How much does it cost to go on a Belgium Road Trip in Belgium?
Belgium Grand Tour is a fascinating tour that entails 10 stages bringing you closer to the Belgian architecture, culture, and cuisine. On this family-friendly trip, you will experience a multilingual country that is a perfect blend of history and modernity. A plethora of castles, medieval fortresses, museums, and fancy cafes are everything that you can expect during this trip encompassing Northern and Southern Belgium.
The trip starts at Brussels Airport and takes you north to such places as Antwerp, Mechelen, or Brugges. After travelling along the Belgian coastline, you move south to see such places as Kortrijk, Tournai, or Mons. The 10 stages will lead you along top-notch Belgian roads which will make your trip smooth and easy. Buckle up and start your Belgian adventure right away!
Your journey starts at the Brussels National Airport BRU or at the Brussels Charleroi Airport CRL. It is precisely the place where you can collect your rental vehicle.
The trip starts at Brussels Airport where travelers who opted for a rental car should collect their vehicles. Hit the road and head east to reach the final destination of the first stage, namely Leuven. The capital of the Flemish Brabant dating back to the 9th century. Along the way, you will pass a few smaller Belgian settlements that you can admire through your car window.
Leuven, despite its inconspicuous size, offers a wide variety of interesting attractions. These include Town Hall, St Peter Church, Saint Anthony Chapel, the Linen Hall, and the Old Market Square. You can also take an additional stopover in the town centre to try some of the best delicacies based on local ingredients.
After a short break in the town centre of Leuven, you will head further north to Mechelen passing such small towns as Schiplaken, Zemst, and Hombeek. Here, you find plenty of examples of small-town architecture and a nice array of lively cafes and restaurants. The main highlights of Mechelen are the Palace of the Archbishop, Mechelen Toy Museum, Technopolis, and the Brusselpoort, the last remaining of the twelve gates that were part of the city walls.
Spend some time in Mechelen to hit the road again. Antwerp, the finishing line of this stage, can be found at a distance of 25 km from Mechelen. Along the way, you pass a number of tiny Belgian settlements that will enrich your driving experience with their picturesque townscapes. After approximately 30 minutes, you reach the centre of Antwerp.
This stage entails 64 km to reach Gent. However, first consider a visit at one of the Antwerp fortifications which are a proof of the citys eventful past. You can also take a stroll along the city centre to see such places as the Statue of Brabo, the Cathedral of our Lady, Antwerp City Hall, and the Rockox House. The city is a beautiful showcase of Gothic architecture. After a short stay in Antwerp, you can buckle up to reach Sint-Niklaas.
Sint-Niklaas can be found at a distance of 25 km away. It is best to just follow E17 road. The most popular tourist highlights that you can see in the city include the Church of Saint Nicholas, the Church of Our Lady, Town Hall, and the largest market square in Belgium. After a short break in Sint-Niklaas, travel to the final destination of this stage, namely Gent.
Gent is located at the confluence of two scenic rivers, the Schldt, and the Leie. Thus, it offers a unique combination of urban ambiance and idyllic atmosphere. After Antwerp, it is the largest municipality in the whole country. Archaeological finds clearly indicate that the settlement dates back to the Stone Age. What is more here? Gent is a true showcase of Gothic architecture with plenty of museums and a plethora of lively restaurants serving local delicacies.
After a short visit in the historical centre of Gent, with such notable highlights as the Gravensteen, the Grastei, and Saint Bravo Cathedral, buckle up and head for Bruges. During this stage, you travel first north through such small settlements as Zelzate and Stoepe and then west through Eelko and Maldegem. Through your car window, you will notice interesting topography which will enrich your experience on the road.
After a short stopover in Bruges and a sightseeing tour around its most notable highlights, including the Church of Our Lady, Bruges Canals, and Bruges City Hall, you will hit the road again. This lap will take you first north and then along the beautiful Belgian coast. The coastline is dotted with stunning beaches, unforgettable views, and small seaside resorts that can boast unique ambiance.
From Brugges, you travel to Blankenberge located around 20 km away. It can boast a small sandy cove with plenty of space for those who enjoy sunbathing, a 350-m art-deco pier, and a charming city centre. From Blankenberge, you will travel west to reach Ostend. Follow N34 road for around 30 minutes.
Ostend is one of the coastal cities in Belgium. It is a perfect combination of a seaside resort and a beautiful showcase of Gothic pieces, such as St Petrus and St Paulus Cathedral. In the city centre, you will also find plenty of dining venues serving local specialties which will give you a unique culinary insight.
After a short break on the Ostend Pier and a visit in the municipal park, you can start your journey to the final destination of this stage, namely De Panne. This is the last destination during this grand tour which is located on the Belgian coast. While driving through De Panne, you can bid farewell to the beautiful beaches and head south.
This stage of your journey is considerably longer; however, it won`t be too demanding thanks to the impeccable state of Belgian roads. The next stopover of this stage can be found at a distance of 36 km away. Take N8 road to reach the centre of the scenic Ypres which was a strategic place during the First World War.
From Ypres, you travel further south to Kortrijk which will be a breath of fresh air from all the larger Belgian cities. Here, you will have an opportunity to soak up the one of a kind urban atmosphere. While in Kortrijk, it is worth visiting such places as the Medieval City Hall, Weigh House, Broel Tower, and the Belfry. Take a stroll around its Old Town to admire the whole scope of its architecture and pay a visit at one of the delightful restaurants.
From Kortrijk, you will head towards Tournai located around 36 km away. This part of your trip will run parallel to the border with France. You can make an additional stopover at the nearby natural park, which is located at distance of around 20 km from the last destination of this stage.
While travelling to Tournai, you pass such settlements as Pecq, Dottignies, and Froyennes. In Tournai, you will have an opportunity to admire an array of interesting highlights. These include mostly Cathedral of Our Lady, the Grand Palace, and Pont des Trous Bridge.
The next stage spans along a 57-kilometre road section. Along the way, you will also have the opportunity to visit the already mentioned nature park with a plethora of interesting plant and flower species. During this stage, you pass through such places as Briffoeil, Saint-Ghislain, or Quaregnon.
Mons is the capital of the charming Hainaut Province. Archeological finds show that the first local settlement was established in the Neolithic period. Today, you will find there beautiful architectural pieces, an array of interesting dining venues, and a few museums. While in the city, it is worth visiting such places as the Main Square, Blan Levrie House, St George Chapel, and the Belfry.
During this stage, you will travel north from Mons to the Brussels Airport, where you will have the opportunity to leave your car if you opted for a rental vehicle. After around 52 km, you reach the second stopover of this stage, namely Waterloo. The site of the Battle of Waterloo was where Napoleon was defeated in 1815.
After a short break near the most well-known monument in the city, you can hop in your car to travel to Brussels. After around a 25-minute drive, you reach the Brussels Airport, where you can leave your car and take public transport to get to the centre of Brussels, where you can continue your Belgian tour. The bus station can be found on level 0 and can be reached by using one of the elevators.
The seat of the Belgian Royal Family can boast a number of interesting highlights that will cater to the needs of even the most demanding globetrotters. This small city holds multiple landmarks in store for the visiting tourists and will surprise you with the beauty of its architecture. While in the capital, you can not forget to visit at least one of the popular cafes and lively restaurants serving top-notch Belgian cuisine.
Those who are into architecture should definitely direct their steps to Grand Place located in the very heart of the Old Town. It is one of Europe`s best preserved plazas. Nearby, you also find Manneken Pis, one of the most well-known Belgian monuments. Those who are into religious architecture should also consider a visit at the imposing Saint-Michel Cathedral dating back to the first half of the 13th century. Other notable highlights worth a visit include Place Royale, Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and Atomium. After a long and eventful day, you can head back to the Brussels Airport.