West Flanders
Discover the Charming Province on the Belgian Coast


West Flanders, located in the northwest of Belgium, is a province with a rich history, beautiful nature, and a charming coastline. This region offers numerous opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the best of Belgium. From historic cities and picturesque villages to vast sandy beaches and impressive dune landscapes - West Flanders has something for everyone.

Historical Treasures and Cultural Richness

West Flanders is home to some of Belgium's most historically and culturally significant cities, each offering their unique charm and heritage. Bruges, Ypres, and Kortrijk are just a few of the cities that provide visitors with a rich history, impressive architecture, and diverse cultural experiences.

  1. Brugge

    Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, is one of the most picturesque and well-preserved medieval cities in Europe. With its romantic canals, cobblestone streets, and beautiful architecture, it is often called the 'Venice of the North'. Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting West Flanders.

    One of Bruges' most famous landmarks is the Belfry, an impressive Gothic tower that overlooks the historic Market Square. Climb the 366 steps for a breathtaking view of the city and admire the medieval bells and impressive clockwork.

    The Church of Our Lady is another architectural highlight of Bruges, with its 122-meter tall brick tower dominating the cityscape. Inside the church is the world-famous Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, one of the few works by the artist located outside of Italy.

    Stroll along Bruges' canals and admire the beautiful facades of the old guild houses and mansions. Take a boat tour to discover the city from the water or rent a bike and explore the surrounding city walls and windmills.

    Bruges also offers a rich culinary experience, with numerous cozy restaurants where you can enjoy local specialties such as Flemish stew, mussels, and Brugse Zot beer. Chocoholics should not miss a visit to the Choco-Story museum, where you can learn all about the history of chocolate and taste delicious Belgian pralines.

    With its fairytale charm, rich history, and vibrant culture, Bruges offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you're looking for romance, gastronomy, or just an enchanting city break, Bruges will undoubtedly capture your heart.

  2. Ypres

    Ypres, located in the Westhoek of West Flanders, is a city with a deep historical past. Best known for its role during World War I, Ypres is now an important center for commemoration and education.

    One of the most iconic landmarks in Ypres is the Menin Gate, an impressive war memorial bearing the names of over 54,000 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers. Every evening at 8:00 PM, the Last Post is played here, a moving tribute to the fallen.

    The In Flanders Fields Museum, housed in the beautifully restored Cloth Hall on the Main Square, is a must-see for anyone interested in World War I. This interactive museum tells the story of the war in the Westhoek through personal testimonies, multimedia, and original artifacts.

    Besides its war history, Ypres also has much to offer in terms of culture and architecture. Admire St. Martin's Cathedral, an impressive Gothic structure with a rich history, or stroll through the picturesque Ramparts Park, where you can see the remains of the old city walls.

    Ypres is also a vibrant city with various events and festivals throughout the year. Enjoy the Ypres Fair, a large fair in spring, or the Kattenstoet, a unique folkloric parade that takes place every three years. The city also offers numerous cozy cafes and restaurants where you can taste local specialties such as potjesvlees and Ypres cookies.

    Ypres is a city that attracts visitors with its impressive history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture. Whether you're interested in its war past, want to enjoy Flemish hospitality, or are looking for an atmospheric city break, Ypres has it all.

  3. Kortrijk

    Kortrijk, situated on the banks of the River Leie, is a historic city with a rich past. One of Kortrijk's most iconic landmarks is the Broel Towers, two impressive medieval towers that were part of the old city wall. The towers, connected by a bridge over the Leie, are a beautiful example of military architecture and a symbol of the city.

    Another important landmark in Kortrijk is the Belfry, located on the Main Square. This Gothic building, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the oldest belfry in Belgium and offers panoramic views of the city.

    Wander through the historic streets of Kortrijk and discover the Beguinage, the Town Hall, and the Church of Our Lady. Also, visit the interactive Kortrijk 1302 museum, where you can learn more about the Battle of the Golden Spurs, a significant battle in the history of Flanders.

    Kortrijk also has a lively cultural scene, with various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Kortrijk International Film Festival and the Sinksen Festival. The city is home to several excellent restaurants and cozy cafes, where you can enjoy local gastronomy and warm Flemish hospitality.

    With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture, Kortrijk is a sight not to be missed during your visit to West Flanders.

Other Attractions in West Flanders

In addition to the well-known historical cities of Bruges, Ypres, and Kortrijk, there are numerous other fascinating attractions in West Flanders waiting to be discovered. Below is a list of some of the most beautiful:

  1. The Yser Tower in Diksmuide Address: IJzerdijk 49, Diksmuide The Yser Tower is an impressive peace monument commemorating the fallen of World War I. At 84 meters high, it is the tallest peace monument in the world. Visitors can climb the tower to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area and the nearby nature reserve 'De Blankaart'.
  2. Damme and the Uilenspiegelmuseum Address: Kerkstraat 5, Damme The picturesque Damme is a historic town on the Damse Vaart, known for its beautiful old buildings, including the town hall and the Church of Our Lady. Visit the Uilenspiegelmuseum, dedicated to the legendary Flemish folk hero Tijl Uilenspiegel, and learn more about his adventures and life in the Middle Ages.
  3. Loppem Castle Address: Steenbrugsestraat 26, Loppem Loppem Castle is a romantic neo-Gothic castle, surrounded by a beautiful park with ponds and a maze. The castle was built in the 19th century and is now open to the public. Admire the rich interiors and art collection, and explore the surrounding park with its many walking paths.
  4. Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren Address: Donkerstraat 12, Westvleteren The Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren is a Trappist monastery famous for its world-renowned Westvleteren beers. Although the monastery itself is not accessible to the public, you can enjoy a Westvleteren Trappist beer and a snack at the visitor center "In de Vrede". You can also learn more about the monks' lives and their brewery here.
  5. Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passendale Address: Vijfwegestraat, Passendale Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in Belgium and an important World War I memorial site. Nearly 12,000 soldiers are buried here, many of whom could not be identified. The impressive Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing honors the 35,000 missing soldiers from Britain and New Zealand. A visit to this cemetery is a moving and impressive experience.
  6. Saint Bavo's Cathedral in Roeselare Address: Grote Markt 26, Roeselare Saint Bavo's Cathedral in Roeselare is a beautiful neo-Gothic building, located on the Grote Markt. The cathedral, built in the 19th century, is known for its imposing stained-glass windows and the impressive organ. In addition to religious services, cultural events and concerts are regularly organized here. The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and well worth a visit.
  7. Veurne Address: Grote Markt, Veurne Veurne is a historic town with beautiful market squares, such as the Grote Markt, and impressive monuments such as the Town Hall and the Saint Nicholas Church. The charming town center and atmospheric streets make Veurne a pleasant destination to explore.

West Flanders is a province full of surprises and breathtaking attractions. From historical cities to nature parks and from impressive monuments to cozy coastal towns, you will not be bored for a moment during your visit to this versatile region. Venture out and discover the treasures of West Flanders for yourself!