Belgium

Things to do in Ypres

Ypres' Gothic architecture, guild houses, and military fortifications are especially popular with tourists who flock to see the Great War battlefields, and the iconic poppy-lined Flanders Fields, but there is far more to this charming place than its past.

Surrounded by the lush West Flanders countryside, Ypres is a perfect place to visit for lovers of the great outdoors. Walkers and cyclists alike can enjoy guided routes through quiet forests and along picturesque canals, and there are plenty of things to do in Ypres for foodies too!

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View over Ypres, Belgium

Things to do in Ypres

Architecture in Ypres

With Gothic churches and gorgeous buildings all around, it's easy to forget that much of Ypres was rebuilt after WWI — especially since the Grote Markt is now regarded as one of the most beautiful town squares in all of Belgium.

Essential things to do in Ypres to give you a feel for its amazing architecture include visiting the 70m high Belfry tower, seeing the magnificent Cloth Hall, and admiring the Renaissance-style Flemish courthouse.

To see Ypres from a different perspective, take a walk along the 17th century ramparts which now form the perimeter of some of the prettiest parks in the town. Here, you will also see the huge stone Menin Gate, one of the most famous war memorial sites in Flanders, which bears the names of 54,896 missing soldiers from World War I.
Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium

Cycling in Flanders Fields, Ypres

Explore on two wheels

Traffic-free cycle tracks, well-marked routes, and scenic views all around mean that one of the best ways to explore Ypres and the local area is on two wheels. Simply hire a bicycle and take off on an adventure to discover peaceful woodland, hidden abbeys, and stunning castles - all within a day.

A more challenging route can be found in the hills of Kemmelberg and Rodeberg, where mountain bikers tackle steep inclines and narrow paths through trees, or you might like is to cycle to the meadows that make up the WWI battlefields and memorials of Flanders Fields.

After viewing these moving tributes to the fallen, you can learn more about the personal stories of soldiers by visiting Ypres' In Flanders Fields museum, set within the famed Cloth Hall and renowned as one of the greatest war exhibitions in the country.

Discover Flanders Fields

One of the most important things to do in Ypres is to visit Flanders Fields and take the time to discover what happened there during World War I.

You will have the opportunity to see the fields themselves, bunkers, war cemeteries, and memorials, and there are a number of tours that you can choose to take. Each tour is informative but also respectful, and will give you the chance to remember those who died during these battles.
Flanders Fields, Ypres

Eating in Ypres, Belgium

Eating in Ypres

Ypres has a surprisingly diverse selection of food options for a town of its size, with plenty of Belgian and international delights on offer.

Many of the most popular restaurants and bistros are clustered on the terrace of the market square, giving visitors the chance to enjoy fantastic views of the cathedral while they dine. Further eateries can be found in century-old townhouses or in the bakeries where you can tuck into the residents' favourite dish, bread pudding.

You will also find that famous specialty dishes come in the form of hearty Flemish stews infused with rich, dark beer, so make sure that you give one of these a try too!

If these things to do in Ypres have inspired you to visit this fascinating Belgian town, book your Hull to Zeebrugge crossing and start planning your trip today.

Take a walk along the 17th century ramparts which now form the perimeter of some of the prettiest parks in the town

Featured blog post Remembrance Day Travel in Flanders

If you’re thinking of visiting the battlefields of Belgium to pay your respects this November, take a look at our guide to Remembrance Day travel.

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