Belgium may not have the reputation of France or Holland or Germany. It's full of Eurocrats. But it's not nearly as dull as its reputation suggests, according to Lonely Planet.
For starters, Belgium is a beer virtuoso. More than 125 breweries brew up more than 1,000 labels.
Not only that, but Belgium is hip. So hip, you can pick up an Antwerp Fashion Map at the tourist office in the port of Antwerp, recently ranked 11th in the world's top 50 fashion capitals. Think clothing designers Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten.
It is also beautiful. Brussels' heydey in King Leopold II's reign (1867-1909) resulted in a chocolate-box city of curvaceous Art Nouveau architecture. Take in the Van Eyck brothers' 1432 altarpiece at St Bravo's Cathedral in Ghent, which has the most listed buildings in the country, or a Rubens at Ghent's Museum of Fine Arts. Belgium also has a great beach scene adorned with fish markets, gracious buildings, sand-dunes and nightclubs, all linked by a 67km tram line.
Lots of famous people come from Belgium, like Audrey Hepburn, artist Rene Magritte, Adolphe Sax (the saxophone's inventor) and Tintin. See Tintin's rocket at the wonderful Art Nouveau Comic Strip Centre in Brussels. Belgium is centre of the comic strip universe, and Brussels' Comic Book Route unfolds the city's many murals.
Last but not least, Belgium is the home of the chip. Try them with moules (mussels), or with mayo from a streetside fritkot (chip-kart). And don't forget to sample some chocolate while you're there.