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The old Burgundian university town of Leuven offers a range of adventures for overnight visitors or day-trippers from Bruges and Brussels. Tourists will find everything from gastronomic tours to architectural gems like the Gothic Town Hall. Nature lovers won’t be disappointed. The Kruidtuin Botanical Garden’s herbal gardens are the oldest in Belgium, and Heverleebos, a “city wood,” offers a respite for urban dwellers. The exploring is easy in Leuven, on foot or on one of the ubiquitous bikes.
What could be more romantic and inspiring than a place that looks like a backdrop for a fairy tale? The medieval overtones of Bruges’ cobblestone streets lead to countless historical, architectural and artistic wonders. Marvel at ornate houses lining intricate canals, and understand why this is a favorite destination for all types of travelers. The whole city emanates an appreciation of the past, a love of the present, and enthusiasm for the future. Don’t miss Hof Bladelin, Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady, and Belfry and Market Halls.
A smorgasbord of flavors come from this lofty land in the hilly southeast of Belgium: game, wild boar, venison, smoked ham, the region's famous paté and world-renowned Trappist beers. Primarily located in Belgium, the Ardennes mountains also nudge into France and Luxembourg. Dense forests flank the steep hillsides, and market towns and villages perch on river banks. Spring and summer show this lush area at its best, but cross country skiing opportunities make a good case for winter visits.
Holland's most modern city began as a fishing village in the 13th century. It was developing into an industrial and trading power when German bombers destroyed the city center and harbor in 1940. However, Rotterdam's unique architecture now brings many visitors to bike around this urbane, cosmopolitan city. Old Dutch-style houses can still be found in historic Delfshaven, from where the pilgrims set sail in 1620. Cultural offerings from summer's carnival to classical music give Amsterdam competition.
From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one. The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.