A Medieval Charm: 15 Things To Do In Hasselt, Belgium - Updated 2021

Things to do in Hasselt
Kate
Kate
Updated

Hasselt is a small town that serves as the capital of Limburg, a province in Belgium. The town is mostly car-free which allows many visitors to roam around and view the sights of some of the oldest but beautiful buildings. There are also restaurants, pubs, shopping centers, and scenic gardens that will fit any mood. It is up to you which corner you would like to turn to. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Hasselt, Belgium.

1. Admire the magnificent architecture of Cathedral St. Quintinus

Cathedral St. Quintinus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Torsade de Pointes used under CC0

Cathedral St. Quintinus, otherwise known as Hasselt Cathedral, is a Catholic church in the beautiful city of Hasselt. It was built in 1250 and acquired cathedral status in 1967. This marvelous place of worship showcases a majestic Gothic architectural design with a soaring tower, a far cry from the old Romanesque church that used to stand here. Its interiors boast spectacular murals that were made in the 14th and 15th centuries. Also, it is adorned with “The Calvary” painting by D. Lampsonius, renaissance choir stalls, and rustic portals.

Cathedral St. Quintinus

Address: Vismarkt, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Website: Cathedral St. Quintinus

Opening hours: 9:30am- 5:30pm (daily)

2. Learn about the city's history at Het Stadsmus

Het Stadsmus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Szilas used under CC0

Do you want to get to know the city on a deeper level? One excellent place to do so is at Het Stadsmus. Located on Guido Gezellestraat 2, the Stadmus is the city’s main museum. It houses exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Hasselt’s past and present. Here, you can marvel at fascinating ceramic masterpieces as well as modern art. Het Stadsmus has permanent exhibits as well as temporary ones. Some of the most recently featured displays include Expo Brecht Evens by cartoonist Brecht Evens and The Wonder World of Stef by illustrator Stef Vanstiphout.

Het Stadsmus

Address: Guido Gezellestraat 2, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Website: Het Stadsmus

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

3. Take your kids to the dreamy Villa Imagination

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Formerly called Literary Museum, Villa Imagination is one of the many remarkable museums in Hasselt. It focuses on children’s books that play with the little ones’ imagination. It showcases dreamy exhibits that will take its visitors to a different place without stepping out of the museum. One example is Deep in the Forest, an expo that combines the brilliant talent of Jan De Kinder, Carll Cneut, Maria Dek, Tom Schamp, and Anne Brouillard. Other exhibits you will find in the museum include The Fairytale Room - Poisonous apples on golden plates, The Wonderkamer, and more. Besides lovely displays, Villa Imagination offers art workshops for interested kids.

Villa Imagination

Address: Bampslaan 35, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Website: Villa Imagination

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 2pm - 5pm (closed from Sun - Tue)

4. Plan an unforgettable family day at Domein Kiewit

Domein Kiewit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul Hermans used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Hasselt is not only filled with architectural wonders and interesting museums but also lovely natural parks. If you wish to reconnect with nature and spend a day admiring Mother Earth’s gifts, head over to Domein Kiewit. This park consists of wetlands, forests, and meadows. It features hiking and biking trails, a play area in the forest, an oasis for bird-watching, a petting zoo, a picnic area, and on-site dining at Tavern Koe-vert.

Domein Kiewit

Address: Putvennestraat 108, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Website: Domein Kiewit

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

5. Indulge in the delicious offerings of 6 Zinnen

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Cannelloni van runderwang

Posted by 6 Zinnen on Saturday, November 28, 2020

A Hasselt holiday will not be complete without an exciting food trip. If you agree with the idea, plan an unforgettable culinary adventure in the city, and do not forget to add 6 Zinnen to your list of restaurants to visit. Besides a comfortable dining area with a homey atmosphere, this restaurant is also proud of its delicious meals presented in an elegant way. Some of their bestsellers include skrei kaakjes and cheese plate ROK4.

6 Zinnen

Address: Luikersteenweg 6, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Website: 6 Zinnen

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 7pm - 9pm; Fri: 12 - 1:30pm, 7 - 9pm; Sat: 7pm - 9pm; Sun: 12pm -1:30pm, 7pm - 9pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

6. Take free gin shots in a museum

Nationaal Jenevermuseum Hasselt - straatkant
Source: Photo by user Paul Corbeel used under CC BY-SA 1.0

The Nationaal Jenevermuseum translates to National Gin Museum, which means it is actually a museum all about the history of the jenever (gin) industry. Hasselt has been the most prosperous and innovative, making it the centre of the gin industry since the 17th-century. Not only can you learn more about the industry’s history, they also showcase expos, workshops, tastings, and performances. The museum’s cafe also gives free shots of the ‘jenever of the week’. They also sell the country’s best jenever selection for a normal retail price!

Nationaal Jenevermuseum

Address: Jenevermuseum, Witte Nonnenstraat 19, 3500 Hasselt

Telephone Number: +32 011239860

Website: Nationaal Jenevermuseum

7. Walk through the Flemish past

Bokrijk openluchtmuseum 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Winny Biets used under CC BY 4.0

The Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum, or Bokrijk Open-air Museum, is one of Europe’s largest open-air museums. Walk into a wistful bliss as you walk through over 100 original antique buildings that are reminiscent of Flanders’ past. It comprises of real estate, moving and immaterial cultural heritage, and living heritage as well. The vicinity also holds a botanical garden and children’s playground making it a land welcoming to everyone.

Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum

Address: Bokrijklaan 1, 3600 Genk, Belgium

Phone: +32 11265300

Opening Hours: Museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 6pm

Website: Bokrijk Openluchtmuseum

8. Attend a traditional festival

Theater Curtain Stage
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

De Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten is an event in Hasselt that showcases the rich tradition of Hasselt. It’s a busy and fun-filled two days that one is surely not going to get bored during. There is going to be music, dance, street theater, a racecourse, showcases and exhibitions, and much more. Of course, they would not forget to showcase their homegrown jenever (gin) and so the highlight of the festival is “when the town’s little Borrelmanneke (barrel-carrying man) fountain is briefly re-plumbed to flow with jenever (gin)”. That is surely not to be missed. This happens every year on the third week of October so this year it’s going to fall on October 14 and 15, 2017.

De Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten

Address: Jan van Helmontlaan 49, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Phone: +32 11299556

Date: October 14 & 15, 2017

Website: De Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten

9. Explore a forest

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Arboretum is a forest on the outskirts of Hasselt. It is included in the midst of the regional parks and forests so if you want some alone time or are in search of some peace and tranquility, then this is the place to be.

Arboretum Bokrijk

Address: Arboretum Bokrijk, Hasselt

Admission: Free

10. Have tea beside a koi pond

Landscape Japanese Garden
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

One of Hasselt’s frequently visited attractions is their Japanese Garden. It has a koi pond, plants, flowers, and everything else organic. It is another place for you to relax, especially since the garden is located within the city. Not only that! They also provide a tea demonstration or a Japanese flower arrangement class. So this place is not to be missed!

Japanese Garden

Address: Koning Boudewijnlaan, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Opening Hours: Open everyday, except Mondays from 10am to 5pm

Phone: +32 11235200

Website: Japanese Garden

11. Go to a fashion museum

Rudi Gernreich c.1964 monokini from the side, exhibited at 'The Vulgar' at Modemuseum Hasselt 2018
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user DimiTalen used under CC0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

See the historic development of fashion through the couture displays in the Modemuseum Hasselt. The museum was established in 1988 and showcases the evolution of fashion through around 18,000 garments, shoes, handbags, and accessories. Every year, there are also exhibits from contemporary designers that will give you a taste of their distinct artistry and style. They also provide activities to engage and educate visitors more on fashion.

Modemuseum Hasselt

Address: Gasthuisstraat 11, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Phone: +32 11239621

Opening Hours: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Website: Modemuseum Hasselt

12. Have fun in and out of a theme park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

For more fun and adventure, visit Plopsa Indoor Hasselt. It is a theme park that provides activities in and out of the venue. Inside, there are rides and attractions for family and friends. Outside, there is a playground and climbing mountain. Therefore you will never get bored in this place! Every corner that you look, there is always something going on! It’s the perfect place for families and children to spend time together.

Plopsa Indoor Hasselt

Address: Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 70, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Phone: +32 11293040

Website: Plopsa Indoor Hasselt

13. Try looking for a unicorn

Herkenrodeabdij 6-11-2008 15-47-29
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul Hermans used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Herkenrode Abbey is a monastery of Cistercian nuns since 1927. It was also the first women’s abbey and has gone through so much over the years. From decay periods to booming ones, this land has gone through it all. But after almost a century, the building still stands strong and is surrounded by beautiful natural reserves. They have an experience center and inspiration garden that are accessible to everyone. Plus, their symbol is a unicorn! Find out more by visiting the abbey, especially during the Unicorn Sage Family shows on Pentecost day!

Herkenrode Abbey

Address: Herkenrodeabdij 4, 3511 Hasselt, Belgium

Opening Hours: Open everyday except Mondays, from 10am to 5pm

Website: Herkenrode Abbey

14. Go on a boat trip

Albertkanaal in Hasselt 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ø11 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Hasselt provides a two-hour mini cruise through the Albert Canal and visitors get a view of the city. Hasselt is a Belgian city with many activities and sights to look forward to, so you would see different happenings and events throughout the whole city. Trips happen every Sunday, after lunch hour, so it is the best way to relax, and see the beautiful sights of the city.

Boat trip on the Albert Canal in Hasselt

Website: Boat trip on the Albert Canal in Hasselt

15. Walk around a thousand ponds

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

De Wijers is a nature reserve, which as mentioned, uniquely has 1001 ponds. It is also a home for many rare animals and plant species so you are in for a treat. Many of these animals and plants wouldn’t even be around anymore if it weren’t for these ponds. You could also walk or cycle around the area.

De Wijers: land of 1001 ponds

Address: Grote Baan 176, 3530 Houthalen-Helchteren

Phone Number: +32 11785259

Website: De Wijers

The charming city

GrotemarktHasselt
Source: Photo by user Paul Hermans used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether you are looking for something old or something new, Hasselt will always have something in store for you. The city that presents itself as the “capital of taste” - albeit if it’s style, architecture, or food - they have ticked all the boxes. This is a city that will provide you such a unique experience so it’s best not to miss it!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Kate currently resides in the Philippines and has previously lived in Singapore and Thailand. She has also traveled in a few other countries with her family. She has also traveled by herself to...Read more

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