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Belgium

Belgium is one of the most underrated Western European countries. It might be sandwiched between fantastic neighbours, but don't overlook this gem! With chocolate-tasting in Bruges and comic-hunting in Brussels, this bucket list will help you discover Belgium's rich culture. 

Do a chocolate tour, Bruges 

 

Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and Bruges is no exception. Embark on either a self-guided or guided chocolate tour of the city, visiting the local chocolatiers and sampling their products. Make sure to stop by The Old Chocolate House for a hot chocolate and visit Choco-Story, Bruges' very own chocolate museum. Don't forget to buy some treats for the train ride home!

 

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Visit Gravensteen Castle, Ghent

 

If you haven't been to Ghent, you need to go immediately. After wandering through the historical streets and stunning squares, explore Ghent's iconic Gravensteen Castle. But don't be fooled by its fairytale appearance! Inside, visit the Torture Museum to discover the castle's dark past. 

 

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Climb the Atomium, Brussels 

 

Belgium conjures up beautiful canal-side buildings and streets, doesn't it? Head to Brussels' Atomium for a completely different perspective. This iconic structure shaped like an iron crystal was originally built for the 1958 Brussels' World Fair, but the city decided to keep it. Climb inside the strange spheres to visit the museum, restaurant and panoramic platforms. 

 

brussels-atomium

Pose for a photo in the Grand Place, Brussels 

 

If you've been wondering what our cover image is on this bucket list, look no further. In the heart of Brussels lies the Grand Place, a square of immense beauty and Instagrammable perfection. With the 17th-century guild houses, City Hall and the King's House, this square is both historically and culturally significant. 

 

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Watch a ceremony at Menin Gate, Ypres

 

Every evening at 8pm, a crowd gathers beneath the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres to watch the buglars play 'The Last Post'. This simple tradition commemorates the Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War and is an incredibly moving experience.

 

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Eat a Liège waffle, Antwerp 

 

While visiting Belgium's hip northern city, you've got to try a Liège waffle. Belgium is known for its waffles, but if you've ever tried one outside the country, most likely it was a square version known as the Brussels Waffle. For a more authentic Belgian experience, head to Antwerp to try the Liège waffle: a richer, thicker waffle with an oval shape.

 

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Say hi to Manneken Pis, Brussels

 

So you've seen the beauty of the Grand Place and the striking Atomium. What could possibly follow but a visit to a statue of a boy urinating? No, really. Say hi to Manneken Pis: a small boy statue who is undoubtedly the funniest and most iconic symbol of the city. Representing the rebellious and carefree spirit of Brussels, the Manneken Pis fountain should be at the top of your list. With over 900 costumes made specifically for him, what will he be wearing when you visit?

 

brussels-mannekenpis

Love Leuven

 

Leuven is the best kept secret in Belgium. With its beautiful beguinage, University Library and Town Hall, this is the city all students would love to live in. Check out Fonske, Manneken's famous statue friend, before hitting the longest bar in the world at the Oude Markt.  

 

leuven-belgium

Do the Comic Strip Walk, Brussels 

 

This city really does have everything, doesn't it? Witness Belgium's love for comics with Brussels' iconic comic strip street art, celebrating the country's most famous creations. Spot familiar faces like The Smurfs and Tintin, but who else will you find?

brussels-street-art

Take a canal cruise, Bruges

 

Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and seeing it from the canals is an experience you'll never forget. With a bag of Belgian chocolates on your lap, marvel at the medieval buildings, ancient bridges and secret gardens passing by. We'd recommend to visit in autumn for the most colourful experience, but whenever you go, you'll never be disappointed.

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