We love a good day trip – whether it’s a city weekend, a quick seaside escape or roaming through nature. This is a photo story about our day trip to Dendermonde!
Maybe you wonder, why did we selected a journey to Dendermonde in East Flanders? Well, we have never been there before and we needed to escape Brussels for a day this January 2021. Lockdown has gotten to us. As this was a spontaneous decision, we jumped onto the first train that was leaving the Brussels Gare Centrale train station; that’s how our adventure with Dendermonde started on a freezing winter day.
How to Get to Dendermonde by Train
There are a lot of ways to get here. We took a train from Gare Centrale station in Brussels, and the journey time approximated half an hour. There are two train services from Brussels: S-train which takes a bit longer, and the IC train; both routes offer interesting views and as a teaser you can catch a beautiful view of Brussels along the way.
The train station in Dendermonde is a short walk from the city center. Along the way, one can stop and enjoy at the Stadspark/city park.
Oude Dender and Scheldt
For Brussels dwellers this quaint, quiet town with plenty of space to move around offers a breath of fresh air not too far from home. The Oude Dender river that cuts through the city is the perfect setting for waterside walks and canals and nearby Scheldt provide plethora of water views. We can’t wait to re-visit in summer.
The old city centre, with its cobbled streets and colourful frescoed buildings, is delightful.There are small shops and restaurants everywhere. We visited Dendermonde on a cold Sunday during the Belgian lockdown, which had cafes and restaurants all over Belgium closed but we can imagine Dendermonde on a summer, pre-COVID-19 day. Benedictine abbey; Begijnhofmuseum (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998), the Butcher’s Hall museum are located in the centre and easy to reach; we will have to visit them on our next trip.
Grote Markt with the Town Hall
The city hall and belfry have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. It is believed that the market square was built before the 11th century. The main administrative, legal and commercial functions were grouped around the market square including the weekly market on the Grote Markt. The west and south sides of the market place were lined with private homes, and some of them survived the destructions of the First World War, when the city was routinely looted and burned for couple of days. The current appearance of the Grote Markt is the symbiosis of historic buildings and the “new buildings”. The square is simply breathtaking.
We rushed home after couple of hours as the frozen hail started raining. 🙂
Interested to read more about our trips from Brussels to other destinations? Visit our Europolitan Trends page with lots of inspirations across Belgium & Europe!