Places of Interest in Flanders

Information on the main tourist attractions, places of interest and sights to see in Flanders…

Flanders has a rich cultural and artistic history. The region is chiefly known for its famous painters such as Rubens and Breughel, and for the group known as the Flemish Primitives. There are many museums and tourist attractions devoted to the art of the great masters.

Flanders is also known for its architecture, lace (Bruges), diamond centre (Antwerp), and for its chocolate and beer.

Bruges

The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Often referred to as "The Venice of the North", Bruges is known for its canals and its medieval architecture. The Belfry, the Church of Our Lady and the Beguinage are among the many sights not to miss in Bruges. Tours of the city can also made by horse-drawn cab or by boat.

  • For further information about the historic centre of Bruges: Click here

Groeninge Museum

Bruges' City Museum of Fine Arts houses a permanent collection of Flemish paintings from the 15th to the 21st century, with a large selection of artworks by the Flemish Primitives. The museum's masterpiece is "The Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele" by Jan van Eyck.

  • Groeninge Museum
    At: Dijver 12, 8000 Bruges
    Tel: 050 44 87 51
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 09:30-17:00

Antwerp

Antwerp Central Station

Antwerp Central Station, nicknamed "The Railway Cathedral", was built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is an eclectic mixture of artistic styles, but is characterised by its size and the wide variety of materials used. It was ranked the fourth greatest train station in the world by Newsweek Magazine in 2009.

Antwerp Diamond District

More than 80 percent of all the rough diamonds in the world are traded in Antwerp's Diamond Square Mile; there are more than 3,000 merchants, most of Jewish and Indian origin. Guided tours are available from the Antwerp Tourist Centre.

Ghent

The Castle of the Counts (Ghent Gravensten), was built in 1180 and overlooks Ghent city. Recently refurbished, it houses a museum about Ghent and its castle's history.

  • Ghent Gravensten
    At
    : Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Ghent
    Tel: 09 225 93 06
    email
    Open: 10:00-18:00 (April-October) and 09:00-17:00 (November-March)

Flanders Fields

Ieper (or Ypres) is home to the In Flanders Fields Museum, which provides an insight into what happened in the region before, during and after WWI. The Menin Gate Memorial commemorates the soldiers of the British Commonwealth who fell in Ypres in 1917. The Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery is a burial ground for the dead of WWI.

Further Information