People visiting Belgium usually go to Antwerpen, Brussels, Ghent, Brugge and the Ardennes. I've never heard of anyone going to Mechelen, which is a shame and a surprise. It's a lovely city! Beautiful historic buildings, a gorgeous market square with a giant and absolutely stunning cathedral, great shops, great chocolate and very kind people make for an ideal city for a daytrip. It's easily accessible by car and train from both the Netherlands and most Belgian cities. Visited it at the end of November with a friend, on our way to a day in Ghent we had to change trains at Mechelen, and wanted to use the opportunity to go into the city for a bit. That bit became over 2 hours and we'll surely be returning! Please be sure to visit the Sint Rombouts cathedral, it's free to enter and one of the most beautiful cathedrals/churches I've seen so far, on a par with the Sacre Coeur in Paris or St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.