Holidays in Belgium: Urban getaway in Flanders
July is the month of the Belgian national holiday and the Flemish Community holiday. So for its first series of #BelgianSummer articles, Imagine Belgium puts Flanders in the spotlight. This summer, drop your suitcases off in the most beautiful Flemish cities! Imagine Belgium offers you a little selection of good addresses to fill up on culture and discovery during your holidays.
Flanders has a multitude of kid-friendly museums that offer cultural and fun activities for children.
For those with a sweet tooth, visit the Choco Story museum in Bruges, which will reopen on 1 August. Extend your visit by following a city tour to discover the points of interest, while having a few bites of chocolate at the best chocolatiers in Bruges. Attention all chocolate lovers!
The museum that makes everyone happy is the Toy Museum in Mechelen. Reminisce of childhood memories for some and discover old games for others, the museum offers a beautiful collection to entertain the whole family.
Planning to go to Ghent? Don’t miss the Museum of Fine Arts! Follow the ‘family route’ from the Middle Ages to the 20th century to (re)discover the masterpieces of Léon Spilliaert and many others. Boxes are hidden in the museum to offer a real treasure hunt for children and challenges to be taken up throughout their visit.
Northern Belgium is known for its Flemish painters like Pieter Bruegel. Dive into the ‘World of Bruegel‘ and admire his works in augmented reality in Bokrijk. With the Bruegel Game, children set off on an adventure to find the lost objects of the painter’s works, scattered throughout the largest open-air museum in Flanders!
If you’re passing through Ypres, make a time jump in history of the First World War by visiting the trenches of Ypres and its surroundings. Did you know that Imagine Belgium invites you to fly over our country and through the famous Ypres Trenches by using virtual reality?
Street art from Hasselt to Ostend
The streets of Flanders are full of street art: Antwerp, Hasselt, Mechelen, Ghent, Ostend, we made a short list of street art routes to do this summer. And we advise you to use the “Street Art Cities App” available on smartphone to find the most beautiful works of art.
Antwerp isn’t just a showcase for Flemish painting. It’s also a real open-air museum! Even if the street art event “Meeting of Styles” will not take place this year due to the health crisis, you can still enjoy the famous street art district of Berchem. Tip: Take the train to admire the works along the rails between Antwerp-Berchem and Antwerp-Central stations.
Ghent would not be what it is without its famous “Graffiti street”. And this thematic year dedicated to Van Eyck is an opportunity for the city to welcome artists from all over the world to decorate its walls with works inspired by the painting of the Mystic Lamb. We highly recommend you to go and have a look!
Ostend is not left behind when it comes to street art either. The Crystal Ship, the art festival has turned the city into a veritable open-air gallery. Between two sunbathing sessions, treat yourself to a street art tour with a guide or the free Crystal Ship Chatbot, accessible in Dutch via Messenger.
Havens of peace in the heart of the city
Need a little quiet in the hustle and bustle of the city? We recommend some quiet places to punctuate your visits with walks in all serenity.
Did you know that the Flemish beguinages are also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Of the 13 recognised beguinages, the one in Bruges is particularly lovely with its peaceful garden. To find out more about the life of the beguines, those devout and independent women who decided to live together as a community, a museum has even been set up in one of the old houses. We also recommend the garden and houses of the Antwerp Beguinage and the alleys of the Large Beguinage of Mechelen for peaceful walks in the heart of the city.
If you like to stroll in the shade of the gardens, we recommend the enclosed garden of Antwerp Cathedral, a little gem hidden in the hollow of the cathedral. Don’t miss the art trail “Natura Inspiratus” opened this summer in the National Botanical Garden of Meise. We are already booking our tickets for this summer!
Imagine Belgium has at heart to offer activities accessible to the greatest number of people. As of this summer, we offer the opportunity to try our brand new virtual reality experience to discover Belgium from the Grand Place of Brussels. Find out more here.