Historic buildings, a city undergoing a metamorphosis, with a lively atmosphere and full of hidden places. That is how you can describe Kortrijk in one sentence. When you get out of the train, and finally arrive in Kortrijk, first thing you will see is a small, cozy city and parking for bicycles. Don’t be surprised, there are more bikes than cars around, Kortrijk is a bicycle city and if you cross the street you can see traffic lane reserved only for bicycles. When you take a walk to Grote markt, you will see, there are no big buildings, and that makes Kortrijk more welcoming.
The atmospheric Grote markt is the beating heart of the city. Close to the City Hall and surrounded by appealing terraces, it’s the perfect place to take a break. You can sit in nearest café and have a good Belgian beer. From there you have magnificent view of The Belfry, remains of the medieval cloth hall, and St. Martin’s Church. You continue your journey around Kortrijk, go through narrow streets of cobblestone, and arrive to the Broeltorens. Two white towers at city center, connected by bridge over the river Leie. Here you sit by the river, take a deep breath, enjoy the view, and imagine all the battles happened on this place. If you take a walk by the river Leie, eventually you will arrive at Buda beach, where you can enjoy sunshine (if it’s not winter), calmness of the river, and treat yourself to a tasty drink.
Around you can see teenagers doing stunts with their skateboards and bicycles at the Skatebowl. When you are rested well, you take way back and go over the bridge to the Buda island, and its old historic buildings will give you feeling as if you are in the past.
As night began to fall, there are lights everywhere and people on the streets having a walk or riding bicycles. Warm atmosphere of city will warm you in these cold nights, because from my experience, Kortrijk is a city that welcomes foreigners, and you can easily integrate, no matter if you are staying for 2 days, 2 months, 2 years or for a whole lifetime.