Even though we’re packing up our tents at DreamVille, we’re still feeling and carrying with us Tomorrowland’s vibrations of love and unity. Basically, the tempo doesn’t end. But since our legs might be sore from all the jumping and hopping between the DJ sets, spending a few days after Tomorrowland just soaking up the summer sun would be the perfect way to recover.
So, what’s better than this list of the best laid-back spots near and around Tomorrowland’s DreamVille for relaxing inspiration? After all, the good summer vibes are still roaring on, festival stage or not, at just a more chill pace (until we’re rested enough to rave again that is).
Have a city beach day
The annual festival grounds of Boom were an awesome location for Tomorrowland. Each stage was designed vastly different from the other, in an absolutely epic way (and the main stage always takes my breath away) but it definitely wasn’t a beach festival. And what would summer be without some water and sand? Switch it up and check out these unique beach spots near Tomorrowland.
1. De Ster
🧭 Domein De Ster
For locals, this is the place to be - a stretch of beach just outside of Antwerp where you can soak up the sun. There are tons of activities you can do here too, from renting a paddle boat to fishing, to mini-golf! This much treasured place amongst Belgians even have a petting zoo - fluffy llamas included. No matter what you’re feeling for, you’ll get a slice of it at De Ster.
2. Saint Anna Beach
From the river Scheldt is a beach that gets you away from the hustle and bustle of Antwerp so you can truly decompress. It’s a mix of sand and grass but with fantastic view of Antwerp in the distance. Make a picnic of it, pack a few bites and pick a spot - since this place isn’t touristy, there’s more room for you to enjoy the quietness.
Leisurely boating on the water
Summer in Europe means cruising along on the water - preferably by boat. Whether that be a lake, the Mediterranean or a river, you’re never too far from the effortless feeling of drifting away as beautiful historical buildings and waterways passes you. These are our picks for a laid-back boat trip, especially when our legs have been too tired from raving.
3. Citadel of Dinant
Trust us when we say that this is one of the most stunning places in Belgium. There’s a huge citadel that commands the skyline on a rugged rock over the whole city of Dinant. Aside from climbing up to it, one of the best ways to take in such a majestic sight is taking a river cruise down the Meuse river. Sit back, feel the wind brush through your hair, and sail away - the ideal atmosphere to relax.
This is an iconic Belgian experience as much as attending Tomorrowland itself - don’t miss out on boating through the city of Gent. Gent’s waterways will take you on a scenic cruise through historical houses, under old-world bridges, and down picturesque canals. But this boating experience isn’t just any regular vessel - as you’ll be on a little cool raft that you can steer yourself down the water!
Uncover unique urban parks
A city’s park always tells the story of the place, especially when it’s a meeting point for the community and just where the locals hang out. But compare to other green spaces, the following aren’t just your ordinary city parks…
5. Captain Zeppos Park
The old docks here have added an extra cool edge to Ghent’s reputation, as they become revitalised and now a favourite hangout spot amongst the trend-setters. Now the promenade is a place for casual biking and walking, a scenic route along the rustic walls of the quay. Locals also love to pack some nibbles and sit beside the water for an afternoon picnic as the sunsets. Click the link below to check out more info about how you can also get sailing boats and canoe both for free rental to explore the area.
6. Citadel Park
In the middle of the city, you don’t have to go far to unplug and surround yourself with nature. Citadel Park has that woodlands magic of Tomorrowland - where old world gazebo are still frequented, sculptures aplenty and rare trees carve out an urban oasis. The park’s name derives from the still-standing defensive gated that now makes for beautiful photos.
Snack on street-food at local markets
If you’re feeling a bit peckish, and a bit adventurous - you don’t have to look far to combine the two in a stall-hopping, street-food nibble. Europe may not be that well-known for its street food offerings, but these places are truly unmissable for a bite.
7. Saturday Exotic Market
A fan of seafood? Come for freshly shucked oysters where you can order as many as you want and eat on the spot by the oyster stalls. The world comes to the market, as there’s various vendors offering freshly made Turkish bread, French cheeses, Moroccan pancakes, all with their own individual stalls. You’ll definitely want to come hungry.
8. Sunday Bird Market
The name of this market may sound peculiar - but it makes for a lovely Sunday morning cruise. The stalls is packed with various different types of meat, antiques, jewellery and the freshest produce. The locals come here for food - so you’ll be in good hands amongst the selection of fresh pasta olives, tapenades, cheeses to choose from. There’s even an omlette shop that serve omlette-stuffed ciabatta - trust, it’s as divine as it’s drool-worthy.
Take a creative stroll through street art alleys
Tomorrowland was a feast for the eyes - I mean, between the pyro and fireworks, it’s just epic raving in a sea filled with flags from different countries. Another feast for the eyes are the street art districts around Belgium - ever imaginative and full of expression, keep the Tomorrowland vibes and slow down the tempo with a walk through these creative spots.
9. Anderlecht Street Art
Where gritty meets a tucked away gem below a large underpass is the Anderlecht street art. This is where portraits of celebrities, thought-provoking murals, and creative pieces are crafted amongst the 150 columns beneath a bridge. It makes for a great laid-back walk, where sometimes you’ll see artists make a fresh new piece of art in live time. Think of this place as an open public gallery meets democratized art for all.
10. Berchem Street Art
Famous for being one of the longest graffiti walls in Europe, this stretch of wall will take you on a 11 kilometre trek. You’ll be taking a stroll through the art district of Antwerp, so keep an eye out for some cheeky art hidden in off the hand alleyways, as well as by the train tracks. This is great for the days in-between the end of Tomorrowland and before your next big adventure, since you’re not too far off from the city centre.
Go vintage and thrift shopping
If you’re in need of a new outfit for the rest of your trip around Europe, especially after camping out in DreamVille and having used all your coordinated outfits for each day at Tomorrowland - vintage and thrift shopping is the way to go. Brussels has quite the selection - all sustainable and reusable, adding to the story of the piece you may find.
11. Brussels Vintage Market
The clothes here are second-hand and that’s the whole charm of each piece! Find designer label goods, as well as proper vintage selections that will guarantee that there won’t be anyone else wearing the same thing as you down the street. Make sure you get here early in the day though - since it’s a free-for-all rummage experience!
12. Agora Artisan Weekend Market
In the heart of the city, you can find local artisans selling hand-crafted jewellery to personally made pottery. It’s a spot where you’ll definitely be able to find a special item to commemorate your time in Europe and from Tomorrowland. Since this flea market is from Friday to Sunday, it makes a great kick-start to your weekend as well. From the square where it’s located, you can hop over to the Grand Palace of Brussels or the iconic Mannenken Pis.