Sunday, November 19, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Travel Guide to Belgium – A Visitors Guide to Belgium

Planning to travel to Belgium? This multi-lingual country is home to the headquarters of NATO and the European Union. Brussels incorporates all three dominant languages - Dutch, French,and German. Visitors may be most interested in its range of architecutral influences from medieval to Renaissance to Art Nouveau.

Belgium
Capital
Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is part of the Brussels-Capital Region, comprising 19 municipalities. It is officially bilingual (French and Dutch).
11.2 MILLION People
Belgium, in Western Europe, is known for medieval towns, Renaissance architecture, chocolate and beer as well as being the headquarters of the European Union and NATO.
Main Airport
Brussels Airport
Located in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, the Brussels Airport handled more than 23 million passengers in 2015, making it the 21st busiest airport in Europe.
When to Go
Best Time
  • Spring: ~10°C (50°F)
    April - May
  • Summer: ~14°C (57°F)
    June - August
  • Autumn: ~6°C (43°F)
    September - October
  • Winter: ~2°C (36°F)
    November - March
Currency
Euro
10 Fun Facts
  • • The Big Bang theory originated in Belgium.
  • • Belgium’s highway can be seen from the moon.
  • • Belgian men are the second tallest in the world.
  • • Europe’s first skyscraper was built in Belgium.
  • • Belgians pay among the highest tax rates in Europe.
  • • Belgians are credited with inventing the Body Mass Index.
  • • Belgium was without a government longer than war-torn Iraq.
  • • The Law Courts of Brussels is the world's largest court of justice.
  • • The highest point in Belgium is lower than the world's tallest building.
  • • The name ‘Belgium' comes from the Roman name for the original territory in Gaul.
Basic Phrases
Dutch
  • HELLO
    Hallo
  • PLEASE
    Alstublift
  • Goodbye
    Tot ziens

  • THANK YOU
    Dank je
  • English
    Engels
Food and Drinks
  • Charcuterie
  • Steak Tartare
  • Carbonnades Flamandes
  • Stoemp Waffles
  • Speculoos
  • Waterzooi Belgian Chocolates
  • Rice Tart
What to Tip
  • None
    Waitstaff
  • None
    Bartenders
  • None
    Taxi Drivers
  • None
    Porters per bag
  • Optional
    Tour Guides

Belgium, in Western Europe, is known for medieval towns, Renaissance architecture, chocolate and beer as well as being the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The population of Belgium is approximately 11.2 million people. Belgium's currency is the Euro.

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is part of the Brussels-Capital Region, comprising 19 municipalities. It is officially bilingual (French and Dutch).

The main airport serving Belgium is Brussels Airport . Located in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, the Brussels Airport handled more than 23 million passengers in 2015, making it the 21st busiest airport in Europe.

Belgium experiences four seasons.

  • Spring: April - May. Average temperature is ~10°C (50°F).
  • Summer: June - August. Average temperature is ~14°C (57°F).
  • Autumn: September - October. Average temperature is ~6°C (43°F).
  • Winter: November - March. Average temperature is ~2°C (36°F).

Visitors will want to be sure they don’t miss these top tourism attractions in Belgium.

Here are some interesting and fun facts you may not know about Belgium.

  • The Big Bang theory originated in Belgium.
  • Belgium’s highway can be seen from the moon.
  • Belgian men are the second tallest in the world.
  • Europe’s first skyscraper was built in Belgium.
  • Belgians pay among the highest tax rates in Europe.
  • Belgians are credited with inventing the Body Mass Index.
  • Belgium was without a government longer than war-torn Iraq.
  • The Law Courts of Brussels is the world's largest court of justice.
  • The highest point in Belgium is lower than the world's tallest building.
  • The name ‘Belgium' comes from the Roman name for the original territory in Gaul.

Don't leave your electronics at home. Here are the best Belgian travel apps you'll want to download to your iPhone or Android device before your visit.

For a real Belgium experience, you need to try these iconic foods and drinks. Some are traditional Belgian dishes while others have been "borrowed" from immigrants and neighbors.

  • Charcuterie
  • Steak Tartare
  • Carbonnades Flamandes
  • Stoemp Waffles
  • Speculoos
  • Waterzooi Belgian Chocolates
  • Rice Tart

Work off that amazing food, enjoy the great outdoors, or just try something new. These favorite Belgian activities let you get out and enjoy the country the way the locals do.

Every country has its own ideas of who should be tipped and how much. Nobody wants to overtip or, worse, be considered a rude guest. Here’s what to tip in Belgium.

  • Waitstaff – None
  • Bartenders – None
  • Taxi Drivers – None
  • Porters per bag – None
  • Tour Guides – Optional

From casual comfort to luxury accommodations, Belgium has plenty of great hotel choices for you to relax and unwind.

  • Hotel Heritage – Located 1.7 km from Brugge main rail terminal, this high-end hotel in an elegant 19th-century building is 2 minutes’ walk from Grote Markt market square.
  • Pandhotel – In an 18th-century building in the down- town area, this upscale boutique hotel is a 5-minute walk from the restaurants and historic buildings of the Markt square.
  • Hotel Amigo – A 2-minute walk from the iconic Manneken Pis statue, this elegant redbrick hotel in a former prison is next to Grand Place square & 5 minutes from Brussels Central Station.
  • Stanhope Hotel – Set in the European Quarter, this posh hotel is a 3-minute walk from Trone metro station, a 15-minute walk from Sablon Antique Market.
  • Hilton Brussels Grand Place – Overlooking Gare Centrale train station, this sophisticated hotel is a 7-minute from Manneken Pis' iconic fountain and an 8 minutes from the Museums of Fine Arts.
  • Grand Hotel Du Sablon – A 5-minute walk from the lively Markt square, this refined hotel is also a 6 minute walk from Church of Our Lady and a 13th-century Gothic church.

From the medieval walled city of Bruges to the bustling modernity of Brussels, visitors to Belgium will experience a country that has reimagined itself throughout the ages to retain its relevance in Europe. To travel to Belgium is to taste the best of Europe in an accessible microcosm of the continent.


3 Comments

  1. David
    September 5, 2017 - 4:20 am

    Belgium is an iconic place for fun lovers and those who love to sight see. I don’t like traveling that much, but the foods and drinks there can always attract anyone. I couldn’t have enough of the Charcuterie the last time I was in Belgium.

    Reply
  2. Maxwell
    September 5, 2017 - 6:56 pm

    I had the opportunity to travel to Belgium last June with my aunty. It was no short of inexplicable experiences all through.
    We visited the Antwerp Zoo, and I could see life from the guarded animals’ side.

    Reply
  3. Sophia Mason
    September 6, 2017 - 2:40 pm

    I really can’t wait to see the Belgian men. You mean they are that tall? I just hope their women aren’t like that too because they may be a minus to the perks I could enjoy in the travel. I will certainly need people to give me directions to where the fun resides.

    Reply

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