Belgium may be a small country in Western Europe, but it packs a lot of history within its borders: knights who went on crusades, the place where Napoleon met his Waterloo and which felt the effects of World War I && II. Because it’s so small, visitors can get to almost any of the tourist attractions in Belgium with three or four hours of train travel. Belgium is also the place that gave the world Belgian waffles, if more incentive is needed to travel there.
Grand Place, Brussels
La Grand Place, or De Grote Markt in Dutch, is surrounded by beautiful guildhalls and other buildings dating from the 14th to 17th centuries. One side is dominated by the ornate medieval town hall, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Grand Place was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding blend of architectural and artistic styles. The square is busy with tourists and locals at all times of year, but especially in August of alternate years, when the center is filled with the 75- by 24-meter Flower Carpet, made up of more than 700,000 cut begonias. Tip: you’ll get the best full view of the beautiful designs from the balcony of the town hall.
This hugely impressive fort was once the grand home of the counts of Flanders, who took their inspiration for castle-building from the bulky castles the Crusaders built in Syria. Today, Gravensteen is one of Europe’s best surviving examples of a moated fortress and has been incredibly well-preserved. Its strong and impressively thick and high walls soar up from the waters of the river Lieve right in the middle of the old town of Ghent, rising above the rooftops of the surrounding streets. Inside, the vast arched halls and chambers contain exhibits of medieval life, but it’s the castle’s architecture itself that is the real star of the show. Climb up the staircase to the roof for panoramic views across town before strolling through Ghent’s charming stone-paved streets.
Cathedral of Saint Bavo
This majestic cathedral with its high Gothic choir and Romanesque crypt showcases the best of religious architecture in Belgium and is Ghent’s most outstanding tourist attraction. Although the soaring building, with its harmonious stained glass windows, is a highlight in itself, most people come here to see the famous artwork that graces the interior; specifically the Flemish masterpiece known as The Altar of Ghent. Once you’ve viewed the painting though, don’t miss the mammoth crypt under the cathedral, which contains important tombs and some beautiful wall paintings.
It is sometimes said that Belgian food is served in the quantity of German cuisine but with the quality of French food. Outside the country, Belgium is best known for its chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. … Belgians typically eat three meals a day, with a light breakfast, medium lunch, a snack and large dinner.