Cool things to do in Mechelen – Belgium
Mechelen – A town with the pride of a metropolis and you are finally arriving here looking for some cool things to do in Mechelen? Let me help you out real quick.
90000 people live in Mechelen a picturesque town halfway between Brussels and Antwerp. This basically means that you just need to hop on a train and 30 minutes later you are starting your day trip or weekend getaway. Here in Mechelen one of the cutest towns in Belgium. So let’s get the things to do in Mechelen on its way.
With a diameter of only 1 kilometer the old city center is a perfect size for a short stroll to explore it all. Basically staying in the city center makes a lot of sense, as all the major points of interest are close by.
I started out at the Vlismarket, which used to be a fish market where merchants traded the catch of the day. Nowadays the place is full of restaurants, bars and cafes and is a hangout spot for the young locals. A good place to eat is at Sister Bean – read the full review here.
The most obvious first location was the Rumbold’s Cathedral a world heritage monument which was used as a watchtower and you guessed it a church. Built in 1520 it still has its original 49 bells that sound horrible after more than 500 years. The view from the top gives you the chance to see the Atomium all the way in Brussels. It was supposed to get a spire but remains unfinished nobody knows really why and with a height of 89 meters it is only 2 meters deep.
Drink Maneblusser Beer at Het Anker
Just because it is the perfect refreshment on a summer afternoon and because of the story behind it. Back in 1687 on one cold january the moon projected its reddish glow on Saint Rumbold’s tower, which was wrapped in a dense fog. “Fire, fire, the tower is on fire!” shouts the dreary voice of a drunken man. As the people are running to the tower the fog lifts and gives the Mechelenians the name “Moonextinguisher” or Maneblusser. You could even sleep right in the brewery…how that turned out you can read in my full review.
“Cool Things to do in Mechelen”
On Saturdays there is a market in the center of the city inviting locals and tourists to browse through the delectable products. If you actually walk up the 534 steps to the top of Rumbold’s Cathedral you can smell the rotisserie chicken that is being sold in the market down below and it is indeed just as delicious as it smells.
Margaret of Austria
Explore the town following the historical sights left by the Margaret of Austria from the town hall to the statue “Ons Margriet”. After that you walk past the Grote Markt (large place), pass by the Opsinjoorke (the falling puppet), chill in the Rik Wouters Garden and finish of at the Paulus Church or the Palace of Margaret of Austria.
She actually had a parrot and it was the love her life and when it died there was a poem/song composed for it (Fun Fact 456).
Fun Fact 876: There is no souvenir shop in Mechelen. So instead of buying random stuff that doubles as a dust catcher at home why not buy some glorious chocolates at Chocolaterie Gauthier.
Along the waterfront
Take a walk along the Melaan and the Dyle Path. You could also take a boat trip but thanks to the renovation along the Dyle river you are a able to take a leisure stroll and enjoy a different view of the city.
Hof van Busleyden
Check out one of the most amazing museums in Belgium. Hof van Busleyden. Just for the interior design it is absolutely worth visiting. Read the full review here.
Get some amazing sourdough bread from Matthys Bakery, an institution in Mechelen that has been serving their clientele for over 30 years with their creations including the Mechels Torentje (a pointed shortbread).
Cosma Food House
Chow down on a heap of delicious food at Cosma Food House a mix of restaurant, bistro and deli. Read the full review here.
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