Flanders Travel Guide

Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, art, gastronomy, and natural beauty. From its charming cities to its picturesque countryside, Flanders offers an unforgettable travel experience for every type of traveler. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, Flanders has something for everyone.

Flanders region

Quick Answers

Provinces in Flanders

Flanders (Vlaanderen in Dutch) is divided up into 5 provinces: Antwerp, East-Flanders, West-Flanders, Flemish Brabant and Limburg

Flanders Travel Destinations

The charm of Flanders lies in its vibrant cities, each offering a unique blend of history, art, and gastronomy. Embark on an enriching city trip to discover the cultural treasures of Belgium.

Flanders City Breaks

Flanders is home to several captivating cities, each offering a unique blend of history, art, and gastronomy. These cities are perfect destinations for an enriching city trip in Belgium.

All the above listed cities can be easily reached with public transport in less then 2h from Brussels. Traveling in between them is also very fast and convenient thanks to the Belgian railways.

Holidays in Flanders

Flanders is a treasure trove of holiday destinations, catering to diverse interests and preferences.

Visit The Belgian Coast

On the shores of the North Sea, the Belgian Coast beckons you to embrace the sun’s warmth and let the cares of the world melt away. Explore seaside havens like Blankenberge and Knokke-Heist, where tranquility harmonizes with the thrill of water sports. Savor the flavors of freshly caught seafood and indulge in leisurely strolls along the captivating promenade.

Visit the province of Limburg

Belgian Limburg is a haven for nature lovers, with its expansive heathlands, dense forests, and charming villages. Explore the Hoge Kempen National Park, pedal through picturesque landscapes on bike trails, and experience the tranquility that defines this region.

Visit “In Flanders Fields”

The area around Ypress and Diksmuide is known as Flanders Fields. A region where the first world war will never be forgotten.

Tip for visitors from the UK: Flanders Fields and the Belgian Coast are located close to each-other. With Bruges also nearby, these area’s are a perfect holiday destination for car travels from the UK.

Hidden Gems – Exploring Smaller Yet Remarkable Destinations

Beyond the prominent cities, Flanders is dotted with smaller towns that exude charm and history.

Situated between Brussels and Antwerp, Mechelen is an “Art City” boasting impressive architecture and cultural heritage.

Ypres, located in the Flanders Fields Area, offers a profound glimpse into the region’s World War I history through poignant museums and memorials.

Belgium’s largest coastal town, Ostend, offers a delightful blend of sandy beaches, lively promenades, and cultural events.

Discover the capital of Limburg, Hasselt, known for its traditional Jenever (gin) and vibrant city center.

Where to stay in Flanders

Flanders has many excellent accommodations to offer. Hotels can be found in nearly every city. The big cities and typical tourist destinations also have cheaper hostels available. A popular alternative for romantic citytrips and getaways are smaller Bed and Breakfast’s. They can be found both in large cities as on the countryside. At the Belgian coast side you can also rent apartments and holiday houses.

Public Transport in Flanders

Flanders has a dense public transport network, making it easy for you to travel around without a car. The best and easiest way to travel in between larger cities is by train. Train lines are operated by the national railway company: NMBS/SNCB. All local busses and tram lines in Flanders are operated by De Lijn.

Local specialties

Foodies will absolutely love the cullunary options in Flanders. Aside from the obvious typical Belgian specialties like Fries, Chocolate and Beer, here are some more traditional flemish dishes.

Carbonnade Flammande (Stoofvlees op Vlaamse wijze)

This rich and hearty stew is a staple of Flemish cuisine, made with beef, onions, beer, and spices. It’s traditionally served with fries.

Personally this is a dish I eat nearly every week. Whilst preparing it, I prefer using a dark beer like Leffe, since the sweetness adds to the flavour of the meat and fries.

Asperges à la Flamande (Asperges op Vlaamse wijze)

Asparagus is a popular springtime vegetable in Flanders, and it’s often served with a creamy white sauce and ham.

Eel in the green (Paling in’t groen)

Eel in the green” refers to a traditional Belgian dish called “Paling in ‘t groen” in Dutch or “Anguilles au vert” in French. It consists of freshwater eel cooked in a green herb sauce. The dish is mainly from the Flemish Region along the river Scheldt, between Dendermonde and Antwerp. The eel is simmered with a mix of finely chopped fresh herbs, such as sage, ginger mint, oregano, sorrel, and others, to create a green sauce. The dish is traditionally served hot with chips or bread, and consumers may squeeze some lemon over the pieces of eel.

However this Flemish classic dish is not an eco-friendly choice. Eel is a critically endagered species and the eel-population has declined by more than 90% since the 1960s. Due to the rarity of local river eel, wild eel is usually imported, making it a expensive and unsustainable dish.

“Broodje gezond”

This open-faced sandwich is a popular lunch option in Flanders. Picture a french baguette, but smaller, cut in half and topped with a variety of ingredients, such as ham, cheese, vegetables, and mayonnaise. You might recognize this concept from “subway sandwiches”, however they come nowhere close as our original “broodje gezond” and large varieties on them.

Belgian Fries


Flanders, with its captivating cities, diverse holiday destinations, charming accommodations, and efficient public transport, offers an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, Flanders promises to exceed your expectations. Embrace the vibrant spirit of this enchanting region and embark on a journey that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.