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Doel is filled with street art and soul but nearing ghost town status. This is no tourist attraction, but a spot for the adventurous traveller.

Ghost towns don’t just pop out of thin air. Doel is a village near a nuclear power plant and there’s been plans to demolish it since the 1970s. People do still live here, although not nearly as many as there used to be. Visiting the village is an interesting and tragic trip as you’ll see walls decorated with amazing street art as well as mandates to move out on windows.

  • About 25 or so residents remain of the 1,300. Doel is also the last Belgian polder village remaining near the river.
  • One of the homes used to belong to the family of Peter Paul Reubens, the Flemish painter, in the 17th century. They’ve promised to take the bricks and rebuild this home elsewhere but it’s best to see it in its original place before it’s taken away.
  • Doel is a magnet for street art. There’s lots of bold and colourful art throughout the whole village, except on buildings that are still lived in, the Reubens house, and the church.
  • Residents & activities are trying to keep the village alive so you’ll see ‘Doel 2020’ signs dotted around
  • If you’re in or just outside the village you should be able to see the Doel Nuclear Power Station which generates a whopping 30% of the nation's electricity. The sight of the smokestacks is pretty intimidating and a bit dystopian if you see them after seeing the village.
Updated on 25 November 2021

Tips and Tricks

  • The village isn’t included in tourist guides and tends to be quiet most days, but it is known to an active few artists, adventuring types, and has been featured on some news sites.
  • Please respect the residents! Some houses are still inhabited.
  • Abandoned buildings can be dangerous. Some windows are broken so be aware of glass.
  • Going inside any of the buildings is prohibited. Only residents can drive into the village.
  • Police do patrol around sometimes

Getting There

  • By Car: Doel is about 30 minutes away from Antwerp by car. There’s a car park a short walk from the village (Parking Scheldemolenstraat) that’s next to the mill.
  • By Bus: near bus stop Doel Dorp. Bus 31 stops here

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Related Articles
  • My Delicious Journey
    Want to know more? Check out blogger Anouk, who went to Doel and wrote about her visit.
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