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Mechelen is situated in the heart of Flanders, mid-way between Antwerp and Brussels and just 15 minutes’ drive from Brussels Airport. From neighbouring countries you’ll be there in no time. So whether you are travelling by plane, train or car, Mechelen enjoys the ideal location. The people of Mechelen take pride in their more than 300 listed buildings and four mentions on the UNESCO world heritage list. The most famous of these has to be St Rumbold’s Tower. Count to 538 and you’ll have Mechelen at your feet. The Skywalk at the top of the tower affords breathtaking views. On the way up, you can stop and catch your breath in six magnificent rooms and admire from close to the tower clock and not one, but two carillons. And with a spot of luck, you’ll be able to exchange a few words with the tower keeper. What better way to start your visit to Mechelen! The city centre boasts no fewer than eight historic churches, each with an intimate but very different interior. Stroll beneath Gothic arches, admire paintings by Rubens and Van Dyck, and in your mind’s eye reach out and caress the baroque sculptures. Tapestry-lovers the world over flock to Mechelen, for the city is home to a world-famous manufacturer. There are also family businesses passed down from one generation to the next and artisanal workshops which will open their doors specially for you, welcoming you into an authentic world where the master artist is your guide! On the edge of the beguinage you’ll find Het Anker brewery, where Gouden Carolus and Maneblusser have been lovingly brewed for five generations. Do as Charles V did in the sixteenth century: allow the beer to roll over your tongue. Cheers!
Mechelen has something for everyone and everything is within easy reach of everything else. In the historic centre you’ll find fascinating museums, scores of historic buildings and delightful squares. Below is a list of Mechelen’s top 15 sights. Don’t miss a single one!
Mechelaars love their food and you only really get to know the people when you eat what they eat! In the heart of the vegetable-growing region there is always something to make you lick your lips! But if the Mechelaar might give you a tip, try the city’s most famous speciality: an absolutely delicious ‘Mechelse koekoek’, the native chicken, washed down with the local beer, the Gouden Carolus. Mechelen at its best.
Coffee is in! Like other cities, Mechelen is awash with espresso bars, slow coffees and baristas. Whether your preference is for an attractive bar, coffee shop, tea house or a brasserie for a lunchtime or afternoon snack, you’re sure to find what you are looking for in Mechelen.
Part of what makes Mechelen so convivial is its human scale. Rather than packing into large dance halls and nightclubs, in the evenings people tend to gather in the many atmospheric cafés and bars. Many of these provide live music, particularly in the summer months. The area best known for its nightlife is the Vismarkt or old fish market, which abounds in relaxed cafés for all age groups. The dynamism of the Vismarkt spills over into the surrounding Korenmarkt, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat, Begijnenstraat and Melaan. Students tend to converge on the area around the station.
What better way to see Mechelen and the surrounding are than fro the skywalk at the top of the tower! As you make your way up there, you will hear, see and feel the history of the city from the belly of the belfry. Anyone can climb the tower's 538 steps during opening hours. For more information and reservation, contact Tourism Mechelen. Visit St Rumbold's Tower from January 2nd until March 31st 2015 and your ticket for the tower will give you access to Planckendael, Kazerne Dossin, the Toy Museum at their group rate!
There are any number of reasons for choosing Mechelen as your shopping destination! For one thing, here you escape the hustle and bustle and shop against a backdrop of historic architecture rather than traffic! What is more, the shops are all within easy walking distance of each other. Most are concentrated in the Bruul – Ijzerenleen – Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat triangle and side streets where traffic is restricted. High-street chains and chic boutiques stand shoulder to shoulder with traditional specialist shops. So Mechelen has something for everyone: from trendy to classic, from vintage to cutting-edge.

Airport

Mechelen’s central location makes it very easy to reach from the various airports. Brussels Airport www.brusselsairport.be Phone: +32 2 753 77 53 25 km You can get to Mechelen by train, bus or hire car from Belgium’s main airport, Brussels Airport. The simplest and fastest way is by train. 1. By train: Brussels Airport railway station is on level -1. The Brussels Airport Express leaves for Brussels Central Station four times an hour. From there there are regular departures by train to Mechelen. The journey takes approximately half an hour. But there is more: from June 2012 a new, direct express train link will have you in Mechelen Central Station in just eight minutes! A ticket costs approx. €7. Web: www.nmbs.be 2. By bus: You’ll find the airport bus station on level 0. De Lijn provides a direct bus service to Mechelen station twice an hour, including lines 282, 681, 682, 683 and 686. Bus line 686 only runs on weekdays. The bus journey takes between 45 and 50 minutes. A ticket costs approx. €3. Web: www.delijn.be 3. By (hire) car: At Brussels Airport you will find various car hire companies, including Hertz, Avis and Europcar. On leaving the airport car park, you immediately come to the motorway. Travel towards Antwerp (E19) and take exit 10 (Mechelen-Zuid) or exit 9 (Mechelen-Noord). The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. Charleroi Airport (Brussels South) | www.charleroi-airport.com Phone: +32 78 15 27 22 95 km From the low-cost Charleroi Airport you can take the bus and the train to Mechelen. 1. By bus and train: At Charleroi Airport you can buy a ticket which combines the bus to Charleroi-South with the train to Mechelen Central Station. The two ticket- vending machines are located outside the airport, adjacent to Door 2. Your journey will take approximately one and a half hours. A bus and train combination ticket costs approximately €15. The train to Mechelen leaves twice an hour, as does the bus between Charleroi airport and Charleroi-South station. Web: www.infotec.be, www.nmbs.be 2. By (hire)car: Several car hire companies have desks at Charleroi Airport, including Avis, Europcar and Hertz. On leaving the airport car park, take the E42 direction Brussels and then the N5 direction Waterloo or the A54 direction Brussels. When you get to Brussels, take the ring road and then the E19 direction Antwerp. You then take exit 10 (Mechelen-Zuid) or exit 9 (Mechelen-Noord). The journey takes approximately one hour. Antwerp Airport Web: www.antwerp-airport.be Phone: +32 3 285 65 00 25 km You can save a lot of time both on arrival and departure by using Antwerp’s small airport. Distances between the departure lounge and the planes are short which means you can check in up to twenty minutes before your flight leaves. On arrival at Antwerp Airport you can expect to leave the airport building some ten minutes after landing. From there you can easily get to Mechelen by bus and train. 1. By bus and train: Bus 14 will take you from Antwerp airport to Antwerpen-Berchem railway station in ten minutes. A ticket costs approx. €2. From Antwerpen-Berchem station there is a frequent train service to Mechelen, with approximately four trains an hour destined for Central Station. The journey takes between 15 and 20 minutes. A ticket costs approx. €4. 2. By (hire)car: Both Avis and Hertz have desks at Antwerp Airport. On leaving the airport, drive straight on into Vosstraat. At the first roundabout turn left into Deurnestraat. At the end turn right into Antwerpsestraat. After approximately 500m turn left into Jozef Hermanslei, and then right into Frans Van Dunlaan. Then get onto the Antwerp ring-road. Take the E19 direction Brussels. Once in Mechelen take exit 10 (Mechelen-Zuid) or exit 9 (Mechelen-Noord). The journey time by car is approximately 25 minutes.

Public Transport

Public Transport

Why not explore Mechelen? From one side of Mechelen city centre to the other is approximately 1.50 km, so easily walkable. It takes just 15 minutes from the outskirts to the heart of the city and you can enjoy the city along the way. By bicycle There are several places where you can hire a bicycle in Mechelen. You would be well advised to check in advance that the firm has bicycles available. Bicycles cost approx. €10 a day to hire, but the price varies greatly from one supplier to another. 1. Fietspunt Mechelen Phone: +32 15 21 27 04 Web: www.fietsenwerk.be You can hire a bicycle from Fietspunt on weekdays. Unfortunately it is not open at weekends. You decide how long you want to keep the bicycle this might be anything from half a day to a week. 2. Provinciaal Sport- en Recreatiecentrum De Nekker Phone: +32 15 55 70 05 Web: www.denekker.be De Nekker is open every day, so also at weekends and on public holidays. The sports and recreation centre is located just outside the city ring-road. De Nekker also has tandems and children’s bicycles for hire. You can even reserve your bicycle in advance online. 3. V-Zit Phone: +32 3 213 22 54 Web: www.v-zit.be V-Zit also hires stepper bikes. The firm is headquartered in Antwerp, but you can contact them by phone or email. 4. Fietsen GS (Hombeek) Phone: +32 15 27 29 00 Web: www.fietsengs.be 5. Chamizo (Sint-Katelijne-Waver) Phone: +32 15 21 18 99 Web: www.chamizo.be Chamizo has a good selection of folding bicycles, electric bicycles and tandems. By bus: Mechelen lends itself perfectly to short bus rides. There are even special cheap fares to cover short journeys, a single ticket costing approx. €1.20. A day ticket, which allows you to use the bus as many times as you like, costs approx. €10, a 5-day pass €15. De Lijn operates the regional and city buses. On the regional lines, buses depart approximately once an hour on the urban lines usually every fifteen minutes. There is a reduced service at weekends and during the school holidays. Central Station is walking distance from the Grote Markt, but buses do run between the two locations. Bus numbers 1 to 7 leave from platform one and travel in the direction of the Grote Markt. If you want to go from the Grote Markt to the station, you would do best to take a bus from the Schoenmarkt or Veemarkt. Numbers 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 will take you there. Phone: +32 15 40 87 11 Web: www.delijn.be

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