Belgium: East

Eastern Belgium is famous for the battle of Bastogne, beautiful forests, and the original Spa! Also be sure to check out historic Liege, home of Fort Loncin (which is open for something like 8 hours a week). It’s also famous for the delicious Liege waffle.


Spa

Spa: Thermes de Spa is known as the world’s first spa — it’s where the name comes from. You can take a funicular up to the spa from the old city, and can either buy a day pass to just soak in the waters / sauna, or book a wide range of treatments– including a peat bath, as well as a silly one where someone stands there and sprays water at you. The treatments are super popular though (including the water-spraying for some reason), so its best to book early. Naturally, Belgium’s famous Spa water comes from here. Given that it’s a resort town, there are many fancy / organic restaurants around the area.

Riding the funicular from downtown

You can sample different versions of mineral water at Thermes de Spa


Leuven

Leuven: A lively university town with its own mini Grand Place, this is a great stop-over while in Brussels. It also hosts the Zythos beer fest, as well as the Amstel factory.


Bastogne

Bastogne: This is the site of the Battle of the Bulge and a number of WWII museums are around town, including one at La Gleize with a captured Tiger Tank. Also, be sure to check out my post on Brasserie Lamborelle.


Leige

Leige is a highlight of the eastern Wallonia region in Belgium and is the host of plenty of military history over recent centuries. The old city has a medieval feeling and is worth strolling around for an afternoon. My Farmhouse in Town has a great spread of organic food (although portions are a bit small) and local Cremant (Belgium’s version of Champagne). The Montagne de Bueren staircase offers views over the city. Nearby Fort Loncin bears the scars of heavy bombardment from WWI, but it’s only open a few hours a week, so time your visit well!


Tongeren

Tongeren: A small medieval town in eastern Belgium, it features a huge antiques market on Sunday mornings. Worth a visit!


Durbuy

Durbuy is a picturesque town in the eastern Ardennes region, nestled along a riverbank. It has cobblestone streets and most of the buildings are made of stone blocks or mortar-and-timber construction, giving it a fairy-tale appearance. Its appeal has not gone unnoticed, however, as it is a huge draw for tourists. We visited in July 2020 and literally every parking lot for a kilometre on their send of town (plus those in town) were full to capacity). The town was absolutely slammed with tourists! There are plenty of restaurants and cafes catering to the massive tourist population. Several kayak shops and hiking trails are available for those who wish to explore the surrounding environs.

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