I spent one night in Mechelen during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. I’d heard about Mechelen in a Europe a la Carte post written by Andy Hayes. There’s a lot of beautiful architecture, but one of its charms is that it’s not quite so full of visitors as some of the better known destinations like Bruges. I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours wandering around Mechelen. I loved all the colourful buildings and the sculptures.
If you’re visiting Brussels it only takes around 20 minutes by train to reach Mechelen. Alternatively you could base yourself in Mechelen. I recommend that you eat at Grand Cafe Lamot during your visit to the city.