Things to do

Make visiting Belgium your New Year's resolution

As a new year rolls in, it’s time to start thinking about new experiences. You don’t need to travel far, either!

If you’re looking forward to creating memories with loved ones and discovering new places, you’ll be happy to know that incredible, quirky destinations are just a stone’s throw away, in Belgium! Here’s our guide to just some of the spots you can get to with ease with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

Vlooybergtoren, Tielt-Winge

Where in Belgium: Tielt-Winge
Drive from Calais: 252km / 2h 40m

The amazing engineering that created Vlooybergtoren is reason enough to visit

In the town of Tielt-Winge, there sits Vlooybergtoren, a staircase that needs to be seen to be believed. Designed by Close to the Bone, a Belgian engineering firm, Vlooybergtoren curiously leads to nowhere, and demonstrates the incredible things physics and engineering can achieve.

The 33ft high staircase is completely unsupported, only staying upright because of its heavy base, the only part of the structure that touches the ground. The weight of the base anchors it so that even in the strongest winds, the staircase won’t topple over. The tower is also fitted with ‘vibration dampeners’ that prevent it from shaking when people climb to the top.

The staircase actually sits on the same location as an old viewing tower, which burnt down (this is why Vlooybergtoren is metal, and therefore fire-proof). The view from the top of the staircase is incredible, and looks out for miles over the Belgian landscape, including the ‘fairy tale forest’, Kabouterbos.

Jacques Chocolate Museum, Liege

Where in Belgium: Liege
Drive from Calais: 296km / 3h

Find out more about Belgian chocolate, and take home as much as you can carry

It wouldn’t be a trip to Belgium if chocolate didn’t feature in some way. And what could be better than a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory type of experience? In the annexe of the Jacques Chocolate Factory, you’ll find the chocolate museum. Jacques is one of Belgium’s most popular chocolate brands, so learning about this iconic brand is a great way to discover more about this chocolate-loving country.

The factory shop is, naturally, filled to the brim with delicious Jacques chocolate, and all for a lot less than in the supermarkets. Thank goodness you drove there, so you can take back as many sweet treats as you want!

Hallerbos - The Blue Forest

Where in Belgium: Halle
Drive from Calais: 202km / 2h

Wander among the bluebells and capture nature at its finest

Hallerbos is so beautiful we wrote an in-depth guide to visiting it. Filled with wildlife and photogenic flora and fauna, you can choose one of its hiking trails and truly get lost in nature. There’s also a museum to stop by, perfect for learning more about the rare flowers that grow in Hallerbos.

Of course, many choose to visit at the close of April, when bluebells flower, covering the floor in an azure carpet. However, the forest is also great for picnics in warmer weather and cosy autumnal walks – there’s no such thing as a bad time to visit.

C-Mine, Genk

Where in Belgium: Genk
Drive from Calais: 292km / 3h

Discover amazing art and culture at the C-Mine in Genk

Diving into the cultural hub of Belgium is easier than you think when you visit C-Mine in Genk. The town was a hub for artists, and was known for its natural beauty, as well as three large mining sites, known as C-Mine. The mines were eventually closed in the late ‘80s, but that didn’t mean the vast place was put to waste. It is now an exciting space where designers and artists exhibit, including revolutionary minds like Tim Burton.

C-Mine also hosts film screenings and music performances alongside the art exhibits, so make sure you check the upcoming events before you visit. If you are just as interested in mining as you are in the arts, then make sure you check out their exhibition on the mining history of Genk.

Comic Strip Route

Wander through the streets of Belgium to see clever murals and delightful comic characters

You’ve no doubt heard of Tintin and The Smurfs, but did you know you can see them life-size on the side of walls and buildings in Brussels? This ‘Comic Strip Route’ pays homage to some of Belgium’s most-loved illustrated characters and the artists who created them. The city commissioned a series of murals of Franco-Belgian comic characters, forming a trail around its centre and suburbs. There are around 60 locations, so you may not have time for them all, but it’s a great way to discover more of the city, as many are in some unlikely corners!

Perhaps the most famous is the fire-escape scene from Hergé’s The Calculus Affair on Rue l’Etuve 37 where you’ll see the intrepid Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy the dog sketched onto the metal staircase that winds down the side of a building. Don’t forget to visit the Comic Strip Center while you’re in town, too!

Travelling to Belgium with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Hopefully you feel inspired to travel to Belgium for your next adventure, we have plenty more guides on exploring, including how to find quieter places with fewer crowds. It’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, too, so you’ll be sightseeing in no time. Make sure you book your tickets with us in advance to get the best price.

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