Channeling the Fairytale Feel in Mechelen
The influence of fairy tales and happily-ever-after has been indelible to almost every person’s memory since childhood. We all have watched a series of cartoons and have been read countless books of kings and queens when we were young, and it is no wonder why some of us have this silent liking to at least travel a place where these stories could have happened.
While we all have realized that it’s all the figment of a writer’s imagination, some never have forgotten and traveled to places where the sheer physical look is bursting of castles and affluence.
Indeed, there have been a lot of destinations that can satisfy one’s insatiable craving to be a queen for one day through medieval edifices and intrinsic details pertaining to kingdoms and such.
If you want to traverse a path that seemed to have been a scene from your childhood fairytale storybook, then plan a short trip to Mechelen, Belgium and be enchanted despite your age.
Mechelen is situated in the urban and industrial areas of Brussels and Antwerp, which is a good 25 kilometers away from each respective city. This small municipality is comprised of the Mechelen proper and some smaller areas called hamlets like the adjacent Nekkerspoel, Battel, Heffen, Leest, Hombeek and Muizen.
The river of Dijle majestically flows within the city, hence giving Mechelen the name “City of the River Dilje.”
According to the Koppen Climate classification, Mechelen, due to its location between two humongous cities and the presence of the Dilje River, is under the moderate sea climate, which means that summers are pleasant to the touch and winters are generally mild.
Heavy rainfall can also be expected in the months of November and December being the wettest annually with 17 and 20 days of rain respectively. The hottest months are July and August with an estimated temperature of 24-26-degrees Celsius.
Heavily, the most known types of transportation present in Mechelen are through bus, bicycle and train systems. For bus rides, there are scheduled trips to nearby cities such as Antwerp and Belgium, to the airport and other rural areas such as Aarschot and Lier.
Mechelen’s bus system is one of the most convenient ways of traveling public, as most of the locals prefer to travel by bus rides. If you’d want to make it healthier, then get your pockets ready and rent bicycles to roam the city for the entire day.
Get the rentals from terminals such as V-Zit and De Nekker and reach spots such as the Mechelen-Nekkerspoel beach stations just by pedaling. When coming-in from Antwerp or Brussels, get a ride to the train stations found on these megacities and be transported straight to Mechelen’s train stop.
What to See
St. Rumbold’s Cathedral
The Rumbold’s Cathedral is one of the most noted religious edifices in the whole of Mechelen due to the fact that this is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Be mesmerized by how Mechelen inhabitants have preserved the cathedral’s baroque structure and take witness to numerous paintings found inside.
Known to be the brainchild of the Flanders Technology International, Technopolis is a science museum with permanent interactive or hands-on displays on everything that shouts science and technology.
If you have a kid during travel, this place is a must-see to expound your knowledge while having fun.
Mechelen Toy Museum
Situated specifically at Nekkerspoel, the Mechelen Toy Museum is one of the most famous destinations of the town due to its wide-ranged collection of toys, old and new.
The museum is comprised of different categories that will definitely spark your interest such as construction toys, stuffed toys, soldiers and trains, transport in miniature, puppets, optical and sound-making toys, creative and educational toys.
Aside from its usual purpose of taking care of animals, the Planckendael Zoo, which is founded in 1956, also is home to a separate play area for children.
Inside the zoo, be amazed by its rare collection of animals apart from the usual ones such as rhinos, antelopes and visons.
The Best Travel Guide to Mechelen