According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, the Kingdom of Belgium is located in the northwest of Europe and its neighbors are the Netherlands, France, Germany and Luxembourg. Belgium is divided into three regions, the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Region. In addition, the country is divided into three communities: the French, Flemish and German-speaking communities. The French community is also known as Wallonia and the Flemish community as Flanders. Each of these communities has its own capital and its own parliament, all of which fall under the federal parliament. This all causes great division within Belgium and once every few years a part tries to secede again or declare independence. Partly due to this division, the formation lasted 514 days in 2010, which is a world record.
Despite the fact that the country is not very large, some of the largest battles in the world have taken place here. Napoleon was defeated here at Waterloo, more than 500,000 were killed at the Battle of Ypres and there was heavy fighting in the Ardennes during the Ardennes Offensive during the Second World War.
After the Belgian revolution in 1830, Belgium seceded from the Netherlands and subsequently became its own Kingdom. It was Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha who became the country’s first king in 1831. Because Belgium had been part of the Netherlands for a long time, the country had no colonies of its own. Eventually, the country was given the colonies of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Congo was privately owned by King Leopold II from 1885 to 1908 before it was handed over to the Belgium state. He has killed millions in this country with the embarrassing detail that he never visited the country.
Belgium has many places of interest, whether it is one of its beautiful historic centers or its beautiful nature, it all has a special character here. The historic center of Bruges probably belongs to one of the most beautiful authentic city centers in the world. Here you have the feeling of walking through a huge museum. The historic centers of Antwerp, Ghent, Namur and Brussels are also worth a visit.
Belgium is known worldwide for its special types of beer, hundreds of different types of beer are made here. One in a large factory, the other in a small village brewery. Most of these beers are available in the supermarket, others require a waiting period and are only available on reservation. Many of these breweries can be visited. During a visit you often get a tour that ends with a small tasting.
Belgium has a beautiful diverse nature. From the heath and peat areas in the northwestern part of the country to the rugged hilly area in the eastern part of the country. There are several nature parks spread across the country, the Zwin Provincial Nature Park, the Hoge Kempen National Park and the Lesse et Lomme National Park are wonderful examples of this.
The country has a special bond with everything that has to do with cycling. One of the most important cycling races of the year, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, is not called high mass for nothing. However, it is not only the major cycling races that attract a lot of public here, also the local rounds around the church attract a lot of public here. In the winter period, the Belgian spectator exchanges the road races for the cyclocross. If you ever get the chance to visit a Grand Tour in Belgium, don’t miss it.
Of course there are a number of places, buildings and other sights that you should definitely not miss when visiting Belgium. A small selection of these, Manneken pis, the Atomium, the Steen, the Zoo, Waterloo, Flandersfields, the Mass, the Museum of Fine Arts, The Grand Place of Brussels, the SMAK, the citadel of Namur, the Mémorial du Mardasson and so on can we go on for a while.
Belgium has a total of eleven inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List, one of which they have to share with neighboring France. Belgium had the first three registrations in 1998, these were the Flemish Beguinages, the Grand Place of Brussels and the Shiplifts in the Canal du Center and the surrounding area, La Louvière and Le Rœulx. In 1999, the Belfries in Belgium and France were added to the list. Four more followed in 2000, the Mansions of the architect Victor Horta, the Historic Center of Bruges, the Neolithic flint mines in Spiennes and the Cathedral of Our Lady in Tournai. A few years later, in 2005, the Plantin-Moretus Huis-Werkplaats-Museum Complex located on the Friday market in Antwerp was added to the list, and in 2009 the Stoclet Palace in the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre was added.
Belgium has a temperate maritime climate that is strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream and the North Sea. This influence decreases the further inland you go. However, no major temperature differences are observable in Belgium. On average, the winter months in the Ardennes are a few degrees colder than in the coastal area, the average precipitation here is somewhat higher. The East Cantons are on average one of the wettest regions in Belgium. In the winter period you also have the greatest chance of snow here, but you can never speak of snow certainty in Belgium. The North Sea has a cooling effect on the climate in the coastal region in the summer months. During this period, the average daytime temperature here is around 22 degrees Celsius. However, it is not exceptional that the temperature here rises above 30 degrees Celsius during the hottest part of the day. The climate in the northern part of Belgium can be compared with the climate in the Netherlands. In the southern part of Belgium, the average temperature is slightly higher again. The sea temperature in Belgium is always on the cool side and is only suitable for swimming in the summer months.
Geographically, you can divide Belgium in two. The Belgian lowlands along the coast and the Ardennes plateau in the eastern part of the country. The highest part of Belgium is in the Ardennes. The Signal of Botrange is the highest point in the country at 694 metres. Belgium has France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands as neighboring countries. In addition, the country has 66 kilometers of coastline. The largest cities in the country are Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges and Namur. These cities each have more than 100,000 inhabitants. The main waterways of the country are the Meuse, the Scheldt, the Rhine, the Seine and the Yser. These are only the main arteries, but throughout the country there are numerous branches, the most famous of which are the Ourthe, the Ambleve, the Bocq, the Lesse and the Semois, which all eventually end up in the Meuse. Another well-known region in Belgium is the Flemish Ardennes. This region in the southwest of the country is mainly known for its cycling races such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen. However, the most important division here is not determined geographically, but by the language border.
There are no special travel advice for Belgium and no vaccinations are required for a visit to the country. It is wise to take a tick remover with you, especially if you plan to spend a longer time in nature. Whoever goes to the Belgian beach needs about the same factor as in the Netherlands. Unlike in the Netherlands, Belgium has no tolerance policy for soft drugs. Possessing or trading them carries severe prison terms.
Belgium is one of the Schengen countries, which ensures that residents of other Schengen countries can travel freely between the different countries. Tourists from outside one of the Schengen countries can apply for a standard visa, which has a duration of 3 months and money for all Schengen countries. However, you must be in possession of a valid ID and since 2012 this also applies to children.
|Phone (country code)||32|
|Language(s) (official)||Dutch, French and German|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Dutch, French, German and most Belgians also speak English|
|Time difference summer||In Belgium time runs parallel with the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Belgium time runs parallel with the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||yes, this is the same as in the Netherlands|