve been to my beautiful city: Gent! You’re doing Belgium justice with this blog and pictures! Keep it up!

    pssst. feel free to check out my blog, I just started it!

    • StephJ | 9th May 17

      Thank you so much. I absolutely loved Ghent it was beautiful! I will be checking out your blog for sure!

  14. Audrey | 9th May 17

    Great post! Love your photos. After reading your post, got me thinking about visiting Belgium again. 😀

    • StephJ | 10th May 17

      I think I will be going back in the future for sure. Even just to visit Bruges again 🙂

  15. ticosandgringos | 9th May 17

    I need to book a trip to Belgium for a number of reasons. But especially THE BEER!! Here in Colorado where I live, there is a brewery called NEW BELGIUM BREWING COMPANY. It was inspired by the bicycling tour that the founders of it, did while they were touring breweries in Belgium.

    • StephJ | 10th May 17

      So cool! After being there I can certainly see how it would make an impact. They have been doing it for so long over there, it is almost an art form. It isn’t just mass produced and marketed garbage that is slapped togeather in a bathing suit commercial but a real drink that has purpose and culture. I have always had a dislike for the way that alcohol is shown in our western culture more people should see it for what it was truly is in the places it can from. YOU SHOULD GO! you will love it!

  16. lecypoore | 10th May 17

    What a beautiful city! I’d love to visit. Thanks for your awesome travel guide!

    • StephJ | 10th May 17

      Thank you for reading!

  17. lakeafton | 10th May 17

    I’ve visited there many times and love it.

  18. Shane | 10th May 17

    I sadly only had a day in Belgium. Need to go back and experience it in all its glory!

    • StephJ | 10th May 17

      Yes you should go again sometime. There are so many beautiful towns to check out!

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  20. wanderlusttourists | 11th May 17

    Glad you loved my country 😉

  21. Rosy Ⓥ (@LynSire) | 11th May 17

    I love how you pretty much mentioned everything about the trip. The food, the stay, places to visit, and so much more. I can’t wait to visit one day :))

    • StephJ | 11th May 17

      Thank you! I am glad you liked it 🙂

  22. Maggie | 12th May 17

    I’ve loved Belgium ever since I watched the TV show “Poirot”!! 😍😍😂 Jokes aside, Belgium really looks and sounds like a BEAUTIFUL country. Those are all awesome reasons for traveling there! And now I really want to go. Maybe one day! I’d love to tour around so many different places in Europe. I’m really interested in medieval Europe – I’m even writing a historical fiction story based there, so getting to visit for myself would be an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing! xx

    • StephJ | 13th May 17

      I love the medieval European history also. I bet your book is going to be super cool! If you do end up going Bruges is like walking back in time. You should check out a few YouTube videos and see for yourself!

  23. Fred | 13th May 17

    I have never been to Belgium yet, I will someday. 🙂 Of your list, I like the architecture, especially of the churches and castles. I will definitely visit those. And of course the famous Belgian chocolates.

    • StephJ | 13th May 17

      Yes it is really beautiful. You would love it!

  24. Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D) | 13th May 17

    Belgium looks lovely and there is such a variety of things to do and see and of course all the yummy chocolates.

    • StephJ | 13th May 17

      Yes! It is wonderful. Will you ever visit?

  25. StephJ | 15th May 17

    Yes you should! Are you planning a trip there anytime soon?

  26. kenjesryl1234 | 15th May 17

    I like the architecture of the buildings. It’s very different from where I am now.

    • StephJ | 16th May 17

      Yes its so beautiful!

  27. franckxethee | 16th May 17

    I remember when I was in Paris, they told me I can reach Belgium via 1 and a half hour by train. Belgium is really beautiful.

    • StephJ | 16th May 17

      Yes it is really easy to work it into other European trips, super close to France!

  28. Bhushavali | 16th May 17

    Indeed Belgium is beautiful and its beer is just awesome! The chocolates are yummm as well! I’ve been to Brussels and I went to a chocolatier who made spiced chocolates for me!!!

    • StephJ | 16th May 17

      Oh wow! What an awesome experience. So many wonderful flavors of beer and chocolate 🙂

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  30. papalidash | 23rd May 17

    Being a history buff, I am totally going to include Belgium in my bucket list now 😀

    • StephJ | 23rd May 17

      Oh yes you totally should! The counts of Flanders are fascinating. So much history to discover there for sure!

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  32. Agness of aTukTuk | 30th May 17

    Belgium is a spectacular place! I would go there again and again, Steph!

    • StephJ | 30th May 17

      I loved it there! Mmmm chocolate!

  33. emfletche | 11th Jul 17

    I love Belgium and think it’s very underrated. Haven’t been to Antwerp or Ypres, but I’ve visited and loved Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. All that beer and chocolate…and you don’t even mention waffles 😉

    • stephaniewp | 12th Jul 17

      haha yes I know! I feel like the Belgium waffles is something everyone expects and rightfully so because they are amazing. I want to go back right now just thinking about the yummy grub!

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