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GET A WARM WELCOME IN ATMOSPHERIC HASSELT
Bursting with beautiful architecture, cultural attractions and charming restaurants, Hasselt is renowned for its welcoming, friendly atmosphere. The chic Radisson Blu Hotel is located in the heart of the city and is within easy reach of the Japanese gardens, the Fashion Musem and other key attractions. Go for a walk in the lush, green surroundings and explore the many trendy boutiques, cosy cafés and bars.
Ideally located at the foot of the pretty place du Marché, in the heart of the city, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt offers a splendid view of the historic town centre. Nestled within a building of contemporary design, the premises are a stunning homage to Belgian art. You will stay in a unique, elegant hotel inspired by Belgium's greatest painters such Jan Van Eyck. It combines the style of a museum, the comfort of a luxury establishment, the cosiness of a home from home and Radisson Blu's impeccable standards of service. To top off this dream holiday don't hesitate to take advantage of the wonderful indoor pool and the tasty Flemish fare available at the hotel restaurant, the Koper.
Part of Belgian history
Hasselt, a commune in the Duchy of Limburg, was established in the 7th century and quickly acquired the reputation of being a prosperous settlement. First French, then Dutch, before becoming independent and part of Belgium when Limburg province was split between Amsterdam and Brussels, the city has been steeped in many and varied cultural influences that have left their mark to this day. Herkenrode Abbey and Saint-Quentin Cathedral bear remarkable witness to these influences. But the history of Hasselt is also that of Genièvre, or “Glüh“, the famous beverage made from juniper berries. The distillation process is a secret closely guarded by Hasselt. A fantastic legacy!
Let Hasselt surprise you
Like its nearest neighbours, Hasselt has chosen to promote a new way of experiencing the city. It is wholly designed for residents and visitors with respect for the environment, for its assets and for its history. The result is breathtaking. There is something here for everyone. While exploring its streets, monuments, gardens or huge skate park, you will find yourself charmed by its incredible audacity and surprising levity. It is all about friendliness, creativity and relaxation options. The experience will make your stay in Hasselt an unforgettable one.
What you should know
Season by season, Hasselt offers a wealth of activities and reveals its different facets to you. With a relatively damp climate, we recommend that you avoid the rather cold winter months. The public transport network is well developed, but you won't necessarily need it because you can walk or cycle to most monuments and attractions from your Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt. In this city located in Flemish Belgium the population is Dutch-speaking, but as with the rest of Belgium you will have no difficulty finding French speakers. Note also that the capital of Limburg province, not far from Liège, Maastricht and Brussels, is easy to get to by train.
A city of memories, Hasselt is a place that bears witness to Belgium's history. Setting out from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt, start by strolling down the narrow Gothic-style streets of the town centre, explore its 11th century cathedral, its charmingly antiquated old graveyard, then on to Spalbeek Chapel and its 16th century frescoes. Move away from the town centre for a tour of Herkenrode Abbey, a proud 12th century building set in a botanic garden and huge fields. A walk in Hasselt takes you back in time following in the footsteps of an illustrious past.
As the capital of “good taste” in all its forms, Hasselt is home to some fascinating museums. We recommend that you take a detour to the Fashion Museum, where you can get acquainted with Belgian Haute Couture and with the talents of contemporary fashion designers: a real source of inspiration. As for the Hed Stadsmus, it will uncover the history of Hasselt for you and will illustrate how the city has constantly reinvented itself to become a city at the cutting edge of current trends. Finally, take in a visit to the Museum of Literature. Every room of this magnificent mansion will tell you a secret about Belgian literature.
Mindful of the environment and quality of life, Hasselt has safeguarded its parks and gardens. We recommend that you get acquainted with this bucolic and poetic heritage, which mirrors Hasselt. First, let yourself be spellbound by Europe's biggest Japanese garden and its calming atmosphere. Then move on to Dina Deferme Gardens, a homage to exuberant flowers and to various rose varieties. Continue to the Hasselt Nature and Culture Park, where art meets biodiversity: wondrous! Conclude with the pleasant Herkenrode Abbey Botanical Garden, which is some way away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A superb network of cycle paths means that the capital of Limburg province has been dubbed Belgium's “cycling heaven”. This love of bicycles is long established, as the sport became very popular in the region as early as the 19th century. Hasselt is a green city that knows how to take its time. Little by little, the bicycle won out as the main means of transport. The whole city was then remodelled to allow free rein for bicycles. You will find bicycle hire and service counters scattered throughout the town, particularly near the Radisson Blu Hotel de Hasselt.
Setting out from your Radisson Blu Hotel de Hasselt, you are in an ideal location for a gastronomic tour of the town. The hotel itself has one of the best restaurants, the Koper. There you can enjoy very good Flemish specialities, prepared by our chef using fresh ingredients sourced directly from the Flanders area. This is your chance to try the famous Limburg “stoemp” or “carbonnade”, a traditional Belgian dish. To conclude with a flourish, you have a choice between authentic spéculoos and Hasselt pralines: a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds! If you want to take a short walk, don't hesitate to try one of the little restaurants in the town centre, where the atmosphere is friendly and the food always enjoyable.
On Genièvre and wine
Known worldwide for its juniper berry distillery, Hasselt specialises in Genièvre liqueur which is prized for its medicinal and mood-lifting properties. The Juniper Museum will tell you its history and its production process, and will then invite you to taste this most uplifting of spirits. You can also try it in some city centre bars. But this drink is not the only one produced in the region. Near Hasselt you will see a great many vineyards. Limburg province offers some very good wines, competing honourably with its French and Italian cousins. Drop by some wineries to enjoy the fruit of the local growers' harvests, or sit at a terrace in the heart of the town to enjoy a nice glass of wine before going to dinner.
The town of “bons vivants”
Pleasant, chic and rich in taste, Hasselt is indisputably a town for people who appreciate fine food and life's little pleasures. Voted the “capital of taste” in 2006, a mere walk through its streets will show that the town lives up to its title. It is clearly seen in every avenue, narrow street or path. Hasselt's breweries, wine cellars, restaurants and bistros have raised their cuisine to a fine art. Hasselt is a city which will sate your appetite for culture, quench your thirst for relaxation and satisfy your curiosity.
Hasselt may be small, but a great many sporting and cultural events take place during the year. With its fine sports facilities, particularly its stadium and ice rink, the town hosts many tournaments such as the figure skating Europa Cup or volleyball competitions. In August each year there is also the PukkelPop , a big music festival where international bands and artists such as Opeth, Rihanna, Cassius and Martin Solveig play. If you are in Hasselt at the right time, make sure you take in this extraordinary festival.
Go and get to know the ramparts, narrow paved streets festooned with flowers, majestic squares and surprising churches of this, the oldest of Dutch towns. Charming Maastricht lies on the other side of the border, around 30 minutes from Hasselt. Take advantage of its proximity to admire its monuments, its history and its boutiques. Between tradition and modernity, the pretty border city goes for chic and trendy and carries it off well.
Bokrijk open air museum
A preserved haven of nature 15 minutes away from your Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt, Bokrijk is reminiscent of a fairy-tale village. Here you will find an ode to nature and culture. It gives a profound impression of calm and sensual pleasure. The locality is designed as an open air museum dedicated to the millennium-long history of the region's population and local craftworks. As a bonus, you can try your hand at one of the on-site workshops and take your handiwork away with you.
Visit Tintin country
The little reporter is well-known all over the world and is totally part of Belgian identity. So don't miss the Hergé Museum, located in Louvain-la-Neuve, under an hour's drive from Hasselt. It is very well designed, and immerses you in the colourful land of Tintin and his many adventures, in a fun and enjoyable way. An unforgettable outing, whether alone or as a family!
Break for a bite to eat in Liège
Take a trip to beautiful Liège, in the heart of Wallonia and easily accessible from your Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt. Fringed by wooded hills and with the Meuse river running through it, this is a peaceful town and a pleasant waypoint. From Saint Martin's Basilica to the unmissable Tchantchès puppets and the top contemporary arts centre that is the Châtaigneraie, Liège is brimming with gems. But its most precious riches probably lie in its sweet offerings - don't leave without having enjoyed a Liège waffle washed down with its famous coffee, subtly paired with silky smooth ice cream: a taste sensation!