You often hear the term ‘hidden gem’ when it comes to describing brilliant places to visit.
But with Mechelen it seems like that might be the perfect summary – as the majority of people won’t have even heard of this small Flemish city.
According to visitors, the Belgium destination is an absolute must visit as it’s packed with gorgeous architecture, cosmopolitan cafe culture and art galore.
And the best bit?
You can hop on the Eurostar and get there in under three hours: two hours and 51 minutes to be precise.
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Tripadvisor explains more.
It says: “The picturesque town of Mechelen, a hidden Flemish gem, sits between Brussels and Antwerp.
“Students of the world-renowned Carillon bell-ringing school provide an atmospheric soundtrack for sipping coffee at a sidewalk café in one of the town’s charming squares.
“Many pedestrian areas make this a delightful town to promenade about, admiring hundreds of listed buildings and monuments, many dating back to 16th century.
“Highlights include Gothic and Baroque churches and the famed St Rumbold’s Tower.”
Travel bloggers unite around the destination, which is in the Flanders region of Belgium, with many enthusing about trips there.
Man Vs Globe said: “Located just 30 minutes from both Brussels and Antwerp, it is easy to see why the picturesque city of Mechelen is erroneously missed by most visitors to Belgium.
“Luckily this means that when the crowds are flocking to the tourist hubs of Bruges or Ghent, you can wander around Mechelen in peace, feeling like you are the only person to have stumbled across Flander’s underrated gem.”
Emma’s Roadmap said: “The small city of Mechelen, located in between the two largest cities of Belgium, Brussels, and Antwerp, can really be considered a (still) hidden gem.
“As most of the tourists flock to either Bruges, Ghent, Brussels or Antwerp, everyone seems to overlook the smaller Mechelen.
“It makes me wonder why, because Mechelen has it all: the cute cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, romantic canals running through the city… all the ingredients for a lovely city trip!”
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Tripadvisor users agree that St. Rumbold’s Cathedral is the city’s top visitor attractions.
One user said: “St Rumbold’s Cathedral is so impressive and a true feast for the eyes.
“We loved that there was a small art exhibition on at the time to explore.
“We also decided to go up the tower – I would definitely recommend this as the views were incredible.
“The journey up was eased by a few stops to explore the history and artefacts of the cathedral which added interest to the experience.”
Another said: “Although there are a lot of steps to reach the top it is definitely worth the climb.”
They added: “A must trip while in Mechelen.”
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