Mechelen (French: Malines , German: Mechelen , Spanish: Malinas ) is a city in the province of Antwerp on the banks of the Dyle.

It is an important historical city, at the beginning of the 16th century the kingdom of the Netherlands was ruled from here by Margaret of Austria. Almost all tourist attractions are located in the city center (with a few exceptions such as Technopolis) and therefore within walking distance. One of the main sights in the historic center is the St. Rumbold's Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the shadow of the Grote Markt. Other sights include the Palace of Margaret of Austria, the Groot- and Klein Begijnhof and Het Anker Brewery, known for its Gouden Carolus beers. Scattered across the city are old original houses, as well as renovated buildings, including the former Lamot brewery on the Haverwerf.

The Thomas More College is located in Mechelen with four campuses: De Ham, De Vest, Kruidtuin and Lucas Faydherbe. In addition, the city is best known in terms of sports for Racing Mechelen and KV Mechelen, number 24 and 25 respectively, two of the oldest football teams in Belgium.

The Mechelaars are also called the mane extinguishers . They owe this name to a historical event from the 17th century. One night it was a full moon with a low cloud and a late, drunken café-goer thought that St Rumbold's Tower was on fire. The whole city was rounded up and people stood in long lines passing buckets of water to extinguish their towers. Since then, the Malinois have the nickname of the Moon Extinguishers received because they were trying to extinguish the moon.

The medium-sized city of Mechelen is in the shadow of the two large cities of Brussels and Antwerp. Mechelen is therefore referred to as a provincial city by inhabitants of Brussels or Antwerp.

A charter from 1008 is the oldest surviving document mentioning Mechelen, under the name Machlines. Later it changed into Machele (12th century), Mechgelme (14th century) and finally Mechelen (15th century). The name of the city is said to be derived from the word mahal, which refers to a meeting or court place. Until 1795, the city was the center of the small independent Heerlijkheid Mechelen. In that respect the area had the same status as eg Holland, Zeeland, Flanders and Brabant. For a short period in the 16th century, the Netherlands were ruled from Mechelen. This period contributed to the extensive art collection and several remarkable buildings. Currently, the city has the second highest number of listed buildings in Flanders, including four UNESCO entries: St. Rumbold's Cathedral.

Mechelen has five different boroughs : Muizen , Walem , Heffen , Hombeek, Leest. In addition, there are seven districts .