Belgium in Pictures: 18 Beautiful Places to Photograph
For a small country, Belgium is home to an astounding number of picture-perfect landmarks, especially when it comes to capturing images of beautifully preserved medieval architecture. The lush Meuse Valley and Belgium's short but lovely coastline provide an excellent variety of natural scenery to make your pictures pop.
From the royal gardens of metropolitan Brussels to the sleepy canals of Ghent's old town, tourists will find endless opportunities for amazing photos.
- 1. Sint-Michielsbrug Bridge, Ghent
- 2. Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels
- 3. The Canals of Bruges
- 4. Grand Place, Antwerp
- 5. Montagne de Beuren, Liege
- 6. Veves Castle
- 7. Grote Markt, Mechelen
- 8. Architecture of Mons
- 9. Leuven City Hall
- 10. Menin Gate, Ypres
- 11. The Riverside Town of Dinant
- 12. Seaside Paradise
- 13. Gravensteen Castle, Ghent
- 14. Canals and Guild Houses of Ghent
- 15. Mont des Arts, Brussels
- 16. Historic Canals of Lier
- 17. Groot-Bijgaarden Castle, Dilbeek
- 18. Poeke Castle (Kasteel van Poeke)
1. Sint-Michielsbrug Bridge, Ghent
From the stone sidewalks of Sint-Michielsbrug (Saint Michael's Bridge), you get the perfect view of Ghent's skyline with Bel-fort Tower and the towers of St. Nicholas's Church and St. Bavo's Cathedral. The Gothic Saint Michael's Church, with its ornate medieval spires, sits in the foreground. This is Ghent's most impressive attractions and most photographed spot, and it's just as popular for capturing nighttime pictures of the stone buildings lit from beneath.
2. Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels
The gardens of Brussels' commemorative park are a stunning complement to the Arc du Triumph. This triumphal arch links the wings of the Palais du Cinquantenaire, a beautiful 19th-century palace that was built to celebrate Belgian independence. The park is also home to numerous photo-worthy statues and fountains.
- Read More: Top-Rated Attractions in Brussels, Belgium
3. The Canals of Bruges
Centuries-old brick and stone houses line the peaceful canals of Bruges' old town, with flower boxes and windows facing the water just as they would a neighborhood street. A leisurely boat ride on the canals of Belgium's best-preserved medieval town is the best way to capture stunning and unique pictures of the city's historic charm. If you are planning an itinerary, this is one of the must-see places in Belgium.
4. Grand Place, Antwerp
Antwerp's Grand Place (Groke Markt) has some of the best examples of traditional Flemish architecture, including the 16th-century Town Hall (Stadhuis) adorned with vibrant flags. The main square's historic guild houses (gildehuizen) feature ornate facades and gilded ornamentation, and Brabo's Monument fountain sits in the center of the square.
- Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Antwerp
5. Montagne de Beuren, Liege
The staircase that ascends the slope of Bueren Mountain rises at an astounding 30 percent incline and consists of 374 steps, creating a dramatic sight. The sight is enhanced during the "Beuren en Fleur," when the steps are adorned with flowers in beautifully planned patterns, creating wonderful opportunities for colorful images. Each October they are lined with candles for the Nocturne des Coteaux de la Citadelle celebrations.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Liège
6. Veves Castle
Veves Castle is a fairy-tale castle in every way and an elegant medieval residence, from its pepperpot-capped stone turrets to the wrought-iron gates. The castle sits just outside of Namur.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Namur
7. Grote Markt, Mechelen
Perfect for capturing architectural images, the pedestrian square in Mechelen's Grote Markt has a variety of building styles that coexist beautifully. These include the 14th-century Lakenhalle and an assortment of gabled houses and guild halls built from the 16th to 18th century.
Sint-Rombouts Cathedral sits just behind the square. Mechelen is in Flanders, located about 23 kilometers south of Antwerp.
8. Architecture of Mons
From the center of Mons (in Flemish, Bergen), the imposing belfry known as El Catiau can be seen towering above the town. The bell tower is 87 meters tall and was built in the 17th century in the Baroque style.
Mons is home to numerous photo-worthy stone and brick buildings, including the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and the ornate Toison d'Or House, both of which reside in the Grand Place.
9. Leuven City Hall
Leuven's City Hall is a stunning example of the Late Gothic style of Brabantine architecture, with intricate stonework and a sculptured façade that features 236 figures and a turreted roof. You can capture the details in close-up images.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Leuven
10. Menin Gate, Ypres
Menin Gate is an imposing memorial to the British soldiers who lost their lives during World War I, and the starting point for regional tours of the battlefields of Flanders.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Ypres
11. The Riverside Town of Dinant
The town of Dinant is one of the gateways to the Meuse Valley, with its picturesque clifftop citadels and busy commerce along the shores of the Meuse River.
- Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belgium
12. Seaside Paradise
Just a short drive from Bruges, several beautiful beaches grace the shores of the North Sea and offer endless seascapes and natural scenes for photos, from the grassy dunes of Blankenberge and Zeebrugge to the sailboats of Ostend and the native wildlife at the coastal Zwin Nature Park.
- Read More: Top-Rated Day Trips from Bruges
13. Gravensteen Castle, Ghent
Moated by the River Lieve, Gravensteen Castle is a 12th-century fortress that embodies the iconic image of a medieval castle, complete with turrets, battlements, and lookouts.
14. Canals and Guild Houses of Ghent
Like Bruges, Ghent is full of canals large and small, many of which are lined with historic guild houses. Canal rides are an ideal way to view the variety of medieval architecture throughout the old town and take photos along the way.
15. Mont des Arts, Brussels
From its elevated position by the Place Royal (Royal Palace), the Mont des Arts affords excellent views of the city. Within the park there are landscaped gardens and several striking buildings.
16. Historic Canals of Lier
The beautiful canal-filled town of Lier (Lierre in French) is an easy day trip from Antwerp, ribboned with canals that are lined with beautiful historic guild houses and homes.
One of the best areas for unobstructed photos of the canals is between the bridge at the eastern end of the Grote Markt and Sint-Jansburg bridge (near the Zimmertoren).
17. Groot-Bijgaarden Castle, Dilbeek
Located just outside the city limits of Brussels, Groot-Bijgaarden Castle is a stunning estate with a 17th-century castle. Its brick bridge leads to a fortified gate, beyond which are buildings dating as far back as the 15th century.
The castle is a sought-after venue for weddings and events, but every year in April, the grounds open to the public for the Floralia Brussels exhibition. The grounds come alive with the vibrant colors of 500 varieties of spring flowers, with 400 types of tulips—over one million flowers total. It's a beautiful spot to capture creative pictures.
18. Poeke Castle (Kasteel van Poeke)
The lovely Poeke Castle, located in the East Flanders town of Aalter, is picture-perfect within its protective moat. The current structure was built in the 17th century after the original was destroyed, and major renovations in the 19th century resulted in today's fairy-tale castle. The grounds feature an English garden, and visitors can explore the 56-hectare grounds.