Discovery of the flat country

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Two weeks represent a reasonable time for a good overview of Belgium, its large cities and its hinterland. Jacques Brel's "flat country" is perhaps a small territory, but there are many points of interest.

Photo gallery

<p>Village of Falaën</p> Statue of Rubens and Cathedral Notre-Dame-d'Antwerp. Statue of Silvius Brabo surrounded by the City Hall and the guilds of the Grand-Place. Adornes Hotel <p>Tournai</p> Asinello The Royal Galleries of Ostend. <p>The city of Ypres.</p> <p>Statue of Christine de Lalaing, Tournai.</p> <p>Fish market in Gisenyi.</p> The Meuse crossing through Namur. Citadelle Citadel and College Notre-Dame. Médiacité <p>Basilica Notre-Dame de Tongres.</p> <p>Bastogne Barracks.</p>

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Steps

  • Bruxelles - Brussel
  • Bruges - Brugge
  • Antwerpen 6
  • Ixelles
  • Waterloo
  • Charleroi
  • Mont-Sur-Marchienne
  • Tournai
  • Liège
  • Spa
  • Tongeren
  • Bastogne
  • Bouillon
  • Durbuy
  • Saint-Hubert
  • Anseremme
  • Dinant
  • Namur
  • Gent
  • Diest
  • Halle
  • Ieper
  • Nieuwpoort
  • Oostende
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Details of the stay: Discovery of the flat country - 20 days

Day 1 : Brussels centre

The Belgian capital will surprise you. The European Union's nerve centre is not just an administrative and bureaucratic centre: Brussels is a dynamic city that radiates thanks to its architecture, its green spaces, its sweetness of life, but also and especially its inhabitants, friendly and joyful. To start, go to the Grand Place via rue du Marché-aux-Herbes. Admire the city hall and the surrounding houses, including the Maison du Roi, where the museum of the City of Brussels is located. A stone's throw from the Grand-Place, stroll through the cobbled and charming streets of the Saint-Jacques area, full of bistros and small shops. And, of course, visit the Manneken Pis, one of the most famous symbols of Brussels. Its size (60 cm) may surprise you, but it represents Belgian humour and its tendency to self-mockery. The Saint-Hubert royal galleries, the first covered galleries in Europe (1846), also deserve a detour. Tea rooms, brasseries, bookshops and chic shops occupy the ground floor, while on the upper floor, there are private apartments. In the evening, choose a show in one of the many theatres of the city.

Day 2 : Popular neighbourhoods in Brussels

Stroll around the place du Sablon surrounded by private mansions and the Notre-Dame du Sablon church, a stunning Gothic-style building with beautiful stained glass windows. The square is the setting of a famous antique market on Saturday and Sunday morning. But the art and antiques galleries of the neighbourhood make up a permanent chic museum. Not far from there is another district that is worth a visit: The Marolles. Radically different, this popular neighborhood, in constant agitation, abounds in small shops, flea markets and typical and warm cafés and restaurants. Every morning, a flea market, amazingly colourful bric-a-brac, is held on the place du Jeu de Balle!

Day 3 : Museum marathon in Brussels

For the last day in Brussels, enjoy the museums. Difficult to choose because of their number, but we can mention the href="" etbspf_id:70319""="" title="" museum"="" oldmasters="" museum="" target="" _blank""="" Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum href="" etbspf_id:69927""="" title="" museum"="" d="" art="" moderne="" target="" _blank""="" of Modern Art, Royal Museums of Art and History, the Museum of Natural Sciences (and the largest exhibition of dinosaur skeletons in Europe), the Belgian Center of Comic Strip, the Belvue Museum that tells the story of Belgium, the Musical Instruments Museum with its 7,000 pieces of collection, or the brand new

Day 4 : Waterloo

This tragic place remains, in French memories, that of a resounding defeat. On the spot, you can visit the battlefield: the href="" etbspf_id:69488""="" title="" last"="" quartier="" g="" n="" ral="" de="" napol="" on="" target="" _blank""="" last headquarters of Napoleon, the href="" etbspf_id:69895""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" museum"="" wellington="" Wellington Museum (victorious adversary of the latter), the

Day 5 : Go to Antwerp

A large port, a vast old town rich in historical monuments, and a lively city by day and night at the same time, Antwerp has something to attract many people. Stroll through the streets of the old town surrounded by countless architectural treasures. Admire the immense Gothic cathedral and its spire (123 m, the highest in Belgium) and the Grand-Place, surrounded by majestic guild houses with their rein facades and gilded statues. In the afternoon, shop in the fashionable boutiques of the a creators of Anvers and stroll along the edge of the Escaut, a former 19th-century port activities center, a little melancholic and bordered by contemporary architecture.

Day 6 : Diving in Flemish art

For this second day in Antwerp, visit the Rubens>Then,>Het>This href="" etbspf_id:307920""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" house"="" rubens="" house. ), the new cultural heart of Antwerp. Art. At nightfall, the city's activity continues. It's time to sit down in one of the many cafes or restaurants in Antwerp, and for night birds, extend the evening in one of the discos that host international DJs.

Day 7 : Head for Ghent

If it's said that Bruges is the most beautiful city of Belgium, it has a real rival. The city centre has an astonishing architectural heritage and is rich in old monuments, such as the Saint-Bavo cathedral, where you can find the altarpiece of the mystic Lamb of Van Eyck brothers (15th century), the sheet hall and the belfry, the city hall, the Grass quay, the castle of the Counts. 

Day 8 : Festive evening in Ghent

The city also has excellent museums: Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art, Design Museum... Besides, unlike the calm and quiet nights of Bruges, those in Ghent are animated by the student population, and you will find many bars where you can meet some party-goers.

Day 9 : Bruges by bike

Rent a bicycle, whether you come by bus, train or car: the sweetness of life in Bruges will make perfect sense. A first tour of the city will allow you to discover the famous canals and stroll among the lovers who come to exchange kisses in this romantic environment. In the evening, Bruges is more like a peaceful small village than a nocturnal thriving city.

Day 10 : Bruges on the canals

Start the day by climbing the 366 steps of the belfry to the 5th floor: A superb view is offered to you, not to mention the treasury and other remains of the tower, accessible on the different floors. In the afternoon, take a mini cruise on the canals to admire the bridges and the many houses that bathe in the water. In the evening, taste some mussels and french fries in a typical restaurant: sometimes, the good old pictures are good!

Day 11 : Arrival on the Belgian coast

Take a day trip to the Belgian coast. In addition to its beautiful beach (9 km of sand!) and a lovely promenade, Ostend is a true seaside town with a lively center and a number of interests, including the excellent museum href="" etbspf_id:69927""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" museum"="" d="" art="" moderne="" of modern art, the Atlantikwall and the

Day 12 : Ypres, memory of the Great War

This martyr city, destroyed during the First World War, was carefully rebuilt. Go through the Grand-Place, admire Saint Martin cathedral, and visit the In href="" etbspf_id:359099""="" title="" museum"="" in="" flanders="" fields="" target="" _blank""="" Flanders Fields Museum, which will bring you back to the events of the War 1914-1918. Then, you can visit one of the typical estaminets of the surrounding area.

Day 13 : Discovery of Tournai

City with a rich historical past, Tournai has preserved many civil, military and religious testimonies of its prestigious past, even though the wars have not spared it. The city is worth one-day visit: The cathedral is one of the most beautiful in Belgium, the belfry is classified and there are several interesting museums as well as good restaurants. A short stroll on the Grand-Place or the quays of the Scheldt will convince you.

Day 14 : Mons, European Capital of culture 2015

A pleasant step, this beautiful Walloon City has an elegant Grand-Place, beautiful cobbled streets and a listed baroque-style belfry. If you are in the area on Sunday following Pentecost, don't miss the traditional Ducasse festival, better known as "Doudou". On the way to Namur, you can also stop in Charleroi, to discover the largest Walloon metropolis. And the superb

Day 15 : Walk in Namur

A quiet mosane city, Namur has a certain charm. Start by visiting the citadel, 18th century fortified citadel, which offers magnificent views of the city and the valley of the Meuse. Don't miss the Saint-Aubain cathedral, the Saint-Loup href="" etbspf_id:70825""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" church"="" saint-loup="" church and

Day 16 : Picturesque village of Dinant

Nestled between the river and the rocks, this

Day 17 : Liège the party

Visit the most festive city of Wallonia, the cultural capital of the region. A former steel center, Liège still retains some vestiges of its past. As an episcopal principality: The href="" etbspf_id:307649""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" place"="" du="" march="" Market Square surrounded by 17th and 18th centuries buildings,  Life Museum, the href="" etbspf_id:69385""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" museum"="" de="" la="" vie="" wallonne="" religious Art and mosan Art Museum or the Modern href="" etbspf_id:69927""="" target="" _blank""="" title="" museum"="" d="" art="" moderne="" and Contemporary Art Museum. Finally, on weekends, it would be unforgivable not to stay there at least for a night to enjoy the night atmosphere.

Day 18 : Back to the Past in Tongeren

Visit Tongeren, the oldest city in Belgium. Don't miss the remains of the Roman walls, the Gallo-Roman Museum and Notre-Dame Basilica (one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in the country).

Day 19 : Breath of fresh air in the Ardennes

Spend a day or two days in the Ardennes, and discover the trails and villages of this wooded and hilly region. Visit Bastogne, a city symbol of the Battle of the Ardennes, stroll through the streets of Bouillon, go mountain biking around the village of Houffalize, kayaking or hiking in Durbuy... And why not finish your stay by the spa town of Spa, to rest if you decide to enjoy the festive side of Belgium during your stay!

Day 20 : Relaxation in the thermal waters

End of stay by the spa town of Spa, just to rest after this long stay full of discovery.

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