The Best Things to Do in Belgium

The 25 Best Things to do in Belgium

One of the most fascinating countries in Europe, Belgium has it all. From ancient medieval cities to cool fashion districts, from velvety-smooth chocolate to mussels caught that very morning, and from high-octane festivals that last for days to family-run breweries that haven’t changed in centuries, you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Belgium!

Visit during summer, and you can while away your days wandering in romantic old towns, cycling in the flower-dotted countryside, digging into fresh seafood by the sea, and attending some of the best music festivals in the world. 

Or plan your trip for winter, and have a magical time exploring Brussels’ Christmas markets, taking a tour around CERN, checking out world-class art galleries, and keeping warm in romantic bistros. 

It doesn’t matter which time of year you visit or even who you travel with. There’s always something new and exciting to experience here.

With so many incredible things to see and do, it can be tricky to know where to get started. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Belgium. Add these fun activities and attractions to your Belgium bucket list, and you’re sure to have a fantastic time exploring this remarkable country!

25 Fun and Unique Things to Do In Belgium

1. Party With Thousands of People at Tomorrowland

Cool Things to do in Belgium: Tomorrowland

For an experience you’ll be telling people about for years, grab tickets to Tomorrowland. A larger-than-life music festival that attracts people from all corners of the globe, this incredible festival is an absolute must for any electronic music fan.

The festival began back in 2005 in the town of Boom and has been getting bigger and better ever since. Spread out over the course of three weekends in June, the festival showcases the most popular and talented musicians and performers from all over the world.

Best Things to do in Belgium: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland isn’t just about the music. With smoke machines, colorful lasers, pyrotechnics, and loads more, the festival always puts on a stellar show and generates an incredible atmosphere that you’ll get swept up in! 

There are tiny stages set up for intimate gigs with a small number of guests all the way up to giant stages with space for hundreds of thousands of party people.

2. Snap a Pic of the Iconic Manneken Pis

You’ll find one of the most popular Belgium attractions in the capital city, Brussels. Despite its small size, Manneken Pis is visited by thousands of people every day and is loved so much that you’ll find it featured on all kinds of souvenirs and mementos.

If you speak Dutch, you’ll know that the name means “Little Pissing Man,” which is exactly what Manneken Pis is – a tiny statue on a fountain with a well-placed stream of water coming out of it! No one’s quite sure why the statue is loved so much. But it’s such a big deal that you’ve got to include it on your Belgium bucket list.

The original statue was built in 1618. Although the one that currently stands in the fountain is a replica, it’s identical to the one built 400 years ago. The original was moved to the City Museum years ago to keep it safe after students kept trying to steal it. 

3. Wander Around Ghent’s Charming Old Town

Belgium Things to do: Gent Old Town

A compact spot that’s easy to get around on foot, Gent’s Old Town is a wonderful place to explore. The town retains a lot of its character and looks almost exactly the same as it did in the 1500s when it was one of the most important and influential cities in Europe. 

Korenmarkt (Grain Market) is a great place to start. From here, take a walk to St. Michael’s Bridge, where you’ll find the very best 360-degree panoramic views in all of the city. Look below, and you’ll see countless boats transporting visitors all over the place. Move away from the river, and you’ll find yourself at the bustling market hall with a spectacular rooftop inspired by medieval Ghent.

Close by, you’ll spot the city’s belfry, which has stood proudly since the 14th century. A neo-gothic top spire was added in 1913 for the World’s Fair. On the other side of the belfry, you can see one of the biggest attractions in the city, St. Bavo’s Cathedral.

Book a Ghent Guided Walking Tour

4. Discover the Hidden Secrets of Atomium

Cool Things to do in Belgium: Atomium

Brussels is home to countless cool things to do in Belgium and Atomium is certainly no exception. An eye-catching futuristic building that was created in 1958 for the Brussels World’s Fair, this unusual attraction is tucked away in a large public park in the northern suburb of Laeken.

Atomium is made up of a number of spherical atom-shaped platforms, some of which stand more than 328 feet off the ground. Each sphere is themed, and the bottom one invites you to understand the attraction a little better and how it came to be. It’s full of fascinating info about the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, too.

Most of the spheres are home to constantly-changing art exhibitions and galleries that local and international artists can use to show off their skills and talents. The final sphere is where you’ll find an excellent restaurant and an amazing panoramic viewing gallery that boasts unbeatable vistas. 

Get Your Atomium Entry Ticket

5. Take a Boat Trip Along Meuse Valley

Fun Things to do in Belgium: Meuse Valley

If you need a break from Belgium’s cosmopolitan cities, head for Meuse Valley. Located just south of Brussels, the Meuse Valley invites you to immerse yourself in the rural heartland and let all your cares drift away.

While there are plenty of walking, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding opportunities in the area, one of the best ways to get around and take in the sights is to hop on a boat. The towns of Dinant and Namur are both great places to get started. Here you’ll find a number of places offering boat trips along the Meuse Valley.

One of the most beautiful trips you’ll ever take, the scenic boat ride takes you past dense forests, lush fields, craggy hilltops, ruined castles, and peaceful waterfront towns with limestone cliffs providing the perfect backdrop. When the sky is clear and the sun is shining, you’ll feel like you’re sailing through the pages of a fairytale book!

6. See All of Europe In a Single Day at Mini-Europe

What to do in Belgium: Mini-Europe

Take a trip to Laeken in the north of Brussels, and you’ll find one of the most unique things to do in Belgium – Mini-Europe! This family-friendly attraction gives you the chance to explore all of Europe in miniature, with a giant park dedicated to tiny versions of iconic European landmarks. 

Have a look around, and you’ll discover more than 350 different miniature attractions scattered throughout the park. Some of the most fascinating ones include London’s Big Ben, Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and Rome’s Colosseum. There’s even a recreation of Mount Vesuvius erupting!

All the models in the park are built on a scale of 1:25, and the details are almost too incredible to believe. Look closely, and you’ll see tiny people walking their dogs, tourists taking photos, and all kinds of cool stuff. 

If you can, try and visit in the run-up to a major holiday. In the weeks before the big celebrations, such as Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, the streets of Mini-Europe are covered in mini decorations. 

Get your Entry Ticket to Mini-Europe

7. Try the Best Fries In the World

Best Things to do in Belgium: Belgian Fries

Did you know that fries were most likely invented in Belgium? The golden, starchy sticks of deliciousness are hugely popular throughout the whole country – and it’s no surprise why!

Unlike the standard fries you’re probably used to, Belgian fries are fried twice. This gives them the most incredible light and fluffy interior while keeping the outside perfectly crispy and crunchy. Most places serve fries with a huge choice of sauces, from ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard to samurai, andalouse, and joppiesaus.

Belgium takes its fries so seriously that there’s an annual competition for the stall or restaurant that makes the best fries!

Maison Antoine is one of the best places in the whole of Belgium for fries. Established in 1948, this casual hut serves the most drool-worthy and addictive fries you’ve ever had in your life. They’re shockingly cheap and come with the choice of more than 30 different sauces.

8. Tour the World’s Largest Belgian Chocolate Museum 

Best Things to do in Antwerp: Chocolate Nation

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, a visit to the Chocolate Nation is one of the must-do things in Belgium. The biggest chocolate museum in the whole world, Chocolate Nation teaches you all about why chocolate is so important to the country and why people around the world can’t get enough of it!

Here you can find out how chocolate is transformed from tiny beans into delicious bars. The fascinating exhibit flows through 14 themed rooms that follow the humble cacao bean on its journey. Through interesting displays, you can watch it as it moves from exotic plantations to chocolate-making shops in Antwerp.

The best part about Chocolate Nation is that you get to try plenty of samples. There are more than 10 different kinds of chocolate to nibble. If you want to get a bit more hands-on, you can also have a go at making your own chocolate creations. 

9. Be Mesmerized by the Ghent Light Festival

The Ghent Light Festival only takes place once every three years. So if it’s happening during your visit, you’ve got to check it out. This phenomenal festival takes over the whole town, with innovative light installations set up throughout the city.

Take a walk around at night, and you’ll be left in awe as artistic creations in every size, shape, and color you can imagine dazzle in the dark. There are more than 50 unique installations set up along a 5-kilometer path that takes you all over the city. The outdoor art gallery is completely free to enjoy, too. 

As well as the stunning installations, the Ghent Light Festival also includes a huge number of amazing performances themed on light and color. Keep your eyes open for posters throughout Ghent advertising the dates, times, and locations of the performances.

There’s no set date for the festival. Your best bet is to check online when planning your vacation.

10. Explore Rubens House

Belgium Things to do: Rubens House

If you’re a fan of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, you’ll be excited to hear that you can visit the home that he once lived in. One of the top things to do in Brussels, spending a few hours in Rubens House gives you the chance to see a new, more personal side of the artist that few get to experience.

The artist resided and painted some of his most famous masterpieces in Rubens House (now known as Rubenshuis) for 30 years in the 17th century. After he purchased the building, he completely renovated it until it was just how he wanted it. Today, the property features a grandiose Italian palazzo style and has a beautiful courtyard. 

Many of his great works of art are on display inside the house, as well as a number of pieces created by his contemporaries and his students. Rubens House hasn’t always been a home. It was a prison for a short while after the French Revolution! In the 20th century, Antwerp took over the building and restored it to make it look like it did when Rubens lived there.

11. Walk In the Footsteps of Napoleon at Waterloo

Unique Things to do in Belgium: Waterloo

If you love visiting historical spots, you’ll be spoiled for things to do in Belgium. One landmark you’ve absolutely got to visit is Waterloo, the place where Napoleon was defeated in the infamous Battle of Waterloo. 

The countryside looks like an entirely different place today. Instead of being ravished by battle, the ground is put to good use and is covered with agricultural fields. But there is a small nod to what went on there centuries ago.

An artificial hill rises up above the flatlands. Take a walk up the incline, and you’ll discover an impressive lion memorial at the top, commemorating the day that Napoleon’s army was defeated. From here, you’ve also got fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. 

If you want to find out more, step inside the visitor’s center at the bottom of the hill. Here you’ll find loads of displays and a 3D movie on the events that led up to the battle.

Book a Waterloo Private Battlegrounds Tour

12. Go Window Shopping For Diamonds

Must do things in Belgium: Antwerp Diamond District

For some of the best Belgium sightseeing opportunities, head to Antwerp. This trendy district is known for being an incredible place for fashion, but it also has a well-deserved reputation as being the diamond capital of the world. It all started in the 15th century when Lodewyk van Bercken created an innovative tool that was perfect for polishing gemstones.

Antwerp’s Diamond District is just to the west of the Central Station. Whether or not you’ve got any money in your bank account, you’re free to take a walk around and gaze in the windows of the hundreds of diamond workshops and stores which line the streets. Here you’ll find everything from rough diamonds mined from the ground to sparkling polished diamonds and priceless diamond jewelry.

Not only can you shop for precious gemstones here, but you can also see how the jewelry is made. Some craftspeople polish rough diamonds and make remarkable diamond jewelry in the front of their stores, so you can see them at work.

13. Get Back to Nature in Semois Valley

Belgium Things to do: Semois Valley

Hidden away in the southern part of the country, Semois Valley is one of Belgium’s best-kept secrets. Shrouded in natural beauty, the valley is covered in lush grass, towering trees, and the quaint sound of birdsong.

The winding Semois River cuts through the green fields and is overlooked by undulating hills dotted with all kinds of beautiful flora, whichever time of year you visit. Here you’ll find some of the very best hikes in the country, and you never have to worry about crowds.

Even during summer, when the valley is most popular, there are still off-the-beaten-track trails to discover that invite you to explore Belgium’s countryside alone. If that sounds like way too much work for you, a riverboat ride may be more your style. 

Hop on, and you’ll sail over the sparkling lake, enjoying all the beautiful views without any of the hard work!

14. Fall In Love With Belgian Chocolates

Must do things in Belgium: Belgian Chocolates

When you’re in the mood for a treat, one of the top things to do in Belgium is to indulge your sweet tooth with the country’s world-famous chocolates. Belgium has been making chocolate since the 17th century, and you’ll find chocolate shops every few steps in the cities. 

Passion Chocolat is one of the best places in Belgium to fill up on chocolate. This hugely popular chocolatier has multiple locations throughout the country, each of which boasts 80 different varieties of chocolate.

Here you can fall in love with pralines, ganaches, truffles, and chocolate bars. There’s also a number of fantastic specialties, such as lightly-salted peanut-shaped pralines and super-thin chocolate bars flavored with rosemary and pepper.

If you’re not much of a chocolate lover, Passion Chocolat is still worth a visit. Pick up some treats for friends and family back home, and they’ll love you forever!

15. See Art Come to Life at Saint Peter’s Church in Leuven

Best Things to do in Belgium: Saint Peter Church in Leuven

One of the most unique Belgium attractions, Saint Peter’s Church in Leuven isn’t like any other church. This religious building invites you on a journey back in time for the chance to see spectacular works of art come to life. 

In 2020, the church introduced top-end tablets and high-tech HoloLens headsets that make a visit to Saint Peter’s absolutely fascinating. Strap on a HoloLens headset, and 3D images will be projected onto the artwork, along with special effects and audio, for a truly unique experience.  

That’s not the only way you can visit Saint Peter’s Church. For a traditional day out, sign up for one of the visitor guides or follow a self-guided family tour to see the highlights of the building. 

One of the highlights of the church is The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts. Created by a Flemish Primitive artist that lived in Leuven, this painting was completed almost 600 years ago and is brimming with intricate details. 

16. Become a Museum Lover at the Historium

Unique Things to do in Belgium: Historium

You’ll find one of the most fun things to do in Belgium at the Historium. A fantastic place to spend a day, whether you’re traveling as a grown-up couple or a family with kids, this attraction is part medieval movie and part museum. 

Tucked away inside a neo-gothic building in Bruges, the museum invites you on a journey to discover what the city was like during the medieval era. To appeal to people who aren’t usually into museums, the Historium shuns facts and figures in favor of modern tech. 

VR headsets, special effects, and lively music combine to give you a great idea of what it was like to live in the city hundreds of years ago. Here you’ll find seven history-themed rooms to work your way through, as well as a tower that reaches 114 feet into the sky and a panoramic terrace with some of the best views in the city. 

Get Your Historium Bruges Story Ticket

17. Go Back to the 16th Century With the Binche Carnival

Fun Things to do in Belgium: Binche Carnival

If you’re planning to travel to Belgium at the end of February, you’ve got to make time for the Binche Carnival. For a few days at the end of February or the beginning of March (the exact dates change according to when Easter falls), the city of Binche comes to life with one of the most fascinating Carnivals in Europe.

Taking weeks of preparation to organize, the festival sees the small town return to the 16th century. It’s so remarkable that it was declared an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.

During the three-day celebration, loads of music parades take place throughout the town, with all the locals dressed in fantastic period costumes. The highlight of the event is when 1,000 Giles (people dressed up as unusual clowns) appear on the Grand Place on Shrove Tuesday. 

The funny characters dance to the sound of beating drums to ward off evil spirits. They then proceed to march down the street, throwing oranges at everyone watching. Don’t worry if you get hit by one. It’s said to be good luck!

18. Get Tipsy at the Bruges Beer Festival

What to do in Belgium: Bruges Beer Festival

The Bruges Beer Festival is definitely one of the top Belgium activities. Held during a single weekend in spring or summer, the festival sees 80 individual breweries come together to share their best products with the city. 

Take a look around, and you’ll find over 500 different types of beer to try, as well as a number of rare and exclusive varieties made especially for the Bruges Beer Festival. A lot of breweries launch new beers at the festival, giving you the chance to try all kinds of beer you’ve never even heard of.

Belgium Things to do: Bruges Beer Festival

If you need something to soak up the alcohol, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are food trucks dotted throughout the venue, serving up all kinds of local and international dishes. There’s also a raffle stand where you can buy tickets for the chance to win beer-related memorabilia and free drinks!

19. Discover the Fairytale Castle of Veves

Unique Things to do in Belgium: Castle of Veves

If you find yourself in Namur, you’ve got to check out the Castle of Veves. Known as the Château de Vêves in Belgium, this romantic medieval castle boasts dreamy round towers and peaked cupolas, making it look like something from a fairytale.

The original foundations of the castle date back to the time of Pepin de Herstal (670-714). The building was completely destroyed in 1200, and it wasn’t until 1230 that it was rebuilt. However, the castle was devastated by fire at the start of the 15th century and restored once again. Most of the structure that you can see today dates back to the 15th century.

Take a tour of the castle, and you’ll discover grandiose galleries, magnificent staircases, a charming chapel, and luxurious lounges where the wealthy and powerful would socialize. The views from the outside of the castle are just as stunning as the ones inside. From the castle’s hilltop location, you’ve got the perfect view of the surrounding verdant valley.

20. Go Skinny Dipping In the North Sea

Fun Things to do in Belgium: Bredene, Belgium

If you’re feeling brave, one of the most fun things to do in Belgium is to let it all hang out at Bredene’s nudist beach. The only official naturist beach in Belgium, Bredene Beach is quiet and remote, so you don’t have to worry about spectators!

Although the beach is relatively small, around 820 feet long, it’s never crowded. Because it’s a little out of the way, it’s not covered in souvenir stalls, boat trip kiosks, and seafood restaurants. Instead, the rugged beach flaunts a natural beauty, with flat, soft golden sand backed by small grass-speckled dunes. 

The beach is very well signposted and just a short walk from the Bredene Renbaan coastal tram stop. Rarely calm and still, the sea is always a little choppy. But if you’re a confident swimmer, the waves are great fun to jump and splash in.

21. Dig Into All the Moules-Frites You Can Handle

What to do in Belgium: Moules-Frites

Belgium is known for its exquisite seafood, and moules-frites is one of the most spectacular dishes. This local favorite is made from tender mussels that are cooked in a light white wine with vegetable broth or flavor-packed Belgian beer. The mussels are served with thick and chunky fries, which are perfect for dipping into the sauce after all the mussels are gone.

What makes mussels and fries so much better in Belgium than anywhere else in the world are the ingredients. The mussels in Belgium are caught in the North Sea and are significantly bigger and plumper than the ones caught in the sea around France.

The fries are different from fries in other places, too. Belgian fries are fried twice, giving them perfectly light and fluffy insides, while keeping the outsides crispy and crunchy. The contrast in flavor and texture of the mussels and fries makes this iconic dish incredibly addictive! 

Poules Moules in Bruges serves amazing moules-frites. There are loads of different types to choose between – plain, with white wine, with Bruges beer, with Pernod, and with fresh basil. 

22. Enjoy an Early Morning Bike Ride Along Trappisteenroute

Unique Things to do in Belgium: Trappisteenroute

For some of the best sights in Belgium, rent a bike and cycle along Trappisteenroute. Known as the Trappist Route in English, this wonderful cycling route passes by some of the most beautiful scenery in Flanders and even includes a visit to the Trappist Abbey, founded in 1794.

The route begins and ends at the Westmalle Brewery, where Trappist monks have been praying, living, and brewing beer in silence for hundreds of years. Here you can take a much-deserved break and enjoy one of their locally-brewed beers, along with some traditional Belgian food.

The complete route covers a staggering 27 miles, making it best left to cycling enthusiasts comfortable with long journeys. Because it is so long, we recommend you set off first thing in the morning and set aside an entire day to complete the Trappist Route.

23. Soak Up the View From the Highest Spot In Belgium

Must do things in Belgium: Hautes Fagnes

When you want to get back to nature and escape the crowds, one of the best things to do in Belgium is to visit the Hautes Fagnes. This wetland nature reserve is home to the highest point in Belgium, standing at an impressive 2,300 feet above sea level. From up here, you can literally see for miles across immaculate, unspoiled nature.

While the viewing point is definitely one of the highlights of Hautes Fagnes, there are plenty of other things to do in the area, too. The nature reserve is very boggy, but crisscrossing boardwalks allow you to explore and check out the sights without getting your feet wet.  

Because the place is so huge and few visitors know about it, you can walk for miles and miles without seeing a single person. Cell service can be a bit hit-and-miss, so it’s a good idea to take a physical map with you or make sure you’ve got one downloaded on your phone for offline use.

Depending on the time of year you visit, you could spot everything from black grouse and hen harriers to wild boar and roe deer.

24. See How the Other Half Lived at the Kasteel van Loppem

Belgium Things to do: Kasteel van Loppem

You’ll find some of the very best things to see in Belgium inside the Kasteel van Loppem. Located on the outskirts of Bruges, this powerful fortress looks more like an opulent mansion than a castle and has been one of the city’s most popular attractions for years. 

Kasteel van Loppem was built in the 19th century and was the home of the Belgian king for a short while following the end of WWI. During this period, it was also a command center for Belgium’s army. 

What to do in Belgium: Kasteel van Loppem

Take a self-guided tour around the castle, and you’ll discover magnificent furniture, hand-woven carpets, grandiose fireplaces, and glittering chandeliers that once adorned the home of the royal family. Inside the marvelous building, you’ll also find a spectacular artwork collection consisting of sketches and sculptures. 

When you need a break from trinkets and treasures, step outside and get lost in the hedge maze. It’s trickier than it looks and is great fun!

25. Swap Beer for Jenever

Belgium is well known for its world-famous beer, but jenever is a lesser-known alcohol that’s been made in the country for more than 500 years. You’ll find it under many different names, including peket, genever, and Hollands. More of an acquired taste than beer, jenever is juniper-flavored and is the drink that gin originated from. 

There are many different types of jenever with various distinct tastes. Jonge jenever tastes a bit like vodka, while oude jenever is smoother and maltier. The type of grain used to make the drink is what gives it its unique flavor. 

You’ll find jenever in pretty much every bar throughout Belgium. To make it appealing to more palates, a lot of places serve it in fun flavors like passionfruit, apple, chocolate, and vanilla. Most supermarkets also sell it, so you can grab a bottle of your favorite flavor and take it back home with you. 

There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Belgium. What’s your favorite thing to do in Belgium?

Planning a trip to Belgium? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!



  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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