Strange Villages

1) Doel

It is almost a ghost town, but Doel still has about 20 residents. It can’t be easy living there. This deserted village north of Antwerp, which once had 1300 inhabitants, stands on the banks of the River Scheldt, next to a nuclear power station. The houses were due to be demolished in the 1960s to allow the construction of a new dock, but then the plan was put on hold. Most residents have now left, leaving behind abandoned houses, an empty church and a little harbour. The village has become a favourite location for street artists, including ROA and Bué the Warrior. It also attracts a few tourists, photographers and urbanists. Now there is a bold plan to revive the town. No one knows if Doel will still exist in a year, but it feels like a place that does not want to die.

ghost town of Doel

Doel, East Flanders

Never miss a hidden gem in your favourite city!

Sign up to see the full list and gain unlimited access to the website. Signing up is free and what’s even better: you’ll receive a 10% discount in the 500 Hidden Secrets online bookshop!

  • Save your favourite lists and create your own personal collection of hotspots
  • Gain access to every list on the website
  • Stay up-to-date on new secrets and destinations, exclusive discounts and giveaways
  • Get 10% off in our online bookshop

Already a member? Log in.

New here? Sign up.



Want to share new hidden secrets in your hometown? Are you the author of the next hot city guide? Or do you want to team up in some other way? We look forward to hearing from you!