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Belgium

Continent: Europe

Ideal Duration: 3 - 7 days

Best Time: Mid-April to Mid-October Read More

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Budget: Moderate

"French and German cultures amalgamated"

Belgium Tourism

Chocolates, beer, laces and porcelain are what you think of when you hear Belgium. All of this holds true, but there is a lot more to explore in this small country. Rich in art and culture, Belgium has a fine heritage with many monuments in various cities of the country. Being the centre of EU and NATO, the country holds a lot of prominence among other countries. With long beaches in the north to the highlands in the south, the country offers you everything.

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Tourist Places to Visit In Belgium

Best time to visit Belgium

Mid-April to Mid-October is the best time to visit Belgium

Belgium has a maritime climate with hot and dry summers and cold and snowy winters. To avoid the extremities, this is the perfect time to visit the country as the weather is pretty comfortable during this time. There are a lot of summer festivals that take place during this time and a lot of tourists from all over the world take part here. However, it is necessary to be prepared for sudden rains as the monsoon is there all throughout the year.

Regions in Belgium

There are three federal regions in Belgium that are listed from North to South. The northern part is known as Flanders which is the Dutch speaking area of the country and has major cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. Brussels in the capital as well as the headquarters of EU. The Southern region Wallonia is the French speaking area with a little touch of German as well. Major provinces are Walloon Brabant, Liege and Luxembourg.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Beer and chocolates, tourist friendly cities, numerous carnivals and festivals, delicious and affordable food

What's Not So Great?

Unexpected rains, conservative society, crowded towns

For Whom?

Adventure lovers, couples, family

Read More on Belgium

Currency of Belgium

The sole currency in Belgium is Euro which is also used by 24 other countries in Europe. Euro is divided into 100 cents and the coins of the countries differ from others, but the bank notes remain the same. Despite this, the currency is accepted all over the country. The notes are in denomination of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 and the coins are of EUR 1 and 2 and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. All credit cards across the world are accepted widely. Most shopping districts have the facility of paying by ATM cards.

Exchanging Money in Belgium

Exchanging money is not a problem at all in Belgium as there are many banks that exchange your money at reasonable commission rates. Apart from that, there are exchange bureaus as well, but the rates are a bit on the higher side in this case. There are also 24-hour services at the airports and major hotels to exchange currency.

Nightlife in Belgium

Belgium is well known for its booze and nightlife and it offers a diverse range of entertainment for all the nocturnal. Major towns like Brussels, Gent and Antwerp have the best nightclubs in the country and there are plenty of them. The music there ranges from jazz to club-land music. Youngsters would have a blast in the clubs in Gent and Leuven. The most popular nightclub in Brussels in the Fuse which plays live Techno music. The clubs are open from around 11:00 PM and are open till dawn. Belgium nightlife is also special because of the numerous concerts that go on throughout the year in the hall De Werf in Bruges.

Shopping in Belgium

One can never leave Belgium without buying the chocolate pralines as Belgian chocolate is famous all over the world. The best options are to buy Godiva or Neuhaus chocolates and these are available all over the country. There are also a number of beers available which you wont get anywhere else, so stock up a few before you leave the country. The other items one can buy are Laces in Bruges, Designer wears in Antwerp and the special Belgian comic books from Brussels.

Festivals of Belgium

Belgium houses hundreds of carnivals and festivals throughout the year and there is no main season for it. Whenever you visit Belgium, there is one festival or the other that would be taking place. The most popular one is the Carnival that takes place in February or March and is comprised of grand parades and fireworks. Festival van Vlaanderen is another popular event that holds all the top classical and international music performances. Other major festivals are Zinneke Parade, Durcasse of Mons, Ghent Festival, Ommegang festival, Formula One Grand Prix and Christmas Beer festival.

History of Belgium

The history of the country predominantly is about how its neighbours like France, Germany and England, invaded Belgium. It was first invaded by the tribes of Germany and then during the 14th century it was ruled by Burgundy's French Duke. Under the foreign influence, the art, literature and trade and commerce flourished a lot. In the following centuries, the country was again invaded by the Spanish. Christianity started getting infused here since the 7th century and it created a lot of unrest and revolt during that time. There was a major war in 1568 where all the Low countries revolted against the Spanish and it lasted almost for a century followed by various treaties and political unifications. Belgium was declared independent in 1830. Again during the first world war, it was invaded by the Germans. After lot of struggles, it was finally out of the German grip.

Hygiene in Belgium

The major concern here is influenza during winters which might cause inconvenience. It is better if people are vaccinated for preventing Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Rabies for precautions. Travellers must eat and drink safely and stay safe outdoors. It is also advisable to carry your basic medicine kit while travelling so that there are no major issues in finding medicines. The health care of the country is very developed and there will be no issues in the case of medical emergencies.

Customs of Belgium

Belgium has a bit of conservative dress code, so it is advised to dress modestly when travelling in public places. One should repeat their name when being introduced, followed by a handshake and a three time kiss on alternate cheeks. Always maintain eye contact while talking to the person and shake hands before leaving. A few unacceptable gestures are hands in pockets and yawning before the other. People can tip in places like restaurants and taxis, though the service fee is usually included. For tipping, one can pay 10% of the entire bill amount.

Tips for visiting Belgium

  • The Brussels Card is a good thing to catch hold of while coming to Belgium as it allows one to enter over 30 museums in Brussels. Apart from that, there is also an Antwerp city card.
  • Belgium is a safe country on an overall basis, but there are a few neighbourhoods in Brussels and Antwerp which are a bit risky. Charleroi and Leige are also two regions that one must try and avoid.
  • The emergency contact number in Belgium is 112.
  • While coming to Belgium, one must never forget their raingear as well as sweater for themselves as there are often chances of sudden shows. It is also advisable to get a good pair of shows for trekking and hiking in the country.

Culture of Belgium

Belgium does not have a homogeneous culture as the northern side is mainly inhabited by Dutch, the southern side consists of French and the north-eastern side has a German influence. Alo, it is an egalitarian society. The main religion in Belgium is Christianity, particularly Roman Catholics. There are three official languages in Belgium, namely, Dutch, French and German. The languages change from one region to the other. English is also widely spoken among the young generation so communicating there is not a problem as such.

Food of Belgium

Belgium is known for its famous cuisine and gourmet specialities. The food here is often described as "French food in German quantities". The special dishes in Belgium are Mussels, Balletjes, Frikadellen met krieken, Stoemp, Stoofvlees, Witloof met kaassaus and waffles. There diet mainly consists of sea food and consists of a large variety including shrimps, sardines and other fishes. Rabbit and pheasant meat is also very commin here which are prepared in French flavours. The food is best paired with Belgian beer and the famous chocolate pralines. Belgium is an abode for beer lovers as there are more than 400 types of beers found here. Belgian food is a mixture of German and French style of cooking, which makes it stand out.

Stay options in Belgium

Belgium has all kinds of hotels ranging from luxurious ones to economical bed and breakfast services. There is an uniform high cost for the lodging but there are quite a few midrange hotels as well. The most expensive places to stay are Brussels and Antwerp. For travellers looking for cheaper alternatives, youth hostel is a really good option in places like Wallonia and Brussels.

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