It is maybe true hat Hasselt does not pop up with a lot of details in all the tourism guides, but if you have some time to spend in Belgium or you live in this country, you should definitely pass by for at least a few hours especially in spring.
I decided to go to Hasselt to check out a streetart expo and took advantage to also visit the Japanese Garden which was still in bloom, have a look on what I discovered.
I think that the easiest way is by train. There are direct trains from several Belgian train stations and you can easily access the city. Although not as small as Leuven for example, Hasselt can be easily be visited by foot.
Grote Markt area
Filled with bars it's a pleasure to stop for a beer especially on a sunny day and spend some time people watching
at one side of the square there is a bronze sculpture created by Marc Cox in December 1989 and represents the youth of the city looking towards the future. Officially the name of this sculpture is 'Luisteren naar de beiaard' but locally it is more known as 'Hendrik en Katrien' which make a reference to the first couple who lived in the city,
on a side street you can easily reach the Hasselt Cathedral (officially St. Quentin Cathedral) "was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1967 when the diocese of Hasselt was created. Its construction began in the eleventh century, and continued for two centuries. " (Source)
Capucienenplein and around
If you are into Genever then Hasselt is the right place for you, the city is famous for it. If you do not know what it is, here some details: "is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved" (Source). On Maastrichterstraat you can find Het Borrelmannetje statue by Lou Boonman which is the symbol of Hasselt's gin.
And in front of the tourist info center you can find Het Borrelvrouwke, and you have some genever routes leaving form here especially tailored for ladies ;)
or take a tour with a Babbelfiets
next to Il Pasticcio
is a tine street, walk in and you'll find a hidden garden full with statues. On Google it is listed as Kadettensteeg, maybe helpful info. It's very relaxing to take a book and relax for a few hours.
or check out the statues around
If you love streetart, Dzia is hiding here on one of the walls
offers free expos and when you think how expensive it can be to go to a museum, free art is an must visit. I went there for the outside inside export.
April is the month to go, although there seem to be several events throughout the year. Here what I spotted. :)
A great place for bars, terraces, restaurants and cafes is the dorpstraat area. You'll surly find the place you are looking for. There you can also find the statue of Hendrik Van Veldeke who seems to be the father of all Dutch poets. Born somewhere around 1150, he was the first poet to write in a different European language then Latin. He is celebrated as a write of old Limburgish. Limburg is a province in Belgium
If you are into streetart, then you'll love Hasselt, you have some many wonderful murals out there after an event organized by streetartfestivalbelgium. You can check out more in my post about Streetart in Hasselt.