Get ready to fall head over heels for a country that is small in size but big in heart to explore Belgium, a land of enchanting cities, medieval architecture, and mouthwatering chocolates.
This country is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. From the cobblestone streets of Bruges to the grandeur of Brussels, Belgium offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern delights. So, grab your camera, indulge your taste buds, and let the magic of Belgium sweep you off your feet.
Begin your Belgian adventure in the fairytale city of Bruges, where medieval buildings and picturesque canals create a dreamlike atmosphere. Explore the historic Markt square, visit the iconic Belfry Tower, and take a leisurely boat ride along the canals to soak in the city's beauty.
Continue your journey to the bustling capital, Brussels, where a vibrant mix of cultures and influences awaits. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the Grand Place, discover the famous Manneken Pis statue, and indulge in some delectable Belgian waffles and chocolates.
Ghent, with its stunning Gothic architecture and lively atmosphere, is another gem worth exploring. Climb the Belfry tower for panoramic views, wander through the charming Old Town, and visit the awe-inspiring Saint Bavo's Cathedral, home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece.
|1||Explore the medieval wonders of Bruges||Take a boat ride along the canals||Discover the historical sites of Markt square|
|2||Immerse yourself in the vibrant city of Brussels||Visit the Grand Place and Manneken Pis||Sample delicious Belgian chocolates|
|3||Discover the architectural marvels of Ghent||Climb the Belfry tower for panoramic views||Explore the charming Old Town|
|4||Journey to Antwerp, Belgium's fashion and diamond capital||Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady||Explore the vibrant fashion and design scene|
|5||Unwind in the picturesque town of Dinant||Explore the imposing Citadel of Dinant||Take a relaxing river cruise along the Meuse River|
Belgium is a haven for food lovers, offering a delightful array of culinary delights. Indulge in mouthwatering Belgian chocolates, from pralines to truffles, and savor every melt-in-your-mouth moment.
Don't miss out on sampling crispy golden Belgian fries with a side of tangy mayonnaise, and treat yourself to a heavenly serving of Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. Wash it all down with a refreshing glass of Belgian beer, renowned for its rich flavors and variety.
If you are like me, you will probably get this little waffle maker on your way home:
Dash Deluxe No-Drip Waffle Iron Maker
About this product:
- MORE THAN WAFFLES: Make paninis, hash browns, and even biscuit pizzas. Any wet batter will “waffle” your treats and snacks into 4 Share size portions Great for kids or on the go.
- MESS FREE: No more leaks or spills from overflowing batter The built-in pocket sides catch any excess, making clean up a snap; No waste.
- QUICK plus EASY: Simply plug it in and go; It heats up in minutes The dual non-stick surfaces provide an even cooking temperature for consistent results, each and every time
- PERFECT GIFT: The perfect wedding or new home gift Its small size takes up little counter space, and its sleek design and trendy color options will match any kitchen décor (Add to your registry now.)
- INCLUDES: The 1200 watt DASH waffle maker includes anti-slip feet, nonstick heating plates, a recipe book and recipe database access (all non-electric parts are easily wiped clean)
- U.S. BASED SUPPORT: Dash is a U.S. based company who provides contact information in each product manual
- Meininger Hotel Bruges (Bruges)
- Hotel Belmont (Brussels)
- Hotel Navarra (Bruges)
- Hotel Amigo (Brussels)
- Hotel Heritage (Bruges)
- Hotel Metropole (Brussels)
How to Get There and Away:
Belgium is conveniently accessible from major international airports, such as Brussels Airport and Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
Traveling by train is a popular option, with excellent connections to neighboring countries and within Belgium itself. The efficient public transportation system makes it easy to explore cities and towns, while renting a car allows for more flexibility, especially if you plan to venture into the countryside.
Cost of Living in Belgium:
Belgium is known for its relatively high cost of living compared to some other European countries. The cost of living can vary depending on the city and lifestyle you choose. Here's a general overview of expenses:
- Accommodation: Renting an apartment or house can be a significant expense. Prices vary by city, with Brussels being the most expensive. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €700 to €1,200+ per month.
- Utilities: Utility costs including electricity, heating, cooling, and water can add up to around €150 – €200 per month.
- Transportation: Public transportation is efficient and widely used. A monthly pass for public transport in Brussels, for example, might cost around €50 – €60. Fuel costs for a car are relatively high due to taxes.
- Food: Grocery costs can vary, but a rough estimate for a single person is around €250 – €350 per month. Dining out at restaurants can be moderately expensive, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around €25 – €40.
- Entertainment: Cinema tickets, leisure activities, and cultural events might cost around €8 – €15 each.
- Healthcare: Healthcare is of a high standard but can be expensive. If you're not an EU citizen, you might need health insurance to cover medical expenses.
Cultural Etiquette in Belgium:
- Greetings: A handshake is the common greeting. Address people using their titles and last names, unless invited to use their first name.
- Punctuality: Being on time is considered respectful, whether for business meetings or social events.
- Table Manners: Keep your hands visible while eating and rest your wrists on the edge of the table. Finish all the food on your plate as a sign of appreciation.
- Language: Belgium has multiple official languages, including Dutch (Flemish), French, and German. Address people in the appropriate language based on the region you're in.
- Tipping: Service charges are typically included in the bill, but it's common to leave a small tip. Round up the bill or add around 5-10%.
- Respecting Personal Space: Belgians value their personal space. Maintain a reasonable distance when conversing.
- Gift Giving: If invited to someone's home, it's polite to bring a small gift, like flowers or chocolates. Gifts are typically opened when received.
- Cultural Diversity: Belgium is culturally diverse due to its different language regions. Be aware of the cultural nuances when interacting with people from different parts of the country.
Belgium offers a treasure trove of off-the-beaten-path experiences beyond its well-known attractions. Here are some unique and lesser-explored experiences to consider during your visit:
- Château de Modave: Discover the enchanting Château de Modave, a hidden gem in the Ardennes region. This picturesque castle offers a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved interiors and stunning grounds.
- Tournai: Explore the charming city of Tournai, one of Belgium's oldest towns. Admire the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral, which boasts a UNESCO-listed belfry and stunning Romanesque architecture.
- Hallerbos: Visit Hallerbos during spring to witness a magical display of bluebells blanketing the forest floor. This enchanting natural phenomenon creates an ethereal atmosphere that's perfect for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
- Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren: Immerse yourself in history at the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, showcasing artifacts from ancient times. The museum offers insights into the region's Roman heritage.
- Verbeke Foundation: Experience contemporary art and nature at the Verbeke Foundation. This unique art park combines sculptures, installations, and exhibitions within an expansive natural setting.
- Dinant's Citadel: Escape the crowds by visiting Dinant's Citadel, which offers stunning views of the Meuse River and the town. Take the cable car or climb the 408-step staircase for a rewarding experience.
- Haspengouw Region: Explore the scenic Haspengouw region, known for its picturesque orchards and rolling hills. Visit during the blooming season for a colorful landscape of fruit blossoms.
- Blegny-Mine: Step into the fascinating world of mining history at Blegny-Mine. Take a guided underground tour and discover the life of miners in an authentic setting.
- Raversyde: Journey back in time at Raversyde, an open-air museum that recreates life during both World Wars. Explore bunkers, trenches, and interactive displays along the Belgian coast.
- Gaume Region: Escape to the Gaume region in the south, known for its mild climate, charming villages, and vineyards. Enjoy a leisurely exploration of this lesser-known corner of Belgium.
- Silenrieux Brewery: Experience Belgian beer culture in a serene setting at Silenrieux Brewery. Take a guided tour and savor traditional craft brews surrounded by lush countryside.
FAQs on Explore Belgium
1. When is the best time to visit Belgium?
The best time to visit Belgium is during the months of April to September, particularly in spring (April to June) and early autumn (September). The weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy outdoor activities, festivals, and blooming landscapes.
2. What is the weather like in Belgium during different seasons?
Belgium experiences a temperate maritime climate. Summers (June to August) are mild and often rainy, while winters (December to February) are cool and damp. Spring and autumn offer moderate temperatures and are ideal for exploring.
3. Are there any major festivals or events in Belgium?
Yes, Belgium hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Notable ones include the colorful Flower Carpet Festival in Brussels (August), the Carnaval de Binche (February), and the Gentse Feesten in Ghent (July) – a massive cultural event.
4. Are attractions crowded during peak tourist seasons?
Yes, popular tourist attractions can be crowded during peak seasons, especially in the summer months. To avoid larger crowds, consider visiting during shoulder seasons like spring and early autumn.
5. What are the must-visit places in Belgium regardless of the season?
Belgium offers a range of attractions year-round. Must-visit places include Brussels for its grand architecture and culture, Bruges for its historic charm, Ghent for its vibrant university town atmosphere, and the Ardennes region for outdoor activities.
6. Is it recommended to book accommodation in advance during peak seasons?
Yes, it's advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the summer months or major events. Booking ahead ensures you have a wider range of options and helps you secure your preferred stay.
7. How is the Christmas season in Belgium?
Belgium is known for its enchanting Christmas markets and festive spirit. The period from late November to December is a wonderful time to experience the holiday atmosphere with beautifully decorated streets, mulled wine, and local crafts.
8. What is the availability of outdoor activities in Belgium?
Belgium offers various outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and exploring its beautiful parks and nature reserves. These activities are popular during the mild weather of spring, summer, and early autumn.
9. Are there any travel restrictions to be aware of?
It's recommended to stay updated on travel advisories and restrictions, especially given the evolving global situation. Check official government websites and travel advisories before planning your trip to Belgium.
10. What should I pack when visiting Belgium?
Pack layers for varying weather, comfortable walking shoes for exploring cities, and a rainproof jacket or umbrella. If you plan to visit religious sites, consider packing modest clothing for respectful entry.
Belgium, a small country with a big heart, invites you to immerse yourself in its charming cities, indulge in its culinary delights, and uncover its hidden treasures. From the fairytale landscapes of Bruges to the vibrant streets of Brussels, every corner of Belgium has a story to tell.
So, pack your bags, embark on this extraordinary journey, and let Belgium weave its magic around you. Discover the perfect blend of history, culture, and gastronomy that makes Belgium a truly captivating destination.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Belgium is home to more castles per square kilometer than any other country? With over 3,000 castles and fortresses, it's a dream come true for history enthusiasts and fairy tale lovers. So, don't forget to explore these magnificent structures and step back in time to a world of knights, princesses, and timeless beauty.
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Originally posted 2023-05-18 16:36:02.