Although we love to travel, there are also plenty of nice places to stay in your own country. In our “backyard” we have the renovated Mechelen. A city that has spent a lot of time on tourism in recent years. Something you can see very well, because Mechelen has become a really nice and cozy city. Now all that is the question is ‘What to do in Mechelen?’ We’d love to show you!
What to do in Mechelen?
1 Kazerne Dossin
One of the museums you have to visit in Mechelen is undoubtedly the museum of Kazerne Dossin. Because in this museum you are not only confronted with the gruesome history of WW2, it also makes you think about how it is possible that this could ever happen. This museum, which is built in a beautiful and beautiful way, should be visited by everyone in our opinion. So that humanity never makes the same mistakes again. For this museum, which is a beautiful tribute to the victims who left their lives here or in Auschwitz, you pay 10 euros for the permanent expo and 9 euros for the temporary exhibition. Do you want to combine these two exhibitions? Then as an adult you pay 16 euros for a ticket.
2 Planckendael Zoo
On the outskirts of Mechelen you can find Planckendael. A beautiful zoo that finds a beautiful balance between nature and animals. To visit this zoo you should definitely schedule a full day. When you visit Planckendeal you pay 26.50 euros for an adult and 20 euros for an underage person. For the car park you pay 9 euros. A trip to Planckendael is not cheap, but in our opinion it is worth the money, especially if you are out with children.
3 The Saint Rombouts tower
The Sint-Romboutstoren is one of the first things you see when visiting Mechelen. And that’s not so strange either. Because the 97 meter high tower has a beautiful and impressive appearance. Although a visit to this cathedral might be even more impressive. Because in addition to the beautiful interior of the St. Rombouts Cathedral, you can also go to the top of the tower via the 514 steps. Which makes for an impressive view. You can even see the Atomium in Brussels from here. For this climb with a piece of history of this cathedral you pay 8 euros as an adult person. A young person under the age of 27 only pays 3 euros.
4 Toy Museum
Although the Toy Museum is built mainly for children, this is sometimes fascinating to visit as an adult. And especially out of nostalgia, because here you will find not only the modern toys but also the toys of the past. A nice trip for anyone who wants to be catapulted back to their own childhood. An ideal trip in bad weather! An adult pays 9.80 euros and a child up to 12 years 7.30 euros.
5 Good food in the meat hall
A very new but magnificent concept in Mechelen is undoubtedly the Oude Mechelen Vleeshalle. Here you can get your heart out as a foodie. Twelve exhibitors give the best of themselves here in their pop-up restaurant. In addition to very good food, these restaurants also have a nice and cosy appearance. The Vleeshalle is the hotspot of the moment for lunch with family or friends. We ourselves are big fans of this place and visit it monthly! Especially the Mexican pop-up knows how to charm us time and time again.
One of our favourite activities in Mechelen is undoubtedly shopping. Because next to the shopping street with all its chains, Mechelen has some nice smaller shops where you can find unique clothing. So you should definitely pass at Lilly, Uma and SCOOP. Although there are several nice addresses to be found. Tips always welcome in the comments.
7 Court of Busleyden
In the Renaissance city palace Hof of Buysley d and you can find an interesting museum. A museum that deals with burgundy history and introduces you to the bond that Mechelen had with it. In this museum you will follow in the footsteps of Margareta of Austria, Erasmus, Thomas More and of course Hieronymus van Busleyden. A ticket for this museum costs 12 euros. For young people up to the age of 26, this is 2 euros.
8 Mechels and Bladderfield pants
For those who want to take a walk in a beautiful piece of nature we can recommend it Mechels – and Blaasveldbroek. These two nature reserves, which are located in the municipalities of Mechelen, are both very suitable for resting. Especially in autumn you can do some nice autumn walks here. You can do this on your own or via one of the mapped routes. Both nature reserves are free as well as the car park.
9 Boat trip on the inner drowsy
We think that you can only explore the city by boat in Bruges or Ghent, comes out cheated! Because this is also possible in Mechelen. In a boat trip on the Dijle in the city centre, you will also find some nice anecdotes and stories about the city. A ticket for this boat trip costs 7 euros per person. Pay attention! This boat doesn’t sail all year round. So be sure to look for this online.
10 Saturday market
Besides a nice shopping street and a few side streets, Mechelen also has a (large) Saturday market where you can find clothes, flowers and other gadgets in addition to fresh products. This market can be found on the large market, Veemarkt and Iron Len. When visiting the Saturday market you should park outside the city centre. This can be done in the parking lot at the cinema (where you can also take a shuttle to the city centre) but also in the parking lot of the Thomas More college. Both car parks are free on Saturdays.
11 Brewery the Anker
One of mechelen’s showpieces is undoubtedly the brewery de Anker. This brewery brews with its Gouden Carolus a top beer that is known everywhere in Belgium (and beyond). A visit to this brewery as a beer lover should not be missed when visiting Mechelen. In addition to a tour of the brewery, you can also have a nice dinner in the restaurant. Here most dishes are made with a Mechels beer. Do you like a sweet fruit beer? Then you should definitely try a Boscoli beer here. This has been our favorite beer in the world for years.
12 Mechelen Muurt
Mechelen Muurt is a fun initiative of former street artist Gijs Vanhee who invited ten international street artists to create a work of art on 10 walls throughout the city. The result is beautiful street art that you can find within walking distance of each other. Besides being a beautiful and impressive walk, this is also completely free. Definitely a must do for the urban lovers among us. Below you can find a map with the right locations and artists.
13 The Nekker
De Nekker is a sports and recreation area where children in particular can have fun in an indoor and outdoor playground. In addition, you can also relax here in the summer at the beach of the swimming pond. Ideal for a day in the sun with some cooling. A visit to De Nekker will cost you 4.5 euros. Don’t forget to bring your ID card, because you won’t get in without it.
14 Great Beguinage
Are you looking for peace and cosiness? Then the streets of the Beguinage are ideally suited for this. This Unesco World Heritage Site is very unique because of its beautiful ancient Belgian architecture. Although this part in Mechelen is not particularly large, this is highly recommended which you are working on for about half an hour to an hour. The great Beguinage is best combined with the small Beguinage and in Tuin Oh, which is a public garden where you can relax after a walk through the Beguinage.
15 Free pants park
A visit to the free pants park is always a good idea and especially in spring and summer when the rose garden is in bloom. Because this is definitely one of the highlights of this park. In addition, you can take a nice walk around the fish pond and through the dahlia garden. This park is completely free and there are also some catering establishments. For the little ones there is a large outdoor playground that we can definitely recommend from our own experience from our childhood.
Technopolis is a DIY centre where you can learn all about science and technology. Here you can cycle in the air, make giant bubbles and learn more about the leverage by lifting a car. From the age of 12 you pay 16 euros per person and under the age of 12 this is 12.50 euros. Children under the age of 4 are free.
17 Winter Garden Ursulinen
The Winter Garden is located in Our Lady Waver, not really in Mechelen, but both by car and public transport you will be at the Winter Garden of the Ursulinen within 15 minutes. And that is without a doubt worth visiting! Here you get a tour through the Winter Garden, which is a wonderful piece of art nouveau. You will also visit the school which also has an interesting history as a former girls’ school for the wealthy elite. Very impressive! Please note that an (individual) visit is not possible every day. Therefore, always consult their website for the right information.
This town for you?
Mechelen is a beautiful city that you should definitely visit if you are in the area. It is an atmospheric city where there is a lot to do. For more information and activities, please visit the official website of Visit Mechelen.