Sitting at the helm of world politics, headquarters of EU and NATO, holding a rich heritage of renaissance architecture and home of a cosmopolitan population, Belgium is a relatively small country with a lot to offer.
One of the low-lying countries, part of Benelux, Belgium has three distinct language zones – Dutch speaking (Flemish) north neighboring the Netherlands, French speaking south neighboring France and German speaking west neighboring Germany. But English is also a dominant language around the country. The diversity is not only because of the proximity to more dominant forces in the region, but also consequence of the fact that it changed hands so many times going from one rule to other.
Once part of the holy Roman Empire in the medieval times, followed by rule of Dukes of Burgundy, eventually falling into the hands of Spanish empire. Times of these distinct ages are evident from the medieval to renaissance architecture seen in and around Brussels.
Things to do
Filled with small cities boasting a rich heritage of historic buildings and political significance, Belgium is a tiny country that can be covered in a relatively small time compared to some of the neighboring touristy heavyweights like UK, France and Germany.
Brussels | More to come
Things to know before you go
- Visa: Belgium is part of the Schengen countries; so for visa applications find out if you need a visa to visit the Belgium here.
- Several people have asked us to provide a bit more direction on the visa application process, as some Schengen country visa application websites are confusing. We will cover the visa application process in more detail.
- From the countries we have applied for a Schengen visa so far, the Netherlands has been the easiest and most efficient. But they suggest you apply through the country where you will spend the most time in or the country of your first entrance. So to visit Belgium, France or Netherlands work pretty well since most cities are conveniently connected via train.
- Time to visit: There are many articles written on best time to visit. But we found late fall to be the most convenient as the temperatures drop, resulting in cheaper travel costs and fewer tourists. Also the cities light up with holiday decorations albeit these are also one of the wet months.
- Currency and Language: Euro is the only accepted currency, but most places in the cities would accept cards, even ApplePay. As mentioned above, Dutch, Flemish, French and German are spoken in various regions, but English is widely accepted as a second language.