5 original outings to (re)discover Belgium differently in November
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
The watchword this fall? Discover the wonders of our flat country! The good news is that we are still allowed to move freely in Belgium and that the All Saints' Day vacations have been extended. This week, Story Tailor shares with you our favorite places to (re)discover 5 beautiful corners of Belgium for a day, to inspire your next "black-yellow-red" escapades!
Located in the province of East Flanders, 1 hour from Brussels, Ghent is a particularly pleasant destination for a day out. Recently, the small Flemish city launched the unique concept of « Walk Local », a set of 15 walking tours through the center of Ghent and along the city's edge, designed by 15 famous (and not so famous) Ghenters. A unique and creative way to discover this beautiful city on foot in this beautiful season.
What to do in Ghent?
Stroll along the river Lys to discover the medieval architecture of the city and admire the majestic gothic churches that will enliven your visit. Then head to the Castle of the Counts of Flanders, an impressive 10th century castle nestled in the heart of the old city. If you are a street art lover, don't miss the Graffiti Street, a surprising alley decorated with perpetually renewed graphics.
Looking for an excursion in the heart of nature to recharge your batteries and take a breath of fresh air without having to travel miles? Go and discover the town of Bouillon! This charming town nestled in the Ardennes, 2 hours by car from Brussels, is the ideal place to enjoy the shimmering colors of autumn for a day away from the city.
What to do in Bouillon?
Do you want to discover the city in a different way and get some height? Climb the 161 steps that take you to the top of the platform of the Belvedere of Bouillon, a unique place that offers an impressive view of the city and the miles around. During your visit, it is impossible to miss the imposing castle of Bouillon which makes the reputation of this small city. Overlooking the Semois River, the castle of Bouillon is one of the oldest feudal vestiges in Belgium. It offers both a nice cultural interlude and many viewpoints from which you can stop to admire the city. The good news? The castle is always open under certain conditions but we advise you to come back during the school vacations to enjoy a night visit of this unique place. Equipped with a torch, you will walk like a knight through the underground passages and corridors of this unique place, an unforgettable experience!
Located at only 30 minutes from Brussels, we often pass by Leuven without taking the time to stop there. Capital of the province of Flemish Brabant, Leuven is full of activities and things to discover. This small student town is very quiet and peaceful during this period, the perfect time to wander around while respecting security measures! If you are looking for a last minute daytrip, we advise you to go to Leuven with your eyes closed!
What to do in Leuven?
How can you visit Leuven without admiring the Grote Markt and its imposing gothic town hall, probably one of the most beautiful in the world. With its elegant turrets, niches and 236 statues, this emblematic building is a real stone lace. Behind it stands the sturdy Gothic Sint-Pieter church, the oldest in the city. Are you looking for more peace and quiet and a nice walk? Then go to the botanical garden of Leuven, the oldest in Belgium! Plant lovers will be delighted by the diversity of tropical and subtropical species, aquatic plants and potted plants. In addition, exhibitions are regularly organized in the orangery. Don't forget to end your discovery of the city with a visit to the Grand Béguinage, a unique historical site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with more than 100 houses lined up and inhabited today by professors and students of the KUL, the Catholic University of Leuven.
Let's go to the province of Namur and follow the steps of Adolphe Sax in Dinant. This small Walloon town is not the first town you think of, but it is overflowing with outdoor activities, perfect for a family day out! Voted one of Europe's best hidden gems in 2015, this little town is nestled between a cliff and the Meuse River, which gives it that special charm you can't find anywhere else in Belgium.
What to do in Dinant?
A former fortified city of the Middle Ages, Dinant still preserves many vestiges of this period. If you are not afraid of heights, we advise you to go to the top of the citadel to admire the view of the city, the Meuse and the Bayard rock which is the rocky spur that contributes to the special atmosphere of the city. Built in 1051, the citadel dominates the city of Dinant and offers a splendid view of the Meuse valley. It can be reached either by 450 steps or by a cable car. Another must-see in the city of Dinant is the impressive Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame de Dinant! This Catholic religious building on the banks of the Meuse River, with its imposing bulbous bell tower, dominates the entire city. Whether it is from the bridge where many saxophone statues are exposed or from the other side of the bank, it is impossible to miss it!
Whether in summer or autumn, with family or friends, everyone loves to go to the Belgian coast. For a day trip, Ostend is the ideal destination for a family day away from the crowds and the hustle and bustle. It is the easiest place to reach by train or car from Brussels, but our Belgian coastline has no less than fifteen seaside resorts, all with their own character and atmosphere.
What to do in Ostende?
Take a trip to the seaside and enjoy the sea air, stroll along the dike, rent a cuistax for an afternoon or get lost in the sand dunes at the ocean's edge, the list of things to do in Ostend is long! It is sometimes forgotten, but the city also has a few museums. When the weather allows it, we advise you to visit the Mercator, a three-masted ship transformed into an aquatic museum that will surely please both children and adults! For cycling enthusiasts, we recommend the 35km "Green Ribbon" (Het Groen Lint in Dutch) tour, which will take you to unique places near the city such as the Geuzebos, the Oostendse Kreken or the Zwaanhoek nature area. In addition, most of the route is car-free.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to read: Belgium: 6 off-the-beaten-path vacation experiences to discover this summer
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Copyright cover photo: pjrombouts