My last days in Belgium were spent mostly travelling around the country and discovering small towns with big charm, such as Mechelen. This city lies in the region of Flanders, which I was lucky to be living in. This is one of Flaners' prominent cities of art together with Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels and Ghent. I was visiting only for a day but it was enough to get a glimpse of the charm this town offers.
For those who are considering visiting this place don't think twice and go, here are some places of interest you might want to add to your list:
St Rumbold's Cathedral: the cathedral dedicated to St Rumbold, a Christian missionary who founded an abbey nearby. Its tower is UNESCO World Heritage site, the inside is breathtaking, with paintings and sculptures worth to look at for some time.
Palace of Margaret of Austria: Charming garden! The façade still has Margaret's coat of arms together with the coat of arms of Charles V and figure of Lady Justice. Margaret was appointed regent of the Netherlands and settled in Mechelen in 1507, she ran the country with tack and foresight. Notable artists and philosophers stayed in this palace. The garden can be visited from Monday to Friday 7.30-18h, and 9-20 during the weekends.
Large Beguinage: Charming pinturesque streets inside the town. The areas outside the city walls were destroyed in 1560 and the beguines re-established themselves inside the city walls, where this one grew up. Buying existing buildings and building new ones, this grew further and that is why Large Beguinage is different from the ones in other places. True to the Flemish character and looks, it was declared UNESCO world heritage site.
Dyle Path: Locals like to take a walk around this too! So why not join them? The path leads past the Dyle between Haverwerf and the Botanical garden and it is gorgeous!
I found this town a perfect place to spend a morning/afternoon/evening with friends and/or family
. There are nice restaurants and cafés around and shops too. Plus the place was clean and fully decorated with flowers everywhere
so it made it more charming!
Apart from visiting all architecture and history-related sites I suggest you just go with the flow and stroll around the cobbled streets in the center of this town. We did so and time went flying, really. Just by having a coffee, entering some stores, taking pictures here and there.. it IS a great way to spend a day off or one of those boring "I don't know what to do today" days!