Belgium is a small country in Western Europe with a dense population. It has a population of 11.6 million people and a land area of 30,528 square kilometers. Belgium is well-known for its rich history, distinct culture, and stunning architecture. It is home to several world-famous landmarks, including Brussels’ Grand Place, the Atomium, and Bruges’ historic city center. The country is also well-known for its tasty chocolate, waffles, and beer. Belgium’s official languages are Dutch, French, and German, which reflect the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity. The majority of the population speaks Dutch, while French is the primary language in Wallonia’s southern region. German is spoken in the country’s small eastern region.
Some interesting facts about Belgium
- Belgium is the European Union’s smallest country, both in terms of land area and population.
- The country is well-known for its delectable chocolate, which was allegedly invented in Belgium in the 17th century.
- Belgium has the most castles per square kilometer anywhere in the world.
- Hergé, a Belgian cartoonist, created the famous comic book character Tintin in 1929.
- Every year in the coastal town of Ostend, Belgium hosts the world’s largest sand sculpture festival.
- The country is also known for its beer, which comes in over 1,500 different varieties.
- The official languages of Belgium are Dutch, French, and German.
- The Atomium, a one-of-a-kind and iconic Brussels structure, was originally built for the 1958 World Expo.
- Belgium has over 1,800 chocolate shops selling everything from traditional pralines to cutting-edge chocolate creations.
- The Belgian national football team is known as the “Red Devils,” and it is currently ranked first in the world by FIFA.
When is the best time to visit Belgium?
The summer months of June, July, and August are the busiest for tourists in Belgium because the weather is generally warm and sunny. This is an excellent time to engage in outdoor activities, attend festivals, and tour cities and countryside. However, keep in mind that this is also the busiest time of year, with large crowds and higher hotel and transportation prices.
If you prefer to avoid crowds, consider visiting Belgium during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) or autumn (September to November) (September to November). The weather is still pleasant during these months, and there are numerous festivals and events to attend. Furthermore, you will have a better chance of finding affordable lodging and fewer crowds at popular attractions.
If you enjoy Christmas markets and winter sports, you should consider visiting Belgium during the winter (December to February). The cities and countryside are decked out in festive lights and decorations, and ice skating, skiing, and other winter activities are available.
Things to Know before visiting Belgium?
- The Euro (€) is the currency used in Belgium.
- Language: The official languages of Belgium are Dutch, French, and German. English is widely spoken as well, particularly in tourist areas.
- Tipping is not required in Belgium, but it is appreciated. In a restaurant, a standard tip for good service is 10% of the total bill.
- Public transportation: Belgium has an extensive network of trains, trams, and buses that make getting around the country simple. Tickets can be purchased at train stations, on buses and trams, or online.
- Weather: Belgium has a temperate climate with mild temperatures year round. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so bring layers and be prepared for rain.
- Belgium is famous for its delicious chocolate, waffles, and beer. During your visit, try some of the local specialties.
- Safety: While Belgium is generally a safe country to visit, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe.
- Opening hours: In Belgium, many shops and businesses close on Sundays, and some may also close for a midday break. Before you go, make sure to check the opening hours of the places you want to visit.
- Museums and attractions: On certain days of the week, many museums and attractions in Belgium offer discounted or free admission. It is worthwhile to visit the official websites of the destinations you wish to visit.
- Respect local customs: Because Belgians value politeness and respect, it is critical to be courteous and adhere to local customs and etiquette. It’s considered impolite, for example, to eat or drink while walking in public.
What is the best gift from Belgium?
Belgium is well-known for its delectable chocolate, beer, and other food products, which make excellent gifts for friends and family back home. Consider the following popular Belgian gifts:
- Belgian chocolate: Belgium is well-known for producing high-quality chocolate in a variety of flavors and styles. Godiva, Neuhaus, and Leonidas are some well-known brands.
- Belgian beer: Belgium has a long brewing tradition and produces a wide variety of beers. Stella Artois, Duvel, and Chimay are some popular brands.
- Belgian waffles: Belgian waffles are a popular treat found throughout the country. They’re ideal for foodies and anyone with a sweet tooth.
- Lace: Belgium is famous for its delicate lace products, such as tablecloths, doilies, and handkerchiefs.
- Speculoos: These spiced cookies are a popular Belgian treat that comes in a variety of forms, including spreads, biscuits, and even ice cream.
- Belgian fries: A Belgian specialty, these crispy, golden fries can be found at street vendors and restaurants across the country.
- Comic books: Belgium is well-known for its comic book culture, and many popular Belgian comic book series, such as Tintin and The Smurfs, are produced there.
- Jenever: Made from juniper berries and other botanicals, this traditional Belgian gin is frequently served as a digestif. It makes an excellent present for anyone who enjoys trying new types of alcohol.
Things to Do in Belgium
From historic cities and beautiful architecture to delectable food and drink, Belgium has a lot to offer visitors. Here are some ideas for things to do in Belgium:
- Explore the historic city of Bruges, which is known for its beautiful canals, medieval architecture, and charming cobblestone streets.
- Visit the Grand Place in Brussels: This stunning square in the heart of Brussels is surrounded by historic buildings and is especially lovely at night when it is illuminated.
- Take a brewery tour: Belgium is known for its beer, and many breweries and beer museums offer tours and tastings.
- Try some delicious Belgian chocolate: Belgium is home to some of the world’s best chocolatiers, so while you’re there, try some of the local chocolate.
- Visit the Atomium in Brussels, which was built for the 1958 World Expo and offers stunning views of the city.
- Visit a castle: Belgium has many beautiful castles, including the Counts’ Castle in Ghent and the Castle of Laeken in Brussels.
- Take a canal boat tour: Many Belgian cities offer canal boat tours, which are an excellent way to see the sights and learn about the history.
- Visit the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, which houses an impressive collection of artwork ranging from Flemish Primitives to modern art.
- Enjoy some Belgian waffles: These delectable treats are available throughout Belgium and come in a variety of flavors and toppings.
- Attend a festival: Belgium is well-known for its numerous festivals, such as the Brussels Jazz Festival, the Tomorrowland music festival, and the Flower Carpet festival in Brussels.