WHY TO VISIT BELGIUM
Both a cultural and festive destination, Belgium, despite its European position thus considered as not very exotic is compensated by a wealth of attractions: its unforgettable welcome, its splendid paintings, deep forests, churches, museums and architecture, but also its way of life and its dynamism.
Brussels, the capital, will firstly seduce you with the famous and very beautiful ‘Grand-Place’, and then with its museums; the old Art Museum, Modern Art museum, Comic strip museum, and many more. The ‘Ilot Sacré’ district will charm you with its old paved streets and its secular houses.
Anvers possesses many historic buildings: Art nouveau style architecture, medieval towers, neo Renaissance architecture, without forgetting the Gothic style cathedral and the Royal Museum of Art schools are just some of the enthralling pauses of your trip.
Bruges is the town the most visited in the country: A medieval city enriched by extraordinary museums and many canals, it is also the starting point of excursions to the famous Flanders Poppy fields.
Discovering the Ardennes will agreeably complete your trip to Belgium: Green valleys, dark forests, peaceful villages; another aspect of the country is offered there, bucolic and wild.
In the west, Ghent is a city which deserves a visit for its cathedral and its famous altarpiece; the Mystical Lamb by Van Eyck, but also for its market and its belfry.
WHAT TO SEE IN BELGIUM
Top destinations in Belgium are:
WHEN TO GO TO BELGIUM
Weather in Belgium
Best period to visit Belgium is from April to October.
Belgium enjoys a fairly standard temperate climate, with warm – if mild – summers and moderately cold winters. Generally speaking, temperatures rise the further south you go, with Wallonia a couple of degrees warmer than Flanders for most of the year, though in the east this is offset by the more severe climate of continental Europe, and emphasized by the increase in altitude of the Ardennes. Rain is always a possibility, though you can expect a greater degree of precipitation in the Ardennes and upland regions than on the northern plains.
The cities of Belgium are all-year tourist destinations, though you might think twice about visiting Bruges, the region’s most popular spot, during August, when things get mighty crowded. The best time to visit Flanders is any time between early spring and late autumn, though winter has its advantages too – iced canals and hoarfrost polders – if you don’t mind the short hours of daylight. Wallonia, especially the Ardennes, is more seasonal, with many things closing down in the winter, so try to visit between April and October.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Belgium
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH BELGIUM
To travel within Belgium, numerous and inexpensive buses are available, as well as a very effective rail network. Travelling by car is also very practical, the motorways are free. In town, trams and subway coexist. Using a bicycle is also practical due to the presence of many cycle path and rental points.
by plane, main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON BELGIUM
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)
electricity: type C and E (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN BELGIUM
typical food in Belgium
- Chicon Au Gratin / Gegratineerde witloof, pieces of endives wrapped in a slice of ham, topped with béchamel sauce and blanketed in melted cheese;
- Moules-frites / Mosselen-friet, a bowl of mussels cooked in white wine broth served with a plate of Belgian fries;
- Boudin Blanc / Witte Pens, white sausage that’s made with milk, usually prepared grilled or sauteed and is best served with mashed potatoes (Stoemp) or apple compote.
- Frites / Frieten, thick cutted french fries, served with sauces for dipping;
- Stoemp, creamy mashed potatoes;
- Crevette Grise / Grijze Granalen, tiny crevette grise often served in a salad stuffed inside a tomato or can be enjoyed served unpeeled and accompanied by a good Belgian beer;
- Boulets, big meatballs usually made of beef and pork meat and served in a tomato sauce;
- Carbonnades Flamandes / Stoverij, hearty beef similar to Beef Bourguignon, but cooked with beer;
- Filet Américain, finely minced ground beef, topped with sauce Americain, and served with fries and bread;
- Waterzooi, hearthy earty fish or chicken and vegetables stew made using eggs and butter;
- Speculoos / Speculaas, spiced shortbread cookies;
- Sirop de Liège / Luikse Siroop, sweet, sticky brown jelly made from evaporated fruit juices (dates, apples, pears), usually eaten as a spread on bread;
- Tarte au Riz / Rijsttaart, sweet flan filled with a custardy mixture of rice and milk, and glazed with egg.
- Gaufre / Wafel, a buttery brioche dough waffle with chunks of caramelize sugar on the crust;
souvenirs from Belgium
- glass and crystal objects,
- suede and chased leather products
- tin objects
Goodbye: Au Revoir
How are you?: Comment allez-vous?
Thank you: Merci
What is your name?: Comment vous appelez-vous?
How much is it?: Combien ça coûte?