Radisson Blu Hotel Belgium
Antwerp, an unmissable destination
Although it is visited less frequently than the rest of the country, the North of Belgium is still full of treasures just waiting to be discovered. Take the time to take a trip to Antwerp, a cosmopolitan and artistic city where you can immerse yourself in the heart of Belgium’s cultural heritage, including seeing lots of Rubens’s works. Staying at the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel in Antwerp, you will be in the perfect place for visiting all the well-known highlights, such as the Grand-Place, which is lovely to visit on market days, the astonishing Notre-Dame cathedral and the Cogels Osylei neighbourhood, which is full of Belle Époque architecture.
The must-see museums
Antwerp was the home of Pierre Paul Rubens, so it is the perfect place to immerse yourself completely in his world. Start at Rubens House, where you can find out more about his life and works, then follow this up with a visit to his parents’ house. Complement this with a trip to the Royal Fine Art Museum, which has amazing Flemish and European collections. Complete your trip by going to the docks area where you will find the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), which has thematic displays and offers a beautiful panorama of the city from its top-floor terrace.
The historic university city of Ghent
The welcoming and picturesque city of Ghent is situated to the north-west of Brussels. Its importance in the Middle Ages is seen today in its historic heritage and its imposing façades. During your visit, take the time to admire the amazing Gothic Saint-Bavon cathedral which is home to van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Add the Fine Art Museum to your itinerary too, and make sure you climb to the top of the 14th century belfry, to be rewarded by a superb panorama of the city.
Where to eat in the North
The North of Belgium is a friendly place where meals shared with friends are de rigueur. Try some chips from the local chip shop, then enjoy carbonade flamande, a type of sweet and sour beef and onion stew made with beer. Stop by in one of the many café-bars for an amber beer – De Koninck is a very popular beer in Antwerp. This city is also famous for its pastries and confectionery. Make sure you try ‘Antwerp hands’, which can be biscuits or chocolates covered with marzipan, mokatines (hard coffee-flavoured sweets), and chocolate of course!
Cultural discoveries in Liège
Make your way into the heart of forest country, green valleys and cultural towns. East Belgium is full of surprises! Start your visit to this region in Liège, a city which is particularly vibrant thanks to its student population. One of its main sights is Le Carré, with its numerous cafés which are lively every day of the week. You can also admire many religious edifices, including Liège Cathedral, built in the Middle Ages, Saint-Jacques Church and the recently restored Collegiate Church of Saint-Barthélemy.
Complete relaxation in Spa
To make the most of your trip to Belgium, do not miss the opportunity to visit Spa. This is the town which has given its name to well-being centres around the world, so Spa is the perfect place to indulge in thermal baths or relax in a fitness and well-being centre. By staying at the Radisson Blu Palace Hotel or the Radisson Blu Balmoral Hotel, you will be able to unwind in the heart of the natural surroundings of the Belgian Ardennes. You can also visit the golf course or the casino, and take a stroll in the Sept Heures park.
The urban-rural city of Hasselt
The welcoming and green city of Hasselt is made in the defining image of East Belgium. You will love its relaxing natural surroundings, Japanese garden where serenity rules, and the interesting museums. These include the Jenever Museum, where you can learn about the manufacturing of this Dutch gin, the Fashion Museum and its huge collection, and the Z33, a contemporary art space which hosts films and exhibitions, which are often free to visit. Staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel d’Hasselt, you can relax in the sauna and covered pool, then take a stroll in the marketplace right by the hotel.
A trip around the Belgian Ardennes
Namur is the gateway to the Belgian Ardennes, and is an excellent starting point for a visit to the region. Take a moment to admire the Baroque cathedral of Saint-Aubin, then visit the citadel, a 10th-century fortress overlooking the city. From Namur, you can set off for a walk on one of the many footpaths, or take your bike on one of the RAVel tow paths. An example of one such route is the GR126 from Namur to Dinant