Best Relaxation Spots for After-Work Hours in Belgium
Belgium, known for its charming cities, rich history, and delicious cuisine, is also home to numerous relaxation spots perfect for unwinding after a long day of work. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil park, a rejuvenating spa, or a cozy café, Belgium has it all. In this article, we will explore some of the best relaxation spots in Belgium, offering you a chance to unwind and recharge.
Parks and Gardens
Belgium boasts a variety of beautiful parks and gardens where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Here are some must-visit spots:
- Sonian Forest: Located just outside Brussels, the Sonian Forest is a peaceful oasis with hiking trails, picnic areas, and serene surroundings.
- Citadelpark: Situated in Ghent, Citadelpark is a picturesque park with lush greenery, a lake, and various sculptures and monuments.
- Leopold Park: Found in Ostend, Leopold Park offers a tranquil setting with beautiful flower beds, ponds, and a charming bandstand.
Spas and Wellness Centers
If you’re in need of some pampering and relaxation, Belgium has a range of top-notch spas and wellness centers. Here are a few recommendations:
- Thermae Boetfort: Located near Brussels, Thermae Boetfort is a luxurious spa and wellness center housed in a beautiful castle. Enjoy thermal baths, saunas, and various wellness treatments.
- Thermen Mineraal: Situated in Rijmenam, Thermen Mineraal offers a serene atmosphere with thermal baths, saunas, and a wide range of wellness treatments.
- Spa Cinq Mondes: Found in Brussels, Spa Cinq Mondes provides a tranquil escape with its soothing treatments inspired by ancient rituals from around the world.
Cafés and Tea Houses
Belgium is famous for its café culture, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a cozy spot to relax with a cup of coffee or tea. Here are a few noteworthy cafés and tea houses:
- Maison Dandoy: Located in Brussels, Maison Dandoy is a historic tea house known for its delicious pastries and exquisite tea selections.
- Simon Says: Situated in Antwerp, Simon Says is a trendy café that serves specialty coffees and homemade cakes in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
- Grand Café Leffe: Found in Ghent, Grand Café Leffe offers a wide range of Belgian beers, along with tasty snacks, in a charming setting.
For art enthusiasts, Belgium is a treasure trove of world-class museums. Here are a few art museums where you can relax and appreciate stunning masterpieces:
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium: Located in Brussels, this museum houses an extensive collection of Flemish and Belgian art, including works by renowned artists such as Rubens and Magritte.
- Museum of Fine Arts Ghent: Situated in Ghent, this museum showcases an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts spanning several centuries.
- Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA): Found in Antwerp, M HKA is a leading museum dedicated to contemporary art, featuring thought-provoking exhibitions and installations.
If retail therapy is your preferred way to unwind, Belgium has a plethora of shopping centers offering a mix of local and international brands. Here are a few popular options:
- City 2: Located in Brussels, City 2 is one of the largest shopping centers in Belgium, housing a wide range of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stores.
- Wijnegem Shopping Center: Situated in Wijnegem, near Antwerp, this shopping center offers a diverse selection of shops, including high-end fashion brands and popular retailers.
- Maasmechelen Village: Found in Maasmechelen, this outlet village features over 100 luxury fashion and lifestyle boutiques, offering discounted prices on designer brands.
Lakes and Rivers
For a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature, Belgium has several stunning lakes and rivers. Here are a few recommendations:
- Lake Genval: Located near Brussels, Lake Genval is a serene lake where you can enjoy leisurely walks, picnics, and even water activities like paddleboarding.
- Meuse River: Flowing through Namur and Dinant, the Meuse River offers picturesque landscapes, perfect for a relaxing boat ride or a peaceful riverside stroll.
- De Wijers: Found in the province of Limburg, De Wijers is a network of over a thousand ponds and lakes, providing a tranquil setting for nature lovers.
Belgium may not be the first place that comes to mind for beach relaxation, but it does have a coastline with charming beach towns. Here are a few popular beaches:
- Ostend Beach: Located in Ostend, this sandy beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll or sunbathing, with nearby beach bars and restaurants to complete the experience.
- Knokke-Heist Beach: Situated in Knokke-Heist, this beach offers a mix of relaxation and entertainment, with trendy beach clubs and a vibrant atmosphere.
- De Haan Beach: Found in De Haan, this family-friendly beach is known for its picturesque dunes and charming Belle Époque architecture.
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Belgium’s rich history is reflected in its numerous historical landmarks. Here are a few notable sites where you can relax and immerse yourself in the past:
- Grand Place: Located in the heart of Brussels, the Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a breathtaking square surrounded by stunning architecture.
- Bruges Belfry: Situated in the charming city of Bruges, the Belfry offers panoramic views of the city and a glimpse into its medieval past.
- Antwerp Central Station: Found in Antwerp, this architectural masterpiece is not only a transportation hub but also a stunning landmark worth exploring.
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Local Breweries and Beer Bars
Belgium is renowned for its beer culture, making it a perfect destination for beer enthusiasts. Here are a few breweries and beer bars to relax and enjoy a pint:
- Westvleteren Brewery: Located in Westvleteren, this Trappist brewery produces highly sought-after beers known for their exceptional quality and flavor.
- Delerium Café: Situated in Brussels, Delerium Café is a famous beer bar offering an extensive selection of Belgian and international beers in a lively atmosphere.
- De Halve Maan Brewery: Found in Bruges, this family-owned brewery has been producing beer for centuries and offers guided tours and tastings.
Belgium is home to numerous enchanting castles that provide a glimpse into its rich history. Here are a few castles worth visiting for a relaxing day out:
- Gravensteen Castle: Located in Ghent, this medieval castle offers panoramic views of the city and houses a museum showcasing its history.
- Château de Bouillon: Situated in Bouillon, this well-preserved castle overlooks the town and the Semois River, offering stunning views and medieval reenactments.
- Modave Castle: Found in Modave, this elegant castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and features furnished rooms, a museum, and breathtaking views.
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Belgium offers a wide array of relaxation spots for after-work hours, catering to various preferences and interests. Whether you prefer the tranquility of parks and gardens, the indulgence of spas and wellness centers, the coziness of cafés, or the exploration of historical landmarks, Belgium has something for everyone. So, take some time for yourself, unwind, and enjoy the beauty and charm this captivating country has to offer.