Hotspots, restaurants and places of interest in Mechelen

A day out in Mechelen and looking for fun activities? Mechelen is hip and happening, and if you've been to Mechelen before, you'll understand exactly why. Although the average Mecheleir (guilty) still finds it an oversized village, more and more tourists are descending on this beloved city on the Dijle. With its many tasty restaurants, cozy squares, historic buildings, hip boutiques, hotspots and walking paths along the water, Mechelen is a city that will not soon bore you. As a local, we are happy to take you along to the most special places in our city on the water .

TIP: if you want to be assured of the best places to eat and stay, you better book in time!

A cozy sitting area with sofa and chair in the aisle of the renovated Mechelen libraryWalkway in the green in Battel with a tree stump as a bench next to the track

Parking in Mechelen

Fair is fair: Mechelen would like to be green and car-free, but that means you often have to drive around for several kilometers. With its one-way traffic on the Vesten, it is best to opt for an edge parking lot where you can leave your car safely, although you have to pay a lot of money for it nowadays. If you enter the city via the Mechelen-Noord exit, it is best to choose the Keerdok car park. From there you can reach the city center via a pleasant walk through the Begijnhof or you can take the ferry. For those who come to the city center at the weekend, we do not recommend the Grote Markt car park and the Cathedral car park (unless you like being stuck in traffic jams).

Do you like walking or would you like to park for free? Then choose parking at the Douaneplein , after a refreshing walk of 1.6 kilometers you will reach the city center.

Mechelen library

Those who love Harry Potter should not forget a short stop at the most beautiful library in Belgium. With its beautiful beam structures, ancient corridors (the library has been around for about 150 years) and cozy reading corners, you will find yourself in another era in no time. Finished? Then order a nice mocha latte at Barbib before diving into the city again.

Corridor of the renovated library in Mechelen with old vaults and a cozy reading cornerRidge of the renovated library in Mechelen with old vaults and beam structure with a wooden crocodile on itCozy reading corner with a comfy reading chair at a large window on the top floor of the new Mechelen library with a view of the courtyardCozy sitting area in the library of Mechelen

The silent garden of Mechelen

Looking for an oasis of peace to escape the city stimuli or are you looking for a quiet activity in Mechelen? Then stop in the Garden of Silence of the Archbishop's Palace and enjoy the beautiful lawns, ancient trees and small Lourdes Grotto that belong to the backyard of this Archbishop's Palace. The new pergola construction that is part of the renovation works is a must-see and makes the garden worth a visit.

The entrance to the Stiltetuin can be found in the Schoutetstraat.

The Stiltetuin is accessible on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays .

Image of the silent garden of the Archbishop's Palace in Mechelen, showing a lawn with yellow tulips, trees and greenery, and the Sint-Rombouttoren in the backgroundLawn of the silence garden in Mechelen with a forester's house in the middle and stately homes in the backgroundNew pergola construction in the Silent Garden of Mechelen and a blue clear skyWooden benches against a rough brick wall and lawns in the Stiltetuin in Mechelen

At a restaurant and eating out in Mechelen

Those looking for more than a quick bite can recommend the Mechelse restaurant landscape will certainly get their money's worth, because eating in Mechelen is a true party. With newcomers such as Lesco , fish restaurant Emiel and the renovated Graspoort you can expect small works of art on your plate. Crazy about fancy food sharing? Then choose De Fortuyne , let yourself be pampered at Cosma Mechelen or go for refined poultry at The Chick . With their slightly heavier price tag, you can expect a culinary treat in return.

TIP: book in good time because restaurants in Mechelen fill up quickly!

Brasserie in Mechelen

Want to have lunch like a real Mecheleir? Then definitely choose local! Leave the Ijzerenleen for a while and get lost in the cool side streets of Mechelen. The tastiest spaghetti? You can find them at cafe de Wei or at Basta . Would you like something more exotic? Then go for tapas at Sava Mechelen or enjoy Moroccan dishes at La Boya . The best street food can be found at Carbon Mechelen and for the hippest lunch spot you have to go to GRA . Choice stress? Then immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Vleeshalle and get to know their ten different seasonings .

Shopping in Mechelen

Those who love shopping can indulge themselves in Mechelen. With the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat as a hip shopping street, you can go to a series of new boutiques that bring the most beautiful brands to the city . Visit My Ex Boyfriend to score fun gadgets, get a bag of sweets at Zoet , score innovative tea at MIST that was imported directly from Taiwan and pass by Von Winckelmann for honest and cruelty-free beauty products and customized advice. Looking for a new outfit? Then be sure to visit Butik Moose , L'eef Store or Ivy . A visit to the lily's should not be missed during a shopping day in Mechelen, the inhabitants of Mechelen love them.

Evade to Battel

In the summer it pays to leave the center of Mechelen and head down to the pleasant neighboring village of Battel. This cozy village contains many attractions. With a shared scooter (or on foot for real walkers) you can drive down the canal (and with a little luck spot turtles, water chickens and herons) and therefore take a lovely walk in nature near the city . Stroll along the Battelse houseboats, drink a pint in the extremely charming café Zennegat (where time quite literally stood still) or treat yourself to a small kayak trip. Hunger and thirst can be satisfied in the beautifully renovated Batteliek , a micro brewery and brasserie brought together under the church tower. On hot summer days you can end this wonderful day with a cremeke (two balls of apple-cinnamon please!) from Beanice .

Blue ice cream cart from Beanice standing in a square under a tree, with girl in it serving ice creamsA church that was modernized with a Batteliek logo on it, located in the middle of BattelWalking on the water and in the green in Battel along a houseboatEnd of a houseboat in Battel where a water chicken is making a nest

Night out in Mechelen

After a night of shopping, do you want to relax in the center of Mechelen? For excellent wine with a snack, go to Unwined or The Neck . Would you like brown and cozy? Then be sure to walk along the Golden Fish and choose a place among the locals. Would you like to catch a performance or stand-up comedy show? then be sure to check out De Kuub 's calendar.

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