April 21, 2024

The Top 6 Things to Do on Ypres Holidays

Situated in the west of Belgium, Ypres is a fascinating and spectacular city. Synonymous with the First World War, Ypres is filled with historic and cultural sites, as well as many modern attractions. If you’re planning Ypres holidays, you’ll want to ensure that you make the most of your time in this stunning location. With this in mind, take a look at the top six things to do in Ypres:

1. In Flanders Field Museum

Located close to the battlefields that saw some of the fiercest battles of WW1, In Flanders Field Museum is one of Ypres’ must-see sights. Housed within the re-built Cloth Hall, the museum is open year-round but closes for approximately three weeks in January. The permanent exhibition showcases the history of the Great War in Belgium and is accompanied by a series of events and programs throughout the year. With child-friendly tours and activities on offer, a visit to In Flanders Field Museum should be one of the first things you do on any Ypres holidays.

2. Sint-Maartenskathedraal

Originally constructed in the 12th century but rebuilt in 1922, Sint-Maartenskathedraal is one of the tallest buildings in Belgium. Also known as St Martin’s Cathedral, it sits to the north of Cloth Hall in Ypres. Its Gothic architecture and exquisite stained-glass windows can be viewed both from outside and inside the Cathedral, while a tour of the interior includes a trip skyward to see the spectacular views. A lift will take you the majority of the way to the top of the tower, but a winding staircase will take you as high as you can go as you look out over Ypres.

3. Menin Gate

The Memorial to the Missing at Menin Gate is dedicated to soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth whose fates remain unknown. One of the most famous war memorials in the world, no visit to Ypres is complete without passing through this stunning monument. The names of 54,896 soldiers are inscribed on the memorial and, at 8pm every night, buglers play a haunting rendition of The Last Post under the arch of Menin Gate.

The monument is also the ideal place to start a tour of the battlefields surrounding the area. If you want to explore the rich history of the region on your Ypres holidays, an unmarked tour stretching across 63 kilometres will give you a glimpse into the past. Begin at Menin Gate and head northeast on N345 and N332 to pass through war cemeteries, trenches and battlefields.

4. Grote Markt

Literally meaning, ‘Market Place’, Grote Markt is at the centre of Ypres and is likely to be somewhere you’ll pass through numerous times throughout your stay. To the north lies Cloth Hall, while the Old Town Hall and Meat Hall are situated nearby. With buildings dating back to the 13th century, a stroll around Grote Markt is the perfect way to experience the City. Alongside the permanent attractions, there are a range of activities and events held in Grote Markt throughout the year. If you’re planning a trip to Ypres, be sure to see what’s happening at the Market Place.

5. Hooge Crater Museum

In a region that’s filled with historic and cultural attractions, it’s easy to overlook the Hooge Crater Museum. However, its rare collections, unique artefacts and full-scale reconstructions make this a must-see attraction. Situated inside the chapel at the Hooge Crater Cemetery, you can spend a couple of hours or a full day exploring the museum, touring the trenches and watching cinematic footage from an unforgettable era.

6. Bellewaerde

Located just six kilometres outside Ypres, Bellewaerde Theme Park and Aquapark is a fantastic day out for all of the family. Ride the Bengal Rapid River, take a trip on the Wakala rollercoaster and get up close to a whole host of exotic animals in the zoo. Open during the summer and on select days throughout the year, you can book tickets to Bellewaerde in advance and make it a highlight of your holiday.

Plan Your Trip to Ypres

With so much to see and do in Ypres, you’ll want to plan your itinerary before you arrive. When you take advantage of early booking discounts and fast-track passes, you can skip the queues and guarantee entry to the most popular attractions in the city. No matter when you’re heading to Ypres, you’re sure to find this spectacular city enchanting and exhilarating.

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