The Top 5 Things to Do and See in Bastogne

Hanna Clarys

Bastogne is a small town in Belgium’s Luxembourg area on the crossing of the rivers Rhine and Meuse, and lies beautifully nested in a lush, green valley, perfect for long hikes and lazy afternoons sunbathing on the river banks. Due to the minuscule size of the town, there isn’t an enormous list of sights and activities; however, what there is is well worth doing.

Bastogne

1. Bastogne War Museum

Museum

Bastogne War Museum
© Daniel DeCristo/Flickr
Bastogne is known in the entire western world first and foremost for its significant role in World War II; the location for the last German offensive won by the Allies, Bastogne and its “Battle of the Bulge” marked the beginning of the end of this gruesome war. The Bastogne War Museum is thus a must-see for any visitor. The amazing set-up, abundant but comprehensible information and the many 3D videos make the visit a touching, emotional and mind-blowing experience of total historical immersion. Opening hours: 9:30am – 6pm Watch out for: the special parcour for children Address: 5 Colline du Mardasson, Bastogne, Belgium

Hiking: The Battle of the Bulge (guided tours)

Bastogne is part of the Belgian Ardennes, perfect for long hikes in the snow or shadowy walks under the stately trees. There are a lot of routes to follow, but – especially recommended for history fanatics or World War II connoisseurs – the hikes to the famous Battle of the Bulge’s location are particularly fascinating . Whether or not with a guide, and in a snowy winter especially, hiking this area is an experience beyond any other. Watch out for: the combination of the beautiful surroundings with a bloody history

Winter walk

2. La Ferme des Bisons

Restaurant

La Ferme des Bisons

An enormous bison herd with colossal animals, a restaurant with bison steak on the menu and an Indian festival in summer; what else do you need to make your children happy? La Ferme des Bisons is paradise for little scallywags and wannabe cowboys, and the cozy gîtes for rent are perfect for a splendid vacation in the rural Ardennes. Opening hours: all year round Watch out for: the adorable bison calves running around on their wobbly legs Address: La Ferme des Bisons, Recogne, Bastogne, Belgium, +32 6 121 21 15

Grazing bisons | © Craig Bennett/FlickrGrazing bisons | © Craig Bennett/Flickr

Liège – Bastogne – Liège

Something totally different and not for everybody, but still worth mentioning here, is the cycle race from Liège to Bastogne and back. Every year at the end of April, this classic cycle race crosses the town of Bastogne, attracting a large public crowd and many cycle fans cheering for their favorite. Belgians love this race, and you should definitely come if wanting to catch a glimpse of Andy Schleck or Belgium’s own Philippe Gilbert. Watch out for: the folksy atmosphere with lots of beer and hot dogs

Liège-Bastogne-Liège

3. Le Lac de la Strange

Le Lac de la Strange

The beautiful lake of La Strange close to Bastogne is a popular spot for those who love fishing, and for those who are simply looking for a piece of amazing nature. The lake is stuffed with trout and carp, so a nice catch of fish is guaranteed. Done with fishing? The beautiful surroundings of the lake are perfect for a romantic evening stroll. Opening hours: 6am – 10pm (summer) Address: Lac de la Strange, Hompré 6B, Vaux-sur-sure, Bastogne, Belgium

Fly fishing | © Andy Morffew/FlickrFly fishing | © Andy Morffew/Flickr

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