ALTERNATIVE BELGIAN TOURISM!
Belgium has many tourist sites, the most famous of which include the Atomium, the Villa Empain, Bruges, Manneken Pis and the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. Discover other, less well known sites that are well worth a detour and have something in common with these unmissable locations!
The Atomium is a perennial symbol of Belgium. Once you have visited it, you might be tempted to go to Antwerp, the home of the "Havenhuis" (Port House). Its architect, Zaha Hadid, was inspired by the figurehead of a ship and the sides of a diamond when designing the surface of this architectural jewel, which offers a panoramic view of the port.
Outside the Villa Empain, a real art Deco gem, is a swimming pool that would be good to swim in, if only it were allowed. To get over your frustration, you can take a dip in one of the oldest indoor pools, the Van Eyck swimming pool, in Ghent. This one is Art Deco too!
Bruges is famous around the world as "The Venice of the North". Slightly further east, the city of Lier has the nickname "The Venice of the Campine". The river winds through its streets and historic buildings, which include St Gummarus Church, where the marriage of Charles V's parents was blessed in 1496.
Manneken Pis is undoubtedly the most famous character in Belgian folklore. But did you know that he was married to a certain Mietje Stroel, whose statue can be found in Zelzate? Their marriage was officially celebrated in Brussels in 1976.
And lastly, for those who love flowers and wait impatiently every year for the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken to reopen, the estate of Coloma Castle in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw is home to a rose garden with more than 3,000 species from around the world, some of which date back to the Middle Ages.