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Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day just around around the corner and it’s time to take that special someone out to a special place. From cobblestoned picturesque streets to spa complexes and old castles, here are the 10 best romantic getaways Belgium has to offer.
Of all the romantic cities, Bruges takes the cake. Filled with Gothic houses, cozy town squares and calm waterways, you’ll feel like you stepped into a medieval fairy tale, complete with horse-drawn carriages. A definite must-see is the Minnewater, a scenic little lake in the middle of Bruges that’s full of swans. There’s also a romantic legend connected to the Minnewate: two lovers who were separated by the girls’ father found each other at the lake. When the girl, named Minna, passed away, her lover made a dam and buried her in front of it. After that, he let the water loose, creating the lake we know today.
This city is most famous for its spa. Its natural mineral springs are said to have healing properties and have been popular since the 16th century.
Hasselt is a quiet town that has everything you need. From great bars and restaurants to cute boutiques, a fashion museum and amazing street art, Hasselt will not fail to entertain you.
If you want to have it all, Antwerp is the place for you. The city has about everything other towns offer and more — museums, restaurants, bars, history, fashion, a zoo, music and theatre, and so on. Antwerp has a unique atmosphere that is a meeting point between a bustling Flemish town and a melting pot of other cultures. The residents are very proud of their home, calling Antwerp not a city, but the city – the biggest and greatest of Belgium.
This city is a great alternative to Bruges, as it has old buildings and waterways from the same era. Ghent is a haven for students, making the city a busy place with a laid back attitude. It’s also a great spot to visit if your significant other does not eat meat – Ghent has been called the vegetarian capital of Belgium.
Take a walk on the soft beach of this coastal town. The water is a bit cold in the winter, but that doesn’t make the North Sea any less beautiful — just turn your view away from the concrete line of apartments and towards the gray waves and white foam. If you’re willing to travel a bit further, you can also catch a glimpse of the shrimp fishermen on horseback. In addition to being so close to the sea, Ostend has a great art scene, with museums like the Mu.ZEE.
Mechelen has a number of interesting attractions — you can stay at a hotel and former church, visit a brewery, or have a look at the lovely St. Rumbold’s Cathedral. If you have children with you on your getaway, be sure to visit the Planckendael zoo, or the exciting and kid-friendly museum Technopolis.
The residents of this quaint little town proudly call it La plus petit ville du monde, or ‘the smallest city in the world.’ Durbuy is a calm and friendly place with a great number of parks you can visit. You can get lost in the Labyrinthe de Barvaux-Durbuy, where the whimsical attractions between the cornfields will make you feel like you found your way to a maize Neverland, or you can go hiking and kayaking in the LPM Adventure Parc.
Located near a cliff overlooking the Meuse River, this city is a gorgeous sight to behold. Aside from enjoying the beauty of Dinant’s old town, you can try their famous Leffe beer and have a look at their elegant Collegiale Notre-Dame.
Dinant was the birth place of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, and the city has not forgotten this. You can also enjoy the saxophone sculptures on the Charles-de-Gaulle Bridge, visit the jazz museum Maison de Monsieur Sax, and take a seat next to the statue of Adolphe Sax himself.
Of course the capital could not be excluded in a list of romantic Belgian getaways. From delicious gourmet cuisine to arts and history, there is so much to enjoy in Brussels. The city also has a number of romantic activities, such as the Heart Museum and MEM Museum. Don’t forget the delicious chocolate shops you can find throughout the city or the beer tasting opportunities, and even straight people recognize the gay bar scene is where the party truly happens.