What to do in Mechelen - Our tips
What to do in
Although we very much like to travel, there are also plenty of nice places in our own country where you can have a great time. For example, in our “backyard” we have the renovated Mechelen. A city that has put a lot of effort into tourism in recent years. Something you can see very well, because Mechelen has really become a beautiful and pleasant city. Now all that’s left is the question “What to do in Mechelen? We’d love to show you!
1 Kazerne Dossin
One of the museums you must visit in Mechelen is undoubtedly the museum of Kazerne Dossin. Because in this museum you are not only confronted with the horrific history of WW2, it also makes you think about how it is possible that this could ever have happened. This museum built in a wonderful and beautiful way should, in our opinion, be compulsorily visited by everyone. So that humanity never makes the same mistakes again. For this museum, which is a beautiful tribute to the victims who lost their lives here or at Auschwitz, you pay 10 euros for the permanent expo and 9 euros for the temporary expo. Would you like to combine these two expos? Then as an adult you pay 16 euros for a ticket.
2 Zoo Planckendael
On the outskirts of Mechelen you can find Planckendael. A beautiful zoo that strikes a nice balance between nature and animals. You should definitely plan a full day for a visit to this zoo. When visiting Planckendeal you pay 26.50 euros for an adult and 20 euros for a minor person. For the parking you pay 9 euros. So a trip to Planckendael is not cheap, but in our opinion worth the money, especially if you’re out and about with kids.
3 The Sint-Romboutstoren
The St. Rombouts Tower is one of the first things you see when visiting Mechelen. And that’s not surprising. Because then, the 97-meter-high tower has a beautiful and impressive appearance. Although a visit to this cathedral may be even more impressive. Because in addition to the beautiful interior of St. Rombout’s Cathedral, you can also climb the 514 steps to the top of the tower. Which makes for an impressive view.Which makes for an impressive view. You can even see the Atomium in Brussels from here. For this climb with a piece of the history of this cathedral you pay as an adult 8 euros. A young person up to the age of 27 pays only 3 euros.
4 Toy Museum
Although the Toy Museum was built primarily for children, it is also fascinating to visit as an adult. And especially out of nostalgia, because here you will find not only the modern toys but also the toys of the past. So a fun excursion for anyone who wants to be catapulted back to their own childhood years. An ideal excursion in case of bad weather! An adult pays 9.80 euros and a child up to 12 years old 7.30 euros.
5 Delicious food in the Vleeshalle
A very new but wonderful concept in Mechelen is undoubtedly the Old Mechelen Meat Hall. Here you can indulge yourself as a foodie. Twelve exhibitors give their best here in their pop-up restaurants. In addition to very good food, these restaurants also have a nice and cozy atmosphere. The Vleeshalle is the hot spot of the moment for lunch with family or friends. We ourselves are big fans of this place and visit it monthly! Especially the Mexican pop-up manages to charm us time and time again.
One of our favorite things to do in Mechelen is undoubtedly shopping. Because in addition to the shopping street with all its chains, Mechelen has some nice smaller stores where you can find unique clothing. For example, you should definitely pass by Lilly, Uma and SCOOP. Although several nice addresses can be found. Tips always welcome in the comments.
7 Hof van Busleyden
In the Renaissance city palace Court of Buysley d and can be found an interesting museum. A museum that deals with burgundian history and introduces you to the bond that Mechelen had with it. In this museum you will walk in the footsteps of Margaret of Austria, Erasmus, Thomas More and of course Hieronymus of Busleyden . A ticket for this museum costs 12 euros. For young people up to 26 years old, it is 2 euros.
8 Mechels en Blaasveldbroek
For those who want to take a walk in a beautiful piece of nature, we can recommend the Mechels– and Blaasveldbroek. Both of these nature reserves, located in boroughs of Mechelen, are both great for unwinding. Especially in the fall, you can do some beautiful fall hikes here. You can do this on your own or through one of the mapped routes. Both nature reserves are free as well as the parking.
9 Boat ride on the binnendijle
We think that only in Bruges or Ghent you can explore the city by boat, are deceived! Because this is also possible in Mechelen. In a boat trip on the Dijle in the city center, you will find out some fun anecdotes and stories about the city in addition to some of the sights. A ticket for this boat ride costs 7 euros per person. Attention! This boat does not run year-round. So be sure to look this up online.
10 Saturday market
Besides a nice shopping street and some side streets, Mechelen also has a (large) Saturday market where you can find clothes, flowers and other gadgets in addition to fresh products. This market can be found on the Grote Markt, Veemarkt and IJzerenleen. When visiting the Saturday market, it is best to park outside the center. This can be done on the parking lot at the cinema (where you can also take a shuttle to the city center) but also on the parking lot of the Thomas More high school. Both parking lots are free on Saturdays.
11 Brewery het Anker
One of the showpieces of Mechelen is undoubtedly the brewery Het Anker. With its Gouden Carolus, this brewery brews a top-notch beer that is known throughout Belgium (and beyond). So a visit to this brewery as a beer lover should not be missed when visiting Mechelen. In addition to a tour of the brewery, you can have a nice dinner in the available restaurant. Here, most dishes are made with a Mechelen beer. Do you like a sweet fruit beer? Then you should definitely try a Boscoli beer here. This has been our favorite beer in the world for years.
12 Mechelen Muurt
Mechelen Muurt is a fun initiative by former street artist Gijs Vanhee who invited ten international street artists to create a work of art on 10 walls throughout the city. The result is beautiful street art that can be found within walking distance of each other. In addition to being a stunning and impressive walk, this is also completely free. Definitely a must do for the urban lovers among us. Below you can find a map with the appropriate locations and artists.
13 De Nekker
De Nekker is a sports and recreation area where children in particular can have fun in an indoor and outdoor playground. In addition, in the summer you can also relax on the beach of the swimming pond. So it’s ideal for a day in the sun with some cooling. A visit to De Nekker will cost you 4.5 euros. Don’t forget to bring your ID card, because you won’t get in without it.
14 Groot Begijnhof
Are you looking for peace and quiet? Then the streets of the Beguinage are perfect for that. This Unesco World Heritage Site is very unique for its beautiful old Belgian architecture. Although this section in Mechelen is not particularly large, it is still a must-see that will take you about half an hour to an hour to complete. It is best to combine the Great Beguinage with the Little Beguinage and in Garden Oh, which is a public garden where you can take a break after walking through the Beguinage.
A visit to Vrijbroek Park is always a good idea and especially in spring and summer when the rose garden is in bloom. Because this is definitely one of the highlights of this park. In addition, you can take a nice walk around the fish pond and through the dahlia garden. This park is completely free and there are also some catering establishments present. For the little ones, there is a large outdoor playground that we can definitely recommend from our own experience from our childhood.
Technopolis is a do-center where you can learn all about science and technology. For example, here you can ride a bike in the air, make giant soap bubbles and learn more about leverage by lifting a car. From the age of 12 you pay 16 euros per person and under the age of 12 it is 12.50 euros. Children under 4 years of age are free.
17 Winter Garden Ursulines
The Winter Garden is located in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Waver, not really in Mechelen, but both by car and public transport you can reach the Winter Garden of the Ursulines within 15 minutes. And that, without a doubt, is worth visiting! Here you’ll get a tour of the Winter Garden, which is a beautiful example of art nouveau. You will also visit the school which also has an interesting history as a former girls’ school for the wealthy elite. Very impressive! Please note that an (individual) visit is not possible every day. Therefore, always consult their website for the right information.
This city something for you?
Mechelen is a beautiful city that you should definitely visit if you are in the area. It is an atmospheric city where there is much to experience. For more information and activities, visit the official Visit Mechelen website.