10 fun ways to spend free time in Belgium
Whether you like entertainment, sports, animal, adventure or delicious trappiest beers: Belgium offers endless leisure opportunities. However, with so many options available, choosing can be challenging. Here are 10 ‘must do’s’ to tick off your list as soon as possible.
1. Say hi to the giant pandas in Pairi Daiza
If you like animals, the Pairi Daiza zoo near Ath is a must-visit. This park offers an unforgettable experience amongst more than 4,000 animals, including Tasmanian devils, koalas and three giant pandas: Xing Hui, Hao Hao and their baby, Tian Bao. Plan your visit at www.pairidaiza.eu.
2. Cheer (and have a beer) with the crowd at a soccer game
Another ‘wild’ experience we recommend is attending a soccer game in Belgium. Soccer has always been very popular here, and the success of the Red Devils national team has only added to that. Local clubs can often count on an enthusiastic fan base, ensuring a festive atmosphere.
To attend a game, you need to have a membership. However, there’s always a number of tickets reserved for visitors as well. Just visit the club’s stadium (e.g. the RSC Anderlecht’s Constant Vanden Stockstadion, Club Brugge’s Jan Breydelstadion or KAA Gent’s Ghelamco Arena) and ask for more information at the ticket booth.
3. Commemorate the First World War in Ypres
During the First World War, the city of Ypres and its surroundings were the backdrop to several major battles. The remains of the fighting can still be seen across the landscape in numerous trenches, mine craters, concrete bunkers and the many military graveyards, monuments and memorials. The Flanders Fields Museum, in the heart of Ypres, offers an interactive trip through West-Flanders’ darkest days and is definitely worth a visit. Check out www.inflandersfields.be for more info.
4. Feel like a flandrien in the Flemish Ardennes
Apart from soccer, sporty Belgians have another major passion: cycling! It’s no coincidence that many of the world’s greatest cyclists, like Eddy Merckx, Tom Boonen, Roger De Vlaeminck and Freddy Maertens are Belgians. Cyclists from Flanders are called flandriens, and their favorite training ground is the Flemish Ardennes, which is also the backdrop for the world-famous Tour of Flanders. Ready to test yourself?
5. Go on an adventure in Durbuy
Ready for the thrill of a lifetime? In Durbuy, a small town in the Ardennes, you’ll find the largest adventure park in Belgium. Here, you can go kayaking, ziplining, mountain biking, wall climbing, go on a speleology adventure and even take a free fall. The opportunities are virtually endless. Plan your trip at www.adventure-valley.be.
6. Visit the Orval abbey and brewery
Enough with the thrills, time for some chills. In Orval, you’ll find an amazing restored 12th century abbey that also contains the Orval brewery. Here, the high-fermented Orval beer with its distinctive fruity and bitter taste is produced since 1931.
Orval is only one of six Trappist monasteries brewing beer in Belgium. Others are the St. Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, the Abbey of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Westmalle, the St. Benedictus Abbey in Achel, the Abbey of Our Lady of Scourmont in Chimay and the Abbey of our Lady of Saint-Rémy in Rochefort.
7. Get a glimpse of greatness at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium is actually a collection of museums in the center of Brussels where works from the most renowned Belgian masters are on display. These include Renée Magritte, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Breugel the Elder and many, many more.
8. Go on a pilgrimage to one of the many churches in Belgium
For its relatively small size, Belgium is home to an impressive number of churches and religious buildings. Some of these are downright masterpieces, and certainly worth visiting whether you are a devote Christian or not. The most spectacular churches include the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, and the unconventional church-like artwork ‘Reading Between the Lines’ by artist Gijs Van Vaerenbergh in Borgloon.
9. Visit the heart of the European Union
Interested in politics? Then you should definitely visit the European Parliament in Brussels. The plenary chamber is open for visits at designated times. You can even order a free audio guide – also available in Polish – to get a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the world’s most important institutions.
10. Rock out at one of the many summer music festivals
Music is always on Belgian people’s mind, but even more so in summer. From late April to September, the country hosts countless big and small festivals covering a range of music styles. Highlights include the infamous Rock Werchter festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, Pukkelpop and Tomorrowland.
Apart from our must-do’s above, Belgium offers many other great ways to spend an evening, day or even a whole weekend. The key, of course, is finding a job that gives you the time and means to enjoy your spare time to the fullest. Our team at Link2Europe can help you with that.[KV1]
[KV1]Link to job opportunities.
This is the new version of Us
We are pleased to announce that after 14 years of existence, we have changed the name of our agency from Link2europe to Link2work. Our reorganization is due to a change in the ownership structure of the company. Therefore, only the name and e-mail address have changed, while all other data remains unchanged. This evolution of […]
Corona Crisis in Belgium
The beginning The Corona crisis appeared at the worst possible moment for our company. The tire change season was about to begin and we were expecting 60 tire fitters to arrive in the second half of March. Everything was buttoned up. Several fitters arrived and started to work in the second week of March before […]
Belgians agree to differ: where do Flemings and Walloons diverge?
It’s more than the language that sets Flemings and Walloons apart. When you first move to Belgium, it might be interesting to learn a thing or two about the peaceful boundary between the regions of Flanders and Wallonia. You will find it easier to live and work among both groups once you know their particularities. […]
Great opportunities for tyre assemblers in Belgium!
Poles often emigrate for work to other countries, one of them is Belgium, which is a very attractive job destination. It is a small country located between the Netherlands and France, it is still struggling with a lack of specialists in various industries. One of these is the automotive industry. Belgian car mechanics workshops are […]
Hospitals in Belgium: what to expect?
Ending up in a hospital bed while you are abroad can be quite upsetting. It’s better to know in advance where you can go to find the right help, what it will cost you, and what else you can expect. Whether you need standard medical treatment or emergency assistance, this information could be lifesaving. Choosing […]
What makes a good CV and how to nail a job interview
When it comes to finding a job in Belgium, it’s all about first impressions. You definitely want your resume to stand out and open the door for a job interview. In today’s job market it is vital to know how to ‘sell’ yourself. Easier said than done, right? These useful tips will help get you […]
Getting to Belgium: comparing your transportation options
Finding your way to Belgium is far from a trek through Nepal. But before moving here, it’s important to explore the many roads to the nation of waffles, Trappist beer and great career opportunities. From plane and train to automobile, you have plenty of options – and we explore their ins and outs in this […]
Public holidays and paid leave in Belgium: what, when, and how
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That’s why, as a worker in Belgium, you are entitled to different types of paid leave, including numerous public holidays. Here’s what you can expect, so you can schedule your time off as efficiently as possible. Public holidays in Belgium Belgium has 10 public holidays […]
6 things every foreigner should know about Belgians
What’s to know? They eat fries all day long, have beer running through their veins and love to watch cycling on the weekends. Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. When living in Belgium, it’s helpful to keep these 6 things in mind. 1. Take your time Belgian people are notoriously known for […]
Shopping in Belgium: where and how much does it cost?
Finding the right budget, mid-range or premium consumer goods can be a full-time job abroad. But not if you have the right inside information! That’s exactly what we offer in this article: an overview of the best places to go shopping and some handy price indications. 1. Groceries (food and drinks) As in a lot […]