Reasons to visit Mechelen Belgium

Reasons to visit Mechelen, Belgium at least once in your lifetime

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100 Reasons to Visit Mechelen, Belgium: Unlock the Charms of this Hidden Gem

You’ve heard of the bustling streets of Brussels, the romantic canals of Bruges, and the medieval architecture of Ghent. But let us introduce you to a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your travel bucket list – Mechelen, Belgium.

Tucked away between these more well-known Belgian cities, Mechelen offers a unique blend of history, culture, and charm that will capture your heart. From its stunning architecture and delightful cuisine to its vibrant festivals and warm-hearted locals, Mechelen has something for every traveler. So why wait? Here are 100 reasons why you should visit this enchanting city at least once in your lifetime.

Key Takeaways:

– Discover an underrated, off-the-beaten-path destination in Belgium

– Immerse yourself in a city steeped in history and architectural wonders

– Experience the friendliness and warmth of the local Mechelaars

– Sample exquisite Belgian beer, chocolate, and cuisine

– Enjoy a calendar filled with vibrant festivals and events

– Explore the beautiful green spaces and picturesque canals

– Engage in a variety of exciting activities and attractions

1. Marvel at the Architectural Splendors

As you step foot in Mechelen, you’ll be instantly captivated by the city’s remarkable architecture. From Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance palaces to picturesque guild houses and charming cobblestone streets, Mechelen oozes with architectural beauty at every turn.

2. Climb the Iconic St. Rumbold’s Tower

Get ready for an awe-inspiring climb up St. Rumbold’s Tower – the pride of Mechelen’s skyline. The reward for conquering the 514 steps is a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Don’t forget your camera!

3. Explore the Great Market Square

Step into the heart of Mechelen and find yourself in the Great Market Square. This vibrant square is surrounded by historic buildings, outdoor cafés, and picturesque shops. Enjoy a coffee or beer as you soak up the lively atmosphere.

4. Admire the Graceful Beauty of St. Rumbold’s Cathedral

Uncover the treasures of Mechelen’s most iconic landmark – St. Rumbold’s Cathedral. Marvel at its stunning Gothic architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and the mystical atmosphere within.

5. Wander Through the Beguinages

Step into a world frozen in time as you stroll through Mechelen’s two beguinages – small communities of women who lived a semi-religious life during the Middle Ages. Be charmed by the quaint houses, tranquil gardens, and serene atmosphere.

6. Visit the Royal Palace of Mechelen

Feel like a royal as you explore the magnificent Royal Palace of Mechelen. Admire its opulent interiors, including the impressive Tapestry Hall, and learn about its rich history from knowledgeable guides.

7. Discover the Splendor of Palace of Margaret of Austria

Step back in time and indulge in the opulence of the Palace of Margaret of Austria. This Renaissance palace showcases exquisite tapestries, stunning gardens, and an intriguing museum that brings history to life.

8. Take a Stroll Along the Dyle Path

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind along the picturesque Dyle Path. This scenic riverside walk offers breathtaking views, charming bridges, and a peaceful ambiance.

9. Admire the Architecture of the Church of Our Lady Across the Dyle

Experience architectural perfection at the Church of Our Lady Across the Dyle. Its stunning Baroque façade, intricate interior, and peaceful location alongside the river make it a must-visit spot.

10. Discover Hidden Gems in the City Centre

Explore the nooks and crannies of Mechelen’s city centre, and you’ll uncover hidden gems at every corner. From charming courtyards and tucked-away cafés to vibrant street art and unique boutiques, there’s always something new to discover.

11. Delight in the Culinary Scene

Belgium is famous for its culinary delights, and Mechelen is no exception. Prepare your taste buds for a delectable journey through the city’s food scene, filled with traditional dishes, food markets, and charming eateries.

12. Taste Delicious Mechelen Cakes

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a taste of Mechelen cakes, a local delicacy. These bite-sized treats are made with traditional recipes, passed down through generations, and are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.

13. Indulge in Mechelse Koekoek

Experience a true gastronomic delight with Mechelse Koekoek, a local breed of chicken known for its tender and flavorful meat. Many restaurants in Mechelen serve this traditional dish prepared in various mouthwatering ways.

14. Sample Belgian Waffles at Their Finest

No trip to Belgium is complete without indulging in the nation’s most famous export – the Belgian waffle. Mechelen boasts numerous waffle houses where you can savor these fluffy delicacies topped with a variety of irresistible toppings.

15. Sip on Authentic Belgian Beer

Beer lovers rejoice – Mechelen is home to a vibrant craft beer scene. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass (or two) of authentic Belgian beer in one of the city’s cozy bars, surrounded by locals and fellow travelers alike.

16. Uncover Cheese Delights at the Cheese Market

Visit the monthly cheese market held at Mechelen’s Great Market Square, and let your taste buds rejoice in the flavors of artisanal cheeses. Sample a variety of local creations and bring home your favorites as tasteful souvenirs.

17. Explore the Eclectic Food Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Mechelen’s food market, where local producers showcase the finest regional delicacies. From fresh seafood and gourmet chocolates to aromatic spices and organic vegetables, this market is a paradise for food enthusiasts.

18. Enjoy a Charming Culinary Walking Tour

Embark on a culinary adventure through the city with a guided walking tour. Discover hidden gastronomic gems, taste local delicacies, and learn about Mechelen’s food culture from knowledgeable experts.

19. Join a Chocolate Workshop

Unleash your inner Willy Wonka and join a chocolate workshop in Mechelen. Learn the art of chocolate making from master chocolatiers and create your own mouthwatering creations to take home.

20. Experience a Gastronomic Festival

Plan your visit around Mechelen’s annual gastronomic festivals, such as the Fish Weekend or the Ommegang Historical Festival. These events showcase the city’s culinary prowess through delicious food stalls, cooking demonstrations, and lively entertainment.

21. Immerse Yourself in Festivals and Events

Experience Mechelen’s vibrant spirit and lively atmosphere by attending one of its many festivals and events. From music and art to culture and history, these celebrations offer a deeper insight into the city’s rich heritage.

22. Celebrate at the Dijlefeesten Music Festival

Dance the night away at the Dijlefeesten Music Festival, an annual event featuring a lineup of talented musicians and artists. The festival takes place along the picturesque riverbanks and offers a unique blend of music genres.

23. Marvel at the St. Rumbold’s Day Parade

Experience the magic of the St. Rumbold’s Day Parade, a grand procession that celebrates the city’s patron saint. Admire the colorful costumes, majestic floats, and lively performances as they wind their way through the city streets.

24. Get Your Groove On at Maanrock

Join the biggest free city festival in Mechelen – Maanrock. This three-day music extravaganza features a diverse range of bands and musicians, transforming the city center into a non-stop party for music lovers.

25. Step Back in Time at the Hanswijk Cavalcade

Witness history come to life at the Hanswijk Cavalcade, a magnificent procession held every 25 years to honor the Virgin Mary. Marvel at the elaborately crafted costumes, ornate floats, and breathtaking reenactments of historical events.

26. Discover the World of Puppetry at the Titipatie Festival

Let your imagination run wild at the Titipatie Festival, a celebration of puppetry and performing arts. Be mesmerized by innovative puppet shows, street performances, and interactive workshops that cater to all ages.

27. Be Enchanted by the Christmas Market

Experience the holiday magic at Mechelen’s charming Christmas Market. The historic city center transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and stalls selling mulled wine, Belgian treats, and artisanal crafts.

28. Celebrate Belgian National Day in Style

Join the locals in celebrating Belgian National Day on July 21st, and immerse yourself in the patriotic festivities. Enjoy parades, fireworks, music performances, and an electrifying atmosphere that showcases the pride and unity of the Belgian people.

29. Attend Mechelen Muurt

Take part in the vibrant street art scene of Mechelen during Mechelen Muurt. This annual event invites renowned international artists to create larger-than-life murals across the city, adding a touch of urban creativity to Mechelen’s already stunning architecture.

30. Enjoy Summer Barbecues at the Dyle Beach

Soak up the sun and enjoy a delicious barbecue along the banks of the Dyle River. Join locals and fellow travelers as you savor grilled specialties, chilled drinks, and lively conversations, immersing yourself in Mechelen’s laid-back summer vibes.

31. Explore the Outdoors

Escape the city and discover Mechelen’s breathtaking natural landscapes. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, or simply a breath of fresh air, Mechelen offers a variety of stunning outdoor spaces to explore.

32. Visit the Beautiful Vrijbroek Park

Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Vrijbroek Park, a peaceful oasis in the heart of Mechelen. Admire the colorful flower gardens, tranquil ponds, and lush green spaces as you bask in the serenity of nature.

33. Explore the Breathtaking Zenne and Dijle Rivers

Embark on a scenic boat tour along the Zenne and Dijle rivers, and discover Mechelen from a different perspective. Enjoy the gentle sway of the water and soak in panoramic views of the city’s stunning architecture and natural landscapes.

34. Cycle Along the Mechelen-Fietsroute

Hop on a bicycle and explore Mechelen’s countryside along the Mechelen-Fietsroute. This well-marked cycling path takes you through picturesque villages, idyllic farmlands, and beautiful nature reserves, ensuring a memorable outdoor adventure.

35. Relax at the Provincial Recreation Domain De Nekker

Unwind and soak up the sun at the Provincial Recreation Domain De Nekker. This expansive recreational park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including swimming, kayaking, mini-golf, and beach volleyball.

36. Discover the Serene Beauty of Tivoli Park

Escape the city bustle and find tranquility in Tivoli Park. Enjoy a leisurely picnic, take a peaceful stroll along the tree-lined paths, or simply relax on the grass while immersing yourself in the beautiful surroundings.

37. Enjoy Watersports at the Hombeek Lakes

Embrace your adventurous side with watersports at the Hombeek Lakes. Try your hand at windsurfing, sailing, or paddleboarding, or simply take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters while enjoying the scenic views.

38. Go Birdwatching in Mechels Broek

Discover a haven for birdwatchers in Mechels Broek, a sprawling wetland located just outside the city center. Grab your binoculars and observe numerous bird species in their natural habitat, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

39. Explore the Green Beauty of Hof van Leysen

Uncover the hidden gem of Hof van Leysen, a charming urban park perfect for peaceful walks and relaxation. Admire the colorful flowerbeds, watch ducks swim in the pond, and bask in the serenity of this green oasis.

40. Embark on a Nature Walk at Battenbroek

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Battenbroek, a scenic nature reserve just outside Mechelen. Follow the walking trails, spot a variety of wildlife, and marvel at the beauty of the marshes and ponds that dot the landscape.

41. Engage in a Range of Exciting Activities

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer more laid-back adventures, Mechelen offers a wide array of thrilling activities to suit every taste. Get ready to embark on exhilarating experiences you won’t soon forget.

42. Test Your Puzzle-Solving Skills at an Escape Room

Gather your friends and immerse yourself in a thrilling escape room adventure. Mechelen offers a variety of themed rooms, each presenting a unique challenge that will put your problem-solving abilities to the test.

43. Discover Seafaring History at the Maritime Museum

Uncover Mechelen’s seafaring past at the Maritime Museum. Explore a fascinating collection of ship models, nautical artifacts, and interactive exhibits that bring the city’s maritime heritage to life.

44. Take a Boat Tour of Mechelen’s Canals

Hop aboard a canal boat and discover Mechelen’s picturesque waterways. Sail beneath charming bridges, admire hidden corners of the city, and soak up the tranquility as you glide along the canals.

45. Challenge Your Friends to Laser Tag

Engage in an epic laser tag battle with friends and family at Mechelen’s state-of-the-art laser tag arena. Strategize, outmaneuver your opponents, and enjoy an adrenaline-pumping experience that’s fun for all ages.

46. Unleash Your Inner Artist with Pottery Painting

Take a break from sightseeing and tap into your creative side at a pottery painting studio. Choose from a wide range of ceramics and unleash your artistic talent as you create unique souvenirs.

47. Try Your Luck at Casino Mechelen

Feeling lucky? Pay a visit to Casino Mechelen and try your hand at a variety of games, from classic roulette and blackjack to exciting slot machines. Enjoy an evening of entertainment and perhaps even walk away with a prize.

48. Go Bowling with a View

Bowl to your heart’s content at Mechelen’s bowling center, located on the rooftop of a former brewery. Enjoy spectacular views of the city as you engage in friendly competition with friends and family.

49. Scale New Heights at a Climbing Gym

Challenge yourself physically and mentally at a climbing gym in Mechelen. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to try something new, these indoor climbing facilities offer an exhilarating experience for all skill levels.

50. Relax with a Spa Day

Indulge in some well-deserved pampering at one of Mechelen’s luxurious spas. Treat yourself to a massage, relax in the sauna, or rejuvenate with a facial, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

51. Experience Mechelen’s Art Scene

Mechelen is a haven for art enthusiasts, boasting a vibrant art scene that showcases a diverse range of styles and mediums. Immerse yourself in the city’s cultural richness as you discover breathtaking masterpieces and hidden artistic gems.

52. Step into the Art Heaven of Kazerne Dossin

Delve into the world of Holocaust art at Kazerne Dossin, a captivating museum dedicated to the memory of the Belgian victims of the Holocaust. Explore thought-provoking exhibitions, powerful installations, and moving artwork that pay homage to those affected.

53. Admire Contemporary Art at Cultuurcentrum Mechelen

Discover Mechelen’s contemporary art scene at Cultuurcentrum Mechelen. This dynamic cultural center hosts rotating exhibitions of local and international artists, offering a fresh perspective on contemporary artistic expressions.

54. Explore the Rich Heritage of Hof Van Busleyden

Get lost in the captivating world of the Renaissance at the Hof Van Busleyden. This museum showcases a rich collection of artworks, historical artifacts, and interactive exhibits that shed light on Mechelen’s influential role during this golden era.

55. Discover Hidden Art at Sint Rombouts Cathedral

Uncover hidden artistic gems within the majestic St. Rumbold’s Cathedral. This architectural masterpiece houses an impressive collection of religious art, including paintings, sculptures, and intricate stained glass windows.

56. Marvel at the Masterpieces of the Schepenhuis Museum

Step into the Schepenhuis Museum and be transported back to the Middle Ages. Admire the enchanting collection of medieval artworks, including manuscripts, tapestries, and sculptures, and gain insight into Mechelen’s rich artistic heritage.

57. Experience the Avant-Garde at Pennings Foundation

Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art at the Pennings Foundation. This innovative art space showcases cutting-edge exhibitions, performances, and installations that push the boundaries of artistic expression.

58. Explore the Cultural Library De Moens

Discover the Cultural Library De Moens, a treasure trove of art books, photography collections, and multimedia installations. Browse the shelves, attend book readings, or simply soak up the creative atmosphere in this haven for book enthusiasts.

59. Experience Mechelen’s Street Art Scene

Take a self-guided tour of Mechelen’s vibrant street art scene and admire the incredible murals adorning the city’s walls. Marvel at the creativity and talent displayed by local and international artists, turning Mechelen into an open-air gallery.

60. Attend an Art Workshop or Class

Unleash your own artistic potential by joining a workshop or class in Mechelen. From painting and sculpting to photography and pottery, there’s a creative outlet for everyone to explore and hone their skills.

61. Shop ’til You Drop

Mechelen is a quintessential shopping destination, offering a diverse mix of boutiques, independent shops, and well-known European brands. From fashion and design to gourmet treats and handmade crafts, indulge in a memorable shopping spree.

62. Discover Unique Fashion Finds on Ijzerenleen

Stroll along Mechelen’s trendy shopping street, Ijzerenleen, and explore a selection of stylish boutiques and independent fashion stores. Discover unique pieces that reflect your personal style and make a statement.

63. Find Antiques and Vintage Treasures on Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat

Dig through the antique and vintage shops lining Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat and uncover hidden treasures. Whether you’re hunting for a unique piece for your collection or simply love the charm of vintage items, Mechelen won’t disappoint.

64. Browse Local Artisan Crafts at the Saturday Market

Discover handmade crafts, artisanal products, and local treats at Mechelen’s bustling Saturday Market. Support local artisans and find one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home, including jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and much more.

65. Explore Mechelen’s Shopping Districts

Immerse yourself in a shopping paradise by exploring Mechelen’s distinct shopping districts. From the trendy Ijzerenleen to the charming Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat and the bustling Bruul, each district offers a unique shopping experience tailored to different tastes.

66. Sample Local Delicacies at the Gourmet Market

Indulge in a culinary feast at Mechelen’s Gourmet Market. This vibrant food market brings together local producers, offering a wide array of mouthwatering treats, from artisanal chocolates and cheeses to freshly baked bread and gourmet delicacies.

67. Visit the Quirky Concept Stores

Step into Mechelen’s quirky concept stores and discover a world of unique design, fashion, and lifestyle products. From handmade jewelry and sustainable fashion to funky home décor, these stores offer a refreshing alternative to mainstream shopping.

68. Find the Perfect Belgian Souvenirs

Take a piece of Mechelen and Belgium home with you by exploring the city’s souvenir shops. Find traditional Belgian chocolates, beer glasses, comic books, and other iconic souvenirs that will forever remind you of your time in Mechelen.

69. Unwind with Retail Therapy at a Shopping Center

For a comprehensive shopping experience, head to one of Mechelen’s modern shopping centers. Enjoy a vast selection of well-known international brands, relaxed atmospheres, and convenient services that make your shopping spree a breeze.

70. Hunt for Bargains at the Outlet Center

Shopaholics, rejoice! Mechelen is home to an outlet center where you can find discounts on your favorite brands. Browse through a wide range of clothing, accessories, and home goods, and snag unbeatable deals on high-quality items.

71. Learn About Mechelen’s History

Mechelen boasts a rich history spanning centuries, with tales of emperors, artisans, and religious figures woven into its charming streets. Delve into the city’s past and gain a deeper understanding of Mechelen’s fascinating heritage.

72. Explore the Secrets of Kazerne Dossin

Uncover an important chapter of Mechelen’s history at Kazerne Dossin. This former transit camp during World War II now serves as a memorial and documentation center, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust and educating visitors about this dark period.

73. Visit the Historic Groot Begijnhof

Step back in time and discover the Groot Begijnhof, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the well-preserved medieval houses, picturesque gardens, and peaceful atmosphere that harken back to the time of the Beguines.

74. Walk in the Footsteps of Margaret of Austria

Learn about the remarkable life of Margaret of Austria, one of Mechelen’s most influential figures, at the Palace of Margaret of Austria. Visit the museum and immerse yourself in the world of this powerful regent and patron of the arts.

75. Discover the Secrets of the Toy Museum

Take a trip down memory lane at the Mechelen Toy Museum. Explore the extensive collection of vintage toys, games, and dolls that offer a glimpse into the past and allow visitors of all ages to relive their childhoods.

76. Marvel at the Royal Carillon

Listen to the enchanting melodies played by the Royal Carillon, one of the largest carillons in the world. Attend a concert or simply enjoy the magical sound of the bells from one of Mechelen’s charming squares.

77. Learn About Traditional Crafts at the Anker Brewery

Discover the rich brewing tradition of Mechelen at the Anker Brewery. Take a guided tour of the brewery, learn about the beer-making process, and sample some of the finest Belgian brews crafted with centuries-old techniques.

78. Visit the Infirmary of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Gasthuis

Gain insight into the medical practices of yesteryears at the Infirmary of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Gasthuis. This preserved hospital ward showcases the equipment, medicine, and methods used to care for the sick and wounded in Mechelen’s past.

79. Discover the History of the Great Council of Mechelen

Trace the history of justice and law in Mechelen at the Great Council of Mechelen. Explore the chambers where legal decisions were made, learn about the influential figures of the time, and uncover intriguing tales from the city’s judicial past.

80. Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre Lamot

Uncover the layers of Mechelen’s history at the Cultural Heritage Centre Lamot. This interactive museum showcases the city’s dynamic past through multimedia displays, artifacts, and immersive exhibitions that engage visitors of all ages.

81. Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun

Mechelen is a fantastic destination for families, offering a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to all ages. Engage your little ones with fun-filled adventures and create lasting memories as you explore the city together.

82. Get Thrilled at Technopolis

Embark on a hands-on learning adventure at Technopolis, Belgium’s premier science center. Explore interactive exhibits, participate in exciting experiments, and unleash your curiosity as you learn about the wonders of science and technology.

83. Visit the Zoo Planckendael

Take your family on a wild journey through Zoo Planckendael, just a short drive from Mechelen. Discover over 200 different animal species, including elephants, giraffes, and pandas, as you explore the vast open-air enclosures.

84. Interact with Animals at Kinderboerderij Mechelen

Introduce your little ones to farm animals at the Kinderboerderij Mechelen. This charming petting zoo allows children to feed, pet, and interact with various animals while learning about their habits and characteristics.

85. Explore the Sea at Aquatopia

Dive into the depths of the ocean at Aquatopia, a fascinating aquarium showcasing a diverse range of marine life. Marvel at colorful coral reefs, majestic sharks, and playful penguins as you learn about the underwater world.

86. Enjoy Outdoor Play at the Tivoli Playground

Let your little ones burn off some steam at the Tivoli Playground. This expansive outdoor play area features slides, climbing structures, and plenty of space to run around, ensuring hours of fun-filled adventures.

87. Discover Science at Planète Mars

Foster your child’s love for science at Planète Mars, a science center designed specifically for children. Engage in hands-on experiments, watch captivating demonstrations, and encourage their curiosity and creativity.

88. Take a Miniature Train Ride

All aboard the miniature train! Hop on the Mechelen’s miniature train and enjoy a leisurely ride through the city’s scenic parks, allowing both children and adults to appreciate Mechelen’s beauty from a unique perspective.

89. Let the Kids Explore Speeldorp Kinderrijck

Give your little ones the chance to release their energy and imaginations at Speeldorp Kinderrijck. This indoor playground offers a safe and stimulating environment where kids can climb, slide, and have endless fun.

90. Discover the World of Comics at the Comics Station

Step into the colorful world of Belgian comics at the Comics Station in Antwerp, just a short distance from Mechelen. Enjoy thrilling rides, interactive exhibits, and meet iconic characters like Tintin and the Smurfs, making it a perfect day trip for the whole family.

91. Immerse Yourself in Mechelen’s Nightlife

When the sun sets, Mechelen comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From cozy bars and lively pubs to chic cocktail lounges and music venues, you’ll find plenty of options to enjoy a memorable evening out.

92. Sip on Craft Beers at a Local Bar

Immerse yourself in Mechelen’s craft beer scene by visiting one of its cozy bars. Sample a wide selection of Belgian brews, engage in conversations with locals, and soak up the relaxed ambiance of Mechelen’s nightlife.

93. Enjoy Live Music at a Local Venue

Get your groove on and enjoy live music at one of Mechelen’s intimate music venues. Listen to local bands, discover up-and-coming artists, and let the rhythms transport you to another world as you dance the night away.

94. Savor Signature Cocktails at a Trendy Lounge

Treat yourself to an evening of sophistication and style at one of Mechelen’s trendy cocktail lounges. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails, enjoy the chic ambiance, and engage in lively conversations with fellow patrons.

95. Laugh the Night Away at a Stand-Up Comedy Show

Prepare for a night filled with laughter at one of Mechelen’s stand-up comedy shows. Sit back, relax, and let talented comedians tickle your funny bone as they showcase their wit, humor, and unique perspectives on life.

96. Dance the Night Away at a Nightclub

Put on your dancing shoes and hit the dance floor at one of Mechelen’s lively nightclubs. Move to the rhythm of the music, let loose, and create unforgettable memories as you dance until the early hours of the morning.

97. Test Your Skills at a Pub Quiz

Gather your friends or meet new ones at a local pub quiz night. Show off your trivia knowledge, compete against other teams, and enjoy an evening filled with laughter, friendly competition, and delicious drinks.

98. Catch a Performance at the City Theater

Experience the magic of the performing arts at the City Theater in Mechelen. Watch enchanting plays, stunning musicals, and thought-provoking dramas, as talented actors bring stories to life on stage.

99. Watch a Movie at a Historic Cinema

Step into a bygone era and enjoy a cinematic experience at one of Mechelen’s historic cinemas. Sit back in plush seats, marvel at the stunning architecture, and lose yourself in the captivating world of film.

100. Join a Pub Crawl in the City Centre

Discover Mechelen’s most lively pubs and bars by joining a pub crawl in the city center. Make new friends, taste local brews, and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife in the company of fellow travelers and friendly locals.

Now that you’ve uncovered 100 reasons to visit Mechelen, it’s time to pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to this hidden gem in Belgium. With its magnificent architecture, delightful cuisine, cultural richness, and warm-hearted locals, Mechelen promises an extraordinary travel experience. So don’t wait – Mechelen awaits!

Why go to Mechelen, Belgium?

You must visit Mechelen, Belgium, at least once in your lifetime because it is one of the most overlooked medieval cities in Flanders. Mechelen boasts Belgium’s most famous cathedral as its crowning glory. 

Places to go in Mechelen, Belgium:

  1. Beguinage
  2. Botanical Garden
  3. Bruul
  4. Dylepath
  5. Fort Breendonk
  6. Grote Markt
  7. Haverwerf
  8. IJzerenleen
  9. Kazerne Dossin 
  10. Mechelen Muurt walk
  11. Margaret & Burgundian Sense-Sations
  12. Museum Hof van Busleyden
  13. Planckendael
  14. Speelgoedmuseum
  15. Stadhuis
  16. St Rumbold’s Tower
  17. Technopolis
  18. Vismarkt
  19. Winter Garden of the Ursuline Nuns
  20. Vrijbroekpark

What is Mechelen, Belgium, famous for?

Mechelen, Belgium, is famous for its Belgian endive (witloof), asparagus, and cauliflower, all of which are grown in the Mechelen region. The Mechelse Veilingen, which started in Mechelen and is now in the nearby town of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, is Europe’s largest cooperative vegetable auction.

Fun Facts about Mechelen, Belgium 

  • History abounds in this city.
  • Auschwitz concentration camp deportations were concentrated in Mechelen during World War II. There were around 26,000 people who had to be expelled from the metropolis.
  • Make your Instagram worthy. There are several beautiful locations to take photos.
  • In case you weren’t aware, the city offers free Wi-Fi to everyone.
  • There’s a lot of beautiful architecture to see in the city.
    Why visit Mechelen Belgium

How big is Mechelen, Belgium?

Mechelen, Belgium, is about 33 square km or 13 square miles in size.

When is the best time to visit Mechelen, Belgium?

The best time to visit Mechelen, Belgium, is the months of June, July, and September.

The months of June through September in Belgium are ideal for visiting Mechelen because of the mild temperatures and low rainfall. Mechelen experiences the warmest average temperature of 23°C in July, while the coldest is just 5°C in January.

How many days do you need to see Mechelen, Belgium?

Mechelen, Belgium, is a vibrant and historic town. It doesn’t matter how little time you have. You can see and do all that Mechelen offers in a single day if you hire a tour guide.

What is the cheapest time to go to Mechelen, Belgium?

The low season (flights) to visit Mechelen, Belgium  is in the months of September, December, January

Traveling and staying at a Mechelen hotel is most economical from January 8th through April 1st; September 3rd through December 9th; and September 3rd through October 31st (except the week of October 15th). Mechelen is often cheaper in early November.

Is Mechelen, Belgium, an expensive city to visit?

On average, a seven-day trip to Mechelen costs $1,475 for a single traveler, $2,649 for a couple, and $4,966 for a family of four to enjoy. Mechelen hotels cost between $51 and $235 per night, with an average price of $90, while most vacation rentals cost between $140 and $580 per night.

The cheapest way to get to Mechelen is to take a standby flight. Avoid the inconvenience, and keep your travel costs as low as possible.

How to save money when visiting Mechelen, Belgium?

The best ways to save money when visiting Mechelen, Belgium, are:

  • The sooner you book your plane ticket, the more likely you will get it.
  • Reserving a hotel room or apartment with a refund is a good idea.
  • Booking your tickets online will save you money.
  • When to go on a trip: in the off-season.
  • Rent a car well in advance of your departure.

What food (and drinks) is Mechelen, Belgium, known for?

Things you need to eat in Mechelen, Belgium  before you die:

  • Cauliflower
  • The Belgian endive
  • Belgian beer
  • Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu
    Visit Mechelen Belgium at least once in your lifetime

Is Mechelen, Belgium, safe to visit?

Some of the youth groups in Mechelen caused some controversy. When staying in tourist districts, there is no immediate danger. However, some neighborhoods should be avoided at night.

The crime rate in the city was formerly among the highest in Flanders. The city has seen a resurgence since 2003. Mechelen is now a safe place to walk. Over the past few years, the city has made significant progress. Relax and have fun!

What is the best way to get around in Mechelen, Belgium?

The best way to get around in Mechelen, Belgium are:

  • Train
  • Bus
  • Boat

What are the neighborhoods or areas I should stay in when I visit Mechelen, Belgium?

The best areas you should stay in when visiting Mechelen, Belgium, are:

  • Martin’s Patershof
  • Etterbeek
  • Van der Valk Hotel Mechelen
  • Hotel Elisabeth

What are the best neighborhoods or areas for food?

The best areas for food and drinks when visiting Mechelen, Belgium, are:

  • Sister Bean
  • De Fortunye 
  • Vrijbroekhof
  • Brasserie Het Anker

What are the best neighborhoods or areas for shopping?

The best areas for shopping when visiting Mechelen, Belgium  are:

  • Designer Outlet Roermond
  • Marques Avenue Talange

What should I do on my first trip to Mechelen, Belgium?

If you are visiting Mechelen, Belgium, for the first time, take a walk along the Dijle River to get to the Botanical Garden.

You may cross the Dyle Path’s floating section between the Haverwerf and the Botanical Garden to view a different side of Mechelen. This is the ideal way to round off your one-day visit to Mechelen, Belgium.

Is Mechelen, Belgium a good place for solo travel?

When traveling solo, you should check out Ghent’s Saint-Cathedral, Bavo’s, where the Van Eyck brothers’ monumental altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, is on display.

There is no better place in Belgium to satisfy your craving for a satisfying vegetarian meal than Ghent. Many vegan and vegetarian restaurants, food carts, and grocery stores can be found around the city. This is the spot for you if you’re traveling alone and just want a fast and tasty meal.

Is Mechelen, Belgium a good place to visit for a family with kids?

When visiting Mechelen, Belgium as a family with kids, remember that Mechelen is a compact city with a low population density. Which makes getting about on foot easy (think no hills to climb or cars rushing everywhere). Although it’s minor, I don’t believe there is anything to do. Because there is less land to traverse, children will not be exhausted from walking for the duration of their stay. The Technopolis Science and Technology Museum is undoubtedly the most important thing for families with young children to do in Mechelen.

Is Mechelen, Belgium, a good place for couples?

When visiting Mechelen, Belgium, as a couple, visit St. Rumbold’s Cathedral first. It’s a unique feature of Mechelen, and without going there, you’ll miss out on seeing the entire city.

We can’t forget about the ground level with such a beautiful view. St. Rumbold, the city’s patron saint, is commemorated in the cathedral, as is the story of how he saved a drowning infant. The cathedral has two of his most important relics and the painting “Christ on the Cross” by Anthony van Dyck.

What are the best annual events in Mechelen, Belgium?

The best annual events in Mechelen, Belgium  that you cannot miss are

  • Carillon Festival in the month of April
  • SWAFFF! Brussels Craft Beer Festival in June
  • BXLBeerFest in August
  • Freed ‘open air’ in July
  • Edgard & Cooper Meet ‘n Treat! in June

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