Belgium is one of the most incredible countries in Europe – and yet people are still yet to discover its beauty. Just under 2 hours from London on the train, it’s a hub of awe-inspiring renaissance architecture, delicious restaurants and a myriad of fascinating landmarks.
If you’re thinking about interrailing in Belgium, it’s good to know which places are worth visiting whilst you’re there. And although Belgium has an abundance of cities, villages and towns dotted around it, there are 5, in particular, that stand out amongst the crowd.
Kicking off the list is the incredible city of Brussels. The capital of Belgium, this breath-taking city is full to the brim with museums, palaces and marketplaces. Visited by millions of tourists every year, it’s the ultimate start to your interrailing trip.
Taking just over 2 hours on the train from London, it’s easy to get to – giving you plenty of time to explore. And once you step off of the train, you’ll be in awe. The most popular landmarks in the city to visit are the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, the Grand Palace, Mini Europe and the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
Brussels has a plethora of enchanting restaurants and cafes to choose from, including the likes of the stylish Le Chou de Bruxelles to the cosy and stylish Lyly’s Fondue. For accommodation, you can choose from a handful of hotels and hostels, from the NH Brussels Grand Place Arenberg to the more budget-friendly option of Hostel Generation Europe.
One of the most picturesque cities in Belgium, Ghent is often forgotten about as a destination due to it being overshadowed by other places throughout the country. But it shouldn’t be! It’s an incredible city that’s rich in history.
Only 30 minutes from Brussels on the train, there is so much to see in Ghent – from the 10th-Century castle Gravensteen to the Het Belfort van Gent and Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, there’s plenty of sightseeing to be done during your interrailing adventure.
After a long day of being a tourist, you can head to one of Ghent’s beautiful restaurants, from the magical Pakhuis to the delicious Mexican restaurant – Mosquito Coast. When it comes to rest your head, there is surprisingly a wide selection of luxurious hotels without a big price tag attached to them – including The House of Edward and the Ghent Marriott Hotel.
If you’re looking for charm in abundance, then Bruges is the city for you. Deserving of its place on the top five list of places to interrail in, it’s only 25 minutes on the train from Ghent. Beloved due to its canals, medieval buildings and love for beer, it’s got something for everyone.
Although it’s typically a popular destination around Christmas because of its magical market, it’s a wonderful place to visit throughout the year. Spend your time there walking along the cobbled streets, taking in views from the Belfry of Bruges, wandering around the Lake of Love or enjoying a fascinating beer tour.
Due to its popularity, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Although two that stand out in particular are the quaint Le Petit Patron and Bistro Zwart Huis. Accommodation-wise, there is a wide variety of Airbnbs, hotels and rustic B&Bs to choose from, including De Goezeput Hotel and Huis Koning.
Situated in the Walloon Region, Dinant’s beauty is simply extraordinary. Although it’s quite far from Bruges, taking 8 hours on the train, it’s well worth a visit during your interrailing trip in Belgium. Set on the Meuse River, this captivating city has to be seen to be believed.
As Dinant is away from the hustle and bustle, you can spend your visit there, kayaking down the River Lesse, exploring the Notre Dame de Dinant, or heading out for a winery tour for the day at the Chateau Bon Baron.
Spread across the city, there are a handful of restaurants that are definitely worth a visit when you’re there – including the stylish yet cosy La Broche and the modern Le Trois. For accommodation, there is a selection to choose from, including the affordable Chambres hotel and the Side Sax Tea Room and Breakfast.
Just over two hours from Dinant is the alluring city of Antwerp. While it’s quite a modern city compared to others on this list, it has a unique combination of history and modern architecture. Renowned for creating a large portion of the world’s diamonds, its rich culture and delicious food, Antwerp is a must-see for anyone that’s interrailing through Belgium.
Set on the River Scheldt, there are numerous attractions to visit there from the Antwerp Zoo to The Rubens House. When you’re looking for a bite to eat, head out to Fish A’ Go Go for a tantalising fish meal or the extraordinary Sombat Thai Cuisine. For accommodation, you can select from wallet-friendly options like the Hotel Indigo Antwerp or the more luxurious Hotel Rubens.