What to do in Mechelen Belgium

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What to do in Mechelen - Visit the Patrician houses in the City Center

What to do in Mechelen ? - Discover the City Sights

Mechelen is a city in East Belgium. It is located in the province of Antwerp in Flanders. How beautiful Mechelen is surprised us. The city transports us back in time with its Renaissance buildings grouped around the city's squares. Discover with us the sights of Mechelen in Belgium. We were also amazed that people in Mechelen speak Dutch. More precisely, they speak Flemish here. This is a form of Dutch specific to the region. It is the official language in this part of Belgium.


Mechelen sights
Mechelen sights

For Enjoyment travelers the city offers plenty of chocolate and the beer from the local brewery. We stay at the Het Anker Hotel * on the edge of the old town. From there it is only a few steps to the center of the old town. On the way there we are confronted with women from the history of the city. Widows once lived in the large beguinage, which extends directly behind the Het Anker brewery. These united in a community, but without taking the vow as a nun. Instead, they worked together and supported each other at a time when women who weren't married were viewed with disgust.




Among the attractions of Mechelen there are even two of these beguinages that still exist today. However, young families now live in the houses along the streets. They exude seclusion and contemplation. It is a world that exudes calm on the edge of the old town of Mechelen.


The Great Beguinage, one of the Mechelen city sights in East Belgium
The Great Beguinage in Mechelen Belgium - one of the attractions of Mechelen Belgium


Mechelen Belgium is a city of women

In the city center with its city palaces, the St. Rombouts Cathedral towers over the city as one of Mechelen's sights. In front of her on the Grote Markt, however, there is not, as is usually the case, the statue of a man from the city's history. Instead, there is the figure of Margaret of Austria. She wasn't the only woman who influenced the fortunes of the city. Even her step-aunt Margaret of York (1446-1503) impressed the residents of Mechelen. After the death of her stepdaughter Maria of Burgundy, she raised her two children, Philipp ("Philip the Fair") and his sister Margarete.



Margaret of Austria, one of the Mechelen city sights in East Belgium
Margaret of Austria


This Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) was chosen at the age of three to marry the heir to the throne of France and was raised for this task by her aunt. However, the marriage did not materialize because her chosen one chose another. Two other attempts to tie the knot were also unsuccessful. The first of her husbands, Johann von Aragon, died on his honeymoon. Her second husband, Philip of Savoy, passed away three years after the wedding. Fate was not kind to her.


City palaces at the Grote Markt in the city in east Belgium
City palaces on the Grote Markt - one of the Mechelen attractions in Belgium


Margaret of Austria - Educator of Charles V.

Apparently Margaret of Austria had had enough of being married to a spouse afterwards. So she decided to remain celibate for the rest of her life - an extraordinary decision for a woman and one of her rank. Instead, she took over the education of her nephew, who later became Emperor Charles V, from then on. As governor of the Netherlands, she finally had an influence on the politics of the region. So it's no wonder that her statue is now in the center of Mechelen. This is one of the Mechelen sights that immediately catches the eye on the market square.


The Sint Rombouts Cathedral in the city in east Belgium
The Sint Rombouts Cathedral - one of the most important Mechelen attractions in Belgium


Mechelen Sights – Carillon School

Women also play a role in the city's history. The Russian Elena Sadina has been teaching this art at the carillon school in Mechelen for years. The Chimes requires strength that was once only thought of by men. Now, however, a woman proves that this art is not only reserved for men.

Mechelen is known as the carillon capital. Six carillons and the carillon school bear witness to the carillon culture in the city. The Carillion carillon school celebrates its 2022th anniversary in 100, making it the oldest carillon school in the world.

So why not add a visit to Mechelen to a tour of Belgium? You can find here tips for multi-day routes through Belgium by Laure Wanders, for example.

carillon school

Bruul 52 bus 5
B-2800 Mechelen


+32(0)15 20 47 92


Men get away badly in Mechelen's Attractions

However, the men of Mechelen come off badly in the history of the city. The city mascot of Mechelen already shows that. The "Opsinjoorke" is one of Mechelen's sights. This is a figure that sinks headfirst into the ground on the Grote Markt. She is just one example of what happens to a man who treats his wife badly. It just gets thrown into the air. The rougher the landing, the better. That's what comes of living as a man in a town where women rule.

The Moon Extinguisher from the City in East Belgium

Apparently that was a good thing, because we didn't find any of the sights of Mechelen that singled out the men. It was the men of Mechelen who exposed the place to ridicule. When one of them, drunk on beer, thought he saw a fire in the steeple of St. Rombouts Cathedral. So he had nothing more urgent to do than call for help. All of Mechelen came running to put out the fire. Very quickly, however, it turned out that the moon had fooled him. This had disappeared behind a wall of fog and its light had bathed the tower in a light reminiscent of fire. That's why the citizens of Mechelen have had to put up with being called "moon extinguishers" (as Maneblussers) by others.


Carolus - the men's beer in Mechelen Belgium
Carolus - the beer of the men in Mechelen


However, they bear it with composure. Instead, they even named one of the beers made at the brewery after it. A likeable move that also shows how humorously the people of Mechelen deal with their history and the relationship between men and women in their hometown. In any case, Mechelen is a city that has stories to tell in its old town that are worth discovering.

Questions and answers about Mechelen sights

What is special about the Cathedral of St. Rumbold?

The cathedral is known for its impressive 97 meter tower and offers a great view of the city of Mechelen.

Is it worth visiting Museum Hof ​​van Busleyden?

Yes, in any case! The Museum shows the history and culture of the city of Mechelen and houses some interesting works of art.

What activities are there in the Vrijbroekpark?

Im Park you can go for a walk, jog, bike ride or have a picnic. There is also a playground and a pond where you can go boating.

What is there to see in the Grote Markt?

The Grote Markt is the central square in Mechelen and has a number of historic buildings including the town hall.

Is a visit to the toy museum worthwhile?

Yes, that toy museum* shows an impressive collection of toys from the past and is a highlight for families with children.


Book your activities in Mechelen here


What you need to visit Mechelen Belgium

  • You will definitely do a lot of walking in Mechelen. Therefore are Shoes important, in which you can walk well.
  • If you are planning an evening in the restaurant, then you should also Pumps don't forget the comfortable ones.
  • Do you wear skirts or dresses in summer? Then fit, for example Sandals Good.
  • Mechelen also offers many delicacies that are suitable as souvenirs. Chocolate and beer are just a few of them. In one backpack For example, you can accommodate them well.
  • Also, forget yours Camera not, because the Renaissance buildings of Mechelen tempt to take photos.


Do you like to travel by motorhome?

Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.


For example, book your journey here by flight, bus or train*. Lufthansa flies from Germany to Brussels. It is also possible to travel to the city in East Belgium by train.

Car Rentals:

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *

Hotels in Mechelen:

Accommodation in Mechelen * you can book here, for example.

Travel Guide:

Order your travel guide for Belgium here*.

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.


You can get information about Mechelen Belgium sights here, for example:

UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mechelen: the Sint Rombouts Cathedral and the Beguinages .


Mechelen in Belgium
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Source for Mechelen Sights: Research in the city in East Belgium with the support of Tourismus Flanders. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text Stadt in Ostbelgien: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos of the city in East Belgium: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

What to do in Mechelen Belgium

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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