According to Get Zip Codes, Hasselt is the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg. In this lively capital of taste, the taste buds can be put to work. The cozy streets in the city center have more than enough to offer when it comes to cozy restaurants, cafes and terraces. The intellectual person or people who like to sniff some culture will also get their money’s worth here. Various museums such as the Jenever Museum, Stedelijk Museum or Mode Museum offer enough variety to do fun things. Even the tranquility has been thought of here. How about a visit to the largest Japanese garden in Europe or a pleasant day in the Kiewit park with its petting zoo. For the little ones there is Plopsa Indoor.
Top 10 things to do in Hasselt
#1. Saint Quint’s Cathedral
Since the 11th century, this cathedral has occupied a prominent place in the city. The current design, including the spire, dates from the year 1725. Since then, some adjustments have been made. The interior is fairly sober, albeit with a beautiful organ. Remarkable are the ‘gargoyles’ on the outer wall.
#2. National Jenever Museum
The National Jenever Museum has been housed in the former monastery farm of Hasselt since 1987. Guided tours, workshops and learning to recognize scents and flavors will guide you through the entire production process of Jenever. Of course there is the possibility to taste a glass at the end.
#3. Fashion Museum MMH
The fact that the city of Hasselt and its inhabitants are very involved in fashion is clearly visible in the large and wide range of shops in the center of the city. However, for more authentic pieces including christening gowns, evening wear and special bridal gowns, you should visit this museum. The fashion museum was founded in 1987 and has exhibited pieces, some of which date back to 1750. The collections are still expanding. There are also contemporary collections and designs for the future to admire. The various temporary exhibitions ensure that there is always something new to discover.
#4. Nature domain Kiewit
To the north of Hasselt there is a small parish which is nowadays more known as the nature center of the city of Hasselt. In addition to the wonderful tranquility that prevails there, you will find a petting zoo, a 19th century country house, a herb garden and a butterfly garden. Several walking and cycling paths have been laid out on the 100 hectares of land. The most beautiful are the Galloway cattle that graze around at their leisure, giving the park a beautiful rural appearance.
tram tour If you want to easily absorb the atmosphere of Hasselt, you should definitely take a ride on the city tram. During this tour you get a clear picture of the city very easily and without too much effort. The ride in which a guide tells you everything about the history of Hasselt takes about fifty minutes and takes you past a number of important sights. Check the website below for buying tickets and times.
#6. Japanese Garden
To emphasize the friendship between Itami (Japan) and Hasselt, this Japanese Garden was created in 1992. It symbolizes natural beauty and inner peace. If you visit with a guide, you will become a lot wiser when it comes to Japanese rituals and customs. For example, in the garden created in the 17th century, you can regularly attend a tea ceremony. With its 25,000 m², this beautiful park is the largest Japanese garden in Europe. NB! Reservation is required.
There used to be a grain mill on this site in the 16th century. However, after a long standing still, it was demolished in the 18th century. Today this area is known as Kapermolenpark, which was the name of this mill. You will find plenty of entertainment for the whole family in this recreation area. In addition to the beautiful city park with playgrounds, skating rinks and ponds, there are two large sports complexes where all kinds of sports can be practiced and there is a swimming pool that guarantees fun. There is a wave pool, water slides and an outdoor pool. Further on is a mini golf course and an ice rink.
#8. Groene Boulevard
Of course Hasselt is not located on the coast. Nevertheless, the city does have a boulevard. This boulevard is designed as a ring around the center of the city. Much use has been made of greenery in the form of many trees such as the maple. A tree that copes well with life in the city. Much has been done to give this city boulevard a green, beautiful, practical and modern appearance. There are a number of sleek and naturally decorated bus stops, often equipped with a clock, and here and there some benches to rest or enjoy what Hasselt has to offer. After four years of hard work and almost 15 million in costs, the result is impressive.
#9. Het Stadsmus
Contrary to what the name suggests, we are talking about the former Stedelijk Museum Stellingwerff-Waerdenhof. The museum, which now bears the name Stadsmus, is spread over two houses from the 15th and 19th centuries. The history of Hasselt and its inhabitants is well represented through objects, furnishings and art objects.
#10. Grote Markt
At this market you will find the largest number of terraces, cafes and nice restaurants close together. Of course there are several scattered throughout the city. After all, we are here in Burgundian Flanders. This market is also a great base for shopping. Hasselt has had an influential role in fashion since the 14th century. Especially in the car-free part around the Hoogstraat you will find the most beautiful shops and brands.