Belgium, the tiny European nation which is home to the European Union, the birth place of French Fries, and one of the easiest countries to travel across.
You can explore a lot of Belgium in a relatively short amount of time. It is so easy to get around Belgium, and no place is more than around 2 hours from any other place. The best way to explore Belgium is to pick a city to be your base, and day trip from there. Or better get, as this itinerary will go into further, pick two bases. One to explore Flanders and one to explore Wallonia.
One week in Belgium
Belgium is a tiny country, but inside that tiny country there is an absolute ton of interesting art, culture, history, and food to explore. This will be an action packed week, and will take you to the highlights of both Flemish Belgium and French Belgium.
Day 1: Arrive into Brussels
Make your way to Brussels. Whether you arrive by plane or by fast train, getting into the capital of Belgium is easy. There is a lot to do in Brussels and you could easily spend several days here. If you want to fit everything into one week you will only be able to budget two days here, so make sure you start off exploring as soon as you arrive.
You might want to start by seeing the main highlights, like the Grote Markt and Manneken Pis. Wander around the city, buy a waffle, and maybe check out a museum or art gallery.
Day 2: Explore Brussels
This is your day to see everything in Brussels you didn’t have time to see the day before. This might be a good day to visit the Magritte Museum as you can easily spend several hours here.
Finish off the day by visiting one of the most unique breweries in the world, the Brasserie Cantillon Brouwerij.
My guide to the highlights of Brussels will give you lots of ideas to keep you busy.
Day 3: Day trip to Bruges
Bruges is renowned for being one of the most historic and beautiful towns in Belgium. Our itinerary from this day forward will have lots of day trips. You might want to consider getting one if the 10 journey train passes which allows 10 journeys from anywhere inside the country.
Head to Bruges and spend the day wandering through the beautiful cobbled streets, and climb the belfry for a birds eye view of this medieval town.
Our photo essay of Bruges will give you some inspiration.
Day 4: Day trip to Antwerp
Your next day trip will take you to a city with a completely different vibe from both Brussels and Bruges. Antwerp is the fashion and diamond capital of Belgium. Antwerp is also the best place to see some of the art works of Rubens.
Our guide to Antwerp will help steer you in the right direction.
Day 5: Travel from Brussels to Namur
Leave behind your base in the nations capital and head to a capital of a different sort. Namur is the capital of French Wallonia. This pleasant little towns main tourist attraction of the citadel which watches over the city from a nearby hill.
Explore the citadel and spend your day indulging in Belgian delicacies.
Day 6: Day trip to Maredsous Abbey and the Gardens of Annevoie
Travel through the gentle and rolling countryside of Wallonia by car or public bus to the most beautiful gardens in Belgium and then on wards to a working Benedictine monastery which is famous for it’s beer and cheese.
Both stops are along the same bus line, so the order you visit them is up to you. Our guide will help you plan.
Day 7: Day trip to Dinant and then head back to Brussels
Dinant is a tiny town not too far from Namur. The main thing to see in Dinant is the citadel, which might not sound like much. But once you leave the train station and get your first vision of this breath taking little town, you will completely understand why Dinant is absolutely not to be missed.
You won’t need much time to explore this little town, which will leave plenty of time to head back to Brussels, or onward to your next destination.
If you have more time to spend in Brussels you can also day trip to the Flemish towns of Ghent and Leuven from Brussels.