Exploring BelgiumOur Travel Guide
Belgium is not on many people’s itinerary, but it should be. Are you looking for a great beer, yummy chocolate, delicious fries, and waffles? Yes! You can enjoy them all here in Belgium. This beautiful kingdom has a long story. Belgium is yet small but plays a significant role in world history. For history geeks, you would enjoy and keep yourself busy throughout the trip.
This small country is well known for its fascinating attractions, Belgian chocolate, Trappist beer, music festivals, and more, making it a popular European destination. Does it sound interesting?
Belgium is also a country full of contrasts, from linguistic to topographic and cultural. Exquisite architectures and historic arts lie along the streets, especially in Brussels, the capital city.
Regarding beer, it has got the best beers on this planet. Travelers around the globe make their way here just to taste Belgian beer and savor its gourmet delights.
Have you ever heard of Manneken Pis or Peeing boy statue? Brussels is the home of the statue, a public fountain, a Mascot, and the hero of many incredible tales. A little boy named Petit Julien or Julien boy was the origin of this statue. It has become a famous landmark in Belgium.
Don’t overlook this European country on your travels. It offers a variety of activities for all ages.
Belgium at a Glance
Currency: The euro has been the official currency since it replaced the Belgian franc.
Visa: US citizens in possession of a valid US passport (on the planned date of departure from Belgium, your passport should have at least another three-month validity) do not need a visa for airport transit, tourist, or business trips and can stay up to 90 days within six months. Some travelers may require a Schengen visa to enter Belgium and then travel freely within the Schengen zone for a period not exceeding 90 days.
Language: Belgium has three official languages, which are Dutch, French, and German. Several non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well.
- Sight Seeing 85% 85%
- Cost 80% 80%
- Ease of Travel 85% 85%
- Activities 90% 90%
Don’t skip Belgium on your travels. With, what is regarded as the best beer on the planet, iconic towers, and towns and incredible food, Belgium is a must-see destination.
Top Experiences in Belgium
Brussels is home to several of the EU’s principal institutions, including the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. It is also known as a city with world-class museums and a well-preserved medieval center. The Grand Place has always been the hub of Brussels. The tremendous Hotel de Ville dominates the square, surrounded by numerous impressive century guild houses, dating mainly from the late 17th century. Aside from that, Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries would make your shopping one of the most memorable and enjoyable, along with its grand architecture and a long history established in 1847.
Brussels is also recognized as the capital of comic books. It is the birthplace of iconic comics like the Smurfs and Tintin. The Belgian Comic Strip Center has welcomed visitors from all over the world. The museum is housed in an Art Nouveau masterpiece and has been honoring the creators and heroes for more than 30 years.
If you easily get bored from the museum vibe, walking along the comic strip route and getting acquainted with your favorite characters from the murals would be another perfect way to relax.
With a picturesque square and pretty canals, many call Bruges “The fairy tale Venice of the north”. Taking a boat ride through the veins of the city and seeing things from a different perspective could make your experience more pleasurable. At the very heart of the city is the Markt, also known as the market square, surrounded by candy-colored gingerbread houses and cobblestone streets, which lead to pleasant shops and restaurants.
On the other side, you will see one of three iconic towers of Bruges. The 83-meter high Belfort (Belfry) dates back to the 13th century offers magnificent panoramic views over this charming city for any visitors who are willing to walk up the steep and narrow 366 steps.
Ghent is an old city that has become one of the most exciting cities to visit in Belgium with many medieval architectural gems. It is literally the largest city of the Flanders region in the country after Antwerp. Ghent was one of the most important European cities during the dark ages. Nowadays, it is an excellent spot for great food, beer, castles with history waiting to discover.
It is also a university town that has a lovely atmosphere, fabulous nightlife, and interesting attractions. There are three places that you must visit: St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry and Cloth Hall, where you would be astonished by the details of the artwork.
Besides, home to the country’s biggest port, Antwerp is also known as the world’s diamond capital because the diamond industry plays a crucial role in the city’s economy for many years. The city may not be as well-preserved as others. However, it offers you a perfect combination of history and contemporary life.
The Central Station is not only the most splendid landmark in town, it is also considered one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Taking a moment to admire the grandeur and intricacies of the station is something you should not miss. There are also other places to visit, such as Grote Markt, Church of Our Lady, Rubenshuis, and so on.
Taking two hours train ride from Brussels to Dinant is an easy getaway from a bustling city. This small town is located in the Namur province, which belongs to Wallonia, Belgium’s French-speaking region. This birthplace of Saxophone’s founder provides an incredible experience throughout its history. You would be fascinated by the scenic landscape of the Meuse River and definitely be fallen in love with this hidden gem.
La Maison de Monsieur Sax is dedicated to Adolphe Sax, the founder of the saxophone, as he was born in Dinant. He was a great inventor and all his hard works is displayed here. Charles de Gaulle Bridge is the main bridge in Dinant, built to honor Charles de Gaulle, but recently it is more of a tribute to the home-grown Mr. Sax as it is lined with painted saxophones.
Collégiale Notre Dame de Dinant is the most photogenic in town. With its pear-shaped bell tower and the cliff behind, the cathedral becomes such an enchanting backdrop. If you are hunting for the best view, you probably need to climb up over 400 stairs or use the cable car to reach the Fort of Citadel Of Dinant.
It is a Belgian electronic dance music festival held in Boom. The festival was first held in 2005 and it usually occurs on July 25th and July 26th each year. The tickets are regularly sold out in minutes. If you are a music and party lover, be prepared to get your seat and enjoy the fun with over 70,000 visitors.
Every two years, around mid-august, the Grand Place will be covered with a flower carpet of begonias. Over 120 volunteers will gather at this place to create phenomenal artwork from over 1 million begonias. This Bi-annual event attracts many visitors from worldwide to admire the beauty of an enormous flower carpet with 77 meters in length and 24 meters in width and a total area of 19,000 sq ft. You can expect to see the different gorgeous patterns each time because the theme would be specially picked, being chosen to commemorate the history.
Brussels Summer Festival
The festival essentially gathers all good entertainments through 10 days of its event. You will get to appreciate good music, theatre, drama and art. Do not be surprised if you see a massive line-up as it is not just about the entertainment but also a great atmosphere to hang out with friends.
Brussels Comic Strip Festival
Although the festival is best known for a Belgian comic strip culture, foreign artists have also been introduced. This celebration has been commenced since 2010, where comic lovers from young to old, from fans and artists to publishers and buyers, are welcomed to attend. Famous cartoon characters will walk through the city center and giant balloons will be shaped in many characters, making the event even more remarkable and fun.
Visitors not only could enjoy the colorful comic strip and Tin Tin rally, but they also will get a chance to meet their favorite authors. Joining a cycling tour is another great way to experience it through the street arts. Not to be mentioned, the event is free of charge and is held annually in September at two locations in Brussels, the Brussels park and Palais des Beaux-Arts.
Eat! Brussels, Drink! Bordeaux Festival
Local chefs from restaurants in Brussels would gather to let you discover their signature dishes. A Wine Pass will allow you to try and learn about the world of Bordeaux wines. This culinary event is Brussels biggest food festival which takes place every September. If you are wondering what a taste of Brussels’ gastronomy is, this is the time to explore.
Belgian Beer Weekend
This event is usually held at the Grand Place where the small craft breweries to large ones provide you free samples to taste before taking any preference.
Belgian Christmas Markets
As we all know that Christmas in Europe is marvelous, and so in Belgium. Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, and Ghent have some of the country’s largest and best Christmas markets, typically taking place in the main squares. You will be impressed by special festive lighting that looks merry even during the day. In addition, The Winter Wonders Festival in Brussels, which is open from the end of November to early January, is well worth visiting. You could find many winter activities to join and have fun such as ice-skating, sledding, etc.
Our Final Word
Even though Belgium is relatively small, you would be amazed by a harmonious fusion of old-world charm and modern culture. The nation is also home to a bounty of UNESCO sites and many delightful desserts, from chocolate and waffle to rum omelets and appleflap. Besides, many enjoyable festivals held throughout this European gem every year are ideal for gaining insight into Belgian culture, making it undoubtedly worth exploring. Make plans to go to Belgium for a true European holiday.
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