From beautiful Belgian seaside villages and the forests of the Ardennes to historic cities galore, Belgium delivers big fun for visitors who take the time to explore.
And now, Brussels Airlines’ Belgium Stop Over Program offers a new way to make the most of your time in the carrier’s home during 1- to 5-day stops en route, or returning from, your final destination.
Brussels Airlines has emerged as a favorite carrier thanks to its low fares and extensive network within Europe and around the world. The airline is widely known among travelers for its convenient connections between North America, Europe and Africa via its home base, Brussels Airport.
With so much to discover in Belgium, the Belgium Stop Over Program makes it easy to tack on more time in the heart of Europe at no additional cost.
Simply book online to choose your final destination and travel dates, and then decide whether you want to include a stopover of 1 to 5 days on the outbound or return leg of your travels.
The program offers free access to museums and activities in two cities of the traveler’s choice. Thanks to Belgium’s compact size and easy train connections, you’ll rarely travel more than an hour between destinations to take in such a wealth of sights.
Read on for our tips and decide how you want to spend your time discovering Belgium:
1 to 2 Days
Brussels, the capital of Belgium, has plenty of museums and sights to keep you busy on a short layover. Experience.brussels is an interactive introduction to the city with maps, history and the chance to hear firsthand from some of the capital’s residents. Once you have the lay of the land, go explore with Brussels City Tours during coach tours that hit the major sites: Saint-Michael’s Cathedral, the iconic Atomium, the charming Sablon neighborhood with its many antique shops, and stunning buildings including the Justice Palace and the Royal Palace. The tour includes stops related to Brussels’ role as the capital not just of Belgium but the European Union, too: the European Parliament and the Commission and the Council of Europe. With such a good overview, you’re armed to go back and revisit the stops that interest you most in the city later.
3 to 4 Days
Almost all of Belgium’s cities and towns lie within two hours by train from Brussels. So when you decide to stay for three or four days on your stop over, you can see a great mix of spots.
Antwerp has been one of Europe’s most important ports for centuries, and the Flemish Renaissance architecture of its Grote Markt (the main square in the city’s historic center) reflects the wealth of this commercial hub. Travelers interested in art history can stop at the house of the 17th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Located in a striking contemporary building, the Museum aan de Stroom provides an overview of Antwerp’s long history. And make time for some retail therapy in Antwerp’s many cool boutiques - the city is considered Belgium’s fashion capital, and is full of creative designers.
In Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, you’re in for something different. The city’s historic district is an enchanting UNESCO World Heritage area where it’s a delight to get lost wandering among the squares lined with Gothic masterpieces. Beer-lovers will find much to love here too, with all the famed brown, red and sour ales of Flanders to sample at the town’s many bars.
If you have time for a full five days in Belgium, add some of the country’s smaller cities and towns to your travel plans.
Ghent’s artistic highlight is Van Eyck’s Ghent altarpiece, a triptych that helped change the course of art in Europe. The city’s Museum of Fine Arts houses an astounding selection of old masters and newer works within an iconic building. And the intricate stained glass windows and pulpit of St. Bavo’s Cathedral are among the city’s other architectural gems.
Like Bruges, Tournai on the French border also has UNESCO World Heritage status. Considered one of the country’s cultural capitals, the cathedral and many other historic buildings here reflect Tournai’s long history as a textile center. Visitors with a penchant for puppets won’t want to miss the Puppet House, with its large collection of modern and traditional puppets from around the world. And save some energy to climb the 257 steps to the top of the the Belfry of Tournai. The oldest such tower in Belgium, it dates to 1192 and boasts beautiful city views.
The town of Ypres is home to more stunning belfry views and draws travelers to its World War I battlefields, too. But the city that has proclaimed itself the City of Peace is also home to many other sights you can enjoy along the Heritage Walking Tour. The roughly 3-mile route is easy to follow, thanks to bronze rivets placed in the pavement marking the way, and starts in the center of town at the Cloth Hall.
Set your sights on Liège, too, a pretty city along the River Meuse with an incredible selection of galleries and museums to explore. La Boverie is home to works by Chagall and Gaugin, and the Archéoforum de Liège’s collection spans 9,000 years of the city’s history and is displayed at a former archeological excavation site. Did we mention free bike rentals are available to help you explore Liège, too?
Those cities and many more are just a taste of what awaits when you decide to stop over in Belgium. And the Brussels Airlines website makes it easy both to book and find inspiration for what to do while you’re here. Visit to find suggestions throughout Belgium, and then pack your bags.