GO Experience tips 5 Charming Hidden Gemstones In Belgium! There is more to Belgium than beer and chocolate. Discover quirky castles, hidden sculptures, and the cities that are not yet on the radar of mass tourism! Belgium has no shortage of those hidden gems, you will quickly fall in love.
The Underrated City of Mechelen
Mechelen is halfway between Brussels and Antwerp. The center of the city is characterized by a pointed roof Renaissance houses, carefully restored, while the market is dominated by the Gothic cathedral on one side and the town hall, also Gothic, on the other. Mechelen is often overlooked in favor of the more popular destinations. However, scratch beneath the surface and you will soon discover a wonderful Belgian establishment, which is more than worth your time while in the country and definitely visit one of the Hidden Jewels in Belgium!
The Sugar City Tienen
The town that can (With sugar!) If you ever enjoyed a sugar cube along your fresh coffee or a cup of tea, then there is no doubt it will probably have been processed in the small town of Tienen. This small city is not far from Leuven. Off the beaten track and in the heart of Flemish Brabant in Flanders, this arrangement is once in the heart of Roman ceramics and glass! This is one of the most important reasons to visit one of the hidden gems in Belgium!
There is more to Tienen that meets the eyes. Look beyond the obvious major churches. Enjoy the atmosphere and taste the local dishes (traditional Flemish cuisine contains a lot of meat heavy staples such as stews, meatballs, and mussels).
A clearer must-see feature of the city is St. German’s Church, a remarkable Romanesque church topped by a UNESCO belfry dating back to the 13th century. During the months of July and August, carillon concerts take place every Wednesday.
Hoeilaart, Flemish Brabant
If you love exploring nature, it’s the perfect base outside of busy Brussels. Visit the Forest Museum Jan van Ruusbroec, to learn about the forest before exploring one of the many walking routes.
Hoeilaart still has a well-kept secret; it is home to the best grapes in Belgium. Hoeilaart was once known as the glass city because of all the grape-filled greenhouses. While production has declined over the years, Hoeilaart grapes are still appreciated throughout the country, and they sell out so quickly, it’s best to go straight to the source to get your hands on them.
The oldest city – Tongeren, Limburg
Visit the oldest city in Belgium. A nickname given by the rich Gallo-Roman history. Signs of this history are visible throughout the city, but the best starting point is the award-winning Gallo Roman Museum. Once you immerse yourself in the interactive exhibitions, head up the street on one of the guided walking tours and discover the layers of history in Tongeren.
This small town has UNESCO monuments, the bell tower of the Basilica of Our Lady and the beguinage. More information about the life of the beguines, women dedicated to the church, at the Beguinage Museum Beghina. On Sundays, Tongeren hosts Benelux’s largest antiques and flea market, with more than 350 exhibitors with antiques from all periods of history.
If you have not had your fill of the past 5 Most Charming Hidden Gemstones In Belgium, stop by nearby Alden Beisen Castle for a stroll through the picturesque formal garden.
Sleepy small town – Binche, Hainaut
The city of Binche in the Belgian province of Hainaut looks just like many other small towns in Wallonia. It is a sleepy kind of place with only one major tourist attraction, the excellent International Museum of Carnival and Masks, or MAMA.
In the days prior to Ash Wednesday, Binche is anything but sleepy. The Carnival of Binche is unique in the world and certainly a hidden gem! The celebration involves detailed costumes, music, dancing, and a fair bit of drinking and fun! It is so special in fact, it is inscribed as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The traditions and ceremonies may seem completely inexplicable to outsiders, luckily MAMA is there to explain everything in vivid details. Attending the Binche Carnival is a truly unforgettable experience.