One of the best ways to explore this city is by boat. You will not be disappointed if you travel by boat around the canals. You can go at any time of year, except in the harsh winter months. It takes about a half hour and I can assure you it is a very pleasant experience. The beauty of the buildings takes another perspective from sea level.
The Beguines were women ve belonged to this association which was founded in the thirteenth century. Their goal was to lead an almost monastic life and to help the poor and disadvantaged. They lived in closed places, with their own church, infirmary and services, and a nice central garden, which at the time of blooming of the daffodils is amazing.
To visit the European Parliament, an institution shared between Brussels and Strasbourg, you first need to approach the farthest building from Luxembourg Square, next to the state of the euro. They offer two free visits a day, at 10 and 3, and it's recommended to arrive 10 minutes early. You'll get an MP4 videoguide, and your group will be under the supervision of a guide.
The Brussels Stock Exchange, by architect Léon Suys, is one of the most impressive buildings in Brussels. It was constructed between the years 1867 and 1873, in the Palladian style, with bas-reliefs on the outside and 2 winged figures under the colonnade, designed by Jacques de Haen, representing both sides of good and evil. There are also figures representing the continents of Africa and Asia, which are believed to be works of sculptor Auguste Rodin. There are some zones of the building which are open to the public for viewing.
This staircase reminds me of Vincent de Bueren, a nobleman ve was a great defender of the city against the Duke Charles. The climb gives way to rest on landings at regular intervals and also with some banks to enjoy a great view of the city, which extends as we ascend. Every year on the first Saturday of October, during the "Nocturne des Coteaux de la Citadelle", the city transforms the stairs by lighting 3000 candles that give a colorful and unique touch. Once we have managed to overcome the 374 steps we climb a few feet (and a short ladder) to reach the citadel of Liege to catch an amazing sight.
Ostend is in the heart of the Belgian coast, which is the biggest city. Although not one of the landmarks of Belgium, it is 10 minutes by train from Ostend and Brugges. We can say that is a little "Belgian Benidorm" by the amount of tourism , mostly British, and to a lesser extent Dutch and German, not forgetting the Belgian. There we saw many bars, pubs and nightclubs open and people on the streets until the morning which is something not normal in these parts. One of these places is "La Siesta" , a Spanish bar, which have tapas, but is more a place to have a drink or beer rather than food as we understand it in Spain. They offer a sangria that is ¨decaffeinated ". During the day Ostend has a flow of people, in the heart of the town there is a big business with many shops and small stores. There are also tourism centers, as it has an important artistic and cultural elements. The Cathedral (San Pedro and San Pablo) is an incredible Gothic building which has undergone many restorations (suffered a fire in the 19th century and during WWII suffered damage). Another interesting place is the training ship Mercator, in which you can find a naval museum.
Baudouin bridge lets people cross from South Station to the city of Charleroi and it's flanked by a sculpture on either side. On one of the sides you have the Metallurgical and Mining artist Constantin Meunier. Such professions are very rooted in this area of Belgium, since after the industrial revolution all products of its industries (chemical, electrical, metallurgical, pharmaceutical, textile and food) came to Brussels with Charleroi canal, their main means of communication.
The Burg square is wonderful, with something interesting wherever you look. To the south is the oldest town hall in Belgium, and to the north the Probostia, a baroque palace dating back to 1662, as well as the remains of a Carolingian church.
During my trip to Brussels, I visited Fort Breendonk (1940-1944). I took a train to Antwerp. If you want to go, you have to change trains in Malvinas (Mechelen), take another train to San Nicolas and get off at Gare Willebroek. There are no directions available. The train ticket cost 11.20 euros return and there was a 7 euro entry fare. It is one of the best preserved areas in Europe. Visitors can see how the people spent their days doing hard labor, see the torture room, the bathrooms, the punishment cells and prison. It's a very moving and powerful place to visit.
For lovers of Art Deco, there are three exceptional buildings are listed monuments: the Maison Doree (The Golden House), Maison Lafleur and the Maison des Médecins. The Golden House was built in 1899 by architect Frere on behalf of a wealthy industrialist. The building has a beautiful entrance that's covered with graffiti. Today it's known as the press house.
Among the university buildings and the River Sambre and built in seven months, between 1692 and 1693, during the siege, when Namur had an important military role. Vauvan, a military engineer during the reign of Louis XIV was commissioned to build it. It was used for logistical purposes & as a store. It now houses university departments.
Many people say that Belgium is like a fairy tale, and after visiting cities such as Antwerp, Bruges - I can say it is. But I recommend a small town where you will find a charming hotel ("The Hemelryck"), a village where the people are friendly, where you can take a bike and go from town to town seeing castles and enchanted forests paths, fairy tale houses, and if your stay is in the autumn you will smell chimneys. Welcoming places and good baking. A romantic trip to share with your partner. Thanks Antonio, for giving me the best trip I had in my life, I hope all of them are like this one was.
Besides boating, the other main tourist transportation in the city are the horse carts. They run in the Market Square between 9:30 and 17:30 in summer, and for about 35 euros you can go for a 40-minute trip through the cobbled streets, with blanket included. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides by reservation, which will pick you up from your hotel; they cost about 40 euros for half an hour. Finally there are some bigger, communal carriages which offer tours of the city.
Antwerp is a city that deserves a close look, as you will see many beautiful buildings and interesting corners. To really appreciate the city, it's not enough to visit the most famous spots - you need to immerse yourself in its unique charm. In the south area, specifically in the neighbourhood of Zuid, behind the Museum of Fine Arts, we found this building, the work of Frans Smet-Verhas. The windows are gorgeous, and it's a stunning building, but the best thing about it has to be the wonderful boat-shaped balcony. I'd love to live here...