Best Places in Belgium for Solo Female Travel

Brussels

1, Brussels

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, nestles in the heart of Europe and is famous for its impressive blend of fascinating historical architecture and modern dynamism. Known as the de facto capital of the European Union, this cosmopolitan city is renowned for its assortment of delicious cuisines, particularly chocolate and waffles, as well as internationally acclaimed beers brewed in age-old Trappist monasteries. Tourists are captivated by its iconic landmarks such as the Atomium and the Manneken Pis. But towering above all else in grandeur is the magnificent Grand Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its stunning Gothic and Baroque grandeur, making Brussels an enchanting destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in Europe's historical and gastronomical heritage.

Ghent

2, Ghent

Ghent, located in the Flemish region of Belgium, is a historic city known for its medieval architecture, stunning canals and lively cultural scene. This quintessential Belgian city is renowned for its well-preserved 12th-century castle, the 'Gravensteen', and the Saint Bavo's Cathedral which houses the world-famous 'Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' painting by the Van Eyck brothers. Ghent's picturesque cityscape, filled with charming old guildhouses and a vibrant street art scene, is best observed from the river Leie on a quiet boat tour. Famous for its local specialities like 'Gentse Waterzooi', a creamy fish stew, and traditional beer breweries, Ghent offers a tantalising culinary experience that beautifully complements its endless historic charm. The enthralling city of Ghent, with its perfect blend of the contemporary and the medieval, is undoubtedly a bucket-list staple for cultural connoisseurs and travel enthusiasts alike.

Bruges

3, Bruges

Bruges, often referred to as the Venice of the North, is a historic and incredibly picturesque city located in the Flemish region of Belgium. Known for its beautifully preserved medieval architecture, Bruges boasts a network of canals that wind their way around quaint cobblestone streets, charming squares, and gothic buildings. The city's 13th-century Belfry houses a municipal carillon, from which bell-ringers serenade the city with melodious tunes. The Markt Square, with its beautiful historic buildings, vibrant cafes, and hustle and bustle, is the heart of the city. Bruges is also renowned for its art, being home to the Groeninge Museum, offering a collection of Flemish and Belgian paintings from the 14th to the 20th centuries, and for its remarkable lacework. Not to forget, a visit to Bruges wouldn't be complete without indulging in its world-renowned Belgian chocolates.

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Antwerp

4, Antwerp

Antwerp, located on the River Scheldt in Belgium's Flanders region, is a charming city renowned for its profound cultural heritage and vibrant contemporary art scene. Often referred to as the "Diamond Capital of the World", Antwerp is a global hub for diamond trading due to its distinct square known as the Diamond District. The city is also famous as the birthplace of Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, whose work is displayed in the grand Cathedral of Our Lady. With its captivating medieval streets, the sprawling Antwerp Zoo, and the trendy boutiques of the Fashion District, Antwerp flawlessly intertwines history, nature, haute couture, and artistic flair, making it an irresistible destination for travelers.

Leuven

5, Leuven

Leuven, located in the heart of Belgium, is a vibrant and beautiful city known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Commanding an inland position in the country's Flemish Brabant province, Leuven is famed as the home of the oldest Catholic university in the world, KU Leuven, established in 1425. Wandering around the city's picturesque streets, visitors are enchanted by magnificent medieval architecture, including the monumental Gothic Town Hall and the impressive St. Peter's Church - celebrated masterpieces of Brabant Gothic style. Notably, Leuven is also famous for its beer culture, being the birthplace of several renowned beers and the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer brewer. Whether it's to explore academic heritage, to admire historical landmarks, or to engage in the local beer scene, Leuven offers an enriching experience to travelers who come its way.

Maasmechelen

6, Maasmechelen

Maasmechelen is an idyllic Belgian town nestled in the Flanders region, not too far from the Dutch and German borders. Its location at the heart of Western Europe makes it a melting pot of cultures which is reflected in its vibrant local life. Known for its sprawling Nature Reserve, Maasmechelen is home to the Hoge Kempen National Park, making it an ideal place for nature lovers to explore the park's rich flora and fauna. This picturesque town is also renowned for its fashion credentials, with the Maasmechelen Village being a top attraction for luxury outlet shopping. On the cultural side, Maasmechelen holds an extraordinary history in coal-mining, which is beautifully enshrined in the Mining Museum. From shopping and history to nature, Maasmechelen is a great destination that offers a truly unique experience of Belgium.

Essen

7, Essen

Essen is a charming, picturesque town located in the northern part of Belgium, just a stone's throw away from the Dutch border. Famous for its rich history, this enchanting destination is awash with stunning natural beauty and boasts of a well preserved rural and industrial heritage. Essen is known to offer a unique blend of cultural richness and outdoor activities - its acclaimed railroad museum, "Spoorwegmuseum," narrates intriguing stories of the yesteryears, while the verdant nature park, "Kalmthout Heath," offers visitors a chance to relish unspoiled landscapes. Each year, the town also proudly hosts the esteemed Christmas Beer Festival, a unique event that attracts brewing enthusiasts from across the globe, making Essen a captivating retreat for both history aficionados and nature lovers.

Turnhout

8, Turnhout

Situated in the northern region of Flanders, Belgium, Turnhout is a charming city known for its rich cultural history and captivating architectural beauty. Recognized as the ‘Capital of the Playing Card,’ Turnhout boasts an intriguing Playing Card Museum, showcasing the city's vibrant printing industry dating back to the 18th century. The city is also conducive to outdoor leisure with the lush, sprawling Castle Park and green cycling routes that lead to its nature reserves. Turnhout’s gothic-style architecture, particularly the grandiose St. Peter's Church and the medieval Beguinage, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, add to the city’s unique allure, leaving travelers to marvel at its historical grandeur.

Genk

9, Genk

Genk is a vibrant city situated in the province of Limburg, in the Flemish region of Belgium. Known for its rich industrial heritage, Genk is famed for being the birthplace of Belgian coal mining and hosting the largest car factory in the country. It's a city where tradition meets innovation, with attractions such as the open-air museum of Bokrijk, showcasing historical Belgian buildings and customs, and C-Mine, a creative and cultural hub located in an old mining site. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural reserves like the Hoge Kempen National Park, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. With a fusion of cultures brought by various immigrant waves, Genk offers unique cultural experiences, including diverse cuisine and vibrant community events.

Hasselt

10, Hasselt

Located in the heart of Belgium's Flemish region, Hasselt serves as an intriguing travel destination steeped in charm and rich heritage. This small, quaint city is surrounded by lush countryside and serves as the capital of the Limburg province, offering a mix of cultural delight, history, and modern entertainment. Hasselt is renowned for its extravagant folklore festivals, and its historic center, with narrow alleys and picturesque squares, houses gems like the St. Quentin's Cathedral and the Hasselt Fashion Museum. Not to forget, it is also famously known as the "Capital of Taste" for its gourmet cuisine, jenever (local gin) distillery, and delightful chocolate shops.

Tongeren

11, Tongeren

Tongeren, nestled in the Flemish region of Belgium, is the oldest town in the country, offering a rich palette of history and culture. Known as the birthplace of Ambiorix, a Gallic war chief who fought against Julius Caesar, it is laden with beautiful antique buildings such as the gothic style 'Basilica of Our Lady' and the timeless 'Beguinage Church'. History buffs will particularly relish a visit to the 'Gallo-Roman Museum' that showcases a vivid collection of artifacts from the prehistoric times to the end of the Roman Empire. Every Sunday, the town comes alive with antique markets, the largest in the Benelux – an indispensable event for those who adore vintage items. Tongeren is a delightful blend of the past and present and is sure to captivate any visitors with its unique charm.

Liège

12, Liège

Located in the heart of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, Liège is a vibrant and culturally rich city in Belgium, famed for its historic allure and contemporary charm. Often regarded as the cultural hub of Wallonia, Liège is renowned for its illustrious Gothic architecture, specifically the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral and Prince-Bishop’s Palace. Known for its museums, such as the Grand Curtius, this Belgian city also harbors an indulgent culinary scene, with mouthwatering specialties like Boulets à la Liégeoise (meatballs) and the sweet delicacy, Liège waffle. Offering visitors a unique blend of tradition and modernity, Liège represents an authentic Belgian experience, enriched by the warm, fun-loving spirit of its locals, the 'Liégeois.'

Sint-Truiden

13, Sint-Truiden

Nestled in the heart of Belgium's Limburg province, Sint-Truiden is a charming, historic city known for its rich heritage and lush fruit-growing region. A living testament to ages past, the city is punctuated with numerous medieval landmarks, featuring the striking St. Trudo's Abbey Church, the grand Grote Markt, and an impressive town hall with a 17th-century belfry. Visitors will not want to miss the breathtaking view from the top of the belfry, overlooking the verdant landscapes, famous for their apple and pear orchards. With an enticing mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, Sint-Truiden offers a unique travel experience in the charming heartland of Belgium.

Beveren

14, Beveren

Beveren is a captivating town located in the East Flanders region of Belgium, just 16 kilometers west of Antwerp. Known for its charming blend of history and natural beauty, Beveren offers a range of attractions for visitors. Its architectural heritage is exemplified by the stunning 15th-century Cortewalle Castle and the Fortress of Liefkenshoek, which narrate tales of its rich past. The city is also celebrated for the Wase Golf Club, a beautifully maintained 9-hole course. Moreover, Beveren's annual Carnival, a folkloric Vastenavond celebration, and the vibrant flower market are cultural highlights that never fail to mesmerize locals and visitors alike.

Mechelen

15, Mechelen

Situated in the heart of Belgium, halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, lies the charming, historic city of Mechelen. Known for its beautiful architecture and deep reverence for art, Mechelen boasts numerous intriguing sights such as St. Rumbold's Cathedral with its skywalk rewarding visitors with panoramic views of the city, and the vibrant Grand Place with its beautifully preserved medieval houses. Diverse in its offerings, the city is home to Technopolis, an interactive science and technology center which greatly delights younger visitors and the Kazerne Dossin, a poignant museum and documentation center on Holocaust and Human Rights. The city’s biggest pride is being the host of one of the oldest Carillon schools in the world and its picturesque Dijle River which adds to its captivating allure. Breathing a laid-back vibe, while echoing centuries of rich history, Mechelen is a captivating blend of old and new, making it a must-visit destination in Belgium.

Vilvoorde

16, Vilvoorde

Vilvoorde, located just north of Brussels in Flanders, Belgium, is a gem of the European Low Countries well known for its historical attractions and picturesque charm. Notably, it is an essential part of "The Green Belt" around Brussels, offering stunning natural landscapes. It is a place where history breathes, boasting the remarkable Church of Saint John the Evangelist, a grand piece of Gothic architecture, and 'Het Steen', an ancient prison where William Tyndale was incarcerated. Vilvoorde also has a reputation for the 'Vilvoorde Viaduct' - an impressive structure of European Route E19. At the edge of the city, you'll encounter the Three Fountains nature reserve, ideal for tranquil walks, and the extraordinary Living Tomorrow exhibition, an innovative and futuristic project exploring the imminent House of the Future. Vilvoorde's charming cityscape, rich heritage, and exquisite gastronomy make it a must-visit in Belgium.

Tervuren

17, Tervuren

Located in Belgium's Flemish Brabant province, Tervuren is an enchanting gem known for its rich history and splendid nature reserves. Best known for housing the phenomenal Royal Museum for Central Africa, which offers a deep dive into Central Africa's culture and nature, Tervuren never fails to amaze its visitors. Its location, close to the bustling city of Brussels, makes it a tranquil escape that is still easily accessible. Aside from museums, Tervuren's charm is accentuated by its beautiful parks, like the famous Tervuren Park which connects to the Sonian Forest, where you can indulge in idyllic walks or bike rides. With grand ducal palaces, quaint town squares, and charming local pubs and restaurants, Tervuren invariably makes for a delightful journey into Belgium's captivating blend of cosmopolitan life and nature.

Zaventem

18, Zaventem

Zaventem is a captivating municipality located in the Flemish Brabant province of Belgium, right outside the bustling city of Brussels. Known primarily for hosting Brussels Airport, one of the busiest and most dynamic airports in Europe, this region is suitably a gateway to the fascinating realm of Belgium, teeming with influence from various cultures. Nevertheless, Zaventem boasts its own charm with attractions like De Zaventemse Vijvers, a nature paradise with serene lake views, and the Church of Saint Martin. This region is also renowned for its traditional Belgian handicraft, lacemaking, with exceptional works displayed in the local Lacemaking School. Whether you're a business traveler or an ardent tourist, Zaventem offers a blend of urban efficiency and native idyllic allure.

Waterloo

19, Waterloo

Waterloo, located just south of Belgium's capital, Brussels, is a charming town steeped in history and culture. Most famously recognized as the site of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated, this town's monumental Lion’s Mound offers panoramic views of the historic battlefield now. Visitors can explore the informative visitor center, which provides an immersive insight into the famed battle. Laced with attractive gardens, parks, and a collection of gourmet restaurants and classy boutiques, Waterloo is perfect for tourists seeking a blend of historical intrigue and modern comfort.

Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve

20, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve

Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, situated in the heart of Belgium within the Walloon region, is a bustling city best known for housing the esteemed University of Louvain. As the youngest city in the country, it is an appealing blend of vibrant academia, picturesque landscapes, and avant-garde architecture, designed around pedestrian access. In the city, you'll find the Hergé Museum, celebrating the creator of Tintin, and the iconic Place des Sciences, a popular gathering spot adorned with fountains and welcoming benches. The surroundings of the city are dotted with lush green forests, notably the Bois des Rêves and Bois de Lauzelle, offering ideal locations for peaceful walks and picnics.

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Remy

Remy

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Hello, I’m Remy 24, from Morocco, living in Brussels. I will be travelling full time with my Van for the coming year or so

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Noémie

Noémie

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Hi, my name is Noémie I like talking and meeting new people, but most of all I like dancing, saying anything, giving pleasure to the people I love, drawing ugly pictures in the corner of the page... And you ?

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Frequently asked questions

What are the best places in Belgium for solo female travellers?

The best places in Belgium for solo female travellers are: