Belgium Travel Guide


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Belgium

 

Belgium is situated in northwest Europe.  It is bordered by the North Sea to the northwest, the Netherlands to the northeast, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, and France to the southwest. Belgium has three main regions: Brussels Capital Region (central), the Flemish Region (north), and the Walloon Region (south and east), as well as many provinces. 

 

Belgium is packed with history and culture with its medieval castles, abbeys, cathedrals and many notable historic sites and buildings. Belgium is famous for many things including its fine art, Flemish painters, fine chocolates, beer, tapestry- and lace-making, Belgian waffles and Brussels sprouts!

 

The cosmopolitan capital city of Brussels is situated in the mainly French-speaking centre of Belgium and home to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the European Union (EU). Bruges is a popular tourist destination.
 
Other major cities of Belgium include Antwerp in Flanders (famous for its diamond trading, jewellery shops and artwork). Antwerp was home to the painter Rubens and a collection of his work can be seen at the Fine Arts Museum. Ghent (Dutch:Gent) is famous for its cloth industry, castles, fortresses and famous artworks.

 

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The official languages in Belgium are Dutch (Flemish), French and German.  Flemish (Dutch) is spoken more in the north of the country (Flanders), while French is spoken in the south, and German in the areas bordering Germany (Wallonia).  Currency is the euro. 

 

In the south of the country the Ardennes mountain range provides excellent skiing and winter sports.  In summer the area is popular for outdoor activities such as kayaking, cycling, camping and hiking. 

 

Ostend (Dutch: Oostende ) has a very busy port. The fast ferry services from Dover to Ostend make day trips a reality from England and provide easy access to popular destinations such as Bruges and Ghent . Ostend itself is a city with a lot of history as well as beach resorts offering all kinds of water activities. The Casino (Kursaal) is another popular attraction. as well as Ostend’s harbour, Aquarium, and the old town area.

 

The historic city of Liege provides a relaxing detour with its pedestrian-only shopping areas and alleyways and Glass Museum.

 

Before you leave home, pay a visit the website of the Foreign and Commonwealth office for updated travel advice and information as part of their ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign. 

 

As an example, their advice includes the following:

Visitors should guard their passports and belongings and be wary of pick-pockets in crowded places and on public transportation, especially at train stations in the Brussels area (Gare du Midi/Eurostar Terminal, and Gare du Nord and Schuman) and in Antwerp.  If you should become a victim of theft, don’t forget to obtain a police report, as this will be needed to apply for a replacement or to claim on your insurance. 

 

If you intend to drive in Belgium you will need to know the laws and rules of the road.  The FCO website contains helpful information and links.

 

Passport and visa information.  Note: it is the law in Belgium for visitors to carry their passport at all times.

 

European Health Insurance Card

 

Visitors with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to free emergency medical care, but this should never be used in place of comprehensive travel insurance.  For example, the EHIC does not cover travel problems such as lost or stolen luggage or property, cancellation and curtailment, and expensive matters like personal liability, legal costs, ongoing or non-urgent medical care, air ambulance and medical repatriation.

 

 

 

 

 



 

Disclaimer: While we have tried to ensure the information in this Travel Guide is correct we do not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy or the content of external links.

Inclusion in this Travel Guide does not guarantee travel insurance is available in any country at any given time. Travel Insurance is not available in countries where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued an advisory against travel.

We strongly advise a visit to the FCO website for updated travel information and general travel advice before you book and pay for any travel.