Belgium is the land of Eddie Merckx, Rubens, Audrey Hepburn, Plastic Bertrand. Of Georges Lamaitre, Chocolate, Hergé, Rene Magritte, the sounds of Jacques Brel and taste of Moules Frittes. The home of EU, Stavelot Carnaval and Comics Art Museum.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe when in Belgium. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it.
But on a practical note, we have listed some information below to help you relax and enjoy your tour
Attractions – Belgium
The are many attactions such as Mons Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru and collection of 16th century Jacques Du Broeucq alabaster statues. Dinat offers the Caves of Han and the Grotto of Dinant. Leuven with the Belfry on St. Peter’s Church and the Grand Beguinage.
Tournai offers the five-towered Gothic and Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral. Mechelen’s magnificent Carillion School, where students get instruction on playing this complex instrument of bells. You can go Hiking and camping in he Ardennes. For the more artistic, Reubens artwork in Antwerp in the Plantin Moretus Museum is worth a visit. Ghent has scenic old Graslei harbour and Shopping in Galeries St. Hubert glass-roof arcade filled with shops, cafes, and theatres. Bruges has the spectacular Gruuthuse Mansion.
Regions – Belgium
There are two sectors, firstly the Flemish region consisting of WestFlanders and East Flanders, Antwerp, Limburg and Flemish Brabant. The Walloon region consisting of Walloon Brabant, Luxembourg, Hainaut, Namur and Liège.
VISA – Belgium
Coming from the States you do not need a visa to enter Belgium. As a visitor you can stay up to six months without any restrictions.
Currency – Belgium
The currency is The Euro and this is generally the only currency accepted, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or MasterCard. American Express is less accepted so check in advance. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately .90 Cent and there are 100 Cent in one Euro.
Belgium has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters. Winters are moderate, usually around -2 to 2 degrees in Winter. Some summer months the country experiences is warm and temperatures, particularly around Antwerp, and temperatures can reach up to 23- 27 degrees, but as most central European countries thunders storms as well. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
Language – Belgium
In Belgium the main languages are Flemish, Walloon and you also have French.
Food – Belgium
There is a multicultural society in Belgium and the restaurants, especially in the large cities, most certainly reflect this. German, French, Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, the Belgium’s still love their traditional Belgium recipes! Stoemp, and Moules frites and Waterzooi, feature high on the menus in pubs and restaurants. Belgium breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and is served in most hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of bread and cheese, such as sliced Gouda, jam and honey (see Dictionary below!)
Drink – Belgium
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 16 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs and experiment with one of the beers. Typically you will find that each pub sells Hoegaarden, Trappist Beers, Whiskey, Wine and Jenever and a friendly barman will be happy to inform you of the differences between them all! You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub in Belgium and often these pubs serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes. Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm.
With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is still the favoured hot cup of the day, although American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns.
Electricity and Phone – Belgium
In Belgium there are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The “Type F” Belgain style Schuko and the “Type C” Europlug. Almost all sockets are Schuko, and while the Europlug socket may be found. With regards to your cell phone, it may be cheaper to buy a local number and use this for the duration of your stay. Your hotel/guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly Wi-Fi, then your current sim will suit best.
Dictionary – Belgium
We have listed a few common differences in language between Belgian and the U.S English
een openbaar = restroom de luchthaven = Airport eenrichtingsverkeer = Straight Ahead
apotheker = Pharmacy = cellphone loodvrije | Trui = Jumper
Food – Belgium
Moules frites = mussels cooked or steamed with onions and celery served with Fries
Belguim Breakfast = of bread and cheese, such as sliced Gouda, jam and honey
Stoemp = is the richer Brussels variant of the stamppot dish in the cuisine of Belgium and the Netherlands. It consists of pureed or mashed potatoes, other root vegetables and can also include cream, bacon, onion or shallot, herbs, and spices
Waterzooi = “Viszooitje” is a Belgian dish of stew, originating in Flanders. The second part of the name derives from the Middle Dutch terms “sode”, “zode” and “soot”, words referring to the act of boiling or that what is being boiled
Chips = frittes
Courgette = zucchini