Country guides Europe
Belgium Travel Guide
Despite its small size, Belgium could easily be mistaken for several countries in one, each with their own distinct personality: Flemish Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia can feel as different as the Netherlands and France. Sandwiched between London, Paris and Amsterdam, Belgium packs in a variety of cities and landscapes that offer many attractions for visitors. While most of Belgium's well-known cities, including Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, are in northern Belgium, the southern region of Wallonia offers quaint towns and beautiful landscapes largely ignored by tourists.
Belgium's major cities are lively and cosmopolitan, with interesting modern attractions such as the Walibi Belgium amusement park to contrast historical sites like museums, palaces and art galleries. Food lovers especially will want to spend a few days in Brussels sampling the delights of Belgian cuisine and indulging in the fare produced by the city's renowned chocolate makers. After dark, Belgium's cities continue to buzz with music and nightlife, hosting many cultural events and festivals that delight both locals and foreign visitors.
Though often overlooked for its more famous neighbours, a holiday in Belgium offers attractions and activities to please travellers of all ages and interests. Plus, it's less overrun with tourists...
Best time to visit Belgium
The weather in Belgium is generally moderate with few extremes, making for pleasant holiday conditions for much of the year. As July and August are peak tourist seasons, visitors will find that the best time to visit Belgium is in April or September when it's less crowded and better deals can be had.
What to see in Belgium
-Tour the World War I battlefields of Flanders.
-See famous cartoons and comics at the Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art.
-Get a bird's-eye view of famous European landmarks at Mini Europe.
-View the iconic Atomium sculpture in Brussels.
What to do in Belgium
-Indulge your sweet tooth at the Choco-Story Museum.
-Learn about diamond cutting and polishing at the Bruges Diamond Museum.
-Enjoy the markets and flower stalls at the Grand Place in Brussels.
-Get sprayed by the famously-irreverent Manneken Pis fountain.
Getting to Belgium
There are plenty of direct cheap flights to Belgium from the UK and US, landing at Brussels International Airport. If travelling to Belgium from England or Europe, there are direct train services to Brussels from London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Zurich and many other cities.
The Sorrow of Belgium by Hugo Claus, A Dog of Flanders by Marie Louise de la Ramée, and Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett
Quand on n'a que l'amour (Jacques Brel)
Carnival in Flanders (1935), L'enfant (2005), and In Bruges (2008)
Locally brewed Abbey beers
Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles
Buy in Belgium
Belgian chocolate and handmade lace
Pack for Belgium
An umbrella; Belgium is known for wet weather at any time of the year.
What's on in Belgium
Brussels's annual Flower Show is a beautiful sight for any green-fingered visitor. The city also builds a beach resort, Bruxelles Les Bains, along its canal every summer in July and August. Bruges's Choco-Late Festival in November is a great place to sample Belgian chocolate.
Some random facts
Belgians consume an average of 20 pounds (9kg) of chocolate, individually, every year.
A final word
Belgium is a small country that draws the best in culture from its neighbours for a fascinating blend of food, music and history.