Surrounding the city of Brussels, Flemish Brabant is a central Belgian province that forms part of the Flanders region. It was created as recently as 1995 when the province of Brabant was divided, with the official language being Dutch. Flemish Brabant is home to the lively university city of Leuven, historic castle towns and forested recreational areas.
Things to do in Flemish Brabant
Whether you want to see centuries-old architectural landmarks or walk through a carpet of bluebells, you can do both in Flemish Brabant.
Sightsee in Leuven. Serving as the capital of Flemish Brabant, Leuven is a bustling university city famed for its abundance of breweries. In the heart of the city are the elaborately decorated spires of the 15th-century Leuven Town Hall and the Gothic-style St. Peter’s Church, which houses a painting of the “Last Supper” by Dieric Bouts. Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the M – Museum Leuven where works by Flemish masters are on display.
Visit Gaasbeek Castle. Once a medieval fortress, Gaasbeek Castle is an impressive 16th-century residence near the town of Lennik. Its opulent rooms are decorated with period furnishings, tapestries and silverware, as well as paintings and sculptures by Flemish artists. See the “chambre rouge” once used by Arconati Visconti and stroll through the landscaped grounds to admire the triumphal arch erected in honour of Napoleon.
See the bluebells of Hallerbos. On the outskirts of Halle is this 552-hectare forest, which is famed for its spring-flowering bluebells. Also known as the “Blue Forest”, it is traversed by meandering hiking trails that lead between giant Sequoia trees. The Hallerbos was reforested in the wake of World War I when it was extensively logged by German forces.
Getting around Flemish Brabant
Brussels Airport is the main aviation gateway to Flemish Brabant and has flights to destinations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Trains connect to major towns and cities throughout the province while buses serve smaller towns and villages. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around Flemish Brabant.