Road trips from the Netherlands to Belgium: the perfect getaway

One of the perks of living in the Netherlands is that the country is sandwiched between both Belgium and Germany making weekend, or even day trips, a more than easy option.

In fact, with your heart set on visiting Belgium, you can get from capital city to capital city in a mere 2.5 hours! If you’re coming from the south of the Netherlands, the drive is much shorter and it’s completely doable in a day. If you’re heading there from the north, you might want to consider a weekend trip.

Whatever the case, here are three things to see and do in three Belgian cities: Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges. 🇧🇪

3 things to do in Brussels

photo-of-the-grand-place-in-brussels-on-a-sunny-day-with-bright-blue-sky
So much stunning architecture on Brussels’ central square — the Grand Place! Image: Depositphotos
  • Visit Mini-Europe. It’s like Madurodam (but of course, that’s much better), but for the whole of Europe. They have quite a few miniaturised Dutch cities but I won’t tell you which — you’ll have to find out for yourselves!
  • Go to the Atomium. It’s pretty cool to see from the outside and you can even go inside it, for amazing views over the city. Plus, it’s right next to Mini-Europe, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
  • Visit the Grand Place. It’s the most beautiful part of the city (in my opinion). The architecture is incredible and it’s always bustling with loads of people.

3 things to do in Ghent

wide-angle-photo-of-historical-buildings-in-ghent-and-people-sitting-along-river-lys
See the historic city centre of Ghent from the water. Image: [email protected]/Depositphotos
  • Visit Ghent town hall. The town hall is wonderful for Instagram lovers, and for anyone who just admires a great bit of architecture. The surrounding areas are beautiful too so make sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy a stroll around.
  • Take a boat ride through the city. There are plenty of boat tours that take you around the many canals and rivers of Ghent. This way you get to see the city from a different perspective and learn a lot about it too. Plus, they are not too expensive!
  • Visit Gravensteen Castle. This castle looks as impressive inside, as it does outside. In fact, most people don’t even go inside, as they are pretty satisfied with simply looking at the stunning façade. If you do want to go inside, the entrance is not too expensive as it has great displays in there.

3 things to do in Bruges

photo-of-historical-buildings-of-bruges-reflecting-in-the-reie-river
Spot the Belfry of Bruges! Image: Sedmak/Depositphotos
  • Walk around the centre of Bruges. The very heart of Bruges is beautiful. In fact, so is Bruges in general but there is something just magical about the centre of the city — especially if you wander around when the sun begins to set.
  • Visit the Markt (market square in Bruges). The Markt has been compared to the Grand Place in Brussels (only less impressive, but still pretty rad all the same).
  • Climb the Belfry of Bruges. The medieval bell tower in the centre of Bruges is an absolute must-see. You can climb all 366 steps to the top of the tower, which then provides you with sights all over the city!

Of course, there are many more places to visit in Belgium, such as the charming cities of Leuven and Mechelen. With this quick overview though, we hope we’ve given you a starting point for what to explore in Brussels, Gent, and Bruges!

Where is your favourite place to visit in Belgium? And what are your absolute must-sees? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2018, and was fully updated in June 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

What is a ‘roepnaam’? One of the best Dutch quirks explained

Why is it that we, as Dutchies, often assume that the way we do things is the best way? And that any other way...

Dutch savings accounts: Best interest rates in the Netherlands in April 2024

Dutch savings accounts have increased their interest rates in recent years, but to get the best interest rate for your savings, you need to...

eSIMs in the Netherlands: The ultimate 2024 guide + the best options

Choosing an eSIM offers the best of both worlds: you get all the perks of a regular SIM card, plus the freedom of data...

It's happening

Upcoming events

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.