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Welcome to Belgium

Belgium

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Brussels is fast becoming one of the great European cities to visit for a weekend getaway. Nicknamed ‘the European Village, ’ it is a hive of European culture, with over 90 museums, many splendid parks and more chic and fashionable restaurants and cafes than you could wish for. It is also cheaper than London and Paris! 

Any visitor to Belgium will be struck by the country’s love of great chocolate and the chocolate shops are to die for. The best Belgian chocolate is made with 100 per cent cocoa butter and no vegetable oil. The chocolatiers or chocolate shops sell genuine hand-made chocolates which are rated as being among the best in the world. They are of a superb quality and made fresh every day. Try Godiva or Pierre Marcolini for an expensive treat. Avoid the mass produced boxes though sold at discount prices in souvenir shops. You’d find better quality in a supermarket. 
Belgium is equally famous for its beer, of course. There are 400 varieties of Belgian beer which can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night as an apero or an accompaniment to a meal. Delirium is one of many beer cafes in Brussels but the only one which actually serves all 400 varieties. Another beer cafe that you might like to visit while in Brussels is A la Morte Subite which translates as sudden death and refers to a game some Belgians used to play when they went for drinks at lunch time. It is one of the more traditional beer cafes in the city and dates back to 1928. They also have a range of spontaneously fermented Iambic beers, beloved by many Belgian beer connoisseurs.
Of course, Belgium is not only famous for its chocolate and beer. It is also the home of mussels paired with glorious, crispy fried thin chips or frites as the Belgians call them. Moules frites is a classic Belgian dish that no visit to Belgium is complete without. Share a bowl of chips and a pot of mussels with a friend at any bistro or restaurant. Watch how the locals use an empty shell in a tweezer like fashion to take the mussels from their shells to eat. You might also want to try another classic Belgian dish, frites with mayonnaise. Delicious and best eaten outside a cafe, as you watch the world go by, sipping beer or hot coffee. 
Bruges in the Flanders area of Belgium is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Often referred to as Venice of the North, it is criss-crossed by many canals, lined by ornate and splendid houses built in the traditional Flemish style. Its centre is a UNESCO world heritage site and could be the backdrop to a medieval fairy tale with soaring church spires and towers, and whitewashed alms houses along picturesque cobbled streets. There is plenty to do too. Don’t miss the Groeninge Museum, the Church of Our Lady, the splendid Belfry and the medieval Market Halls. 
Antwerp is another beautiful Belgian city. Like Bruges, there is still a great deal of medieval architecture to be seen and UNESCO is considering making its historic town centre a world heritage site. You will soon realize when you visit that Antwerp was the home of Pieter Paul Rubens who lived there in the early part of the seventeenth century. Many of his paintings are still in the city and you can find the largest collection at the Rubenshuis museum, off the Meir. It is the second largest harbour in Europe and is also home to the diamond trade. The diamond district is in the Jewish quarter near the railway station. If diamonds are out of your price range though, you could visit instead the fashion quarter near the Meir. The city is becoming more and more well known for fashion thanks to its numerous young designers.
Brussels is fast becoming one of the great European cities to visit for a weekend getaway. Nicknamed ‘the European Village, ’ it is a hive of European culture, with over 90 museums, many splendid parks and more chic and fashionable restaurants and cafes than you could wish for. It is also cheaper than London and Paris! 
Any visitor to Belgium will be struck by the country’s love of great chocolate and the chocolate shops are to die for. The best Belgian chocolate is made with 100 per cent cocoa butter and no vegetable oil. The chocolatiers or chocolate shops sell genuine hand-made chocolates which are rated as being among the best in the world. They are of a superb quality and made fresh every day. Try Godiva or Pierre Marcolini for an expensive treat. Avoid the mass produced boxes though sold at discount prices in souvenir shops. You’d find better quality in a supermarket. 
Belgium is equally famous for its beer, of course. There are 400 varieties of Belgian beer which can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night as an apero or an accompaniment to a meal. Delirium is one of many beer cafes in Brussels but the only one which actually serves all 400 varieties. Another beer cafe that you might like to visit while in Brussels is A la Morte Subite which translates as sudden death and refers to a game some Belgians used to play when they went for drinks at lunch time. It is one of the more traditional beer cafes in the city and dates back to 1928. They also have a range of spontaneously fermented Iambic beers, beloved by many Belgian beer connoisseurs.
Of course, Belgium is not only famous for its chocolate and beer. It is also the home of mussels paired with glorious, crispy fried thin chips or frites as the Belgians call them. Moules frites is a classic Belgian dish that no visit to Belgium is complete without. Share a bowl of chips and a pot of mussels with a friend at any bistro or restaurant. Watch how the locals use an empty shell in a tweezer like fashion to take the mussels from their shells to eat. You might also want to try another classic Belgian dish, frites with mayonnaise. Delicious and best eaten outside a cafe, as you watch the world go by, sipping beer or hot coffee. 
Bruges in the Flanders area of Belgium is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Often referred to as Venice of the North, it is criss-crossed by many canals, lined by ornate and splendid houses built in the traditional Flemish style. Its centre is a UNESCO world heritage site and could be the backdrop to a medieval fairy tale with soaring church spires and towers, and whitewashed alms houses along picturesque cobbled streets. There is plenty to do too. Don’t miss the Groeninge Museum, the Church of Our Lady, the splendid Belfry and the medieval Market Halls. 
Antwerp is another beautiful Belgian city. Like Bruges, there is still a great deal of medieval architecture to be seen and UNESCO is considering making its historic town centre a world heritage site. You will soon realize when you visit that Antwerp was the home of Pieter Paul Rubens who lived there in the early part of the seventeenth century. Many of his paintings are still in the city and you can find the largest collection at the Rubenshuis museum, off the Meir. It is the second largest harbour in Europe and is also home to the diamond trade. The diamond district is in the Jewish quarter near the railway station. If diamonds are out of your price range though, you could visit instead the fashion quarter near the Meir. The city is becoming more and more well known for fashion thanks to its numerous young designers.
 
Choosing JiveHippo for your holiday in Belgium means that you will have access to a large number of hotels and apartments for your stay.

Climate

Not surprisingly, the climate in Belgium is much like ours in Great Britain. The winters tend to be mild and the summers are often cool so it is a good idea to pack a jumper whatever time of the year you visit.

Not surprisingly, the climate in Belgium is much like ours in Great Britain. The winters tend to be mild and the summers are often cool so it is a good idea to pack a jumper whatever time of the year you visit.

Getting Around

From any of the major cities in Belgium you will be able to catch a bus service and even a tram service. 

Most public service transportation will run through until 11pm and some until 12 midnight.

you will easily be able to find taxis outside of the airport and train stations, however if you are waiting for a taxi anywhere else, it is preferable to call and book.

Health

Before leaving the UK, you should try and obtain your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). 

With your card you will be able to use state provided medical treatment, if required.

If you are not able to obtain your EHIC card, then you should be prepared to travel with your travel insurance, which will allow you to seek treatment while visiting Belgium.

Language

Belgium is, without doubt, a country of two halves. There is the Dutch speaking Flanders in the north and the French speaking Wallonia in the south. Flanders, the site of much of the First World War, is full of history and stunning, medieval villages and towns. Wallonia, to the south, boasts valleys, hills, caves and other bucolic pleasures. The capital city, Brussels, is a largely French speaking enclave within the Flemish north and is the home of the European Parliament. To further complicate matters there is a German speaking community in the east. 

French is the official language in Brussels but in Bruges and Antwerp you will find that many of the locals are much more willing to speak English with you than French. 

Money

The currency is, of course, given that it is the home of the European Union, the Euro.

Safety

Crimes rates in Belgium are similar to those of the UK. 

Only take the minimal amount of cash, credit cards and personal ID.

Jewellery and other valuable should be left in a secure place like your hotel safe.

Try not to carry your money and credit cards and ID all in the same bag.

Time

Belgium is under the Central European Time Zone (UTC+01:00)

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