This medieval city is full of historical culture with numerous museums, bell-towers, monuments and parks. Mechelen is one of Flanders Six Art Cities.
Central Mechelen is located on the river Dyle in the center of Flanders in Belgium. The historical city centre of Mechelen is small and very picturesque, and has a rich culture with historical monuments.
One of the highlights of the city is the St Rombouts Cathedral, which dominates the Grote Markt or Main Square. There are houses around the square from different times and in different styles, including Renaissance houses from the sixteenth century and rococo buildings from the eighteenth century.
Mechelen is one of Flanders’ historically prominent art cities, with the city centres of Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven.
Stay in the center of Mechelen and you can easily reach the market square, the monumental St.Rombouts Cathedral and the most important museums with a leisurely stroll. Right in the centre of Mechelen you will find also many shops (main shopping streets are Bruul and IJzerenleen) and restaurants. Discover over 300 protected monuments in this historical city.
The city center is about 15 minutes walk from the train station. Mechelen is a very compact city, so you can reach most places on foot.
Main sights in Mechelen City Centre, Belgium
St. Rumbold’s Cathedral (Sint-Romboutskathedraal) — cathedral of Mechelen with a tower of 97meters. The bell tower is visible from many miles outside of Mechelen and it is probably the most well known landmark in the city.
The Museum of Toys or Speelgoedmuseum — toys museum at Nekkerspoel
The Market Square or Grote Markt — main market square and site of the cathedral and the Town Hall.
Sint-Janskerk — historic church in Mechelen, with a notable Reubens painting/triptych “Adoration of the Magi” and the painting of the crucifixion by Wauters.
Begijnhofkerk — church known for the two statues above the door, one of Saint Catherine and one of God the Father.
Palace of Margaret of Austria — set of buildings on Keizerstraat that was effectively the seat of government during Mechelen’s time as capital of the Netherlands.
16th Century Houses — three surviving timber houses close to the Vismarkt.
Technopolis — Hands on science museum for kids of all ages.
Main squares located in Mechelen City Centre, Belgium
Market Square or Grote Markt — main city square in the heart of Mechelen surrounded by hotels, cafés and restaurants. The Grote Markt is dominated by the famous St. Rumbold’s Cathedral or Sint-Romboutskathedraal and his bell tower. Around the square are houses from the 16th century and 18th century, the Town Hall Palace of the Great Council, the unfinished Belfry and the Cloth Market. At the foot of the cathedral you can find several excellent hotels, perfectly located for exploring the city center.
Korenmarkt — cosy square in central Mechelen with cafe terraces and restaurants, within an 8-minute walk of the St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and the main shopping street Bruul. Located at the Korenmarkt is the great value NH Mechelen Hotel.
Vismarkt or Fish Market — small quaint square along the Dyle river, with some fish shops and lots of cosy restaurants and cafes. Some hotels and charming bed and breakfasts are situated just around the corner.
Veemarkt — former Cattle Market where meat was sold.