Mechelen attractions

Top Choice Cathedral in Mechelen


This soaring, Gothic-vaulted cathedral features a 1723 monumental pulpit, a 1630 Van Dyck crucifixion scene in the south transept, and dozens more fine artworks below the stained-glasswork of the apse. But the most …
Top Choice Museum in Mechelen


With 7000 sq metres of dolls, teddies, toys, games and other pastimes, the wonderful Speelgoedmuseum has lots to keep the kids busy. Meanwhile, adults can peruse the history of toys, walk inside a ‘Bruegel’ painting…
Historic Site in Mechelen

Fort Breendonk

Some 12km northwest of Mechelen, this haunting, moated prison-fort was built in 1906. However, its use as a notorious Nazi internment camp in WWII is the main focus of the audio-guided visit, with over two hours of …
Museum in Mechelen

Kazerne Dossin

The 18th-century Dossin Barracks were used by the Nazis as a WWII deportation centre. Some 25,834 victims (mainly Jewish, 352 Roma) were sent in 28 convoys to Poland where most were gassed at Birkenau or died at lab…
Area in Mechelen


Mechelen’s begijnhof is no longer walled but retains an area of flower-strung old-city lanes with plenty of charm. The junction of Schrijnstraat and Twaalf-Apostelenstraat is particularly attractive, while the prett…
Museum in Mechelen


Designed for kids and teenagers but fascinating for those of all ages, Technopolis is one of Belgium’s best science museums, with dozens of hands-on activities to entertain and engage. The simulator rides are especi…
House in Mechelen

Tongerlo Refuge

In medieval times, abbots from wealthy monasteries would often travel to Mechelen to consult the primate (archbishop) and thus required city residences. Known as ‘refuges’, some of these residences became grand affa…
Historic Building in Mechelen


Balancing the massive bulk of St-Romboutskathedraal across Mechelen's splendid Grote Markt is the contrastingly poetic stadhuis in all its devil-may-care stone flamboyance. Its architectural inventiveness stems from…
Historic Building in Mechelen

Mechelen Gerechtsgebouw

The city’s step-gabled courthouse was once Margaret of Austria's palace (from 1506). Despite many subsequent alterations, it maintains a gorgeous courtyard garden where Charles Quint would have played as a boy.
Church in Mechelen


This breathtakingly huge Brabantine Gothic church has suffered numerous reconstructions, notably after bombing during WWII. Nonetheless it retains a very impressive interior, and in the south transept you'll find th…