Weird and wonderful places to visit in Belgium

Unique day trips

With its international institutions and bustling city life, Brussels is by far the most popular city among expats in Belgium - but there’s so much more to discover! Looking beyond the typical Antwerp and Ardennes, here are five slightly weird but wonderful day trip destinations in Belgium.

Weird and wonderful places to visit in Belgium

International Bathtub Regatta, Dinant

Attracting around 25,000 visitors a year, the International Bathtub Regatta isn’t your usual festival: rather than music or food, it revolves around… bathtubs. The regatta (or boat race) challenges floating bathtubs to complete a 1KM race across the Meuse river - but the fun really lies in all the creative ways the tubs are decorated. There’s a theme every year and participants can win prizes for having the most beautiful or original tub.  

The doomed city, Doel

Once an independent town with over 1300 citizens, Doel is now a ghost town with a mere handful of residents. Buildings have been abandoned and the streets are empty, but this doesn’t mean it’s boring; besides the somewhat ominous atmosphere typical of a ghost town, there’s a lot of street art to discover.

The blue forest (Hallerbos), Halle

If you want to escape the busy city life and immerse yourself in nature, the Hallerbos in Halle is a great option. For a few weeks in Spring every year, the forest floor is fully covered with bluebells, making it especially magical.

The town of hot springs, Spa

Have you ever been in a spa? Well, this is the original. The town of Spa became famous for its mineral waters and hot springs. So much so, that the term spa actually came from this city’s name! You can still wander around the city and discover the natural hot springs. Apart from this, Spa also has many car racing events to enjoy.

Reading between the Lines (Doorkijkkerk), Borgloon

Reading between the Lines, or Doorkijkkerk (see-through church), is a bit bizarre; from a distance, it looks like a small church on a hill. The closer you get, however, the more you realise it’s not a church but an art installation that works as an optical illusion.

You can discover all of these places easily with Belgium’s excellent public transport system - take a look at BNP Paribas Fortis’ advice for public transport .

This article has been published in cooperation with BNP Paribas Fortis; the bank for expats .

International Bathtub Regatta, Dinant

Attracting around 25,000 visitors a year, the International Bathtub Regatta isn’t your usual festival: rather than music or food, it revolves around… bathtubs. The regatta (or boat race) challenges floating bathtubs to complete a 1KM race across the Meuse river - but the fun really lies in all the creative ways the tubs are decorated. There’s a theme every year and participants can win prizes for having the most beautiful or original tub.  

The doomed city, Doel

Once an independent town with over 1300 citizens, Doel is now a ghost town with a mere handful of residents. Buildings have been abandoned and the streets are empty, but this doesn’t mean it’s boring; besides the somewhat ominous atmosphere typical of a ghost town, there’s a lot of street art to discover.

The blue forest (Hallerbos), Halle

If you want to escape the busy city life and immerse yourself in nature, the Hallerbos in Halle is a great option. For a few weeks in Spring every year, the forest floor is fully covered with bluebells, making it especially magical.

The town of hot springs, Spa

Have you ever been in a spa? Well, this is the original. The town of Spa became famous for its mineral waters and hot springs. So much so, that the term spa actually came from this city’s name! You can still wander around the city and discover the natural hot springs. Apart from this, Spa also has many car racing events to enjoy.

Reading between the Lines (Doorkijkkerk), Borgloon

Reading between the Lines, or Doorkijkkerk (see-through church), is a bit bizarre; from a distance, it looks like a small church on a hill. The closer you get, however, the more you realise it’s not a church but an art installation that works as an optical illusion.

You can discover all of these places easily with Belgium’s excellent public transport system - take a look at BNP Paribas Fortis’ advice for public transport .

This article has been published in cooperation with BNP Paribas Fortis; the bank for expats .

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