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Belgium

Belgium

Located in western Europe, Belgium is a small and interesting country. Its capital, Brussels, houses most of the European Union institutions, which makes the city a melting pot and a hub for the continent.

From the medieval towns of Bruges and Ghent, to the shiny Antwerp, Belgium has so much to offer.

Did you know I actually lived in Brussels for 5 months in 2012 and had the time of my life there?

WELCOME TO Belgium!

Basic facts

  • Population: 11.6 million
  • Currency: Belgium belongs to the Eurozone, hence the euro (€) is its official currency.
  • Language: Dutch, French and German are the three official languages that are spoken in the Kingdom of Belgium.
  • Territories: Belgium consists of three regions (Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital).
  • Main cities: Brussels (capital), Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent and Liège.
  • Fun fact: did you know Belgium produces more than 200.000 tons of chocolate per year?

Things to do

Visit Brussels, the European capital. The main attractions include the Manneken Pis, the Atomium or the Royal Palace

Try the famous Belgian beer and chocolate

Step back in time when walking around Ghent

TRANSPORTATION

Are you traveling to Belgium anytime soon? Here are some tips to help you out.

  • Airports: the biggest airport near Brussels is Zaventem. You can also fly to Charleroi, which is a cheaper airport further away.
  • Train: traveling by train is a great option if you’re visiting Belgium. Since the country is small, it’s quick to hop from one city to another. Check out the Belgian railroad web for more information and take advantage of the special discounts during the weekends.  Also, did you know Brussels and Paris are just 1h30 away by train?

BELGIAN FOOD

Curious to know what Belgium’s gastronomy has to offer? Keep on reading.

  • Sweet: if you have a sweet tooth, Belgian soil will be your food heaven. The country is known worldwide for its exquisite chocolates, the most famous brands being Godiva and Neuhaus. When I lived in Brussels, I loved strolling around the Grand Place and the squares in Petit Sablon and Grand Sablon in order to find all the sweet deals. Another thing that I loved in Belgium was spéculoos, which is a tiny biscuit. The ones from Jules Destrooper were my absolute favorites. Once you try them, you’ll understand (and you won’t be able to stop!).
  • Salty: the most typical dish you’ll find throughout Belgium is ‘moules frites’ (mussels served with chips).
  • Drinks: Belgium offers a wide variety of beers, with some of the most populars being Chimay, Duvel, Leffe are some of the most popular brands). During my expat time in Brussels, I loved going to Delirium Café, where you could taste over 2000 beers. Another great experience is to visit a Trappist abbey to see firsthand how monks brew beer.

Good to know when travelling to Belgium

  • Politically speaking, Belgium is a complex country. There are some tensions between the Walloons and the Flemish people so be aware of that wherever you’re traveling. I remember visiting Leuven one (located in the Flemish region) and being handed a menu in Flemish. Since I didn’t understand the language, I asked for the French version. The barman looked at me as if that was the worst offence I could ever say and I felt so awkward!

More about Belgium…

Get inspired by my trips around the country and read my travel-related blog posts!

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