3 BELGIAN TOWNS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
We're sure that you've all seen pictures of Bruges, that picturesque, little, medieval belgian town, visisted by more and more tourists each year. But Belgium has much more to offer than just Bruges, and that's what we'll try to show you in this post, through a short list of -not so popular- belgian cities, equally (if not more) beautiful than Bruges.
Gent could also be described as Bruge's close cousin town as they look pretty much alike : they are both cute, pebble paved, with stunning architecture and romantic canals. What's interesting about Gent though is its vibrant atmosphere. While Bruges is mostly full of tourists, in Gent you'll most probably meet more locals than visitors, as well as many young people, because of the city's University, which is pretty popular.
When we visited Gent, last October, we decided not to take a canal cruise, as it was raining and wandered aimlessly through the city's streets instead. We also visited the famous Market Hall, sipped a cup of hot belgian chocolate (what else?) and had a romantic dinner in one of Gent's most beautiful bistros, which has unfortunately closed permanently -as Google informed us.
Namur is the capital city of the Wallonia region, aka the southern part of Belgium, which borders France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
It's among the most unknown towns in Belgium for visitors but also maybe the prettiest one. An absolute highlight of Namur is ,with no doubt, its Citadel. You might get out of breath to get up there but the view is stunning and will pay you off. You can also visit the cafe on the top of the Citadel, have some coffee or something to eat and gain your power back.
Other than that, you can walk all along the river banks and visit some of the numerous city's museums. We didn't visit any, as we almost always prefer to experience a city by walking in it, but the list of Namur's museums is quite long!
This post's list ends with a Belgium's well kept secret, Tournai. It can be reached by train from Brussels and if you choose to visit it you'll probably be the only tourists in the town (should we say village?), believe us. Tournai is quieter than quite, but still has some beauties to offer to its visitors. We found its central square pretty charming and its Cathedral imposing, to say the least. Unfortunately, it was being restored when we visited Tournai, so couldn't enter. The town's belfry is the oldest one in Belgium and a UNESCO World Heritage site as well, so try not to miss it!
We really hope this post inspired you to scratch the surface of what Belgium has to offer to its visitors.
Let us know if you have visited any of these (or other) beligian cities and which one is your favourite!
Happy travels everyone,
XoXo Nick and Elen