- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Tourism in Belgium: Roam with a view: Top spots for spectacular scenery
An eagerly awaited newcomer is Bar Tope (meaning, appropriately, ‘summit’ in Spanish) at the Hoxton hotel in the Tour Victoria (the former home of IBM). Located behind the Botanique, it affords a panoramic view of the city. Tope’s terrace area will remain open until September.
Soko Rooftop bar (pictured) overlooking the Sonian forest is so popular, it’s always necessary to reserve a spot now on its spacious terrace. Returning for its second season and open until 30 September, this address on the 11th floor of the Crossroads Building at the Tervuren Four Arms crossroad offers an unbeatable view of the capital’s skyline and surrounding ancient woodland.
Place Poelaert, at the foot of the majestic Justice Palace, provides panoramic city views with the Atomium sparkling on the horizon. The ancient stone balustrade with a 63m drop fills up quickly around sunset in summer, with a free public elevator connecting downtown and uptown.
The Basilica, majestically looming atop the Koekelberg hill in the north of Brussels, is one of the largest churches in the world. It’s worth a visit not only for its signature Art Deco style but also to marvel at the fantastic views you get to enjoy after climbing up to its observation deck.
Mont des Arts spotlights a view of Brussels that has become a classic on postcards and Instagram alike. The magnificent facades, gardens and the iconic Gothic-style tower at the Grand Place are best enjoyed around the fountain all the way at the top, which is also home to a refreshment stand with deckchairs.
Close to Bouillon in Luxembourg province, the Giant’s Tomb (pictured, main image) nestles in a bend on the Semois river. Legend has it that a giant once threw himself from the surrounding hills to his death to avoid capture by the Romans. Listed as a major Walloon heritage site since 1976, the lookout point is in the village of Botassart, on the route of multiple signposted walks.
Namur's cable car links the city centre with the citadel, the Walloon capital’s prime tourist destination. Admire the view as you rise or descend above the Sambre river and enjoy the stunning vista of both the Meuse valley and the city centre from the spectacular site. Arriving at the esplanade, enjoy a drink or bite to eat at Le Panorama, the new cafe restaurant gracing the site. It's also adjacent to the exhibition site, Le Pavilon. The space-like structure was formerly Belgium's world expo pavilion in Milan in 2015.
The city of Liège boasts a new hotel, YUST, that’s conveniently close to the Guillemins train station while offering a stunning 300m2 rooftop terrace. It’s an ideal spot to admire the gleaming station and surrounding city views, while the designer hotel – already present in Antwerp - is a modern and contemporary space.
After a 13km tourist trail, reward yourself at Liège’s Belvedère de la Citadelle with one of the best views of the city from the 60m terrace (access behind CHR hospital). A staircase zigzags towards Saint-Léonard park for further exploration, while Les coteaux de la citadelle is an alternative shorter walk.
The Congo viewpoint at Stoumont in Liège province provides a panoramic view of the valley below. It owes its name to the workers who laid the train tracks here in the late 19th century. Virtually uninhabited, the surrounding landscape resembles an equatorial forest.
Meuse valley hotel and restaurant La Fête au Palais blossoms in the summer when customers flock to enjoy its stupendous view. The three-star eco-friendly establishment in the pretty village of Lustin also has a large terrace bar.
From the Falize Rock in Malmedy, the 70m altitude affords you a sky-high view of the Warche valley. It can be reached via a 9km signposted walk (follow the blue rectangle with a logo of a cockerel) called The Two Rocks.
Located in a bend of the Semois river, the Luxembourg province village of Frahan, known as Les Crètes, almost qualifies as an island. Along with the neighbouring village of Rochehaut, it offers one of the most beautiful walks in the Bouillon area, with magnificent valley views
The fortified town of Thuin in Hainaut is famed for its hanging gardens. Its steep terraces were cultivated in the Middle Ages as vegetable patches because of the lack of green space. The rural area attracts walkers and cyclists; for the best viewpoint, visit the town’s belfry.
On a clear day, you can see France and Luxembourg from Arlon’s Saint-Donat cathedral. The site in Luxembourg province is on the grounds of a long-disappeared castle. Reach it by walking up the listed Way of the Cross, a restored 19th-century stone pathway.
If you’ve a head for heights, check out this interactive map of Wallonia’s most spectacular viewpoints, with panoramas of river valleys, cities and rural landscapes.
Whether you happen upon it accidentally while wandering around the countryside near Tielt-Winge, or go in search of it, your first glimpse of the Vlooyburg Tower is always a delight. Made in the form of a staircase, it takes visitors 11m into the air in a spot that’s already elevated. When the sky is clear, you can see as far as Vilvoorde to the west and the shafts of the old Limburg coal mines to the east.
The name Panorama tells you what you need to know about this walking trail in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes. Up into hills and down into valleys, you’ll get a heck of a workout on the 16km route, but incredible views certainly make it worth it. It’s easy to build in shortcuts if you so choose; just check out the map of the route.
At 67km, the coastal tram is the longest tramline in the world, connecting cities and towns all along the Belgian coast from Knokke-Heist to De Panne. Reason enough to hop on board! Highlights are the beautiful sea views between Ostend and Middelkerke as well as a trip through the dunes.
A ticket to the MAS Museum in Antwerp gives you access to the roof 10 floors up. The museum is right on the waterfront of the port city, and its “promenade” lets visitors gaze through glass to the outside world on every level. But nothing beats the rooftop, with spectacular 360° views over the city, harbour, left bank and up and down the Scheldt river.
The lookout tower in the nature reserve known as the Lommelse Sahara is not only beautiful, it takes visitors 30m into the air, offering a breath-taking view of pine forests, sandy plains and numerous ponds. All three of the signposted walks in the reserve pass the viewing tower.
This article was updated in July 2023.