Northeast Belgium

When Antwerp's vast Kanaldok (port extension) was built in the 1960s, seven villages were bulldozed to make space. Of most, just an isolated church tower or windmill remains. One exception is the tile-roofed, two-street village of Lillo (population 40), located within a former star-fort. Stand on the grassy ramparts to watch the giant boats and cranes, then retire to one of two archetypal terraced cafes on Lillo’s tiny village square: an extraordinary contrast to the light-industrial surroundings.

The village comes especially to life on sunny Sunday afternoons, the only time that the quaint little museum opens.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northeast Belgium attractions

1. Antwerp Port

6.73 MILES

Beautiful it ain’t. But its sheer jaw-dropping scale makes driving through the world's fourth-largest port complex an unforgettable experience.

2. Red Star Line Museum

6.98 MILES

Over two million passengers sailed from Antwerp on Red Star Line ships between 1873 and 1934, the great majority of them immigrants bound for America…

3. MAS

7.25 MILES

Opened in 2011, MAS is a 10-storey complex that redefines the idea of a museum-gallery. Floors are designed around big-idea themes using a barrage of…

4. Het Steen

7.34 MILES

On a riverside knoll, Het Steen is a dinky but photogenic castle dating from 1200 and occupying the site of Antwerp’s original Gallo-Roman settlement…

5. Statue of Lange Wapper

7.35 MILES

Outside Het Steen castle is a humorous statue of Lange Wapper, a tall folkloric ‘peeping Tom’ figure showing off his codpiece to two diminutive onlookers.

6. St-Pauluskerk

7.38 MILES

Strangely easy to miss despite its towering bulk, this church was consecrated in 1571 as part of a Dominican monastery, and thoroughly rebuilt after a…

7. Scheldt Riverbank

7.39 MILES

A raised southern promenade links Het Steen to St-Jansvliet, a tree-shaded square where a lift descends to the Sint-Annatunnel.

8. Sint-Annatunnel

7.42 MILES

Original escalators and 1930s tilework add interest to this 572m-long pedestrian and bicycle tunnel that cuts beneath the Scheldt River. You emerge at the…