5 Beautiful Canal Cities to visit in Belgium

Belgium is a country that comprises of many nations, languages and customs that had once made it the main centre of Western Europe. Over the centuries the country’s ideal location and wealth has led to many wars over its control. It is along its waterways that Belgium holds its richest stories of wealth, loss and power. Let’s take a look at 5 of the must-see stops along the Belgium’s grand waterways.

  1.        Bruges
  2.        Ghent
  3.        Oudernaarde
  4.        Kortrijk
  5.        Tournai



Bruges is an official UNESCO site and is home to numerous landmarks with historical significance. Bruges was once a cultural centre of religion, art and architecture. Today you can easily explore the city’s rich history, its impact on the continent of Europe and enjoy its more modern offerings. From shopping, tours, eating and wonderful festivals…Bruges is city that you do not want to miss out on.

bruges le boat


Ghent is the main highlight along your barging trip in Belgium. Ghent was one of the largest and most affluent cities in Europe during the medieval era. Ghent offers festivals, amazing food, art and beautiful scenery everywhere. Visit the Ghent Masterpiece at St. Bavos, explore the artsy Zebrastraat, enjoy browsing the Saint Jacobs flea market or wander the city at night.

ghent le boat


This old town was once a thriving city during the medieval era of Flanders. The town was founded in 974, when a Roman fortification was erected as a defence against France. Originally named Ename, the town flourished into a city specialising in textile production, especially tapestries. The town is a wonderful testament to the thriving Flemish culture that once dominated the Flanders before the wars. Oudenaarde has a fantastic display of unique tapestries from the medieval era, amazing architecture and a brewery worth checking out.

oudernaarde le boat


The city is known for the famous ‘Battle of the Golden Spurs’ in 1302, where the community of Flemish residents of Kortrijk stood up against the French. The battle led to a victory for the Flemish, making this small town another treasure trove full of well reserved Flemish culture and art. Like many of the smaller cities, the Gothic styled architecture still defines the city skyline. Kortrijk is great for exploring on foot or by bicycle, as it is the largest car-free area in Belgium!

kortrijk le boat



Tournai is predominantly French speaking and has been handed back and forth as French territory over the centuries. One of the highlights is cruising along or cycling along the city’s historical promenades. The Pont des Torus is one of the oldest fort bridges from Tournai’s medieval era. Visit the iconic Notre Dame of Tournai, walk up the belfry to enjoy the views over the city and enjoy the superb collection of fine art at the museum.

tournai le boat