Touring Canals in Belgium | Tenting for Ladies

Belgium is probably not the primary place you would possibly consider on the subject of European canals however there are fairly a couple of of them to take a look at. Whereas Belgian canals should not essentially on the identical scale because the canals in Amsterdam they’re nonetheless very picturesque and nicely price seeing.

Once I visited, I discovered that a lot of the Belgian canals have been within the flatter Flanders area within the north, much more so than the hilly Wallonia area (together with the closely forested space of the Ardennes) within the south.


Flat countryside of Flanders Belgium
The encircling countryside all through the Flanders area is lush inexperienced and flat. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


The map under provides you some thought of the waterways comprising canals and rivers in Belgium.

Touring Canals in Belgium
Map exhibiting Canals in Belgium with different waterways and rivers. Picture: eurocanals


When researching my journey, I used to be so stunned to search out Wikipedia listed over 80 canals throughout this comparatively small nation! Clearly, there’s solely a restricted time anybody can spend exploring, so I prioritized what I thought of to be the most effective to see from this listing of canals, based mostly on what I believed could be most accessible for vacationers.

Flanders region of Belgium
Map of the Flanders area of Belgium. Picture:

Because it seems, the preferred canals in Belgium are located in, or very near, main cities and facilities within the Flanders area. I believed I might concentrate on these because of their reputation and I actually wasn’t upset with what I skilled.

Under are the highlights of what I believe it is best to think about if you’re eager on seeing some pretty canals in Belgium.


Bruges canals

Walkway to Bruges
The beautiful walkway we took into Bruges. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.

In relation to well-known canals, the Bruges canals are actually probably the most well-known all through Belgium. Vacationers flock right here, particularly in summer season to see this lovely metropolis and expertise driving by these pretty canals.

These canals in Belgium are so fashionable as a result of they’re considered probably the most scenically interesting with a backdrop of architecturally enticing, historic buildings surrounding the medieval city of Bruges.

The Bruges canals, just like the canals of Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, have typically been known as the ‘Venice of the North’.


Bruges canals of Belgium
Cruising the canals of Bruges was a beautiful expertise. Photograph: James Visser.


Bruges Canals
It took a while to cruise the canals. Photograph: James Visser.

Bruges is the capital and largest metropolis of the province of West Flanders within the Flemish Area of Belgium. Positioned within the northwest, it’s the seventh-largest metropolis within the nation by inhabitants.

The title Bruges is believed to derive from the old-Scandinavian phrase ‘Brygga’ that means ‘harbor’ or ‘mooring place’. The river Zwin linked the settlement to the North Sea and it in a short time turned an essential worldwide buying and selling port.

Town originated on the banks of the river Reie. The Bruges’ canals are known as “Reie”, named after the river “Roya” which used to movement into the Zwin estuary.

Bruges (also called Brugge) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Website in 2000, acknowledged as an ‘excellent instance of an architectural ensemble, illustrating important phases within the industrial and cultural fields in medieval Europe’.


Bruges canal greenery
Simply love the greenery current all through the Flanders area. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


The charms of the canals of belgium
Bruges is such an enthralling city. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Bruges in Belgium
Bruges is such a beautiful place. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Vivaldi Restaurant in Bruges
We loved lunch at this pretty restaurant. Photograph: James Visser.


Bruges lovely canals of belgium
The water, climate and structure make for a really picturesque setting. Photograph: James Visser.


When you think about all of the above and the photographs I’ve shared right here, it in all probability comes as no shock that Bruges canals are probably the most well-known canals in Belgium.

We simply liked our time exploring this historic metropolis (which is absolutely extra of a city by way of inhabitants: solely round 20K within the metropolis middle) and gliding alongside the scenic waterways right here was a delight.



Ghent canals of Belgium
The canals in Ghent have been on a bigger scale in contrast with Bruges. Photograph: James Visser.

One other main middle within the Flanders area, additionally situated within the northwest (Flemish) space, Ghent can be a really pretty metropolis to go to. Whether or not it’s extra interesting than Bruges, is a matter of non-public alternative.

Ghent is a bigger middle than Bruges and due to that, it doesn’t really feel as if there are such a lot of vacationers. Because of the metropolis’s preservation and restoration efforts, a lot of the medieval structure remains to be intact within the historic district of Ghent and that is arguably finest seen from its canals.

Ghent’s historical past dates again to the 1300s when it was the richest and largest metropolis in northern Europe. The confluence of two rivers, the Scheldt and the Leie, made Ghent a significant port metropolis, and within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, the town had a thriving textile business. Bruges however was (and nonetheless is) recognized for its manufacturing of lace.


Canal boats in Ghent Belgium
Even the boats providing rides have been a lot bigger right here. Photograph: James Visser.


Canoeing in the canal in Ghent Belgium
These guys thought they’d paddle their canoe down the canal. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Leisurely canal in Ghent
Town canals in Belgium made such a distinction to the ambiance. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Nicole Anderson in Ghent Belgium
A photograph of me by the canal in Ghent. Photograph: James Visser


In the present day it’s a simple metropolis to discover and has a big pupil inhabitants. It’s the second-largest metropolis in Flanders after Antwerp. The canals listed here are equally accessible as in Bruges and Ghent clearly has extra in the way in which of facilities and issues to see inside very shut (strolling) proximity of the town middle.

There are various choices to take a cruise alongside the canals in Ghent and you’re additionally capable of hop on and off at varied factors. As was the case in Bruges, your captain can be your tour information and is pleased to take questions throughout the cruise. Unsurprisingly, Ghent is without doubt one of the extra fashionable canals in Belgium.



Atop the Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp Belgium
James and I are on the roof of Museum aan de Stroom with fantastic views of Antwerp. Photograph: fellow customer.

Antwerp is a port metropolis on Belgium’s River Scheldt. The biggest metropolis in Flanders, considered the Flemish capital of Belgium, Antwerp is known as being a diamond middle in Europe in addition to one of many important transport ports in Western Europe.

A significant canal begins in Antwerp. Named after King Albert I of Belgium, the Albert Canal is a canal situated in north-eastern Belgium. This canal connects the foremost cities Antwerp and Liège in addition to the Meuse and Scheldt rivers. It has a complete size of 129.5 kilometers (80.5 mi).

Whereas Antwerp doesn’t have the identical historical past or architectural buildings as Bruges or Ghent, its port and proximity to the North Sea are scenic in themselves.

An important place to go for views of the realm is the Museum aan de Stroom. This can be a museum situated alongside the river Scheldt within the Eilandje district of Antwerp. It opened in Might 2011 and is the most important museum in Antwerp. Right here you may look all the way down to the river and out to the port in addition to again out to the town.

The Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp Belgium
The Museum aan de Stroom in constructing in Antwerp. Photograph: James Visser.


River Scheldt in Antwerp Belgium
Searching to the River Scheldt. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Antwerp Marina in Belgium
Wanting down on the Antwerp Marina with the town within the background. Photograph: James Visser.


Houseboat on a canal in Antwerp Belgium
Houseboat on the canal in Antwerp. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Antwerp Central Station in Belgium
James and I dropped by the Antwerp Central Station – acknowledged as one of the crucial lovely on the planet. Photograph: fellow vacationer.


Brabo Fountain on the Grote Markt, Antwerp
James and I in entrance of the Brabo Fountain on the Grote Markt, Antwerp. Photograph: fellow traveler.



Being the capital and largest metropolis in Belgium, you would possibly assume {that a} canal in Brussels is likely to be relatively spectacular. This isn’t the case while you examine it to the opposite facilities I visited and talked about above. The canal runs by the town which is devoid of the character of these elsewhere in Belgium and surrounded by extra fashionable and typical metropolis buildings.

La Grand-Place in Brussels Belgium
La Grand-Place in Brussels is large and spectacular. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.

The Brussels canal divides the municipality of Brussels-Metropolis from Molenbeek, forming the border between them. In comparison with the opposite canals I’ve coated on this article, it actually isn’t half as scenic and because of this, customer numbers to see and even journey on the canal are fairly non-existent.

If you end up in Brussels and are inquisitive about trying out extra historic structure, you then actually do want to go to La Grand-Place. La Grand-Place is actually an enormous sq. utterly surrounded by lovely Seventeenth-century structure. It’s a centerpiece of Brussels that you just actually shouldn’t miss seeing if you’re within the space.


La Grand-Place in the capital Brussels
One other angle of La Grand-Place. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


James Visser at La Grand-Place in Brussels Belgium
James wandering out into the principle sq.. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


La Grand-Place architecture
Fabulous historic European structure. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.


Le Grand Place can be registered on the World Heritage Record by UNESCO.


Nicole Anderson in Brussels Belgium
Right here I’m on a park bench in the midst of Brussels. Photograph: James Visser.


Different issues Belgium is understood for


Foods and drinks

In between racing to take a look at the most effective canals in Belgium, I might suggest making an attempt a few of the merchandise the nation is known for. These embody some objects I’ve included under.


Outdoor dining in Brussels Belgium
Out of doors eating may be very fashionable in the summertime throughout Belgium. Photograph: our pleasant waiter.


Belgium chocolate
Belgium chocolate is kind of decadent with a lot selection. Photograph: Nicole Anderson.

Belgium chocolate is one thing the locals are very pleased with and we have been advised fairly a couple of instances that their chocolate is a lot better than Swiss chocolate. Whether or not that is true or not might be extra a matter of opinion or desire for every individual.

What I can say, nevertheless, is that every one the candies we purchased (making an attempt some there and bringing some house) have been scrumptious. Extraordinarily clean and wealthy in texture with so many selections of flavors.



Belgium waffles
Belgium waffles! Photograph: James Visser.

Belgian waffles are one other meals that’s closely promoted and obtainable nearly in every single place within the nation. We have been regularly advised that Belgian waffles in Belgium would style higher than anyplace else on the planet. Though not the most effective factor for these making an attempt to lose energy, we did do that and it did style nice.





Belgian Fries with Belgium Beer
Belgian Fries with Belgium Beer. Photograph: James Visser.

Belgium Fries is one thing that got here as a little bit of a shock. So many locals advised us that fries really originate from Belgium and never France! Apparently, anybody has an actual disguise to consult with Belgium Fries as French Fries and the Belgians supposedly really feel ripped off when this occurs. So after all, we needed to attempt ‘Belgian Fries’ which is offered in every single place and is available in a paper cone with mayonnaise on high.

Belgium Beer is one other factor that’s urged at nearly each restaurant or café you dine at. There are such a lot of totally different kinds of beer which are produced in Belgium, with Stella Artois in all probability being the most effective recognized internationally. We did attempt their beer on a couple of events at dinner (or relatively James did and I had a sip of his as I’m probably not a beer fan).


Tin Tin display in Brussels Belgium.
Tin Tin and his trustworthy canine Snowy. Photograph: James Visser

The Adventures of Tin Tin!

Whereas we have been staying in central Brussels, so most of the vacationer memento outlets had collectible figurines, toys, and different mementos of the comedian characters from Tin Tin. The Adventures of Tin Tin originated in Belgium and Brussels additionally has a devoted retailer with Tin Tin comics, posters, books, and each conceivable memento you might think about! The Belgians have been fairly proud that Tin Tin was theirs! It was a enjoyable expertise to go to the shop.


To conclude:

Canals in Belgium ought to kind an essential a part of touring Belgium and appreciating the stunning cities and broader pure great thing about this nation. I hope you may have loved studying about my expertise with the canals in Belgium and those I believed have been finest to spotlight right here.

Please do depart a remark in your impressions of the canals of Belgium, notably when you have visited or if you need to incorporate this in your travels.


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