Stadgidsen Mechelen

All our guided tours

Mechelen is full of stories. Together with Stadsgidsen Mechelen you will learn more about them. Anecdotes, stories about the past and present, a museum visit. You'll discover it all in the overview of our guided tours below.

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  • Duration: 1h

Mechelen in just one hour

Set off with a cityguide from Stadsgidsen Mechelen and discover the most beautiful spots in Mechelen. Strolling along city palaces and walking on water you get to know everything about the Burgundian-Habsburg roots of the former capital of the Low Countries.

Each Saturday and Sunday at 2.00 pm and during school holidays also on Wednesday at 2.00 pm you join this guided tour on an individual basis.

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h

Mechelen, Capital of the Carillon

Mechelen is the proud hometowns of no less than six carillons! The Saint Rumbold’s Tower on its own already counts for two. Inhabitants are just used to it: the sound of the carillon in the streets of Mechelen, up to 8 times each hour. Furthermore, the first Carillon School was founded in our city 100 years ago, by Jef Denyn.

Jef Denyn was not only a renowned carillon player, he also designed numerous mechanical improvements and new playing techniques by which made the carillon a full concert instrument.

What do the Hof van Busleyden, ’t Schipke and the Sint-Mettetuin have to do with the carillon? In the carillon walk you discover the many spots in Mechelen that have a link with bells, carillons and carillon players.

1h - 1,5h - 3h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 3h - 3h

From the plague to covid-19

This tour looks back to the recent pandemic and shows how Mechelen has fought epidemics during 800 years.

From the plague in the MIddle Ages, to cholera in the 19th century’s fortresses to covid-19 today.

We compare today’s measures with city ordonnances from the time of Margaret. We pick up the Herbal Book (Cruydeboeck) of fellow citizen Dodoens to find pharmacy prescriptions. We will unveil the difference between a medicine man and a chirurgeon. We see how the city changes as big projects are conducted to improve hygiene.

And we season all this with a pinch of faith and superstition and most of all a dose of humor.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Climb of the Saint-Rumbold’s Tower

Climb the 538 steps of the impressive Saint-Rumbold’s Tower, the symbol of Mechelen, together with a city guide from Mechelen and get to know everything about this unique building. You climb to Mechelen’s roof and on your way up, you catch your breath in the six tower rooms, where the guide will tell you the history of the tower. How was the tower built? Why are there marks on the steps? Why do some bells have names and others don’t? What is a carillon?

The way to the top is impressive: where else in the world can you find two carillons in one tower? Once at the top, the skywalk takes away your breath. With clear weather you can see the Brussels Atomium or Antwerp’s port.

Do you want to climb the Saint-Rumbold’s Tower with a carilloneur? This is possible, but please keep in mind that the number of carilloneurs is limited, so make sure you book well in advance.

The Tower is not wheelchair-friendly, but you can visit it virtually via You can also use one of the VR glasses in the office of Visit Mechelen to visit the tower virtually.

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h

Dialect Tour - Oep ze Mechels

Fancy to discover the city center of Mechelen? Why not in the local dialect? A cityguide speaks about Mechelen, in the local dialect, in a light-hearted way, with room for a healthy dose of humor.

In short, it’s the ideal way to plunge into Mechelen's stories and events from then and now.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Murals in Mechelen

Discover the colorific splendor of murals in the street of Mechelen. Renowned street artists from around the globe at their best.

A city guide from Mechelen initiates you in the secrets of street art, graffiti and tags. Join our journey along less explored paths and hidden gems and get surprised by the artists’ craftsmanship.

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h

The power and glory of Mechelen

Did you know that Mechelen has played an important political and economical role in the Burgundian period? The presence of many historic buildings demonstrate this.

Hold tight, because the list is long: Saint-Rumbold’s Cathedral, the palaces of Margaret of Austria and Margaret of York, het palace of the Great Council, … So don’t hesitate and follow the guide through 16th century Mechelen.

Who or what is Opsinjoorke? Why are there so many churches in Mechelen? And so many city palaces? Why is the Saint-Rumbold’s Tower not finished? What are “vlieten”? What is “bell throwing”? Why is Mechelen the world’s capital of carillon?
A city guide from Mechelen takes you to our glorious past as the center of civil, judiciary and ecclesiastical power and will introduce you to today’s beautiful city center.

Stroll through ancient streets, squares, and palaces. Relax in Margaret of Austria’s garden. Visit humanist Hieronymus van Busleyden and discover the art treasures in Saint-Rumbold’s Cathedral.

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h

Burgundian Tour

Set off with a cityguide from Stadsgidsen Mechelen and discover the most beautiful spots in Mechelen. Strolling along city palaces and walking on water you get to know everything about the Burgundian-Habsburg roots of the former capital of the Netherlands.

Admire the coats of arms of the knights of the Golden Fleece in the Saint Rumbold’s cathedral and the 16th century wall paintings in the Aldermen’s house. Get to know illustrious historical characters like Margaret of York, Margaret of Austria, Philip the Handsome and Emperor Charles. Enter the gardens of the city palaces. Discover the starting point and the importance of the first postconnection in Western Europe. Enjoy the picturesque city views and listen to the lively stories of your guide.

1h - 1,5h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h

Het Predikheren

Discover all secrets of one of the most beautiful libraries in the country and even in the world. The building reads like a novel: the introduction is written by the Dominicans, the chapters tell the stories of a hospital and of a military function, with the transformation into a literary wellness as its pinnacle.

Find out who the Predikheren were, why there are tombstones in the cloister, what an intelligent drop off box is, why the meeting rooms are named after human rights activists and immerse yourself in the unique mix of past and present.

1u - 1,5u - 2u
  • Duration: 1u - 1,5u - 2u

Water in the Streets

Water in the streets, a blessing or a curse?

The river Dijle is the lifeline of Mechelen and ensured, together with the many canals, economic prosperity, but also of floods.

A city guide from Mechelen takes you along green roads through the water labyrinth. Discover the ingenious water control of the past in the Spuihuis. Plunge into the many stories about tides, shallows, canals, water streets, crane workers, stoves and much more. Walk on the water and unravel the secret of the oldest stone bridge in Mechelen.

Visit the Spuihuis during this walk!

A guide takes you along the IJzerenleen, through the botanical garden (Kruidtuin) to the millhouse (Molenhuis) and Spuihuis (lock) and leads you down the Dijle path to the fish market (Vismarkt) and oat yard (Haverwerf) back to the grand place (Grote Markt). A visit to the restored Spuihuis is an extra attraction. This guided tour is available on request, except on Saturdays.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Human Rights Tour

Human rights violation, a story of all times Mechelen too has known dark pages in its history. Kazerne Dossin is the striking example.

A city guide from Mechelen takes you along emotionally charged places and tells you all about the randomness of witch trials, the injustice of the Peasants War, the madness of the Holocaust, the harrowing story of refugees.

But it is also a story of hope, of solidarity and human warmness. Discover the Anne Frank tree, lines of poetry from the optimistic poem by Wislawa Szymborska and learn more about known and less known human rights activists.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Women in Charge

Become acquainted with famous and notorious women from past and present. A city guide from Mechelen introduces you in the world of duchesses, female artists, beguines, nuns, chair-weavers, lace-makers, ladies of the night and witches.

Listen to the stories of courage, boldness, persistence, intelligence and knowledge. Admire unparalleled works of art and stroll along palaces, convents, beguinages and single-room-houses.

This walk is suitable for all m, f, and x!

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h

Art on the go

The many churches, city palaces and museums, you can’t avoid seeing them. But try to turn your eyes to the space between them, to classical and contemporary statues, impressive murals or artistic details. Nothing is there by coincidence. There is always a compelling story to tell. There is always a connection with the location and the city’s history and its fascinating inhabitants.

A city guide from Mechelen takes you along an artistic route for a fascinating journey straight through the classical routes and brings you to amazing spots in the inner city unknown to most visitors (and even to inhabitants from Mechelen!).

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Beguines in Mechelen

What is the difference between a nun and a beguine? Why do beguines live in beguinages? Are beguines free to be married? What is a convent? Who were the ‘beggaarden’?

You can find out answers to all these questions and many more trivia and anecdotes by strolling in the Big and Small Beguinage with a city guide from Mechelen.Be mesmerized by the tranquility in the centuries-old alleys. Admire one of the most beautiful – if not thé most beautiful – beguinage church of the world. Discover why Dominicans had to make way for the beguines. Unravel the secret of the “penny-wall” and visit the Grand Dame.

1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h - 3h


Appearance deceives! Behind fairly simple facades of Mechelen’s churches, may lurk rich, sumptuous church interiors. Where does this vanity come from? Why do gothic churches sometimes have a baroque interior? What stories are behind the centuries-old statues? What brought Pieter Paul Rubens to Mechelen? Actually, what is baroque?

You will get answers to these questions and much more from a city guide from Mechelen. You will not only discover ‘irregularly shaped pearls’ in the churches but also in the facades of civil buildings.

Note : most churches only open in the afternoon and are closed on Mondays.

New: you can also visit the Peter-room in the church of Saint-Peter-and-Saint-Paul, with restored paintings and an authentic chasuble, a real masterpiece! Visits only with a city guide.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Dementia-friendly Tour

Mechelen is a dementia-friendly city and people with dementia can experience this during these walks
Opt for the ‘Burgundian walk’ or ‘Nature in the city’. The walks are assembled in such a way that they anticipate the participants’ memories and senses. Old stories come back and various senses are stimulated. Together with your walking partner you will enjoy the city life and the wonderful nature spots that you will find on your way.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Cycling along the city walls

Jump on your bike and discover with a city guide the changes that the city walls went through in 750 years. One thing is for sure: they are still in the same place? So what has changed? Is there still anything of the city walls we can see? How many citygates did Mechelen have? Are they still there? Is there a pedestrian boulevard? When did cars arrive in the city and what about the future?

You may expect answers to these questions during this cycling tour.

guided tour of the month
  • Duration: 1h

Walk of the Month

Each first weekend of the month we put a topical theme in the spotlight.

Amongst many others, epidemics over the centuries, street art, the re-opening of the Church of the Beguinage, “Oep ze Mechels”, Beethoven in Mechelen and Het Predikheren (library) have been covered.

What is the topic for next month? Click News above and you’ll find out!

This is a walk which you can join as an individual.

1h - 1,5h - 2h
  • Duration: 1h - 1,5h - 2h

Beethoven's Mechelen

Ludwig van Beethoven, a great German composer, who we associate with the European Anthem. But ‘van Beethoven’, that doesn’t sound German at all? That is because his roots are in Flanders. Ludwig’s grandfather, Lodewijck, grew up in Mechelen!

Through his eyes you walk along the 18th century streets of Mechelen. Discover spots and buildings where the van Beethovens could be seen daily. What would Lodewijck still recognize if he were to come back to his city of birth today? We frame the story of this well-known family from Mechelen in the bigger picture of our Burgundian capital of the Netherlands.

Zit je met een vraag?

Wil je weten hoe je kunt reserveren, of hoe lang op voorhand, hoeveel deelnemers er mee kunnen, hoe je de gids herkent of welke talen de Stadsgidsen Mechelen spreken?

Op al die vragen en nog veel meer hebben we antwoorden voor jou op een rijtje gezet. Klik ‘Veelgestelde vragen’. De kans is groot dat jouw vraag erbij staat. Is dat niet het geval? Via de Contact knop hierboven kan je ons bereiken.

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