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Belgium is a delightful country to explore on an independent rail holiday. A small and ancient kingdom, sandwiched between France, the Netherlands, Germany and the tiny landlocked duchy of Luxembourg, Belgium possesses a remarkable diversity of attractions for its size. The country's extensive and efficient rail network makes for easy and comfortable exploration by train.
With no fewer than eleven UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites to discover, plus compelling cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels to admire, the most difficult problem you'll face is deciding where to begin your tailor made rail holiday in Belgium. However, our friendly Tour Advisors will be on hand to help you create your perfect bespoke adventure.
If you enjoy exploring new cities, Belgium's multicultural capital, Brussels, is guaranteed to delight. From the Grand Place, Brussels' beautiful central square to the iconic and futuristic Atomium sculpture which dominates the northern skyline, the city is awash with breath-taking architecture both historic and contemporary.
When you've admired masterpieces by Breughel's and Magritte in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, taken the almost obligatory photograph of the famous Manneken Pis sculpture and marvelled at the rich collection of ancient artefacts on the Royal History Museum, Brussels' laid-back cafes and bars provide the perfect excuse to sample some of the country's legendary beers or chocolate.
For sheer architectural beauty, the magnificently-preserved medieval city of Ghent takes some beating. Here, highlights include St-Baafs Cathedral with its wonderful stained glass and original works by Rubens and Van Eycks, the twelfth-century Gravensteen - a handsome moated and turreted stone castle.
Housed in a nineteenth-century lunatic asylum, the Museum Dr Guislain, meanwhile, explores the fascinating - and occasionally disturbing - history of psychology.
Cobbled streets, picturesque buildings and a network of canals which have earned the city the nickname 'Venice of the North' make picturesque Bruges both popular and unmissable. At its heart, the atmospheric Markt - Bruges' central square - is surrounded by medieval buildings and offers horse-drawn carriage rides and inviting cafes at which to relax and dine al fresco whilst admitting the view.
Choose to add a canal tour to your tailor made itinerary and get a different perspective on this beautiful and historic city. Alternatively, if you love chocolate and want to know more about its history and famous association with Belgium, the chocolate museum 'Choco-Story' is a must.
Extend your itinerary south from Belgium's predominantly Dutch-speaking northern region and you'll discover an altogether different experience. French-speaking Wallonia enjoys the lion's share of the country's natural beauty. Here, rolling rural landscapes dotted with ancient castles, hospitable country villages and a host of natural attractions provide a relaxing alternative to city life.
Promising a wonderfully rich mixture of history, culture, art and beauty your rail tour of Belgium is guaranteed to surprise and delight you at every turn. With GRJ independent, there are also plenty of options to customise your holiday with luxury hotels, exciting excursions, and once-in-a-lifetime rail journeys.