Belgium

This small country offers an amazing cultural and historic heritage to potential visitors.

Belgium

Capital City: Brussels

Belgium Key Facts

  • Flag

  • Size

    30,528 km²
    (140th largest)


  • Population

    11,198,638



  • Belgium Location

    Western Europe

  • Travel Insurance

    For Belgium travel insurance, select Europe Region

  • International Calling Codes

    32

  • Cities

    Antwerp
    Bruges
    Ghent

  • Language

    Dutch
    French
    German

  • Religions

    58% Catholic
    27% Non-religious
    7% Other Christian
    5% Muslim

  • Currency

    Euro

    Get current exchange rates from

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  • Driving

    In Belgium they drive on the right side of the road

Tourism website:

visitbelgium.com

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to travel to Belgium is between mid-April and mid-October, with the peak of the tourist season being in the summer months of July and August. Outside of the peak season, airlines, hotels, and restaurants are cheaper, and there are a lot of festivals happening as well.

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Transport Information

Airports (5 international, 56 domestic), rail, bus, highways, ports and harbours.

 

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World Heritage Sites

  1. Belfries of Belgium (23 in the north of France, 32 in Belgium) showcasing Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture
  2. Flemish Béguinages, which are places where women who dedicated their lives to God built enclosed communities in the 13th Century
  3. Historic Centre of Bruges as an example of a medieval historic settlement replete with Gothic architecture
  4. La Grande-Place, Brussels, consists of several buildings built around the 17th century showing the cultural and social life of that period
  5. Major Mining Sites of Wallonia that are the best-preserved coal mining sites in the country dating back to the 19th century
  6. Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta, Brussels, are beautiful examples of the Art Nouveau style of architecture
  7.  Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes, Mons, represent the largest and earliest ancient mines in Europe
  8. Notre-Dame Cathedral, Tournai, built in the 12 Century offering examples of Romanesque and early Gothic architecture
  9. Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex, a printing and publishing house from the Renaissance/Baroque period that contains a large collection of early printing equipment, a large library, archives and works of art by Rubens
  10. Stoclet House, a testament to the Vienna Secession movement with works of art by Koloman Moser and Gustav Klimt
  11. The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainaut), a well-preserved example of the late-19th-century industrial landscape
  • Average Annual Temperature

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    10 degrees

  • Average Annual Rainfall

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    735 mm

Climate Information

Belgium enjoys a maritime temperate climate: the lowest temperatures are found in January with 3 degrees, and the highest in summer in July with 18 degrees. It does rain quite a lot every month, with most rain falling  in winter.

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Official Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • March | April - Easter Sunday
  • March | April - Easter Monday
  • May 1 - Labour Day
  • May 14 (2015) - Ascension Day
  • May 24 (2015) - Whit Sunday
  • May 25 (2015) - Whit Monday
  • July 21 - Belgium National Day
  • August 15 - Assumption of Mary
  • November 1 - All Saint's Day
  • November 11 - Armistice Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
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Why Visit Belgium?

Belgium is small and yet offers a staggering amount of history and culture. It is easy and safe to travel around, and when you are not checking out a museum or medieval towns, you can relax in a spa or treat yourself to excellent food. Belgium offers a unique combination of food and culture in a neat package.

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Things To Do In Belgium

  • Try some Belgium chocolate or craft beer
  • Visit UNESO World heritage sites
  • See the battlefield and museum of the famous Battle of the Bulge
  • Spoil yourself with delicious food such as moules frites
  • Cruise through the diamond capital of the world - Antwerp 
  • Pamper yourself at the original spa
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Travel Tips For Belgium

  • Avoid the peak tourist season in July and August to enjoy a more relaxed experience
  • Make sure to eat some French fries!
  • Try one of the many craft beers available
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Belgium Food

Belgium offers a veritable feast of different cuisines and travellers here can expect to find excellent food everywhere! For an authentic experience, try some French fries, which despite their name are claimed as a Belgian invention. They are widely sold from vending carts with a range of condiments. Mussels are also very popular, with moules et frites being the perfect combination of white wine, cream, mussels and French fries. For more adventurous eaters, try frikadellen met krieken, which are meatballs served with cherries. Belgium also boasts to have some of the best chocolate in the world, which is worth trying in one of the many boutique chocolate shops. As a sweet snack on the go, try some waffles, sold as 'gaufres' on the side of the road, which are either light and airy or dense and gooey.

Belgium Travel Safety and Warnings

Most of Belgium is safe for travellers, apart from a few neighborhoods in Brussels and the edges of Antwerp. In areas with high crimes rates, keep an eye on your belongings and do not roam the streets a night. As a safety precaution, get travel insurance for Belgium.

About Belgium

 

Home to the headquarters of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), this small country offers an amazing cultural and historic heritage to potential visitors. Not only that, Belgium is conveniently located for exploring Western Europe, with most European capitals within 1,000 kms of Brussels.

So grab your passport, get your travel insurance for Belgium in order and head to the Kingdom of Belgium to explore its rich history and taste its amazing range of delicious foods.

 

Travel Highlights of Belgium

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and where most international travellers will arrive. Being home to the EU and NATO, you’re likely to hear more languages than you’ll find on your average satellite television by just wandering down a city block.

To call Brussels cosmopolitan is almost an understatement. The presence of many cultures can be felt everywhere, especially when it comes to eating. While in Brussels, make sure to stroll over to the magnificent Grande-Place, check out the Art Nouveau buildings by architect Victor Horta scattered all over the city, and have a look at one of the most photographed statues in Brussels: the ‘manneken pis’ – a small bronze sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin.

Brussels is also a great place to explore Belgium's food scene. All over town you’ll find vending carts selling French fries, which the Belgians have definitely perfected. They’re generally served with a dizzying array of sauces in various colors, all of which are worth trying.

As many international organizations have chosen Brussels as their headquarters, travellers will also find a lot of different ethnic restaurants that serve delicious foods. Of course, no trip to Brussels is complete without going to at least one chocolatier - Belgian chocolate is world famous after all, and once you visit a chocolate maker's shop, you’ll know why!

Outside of Brussels you’ll find the two distinct regions of Belgium: Flanders and Wallonia. Flanders is a mostly Dutch-speaking region with many Flemish provinces, and is home to the city of Antwerp and Bruges.

Antwerp is Belgium's second largest city and mainly known for two things: the artist Rubens and diamonds. Antwerp is famous for being the diamond capital of the world: 85% of the world's rough diamonds and 50% of the world's cut diamonds are traded in this city! Antwerp is also where the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens worked from, and you can still visit his home, which is now a museum to his life and art.

Bruges is famous not only because it featured in a Hollywood movie, but also for being 'the Venice of the north' due to its many canals. The medieval city center is a UNESCO world heritage site worth visiting and you can spot some stunning examples of the belfries (bell tower) Belgium is famous for. homes on the canal in Brugges Belgium

 

South of Brussels you find the Wallonia region, which is mostly French speaking with some small German speaking towns scattered around. This region is home to the famous Neolithic Flint Mines as well as some major coal mining sites dating back to the 19th century. If you have a couple of days to spare, head to the town Spa and pamper yourself at the original spa-town!

The student town of Liège acts as the cultural capital of Wallonia, bearing witness to its industrial past. Situated along the river Meuse, you can find a range of different architectures here, especially pre-war architecture. There are also many Museums dealing with Wallonian history and culture.

Wherever you may go in Belgium, finding good food is not difficult. Belgians love to eat and drink well! Make sure to try some moules frites (mussels cooked in a creamy white wine sauce served with crispy French fries), which are available all over the country but best enjoyed near the coast. For a quick snack on the go, locate the nearest waffle stall and choose between light and airy or gooey centered deliciousness. Belgium is also quickly becoming famous for its many locally made craft beers, and it is well worth visiting a local pub to try whatever is on offer. Be careful though, as some of the beers are quite strong!

As for travel planning, the best time to visit Belgium is between mid-April to mid-October. Make sure to avoid the peak months of July and August though, as this corresponds with main school holiday period in Europe. The weather tends to be pleasant during summer, but be sure to pack a jacket in case of rain.

 

Belgium is a safe place to travel, however travel insurance should still be on your checklist, and it is best to keep an eye on your belongings in major cities. Otherwise, get your walking shoes ready to conquer the medieval cities and prepare your taste buds for many extraordinary culinary experiences!

For more information on Belgium, visit the Belgium Tourism Website.

 

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