Belgium

With romantic rivers and canals, 'chocolate-box' villages and impressive monuments from the Renaissance, Belgium exudes old-world charm like no other. Whether you're keen to dabble in the art world, discover historic battlefields, indulge in gastronomic delights or simply wander the cobbled city alleyways, Belgium will feed your senses, capture your imagination and steal your heart.

Belgium Tours & Travel

All our Belgium trips

Berlin wall

Barcelona to Berlin

15 days from
USD $1,998.75
CAD $2,021.25
AUD $2,096.25
EUR €1,466.25
GBP £1,260.00
NZD $2,497.50
ZAR R19,170.00
CHF FR1,796.25

Packed with historical, culinary and artistic attractions, this journey from Barcelona to Berlin encapsulates much of...

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Vienna, Austria

Europe Explorer

36 days from
USD $5,490.00
CAD $5,565.00
AUD $5,780.00
EUR €3,995.00
GBP £3,460.00
NZD $6,855.00
ZAR R52,620.00
CHF FR4,960.00

Visit Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy on this epic journey that includes all the incredible cities...

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Articles on Belgium

Belgian beer, waffles and more

Posted on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 by Sue Elliot

Aside from Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dr Evil, the most famous things to come out of Belgium are definitely food and drink related. Everyone immediately envisages beer, waffles and chocolate [...]

Read more

Belgium Highlights

About Belgium

At a glance

Trips Available:
2
Capital city:
Brussels (population 950,000)
Population:
10.4 million
Language:
Dutch, French, German
Currency:
EUR
Time zone:
(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris
Electricity:
Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)
Dialing code:
+32

Best time to visit Belgium

As a small country, Belgium's weather doesn't vary much around the country. Warmer weather prevails from May to September, with July and August being the most popular times to visit, so expect to share Belgium with more people when travelling during this period. It can get quite cold during December and January, with snow frequently falling around the country. Rainfall is quite high year-round in Belgium, although the rain is usually in the form of showers rather than torrential downpours.

Belgium weather chart

Geography and environment

Horst castle
Sharing borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Belgium is strategically placed near many of Western Europe's capital cities. Featuring relatively flat terrain, Belgium has a mixture of fertile plains and valleys, and rugged forested areas. With a small strip of coastline along the North Sea, international travellers often forget that Belgium has sandy beaches, with the Flanders coast being well-frequented by local and European holidaymakers.

Top Picks

Belgian chocolate truffles

Top 5 Sweet Treats of Belgium

1. Chocolate

Belgian chocolate is arguably the world's best and with thousands of chocolate shops all over the country, visitors won't be able to resist trying a truffle or two! Visit chocolate museums, hand-pick favourites at luxury chocolateries or stock up at chain stores.

2. Waffles

Belgian Waffles (known locally as Gaufres) aren't exactly a diet food. Topped with cream, sugar, chocolate sauce, strawberries or all of the above, they are a delectably decadent treat easily picked up from markets, specialty stores and street carts all over Belgium.

3. Cuberdon

These classic Belgian sweets are a raging favourite with locals. Hard on the outside and syrupy in the middle, cone-shaped cuberdons are made with sugar and gelatine, and are available in flavours like raspberry, blackcurrant and apple.

4. Speculoos

These thin, spicy cookies are usually served at Christmas, but are baked all year round. With a unique flavour, they are very 'moreish' so it's hard to stop at one.

5. Pom Koek

This traditional, Belgian coffee cake made with honey and coffee and spiced with cinnamon and cloves is a delicious afternoon pick-me-up easily found in coffee houses and cafes throughout Belgium.

FAQs on Belgium

Restaurants will include a service fee within the bill and tipping extra is generally left up to the discretion of the consumer. Rounding up the bill or leaving spare change is commonplace if the service has been good. Feel free to tip more if the service has been exemplary or if you’re feeling generous.
Internet access is good in Belgium, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots easily found in most cities and major towns.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in most parts of Belgium. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.
Modern, flushable toilets are the standard in Belgium.
Can of soft drink = 2 Euro
Coffee in a cafe = 3-4 Euro
A bottle of beer = 3-5 Euro
Lunch in a cafe = 10-15 Euro
Nice dinner with drinks = 30-50 Euro
Tap water is considered safe to drink unless otherwise marked.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores and hotels in Belgium. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases.
ATMs are very common in Belgium, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Apr 9 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 17 Ascension Day
May 28 Whit Monday
Jul 11 Flemish Community Holiday
Jul 21 Independence Day
Aug 15 Assumption
Sep 27 French Community Holiday
Nov 1 All Saints Day
Nov 11 Armistice Day
Nov 15 German Community Holiday
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2012. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/belgium/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Belgium Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Water bottle

Top responsible travel tips for Belgium

1. Be considerate of Belgium’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter BruegelRudy Rucker
A Tall Man in a Low Land: Some Time Among the BelgiansHarry Pearson
VilletteCharlotte Bronte
A Dog in FlandersOuida
Dreadful LiesMichele Bailey
They Called it PasschendaeleLyn Macdonald