☑ Walking the Trails of The Blue Forest
It’s no secret to anyone who has ever been on this blog that I am IN LOVE with this place. It’s my happy place. My boyfriend and I have been every year since I moved here in 2013 for the annual blooming of the luscious bluebell flowers.
The photos speak for themselves, and it is definitely something you need to do if you’re here during the April to early June months of the year.
☑ Visiting Tomorrowland
(or one of Belgium’s other epic festivals)
Since it’s arrival in 2005, Tomorrowland is regarded as one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals in the world. People come from all around the world, tickets selling out within minutes of being released. It’s a whole other level of epic that only Belgium can create!
Belgium’s also got quite a few other music festivals; Rockwerchter, Pukkelpop, Graspop to name just a few. From metal to pop – you can find just about any kind of music here.
☑ Drinking A Beer You’ve Never Heard of Before
There is a pub in Antwerp that my boyfriend and I used to frequent called Bier Central; where they have THREE HUNDRED different kinds of beer on the menu. And that is just one pub. YEAH.
I’ve never been a beer gal. First it was tequila and then I moved on to Whiskey, but now that I’m an expat here in Belgium with some of the world’s finest beers – BEER it is for me! (My favourite is kreik; cherry beer). If you’re saying “I don’t like beer” THINK AGAIN because I almost guarantee you’ll find something for yourself here.
☑ Eat Waffles
(for a Meal)
Waffles are somewhat of a Belgian specialty and I swear, they make an entire meal of them. It’s crazy. Waffles can come with all kinds of different fruit, toppings or additions and around almost every corner. Indulge yourself! Waffle-it-up!
☑ Exploring the History of the World Wars
War history is something that Belgians do well, because there were many battles of the great wars fought right here on this land. Letting that sink in, while you’re staring at the crosses of Flanders Fields or wandering through one of the countless war museums here…it’s just a whole other kind of humble that you need to experience once in your lifetime. Being in the place where people fought for our freedom so many years ago, it’s just an incredibly surreal experience.
Some of my personal favourite ways to experience war history here in Belgium are: Flanders Fields museum & cemetery, Tynecot Cemetery (Canadian cemetery), and Hill 62 monument (Canadian monument where a battle mostly fought by Canadian troops was won).
There is even a place in Belgium where you can visit a tank from the war which was traded to the townspeople for some drinks from the soldiers who came to clean up after the war had ended.
☑ Checking out a Castle or Two
Belgium has a thing for castles! It’s said that Belgium has more castles per kilometer sq than anywhere else in the world! And with that, over 400 castles across this country are open to the public. Some have been slightly restored and renovated into restaurants and hotels.
One of our favourites of ours is Gastbeek castle in the area of Flemish Brabant; where they have turned parts of the castle into a musuem to tell the castles history of the castle owners throughout history (which is SUPER interesting and even includes live action characters and puzzles for those more inquisitive visitors.)
Check out this stellar list of castles (including a map) on Cheeseweb.
☑ Visit the Netherlands-Belgium Border Town
(and be in two places at once)
Baarle-Nassau (or Baarle-Hertog) is a fascinating place because there are parts of the town that are Belgian, and parts of the town that are Dutch. I’m talking, one side of the street has the Netherlands flag on their houses and across the street are Belgian flags – to show which house belongs to which country.
Eating at the Den Engel brassiere (and perhaps staying at their hotel above) is the ultimate check on this bucket list, because this little cafe is nearly cut in two by the Belgian-Netherlands border!
☑ Tour the Brugge Canals
Who needs Venice when you’re in Belgium! While Amsterdam also offered the iconic canal experience, doing a canal tour in Brugge is a one of a kind experience and will definitely leave you head over heels with the city. Touring around the water streets and hearing about the history of the town makes for a lovely afternoon or romantic date night.
☑ Visit an Abandoned Place
Belgium has it’s fair share of abandoned places to add to your “I Dare You to…” list of things you want to be wild enough to do one day. From something as tame as wandering the streets of the openly half-abandoned town of Doel, to visiting the Villers Abbey to finding some place yourself – Belgium’s unique combination of forestry, grafitti and ruin can be found in quite a few places.
☑ Visiting Antwerpen Centraal Station
(and maybe taking a train to a close-by country)
Not only is this train station gorgeous (named one of the world’s most beautiful stations) – but it is SO easy to hop on a train and be in Amsterdam or Paris in just an hour or two.
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