What to do in Mechelen Belgium

What to do in Mechelen - Visit the Patrician houses in the City Center

What to do in Mechelen ? - Discover the City Sights

Mechelen is a city in East Belgium. It is located in the province of Antwerp in Flanders. How beautiful Mechelen is surprised us. The city transports us back in time with its Renaissance buildings grouped around the city's squares. Discover with us the sights of Mechelen in Belgium. We were also amazed that people in Mechelen speak Dutch. More precisely, they speak Flemish here. This is a form of Dutch specific to the region. It is the official language in this part of Belgium.


Mechelen sights
Mechelen sights

For Enjoyment travelers the city offers plenty of chocolate and the beer from the local brewery. We stay at the Het Anker Hotel * on the edge of the old town. From there it is only a few steps to the center of the old town. On the way there we are confronted with women from the history of the city. Widows once lived in the large beguinage, which extends directly behind the Het Anker brewery. These united in a community, but without taking the vow as a nun. Instead, they worked together and supported each other at a time when women who weren't married were viewed with disgust.



Among the attractions of Mechelen there are even two of these beguinages that still exist today. However, young families now live in the houses along the streets. They exude seclusion and contemplation. It is a world that exudes calm on the edge of the old town of Mechelen.


The Great Beguinage, one of the Mechelen city sights in East Belgium
The Great Beguinage in Mechelen Belgium - one of the attractions of Mechelen Belgium


Mechelen Belgium is a city of women

In the city center with its city palaces, the St. Rombouts Cathedral towers over the city as one of Mechelen's sights. In front of her on the Grote Markt, however, there is not, as is usually the case, the statue of a man from the city's history. Instead, there is the figure of Margaret of Austria. She wasn't the only woman who influenced the fortunes of the city. Even her step-aunt Margaret of York (1446-1503) impressed the residents of Mechelen. After the death of her stepdaughter Maria of Burgundy, she raised her two children, Philipp ("Philip the Fair") and his sister Margarete.



Margaret of Austria, one of the Mechelen city sights in East Belgium
Margaret of Austria


This Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) was chosen at the age of three to marry the heir to the throne of France and was raised for this task by her aunt. However, the marriage did not materialize because her chosen one chose another. Two other attempts to tie the knot were also unsuccessful. The first of her husbands, Johann von Aragon, died on his honeymoon. Her second husband, Philip of Savoy, passed away three years after the wedding. Fate was not kind to her.


City palaces at the Grote Markt in the city in east Belgium
City palaces on the Grote Markt - one of the Mechelen attractions in Belgium


Margaret of Austria - Educator of Charles V.

Apparently Margaret of Austria had had enough of being married to a spouse afterwards. So she decided to remain celibate for the rest of her life - an extraordinary decision for a woman and one of her rank. Instead, she took over the education of her nephew, who later became Emperor Charles V, from then on. As governor of the Netherlands, she finally had an influence on the politics of the region. So it's no wonder that her statue is now in the center of Mechelen. This is one of the Mechelen sights that immediately catches the eye on the market square.


The Sint Rombouts Cathedral in the city in east Belgium
The Sint Rombouts Cathedral - one of the most important Mechelen attractions in Belgium


Mechelen Sights – Carillon School

Women also play a role in the city's history. The Russian Elena Sadina has been teaching this art at the carillon school in Mechelen for years. The Chimes requires strength that was once only thought of by men. Now, however, a woman proves that this art is not only reserved for men.

Mechelen is known as the carillon capital. Six carillons and the carillon school bear witness to the carillon culture in the city. The Carillion carillon school celebrates its 2022th anniversary in 100, making it the oldest carillon school in the world.

On the occasion of this anniversary, the city is enticing with offers to bring visitors closer to the craft and this culture. For example the podcast tour called "Heavy Metal Route". Here visitors can learn all about the carillon tradition in Mechelen and hear stories from carillonists, Mechelen citizens and former carillon school students. On a guided group tour, visitors will discover on a city walk why Mechelen is proud to bear the title "International Carillon Capital".

Of course, in the anniversary year, the carillon in Mechelen will ring out more often than usual. The Monday evening concerts in the Sint-Romboutskathedraal will be expanded with anniversary concerts in the city. Carillon concerts are held on the carillons at St Rombouts Cathedral, Busleyden Courtyard and Carillon School from May to September. Many of them open air and free of charge. The glockenspiel will also have a place at the Parkpop Festival. And the carillon in Museum Hof ​​van Busleyden is being renovated and is due to be inaugurated in the spring.

carillon school

Bruul 52 bus 5
B-2800 Mechelen

Guided Tours

NEW from April 24.04.2022th, XNUMX
Carillon Walk:
– Carillon walk for individuals
– Download via the Visit Mechelen app, free of charge
– Podcast tour along the highlights of Mechelen, capital of carillon in NL, FR, DE, ENG


+32(0)15 20 47 92

Men get away badly in Mechelen's Attractions

However, the men of Mechelen come off badly in the history of the city. The city mascot of Mechelen already shows that. The "Opsinjoorke" is one of Mechelen's sights. This is a figure that sinks headfirst into the ground on the Grote Markt. She is just one example of what happens to a man who treats his wife badly. It just gets thrown into the air. The rougher the landing, the better. That's what comes of living as a man in a town where women rule.

The Moon Extinguisher from the City in East Belgium

Apparently that was a good thing, because we didn't find any of the sights of Mechelen that singled out the men. It was the men of Mechelen who exposed the place to ridicule. When one of them, drunk on beer, thought he saw a fire in the steeple of St. Rombouts Cathedral. So he had nothing more urgent to do than call for help. All of Mechelen came running to put out the fire. Very quickly, however, it turned out that the moon had fooled him. This had disappeared behind a wall of fog and its light had bathed the tower in a light reminiscent of fire. That's why the citizens of Mechelen have had to put up with being called "moon extinguishers" (as Maneblussers) by others.


What you need to visit Mechelen Belgium

  • You will do a lot of walking in Mechelen. Therefore are Shoes important, in which you can walk well.
  • If you're planning a night out at a restaurant, then you should Pumps don't forget the comfortable ones.
  • Do you wear skirts or dresses in summer? Then fit Sandals Good.
  • Mechelen offers many delicacies that are suitable as souvenirs. Chocolate or beer are just a few of them. in one backpack you can accommodate them well.
  • Forget yours Camera not, because the Renaissance buildings of Mechelen tempt to take photos.


Carolus - the men's beer in Mechelen Belgium
Carolus - the beer of the men in Mechelen


However, they bear it with composure. Instead, they even named one of the beers made at the brewery after it. A likeable move that also shows how humorously the people of Mechelen deal with their history and the relationship between men and women in their hometown. In any case, Mechelen is a city that has stories to tell in its old town that are worth discovering.


Do you like to travel by motorhome?

Travel Arrangements:

Check in:

Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Lufthansa flies from Germany to Brussels. It is also possible to travel to the city in East Belgium by train.

Car Rentals:

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *

Travel Guide:

Belgium Travel Guide *

Hotels in Mechelen:

Accommodation in Mechelen * you can book here.


Information about Mechelen Belgium sights can be found here:

UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mechelen: the Sint Rombouts Cathedral and the Beguinages .


Mechelen in Belgium
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Do you already know:

Source for Mechelen Sights: Research in the city in East Belgium with the support of Tourismus Flanders

Text City in East Belgium: © Copyright Monika Fuchs
Photos of the city in East Belgium: © Copyright Monika Fuchs
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs

What to do in Mechelen Belgium

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