Belgium is one of the smallest countries in Europe. It borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Ardennes to the south-east. Neighboring countries are the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and Germany. The cosy, small country is, among other things, the place of origin of french fries, some world-famous comics and a popular producer of the finest chocolate. See Andyeducation for education in Belgium.
|Official Language||Ndl., French, German.|
|Time Zone||CET+1 / CET+2|
|Telephone Area Code||+32|
Fast facts to know
- Form of government: Kingdom with parliamentary monarchy.
- Belgium is known for its comics (Smurfs, Tintin etc).
- Form the Be-Ne-Lux states together with the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
- Most residents speak Dutch, many in the south French.
- Beer very popular, but there is no purity law.
- Speculaas were invented in Belgium.
- Has an excellent network of cycle paths.
- Decided to phase out nuclear energy as early as 1999.
- Belgians are known to be very friendly and open-hearted.
- Flea and antique markets are very popular in Belgium.
- After the terrorist attacks in Paris, traces led to Belgium, where many Islamists live (among other things, due to sometimes failed integration policies)
Exciting cities in Belgium
History of Belgium
- Introduced by Caesar as the province “Belgica”.
- Part of the Frankish Empire in the early Middle Ages.
- From the High Middle Ages to the early modern period, the cities of Flanders with their textile industry were one of the two economic centers of Europe.
- Annexed by France in 1794.
- Granted to the Netherlands in 1815.
- 1830 Independence after the Belgian Revolution, Belgium becomes a parliamentary monarchy.
- Exploitation and reign of terror in the Congo under King Leopold II.
- Neutral in both WWI and WWII – it was occupied by the Germans.
- Brussels becomes the seat of international organizations such as NATO and the European Union.
Climate & travel weather in Belgium
- Typical for Western Europe, temperate climate.
- Lots of snowfall in the Ardennes and the Eiffel in winter.
- On the North Sea coast, mild, wet winters and moderately warm, wet summers.
- Recommended travel time:
- Winter sports: January & February.
- City breaks: March, April, September, October.
- Beach holiday at the sea: July & August.
Ideas for trips in Belgium
- Atomium & Grand Place in Brussels.
- Gravensteen Castle in Ghent.
- Raeren Castle.
- Reuland Castle.
- Port tour in Antwerp.
- Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes.
- Boat lifts of the Canal du Center (UNESCO World Heritage).
- Chic seaside resort of Knokke-Heist.
- Villages of Wallonia.
- Hiking in the Ardennes.
- Durbuy & Castle of La Roche.
- Town & Castle Bouillon.
Eating & drinking in Belgium
- Characterized by French cuisine.
- Different regional preferences and focuses:
- In the Ardennes – Wild.
- On the coast – fish dishes.
- Flanders – many asparagus dishes.
- Potatoes, ham play an important role in the countryside as food.
- Motherland of the world famous french fries.
- Known for numerous cheese specialties, such as the Herve from the province of Liège.
- Chocolate and pralines have a long tradition – especially in Brussels.
- Belgians like to combine hearty with sweet.
- Land of beer – more than three hundred well-known types of beer.
- Typical dishes:
- Rabbit stewed with beer.
- Carbonade Flamande (braised beef or pork goulash).
- Salade Liègeoise (salad with ham, potatoes, beans, garlic).
- Liège & Brussels Waffles.
- Dame blanche (vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream).
- Frikadellen met krieken (steamed meatballs with hot cherries).
- Kip met appelmoes (chicken with apple sauce).
- Tarte au ris (rice cakes).
- High Fens Nature Park
- Coastal landscape at the North Sea
- Meuse valley