Your trip starts in the capital Brussels. The great thing about a trip to Europe is that you can get around easily and without spending too much money on public transport. In the Belgian cities, you can reach everything by foot and save money (refuelling) and nerves (finding a parking space). A bus ticket from Germany to Brussels costs only €35.
If you are already in the "headquarters" of the European Union, there are a few fixed points you just cannot get past. It is also worth walking through the European Quarter with Leopold Park, even if you are disenchanted with politics because the buildings are simply impressive.
The Atominum as a landmark of the city should not be missed either. Anyone who finds the 15€ entrance fee too much can just pose in front of the sculpture. Thank goodness you can visit the old town of Brussels for free, with its narrow cobbled streets and lavishly decorated half-timbered houses. Because the best discoveries are free.
A fun insider tip for those on a tight budget is the path of the comic strip facades that runs through the whole city. If you walk attentively through the city, you will always find drawings and street art of comic heroes, originally by Belgian illustrators. These include Lucky Luke, Asterix, Obelix and Tintin. The journey of discovery through the city begins.
You can't pass by the numerous store windows with Belgian chocolate without being tempted. On the fifth at the latest, you will simply have to go inside. The selection of classic and unusual chocolate and praline creations is endless, so you can certainly try something new every time without getting bored.
Accommodation, like anywhere in Western Europe, is not necessarily cheap. In the heart of the city, you will sleep in the ten-bed dorm of the 2GO4 Quality Hostel for €29 per night.
About one hour north of Brussels lies Antwerp, a city with 500,000 inhabitants. As a port city, Antwerp is actually not located directly at the sea but at the river Scheldt, which is a far-reaching extension of the North Sea. The ideal location on the river has always been used for lively trade. The city has thus developed into the European centre for the diamond trade.
This made the city very international and attracted people from many different cultures and religions. Antwerp developed one of the largest Jewish quarters in Western Europe and to this day many Orthodox Jews live here.
The charming architecture of the country can also be found in Antwerp in the Flemish region. Here you will find the Platinum Morteus Museum, which accommodates the two oldest letterpress presses in the world. For this reason, both the historic building and the museum are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the only museum on the list worldwide.
Like almost every European city, Antwerp has its own legend. The story is about a giant who terrorized the city and demanded money from every ferryman who wanted to cross the river. If they couldn't pay, he cut off one of their hands. Finally, a brave skipper was able to defeat the giant and also cut off his hand in retaliation. The statue in the Great Square commemorates this legend and the successful liberation of the city.
The city is best explored on foot. So, your way leads you through the St. Anna tunnel, which runs under the Scheldt, to Linkeroever at sunset and back to the Rubenshaus and the St. Charles Borromeo Church and finally to a beerhouse to end a successful day.
You can get a comfortable bed in a prime location at Kabas Hostel. A bed in the six-person Dorm is available for €21.
The third stop on your tour is Ghent. The city is located one hour west of Antwerp and as you can see, you never have to drive far in Belgium. By bus, the trip will cost you about 4€.
The small city embodies pretty much everything that non-Europeans imagine Europe to be. It is also advertised as the "best small town in Europe". Of course, this is a matter of taste, but Ghent already has pretty much everything you could wish for.
Along the canals, the lavishly decorated houses with their many, many windows stand crowded together. You walk through the alleys with shining eyes as each house has its own charm and history. The main means of transport is the bike, so you should definitely explore the city as the locals do on two wheels.
Among the locals and young people, Ghent has established itself as the new hip city, attracting more and more young entrepreneurs and creative people. This is immediately reflected in the cityscape. There are unique shops on every corner, with which young Belgians fulfil their dream of working independently. Above all, the range of unusual culinary creations seems endless. In the Holy Food Market, which is located in a restored 16th-century church, you can easily spend a whole day eating your way through the range on offer, just the right activity on a rainy day. Don't forget the beer!
The Treck Hostel in the city centre is a popular destination for backpackers. A bed in a ten-bed dorm costs you €22 per night.
At the end of your backpacking trip, you continue to Bruges. Not without reason, it is said "See Bruges and die". Not literally of course, it just means that Bruges is so beautiful that you don't have to see anything else afterwards, which makes it the perfect ending for your trip.
As you arrive, you realize once again how great public transport can be. It takes about 45 minutes by car for the 50 kilometres, whereas regular public transport only takes 25: and it's environmentally friendly too.
By now you should be used to the charming architecture and the layout of the old towns along the canals. Nevertheless, Bruges and its charm will probably amaze you once again.
Here is your last chance to indulge once again in the culinary temptations of the country. So, make sure you plan your day well – after all, you'll have to eat a waffle, chips with mayo and chocolates, and drink a few beers on top. This is best done in the brewery De Haalve Maan. During a tasting tour, you can try all sorts and then choose the best one. Fans of French fries should also take a trip to the Fries Museum, the official museum of the national dish.
If you can't move after that, the easiest way to explore the city is to take a boat trip. This will take you past the windmills, some of which are still active and are part of the city's cultural heritage.
In the hostel with the cute name "Snuffel Hostel" you will sleep in a six-bed dorm for €23.