Top things to do in Mechelen

Top Choice Cathedral in Mechelen

St-Romboutskathedraal

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 Fusion in Mechelen

Graspoort

Despite her restaurant's improbable location down a dead-end residential alley, traveller-turned-chef Greet has a winning combination of Asian and Mediterranean flavours, market-fresh ingredients and lots of vegetab…
Top Choice Museum in Mechelen

Speelgoedmuseum

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…
Top Choice Cafe in Mechelen

Peloton de Paris

At this cyclist's dream cafe, you can relax with a great coffee (from €2.30) or a specially bicycle-themed beer (from €2.90) microbrewed by Brouwerij Boelens, while a Belgian cycling aficionado looks over your bike …
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 …
Pub in Mechelen

De Gouden Vis

The bare boards of this youth favourite have a well-loved patina, the vine threatens to break chunks out of the verandah and the rear riverside terrace catches afternoon sunshine before the serious drinking gets goi…
Brewery in Mechelen

Brouwerij Het Anker

Operational since 1471, Het Anker is one of Belgium's oldest and most celebrated breweries. Most days there's at least one brewery tour (€8, two beers and a soft drink included). Or just head straight to the brasser…
Wine Bar in Mechelen

Unwined

This congenial, unthreateningly inclusive wine bar makes oenology accessible to novices by listing its ever-changing by-the-glass menu as a short series of quality categories: Wednesday (fresh and simple), Surprise,…
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

Begijnhof

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…