Are you planning to spend a day or even a whole weekend in Mechelen? In this article you will find 15 things to see and do in this city and discover it from all angles. In this beautiful Flemish city on the banks of the river Dyle, you will find a lot to do, including monuments, brasseries, an unusual hotel, museums and quiet walks. 

St. Rumbold's Cathedral

Sint-Romboutskerkhof 2800 Mechelen BE

The St. Rombouts Cathedral of Mechelen rises in the centre of the city. It is in Brabant Gothic style and dates from the 13th century. The impressive 97.3 meter high tower dominates the Grote Markt. You can climb to the top after climbing 538 steps. You will have a breathtaking view of the inside of the tower, its chimes and the outside, of course: a panoramic view of Mechelen (and even of other cities such as Antwerp and Brussels apparently).  

Grote Markt Mechelen

Grote Markt 2800 Mechelen BE

Day and night, the different facades of the Grand Place make an impression. The first thing you will probably notice is the Town Hall, divided into three parts: the Palace of the Grand Council (if you want to get married in Mechelen, this is the place), the Belfry (unfinished due to financial shortcomings) and the Cloth Hall (which was burnt down in 1342). 

Dijlepad

Dijlepad 2800 Mechelen BE

Walking on water? It is possible in Mechelen! Stroll along the Dyle river on this long pontoon a few hundred metres long. From the Haverwerf to the Botanical Garden you will see a piece of Mechelen from the point of view of the water birds. 

Mechelen as seen by the Dyle

Dijle 2800 Mechelen BE

A boat trip? If you prefer to rest your feet during a visit, opt for a short boat cruise on the Dyle. Guided by stories about the city of Mechelen, enjoy the good weather and let yourself be carried along by the water.

Brewery Het Anker

Guido Gezellelaan 2800 Mechelen BE

Beer lovers will have to make a stop at The Anker brewery. In addition to a guided tour through the brewery to learn more about the production process, you can taste the Gouden Carolus, a beer brewed on site. This is one of the oldest breweries in the country, and is well worth a visit.

Groot Begijnhof Mechelen (Great Beguinage)

Hoviusstraat 2800 Mechelen BE

Both the large and the small beguinage are part of the history of Mechelen and have therefore become two must-sees. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, only a few small streets remain today, forming a residential area and the church. There was the small beguinage inside and the large beguinage outside the city. The last two beguines in Mechelen died at the end of the 1980s and all the houses in the beguinages are practically all privately owned. 

IJzerenleen, Mechelen's Champs Elysées

IJzerenleen 2800 Mechelen BE

Originally it was a brook, today Ijzerenleen is known as the "Champs-Elysees of Mechelen" because of the many shops that have settled on this avenue. A favourite place for shopping but also for admiring the architecture of the facades (rebuilt after an architectural competition). 

Statue of Margaret of Austria

Schoenmarkt 2800 Mechelen BE

If you didn't know it, Marguerite of Austria was born in Brussels. This woman had a more than eventful life and her qualifications include: orphan, dolphin, Queen of France, repudiated, widow, duchess, surrogate mother, governess and regent (for her nephew, Charles V). She excelled in European politics at the time. Her palace is in Mechelen and she died there, which is why a statue in her honour was erected near the Cathedral. 

The three houses on the Haverwerf

Haverwerf 2800 Mechelen BE

You will find these three houses on the Quai aux Avoines (Haverwerf). These houses date from the 15th and 17th century. The green one is called 'Het Paradijske', the little paradise because of the reliefs above the windows. In the middle is the wooden house 'Duiveltjes', the little devils. And finally, on the left, the red one is called 'St. Joseph'. 

Statue of Beethoven

Haverwerf 2800 Mechelen BE

If you're wondering what Beethoven is doing in Mechelen, it's about time you learned! His grandfather, Lodewijk, also pictured in Mechelen opposite his grandson Ludwig (yes, they have the same first name), was born here. One a singer, the other a composer. The origins of Ludwig van Beethoven are therefore Belgian on his father's side!

Silent Garden Archiepiscopal Palace

Schoutetstraat 2 2800 Mechelen BE

A green area between the Wollemarkt and the Schoutetstraat, located a few steps from St. Rombouts Cathedral. Stroll through the greenery, yet right in the city centre, in the peace and quiet (as its name suggests).

Museum Hof van Busleyden

Sint-Janstraat 2800 Mechelen BE

Did you know that Mechelen was the capital of the Burgundian Netherlands? In this museum you can learn all about the history of Mechelen and the Dukes of Burgundy, but also about the future of Mechelen and its present. Take a trip back in time in this marvellous palace. 

Toy museum

Nekkerspoelstraat 21 2800 Mechelen BE

A guided visit to the toy museum? A very special museum that will appeal to young and old alike! With the most complete collection of games and toys in Europe, discover everything about toys: history, manufacture, toy economy,... Ancient games to make the oldest children fall back into childhood, and traditional games to try out to revive your memories. 

Martin's Patershof, unusual hotel

Karmelietenstraat 2800 Mechelen BE

Have you ever slept in a church? Martin's Patershof offers you the opportunity to sleep in an old Gothic church from the 19th century. A luxury hotel for an unusual night in Mechelen.

Planckendael

Leuvensesteenweg 2800 Mechelen BE

And for animal lovers, a few steps away from Mechelen is the animal park of Planckendael. Divided into sections, each of which is assigned to a continent, each continent corresponds to an animal ambassador whose species is endangered.

Would you like to discover Mechelen?

If this article has made you want to visit Mechelen, Coddy also offers you Escape Game and Treasure Hunt in the heart of the city, so that you can discover the most beautiful places in the Flemish city while playing, solving puzzles and learning some fun facts (but also interesting facts)! Games to play with family and friends for a fun and relaxing day in Mechelen 😉

Secrets of Mechelen

Secrets of Mechelen

With Secrets of Mechelen, it is the city itself that is the heart of the game, it is on it that we have focused! And like in a classic Scavenger Hunt you can time your game!

Play Secrets of Mechelen
Rise of the Dead Mechelen

Rise of the Dead Mechelen

Your city is put in quarantine: the Z-1 virus has spread and many citizens are infected. Resources are scare, hundred of zombies wander the streets. You and your team only have one way out and only 120 minutes to reach it.

Play Rise of the Dead Mechelen
Updated at: 15-01-2021

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