Belgium is a small country in western Europe and home to the European Parliament, but mostly famous for its excellent chocolate and beers. Although it is a small country, it has a high concentration of places of interest and getting from one to another will normally take under an hour by car or train. In the northern half (Flanders) of the country, Dutch is the spoken language, while in the southern half (Wallonia) and Brussels, French is the common language. Most cities have a different name in Dutch and French.
In each of the main cities, there are quite a few Belgium hostels from which to choose. Most cities are all about the stunning and bustling Old Town, so this is normally the best place to look for a hostel in Belgium. The Belgian cities have an extensive public transport network, so even if you do not stay in the very centre it is easy to get around. However, nightlines are almost nonexistent, so at night taxis are the only way to get back to your hostel. The cities to be visited on a typical itinerary include a visit Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, and Antwerp. A coastal town and the hilly countryside region Ardennes are also frequently visited.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and home to the seat of the European Parliament. Brussels has the image of being boring, but in fact there are quite a few places to check of from your sightseeing checklist. Manneken Pis and the Atomium are only two of the most famous sites. Leuven is a small city close to Brussels. It is home to Belgium’s biggest university and unsurprisingly for this reason also Belgium’s party capital. Leuven has a small nice city centre, but visiting one of the many good bars or clubs is a must for any youngster in Leuven.
Bruges is possibly Belgium’s most famous and picturesque destination. The canals and the historical buildings make it one of the prettiest cities in Europe. The city centre is small and can easily be covered by foot. Bruges is a pleasant city and cannot be missed. Ghent is another pretty city and have some similarities to Bruges, but is receives much fewer visitors than Bruges. If you want something different than being surrounded by dozens of tourists and still have plenty of photo opportunities, Ghent is a good place to visit.
Antwerp is very close to the Dutch border, and if you intend to visit the Netherlands too, this is probably your first or last destination in Belgium. Antwerp is not only a big city, but it is also a very popular city for shopping. On weekends, the city is flooded by Dutch tourists who come here as a day trip to go shopping and taste some of the excellent Belgian beers and chocolate.
There are a few nice beach towns in Belgium, but Oostende is arguably the nicest one to visit. Do not count on sunbathing, though. Only a few days per year is the weather warm enough to spend your day in your swimwear. Nevertheless, the towns have a nice boulevard with cafes and restaurants where you can have some seafood. If you prefer to spend time in nature, then the Ardennes are the place to go. Many adventurous activities can be done here, as well as visiting caves. Contrary to other destination, Belgium hostels are scarce in the Ardennes.
There is a big airport in Charleroi targeting budget airlines. Charleroi is about an hour by train or coach from Brussels. Unfortunately, there are currently no Belgium hostels in Charleroi, and this is not the nicest place in Belgium. If you have a very early or late flight, it is best to book a seat on a airport bus to Brussels and book a Belgium hostel in Brussels.
Hi, I'm Martin Straatman,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Belgium hostels. Welcome.
I spent one year in Tilff and I can tell you that it's a great town. The people are very kind and the place is very clean and beautiful. It's worth going there.
Bruges is a surprising little place.
A capital of Europe, it is a must to visit! From a fastinating 'La Grande Place' to the Cartoon Museum and it's the best chocolate producing country in the world! This makes prices of chocolate low with the variety of brands and tastes. Come to visit Brussels yourself!