Belgium— The Basics
A unique blend of Dutch, French, and German culture, Belgium offers travelers a wondrous array of beautiful sights and sounds to experience. Nowhere in Europe will you find such a scrumptious blend of cuisines. Meatballs, Flemish stew, shrimp croquettes, and vole-au-vent will keep your belly full and your taste buds happy as you travel through Belgium. Belgium is the one of the best places to visit if you want a cosmopolitan destination. For travelers eager for variety, Belgium has a pleasant surprise at every turn!
Sights and Attractions
Modern architecture and old designs can be found on the same street throughout Belgium. See where international decisions are made at the European Parliament building in Brussels . A short walk from there, stand before the captivating Grote-Markt in the city center. You won’t believe the sheer vastness of the most opulent attraction in the city.
For beer lovers, Belgium does not disappoint. While we’ve all heard of Stella Artois, a number of delectable amber ales, pale ales, lambics, Flemish reds, and stouts are just waiting to be sipped. The number of distinct, exciting beers in Belgium is too long to list. Bars, inns, and taverns are everywhere. If you don’t know where to start, ask anyone on the street. Belgians delight in preaching the gospel of their favorite brew. You’ll never get a tastier buzz than in Belgium.
Belgium hosts grand castles, fabulous palaces, and intricate parks. A storied cathedral or a dignified guild hall can be found in most cities. The villages of Belgium are like a portal to the medieval era, the charming stone houses and cobblestone streets will leave you in awe. It’s absolutely incredible that such elegant, old-style designs still exist in the world.
Belgium Travel Tips
Belgium Currency Considerations
Belgium is a member of the EU, and the Belgium currency is the Euro. If your Brussels Belgium travel plans are one part of an ongoing European adventure, then you probably have some Euros already. If not, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Make sure that you only exchange what you need, and always have some pocket cash. Having to exchange dollars for euros, and then exchange euros back to dollars simply isn’t ideal. If you do have extra currency remain, you can easily exchange it once returning home. In the right places, Belgium currency exchange services offer an acceptable rate, but this varies. In airports and around popular tourist hotspots, you are more likely to get lowballed at a kiosk or even given counterfeit bills. Think ahead and contact your bank or an online currency exchange service to get your money at the lowest personal cost.
If you plan to travel around Europe, hold onto those Euros. Every single one of Belgium’s direct neighbors uses the Euro. You can buy a crepe in France, munch on some croquettes in the Netherlands, and savor some sauerbraten in Germany — all with the same currency!
Hotels and hostels can get pretty pricey, especially when you’re near a big city center. To pay the least to rest your head, try to find the best last minute travel deals. What you save on a bed can be spent on more beer and waffles!
Flights and Transportation
If you plan to travel in Europe, then be sure to mull over your options in advance. You can often find some sweet last minute travel deals, but you can also save money by booking your flight ahead. With a modern, on-time, speedy railway system, Belgium is a great window to the rest of Europe.
Rail travel is very affordable in Europe. You can travel across four countries for the price of a night at a cheap hotel. The metro system in Brussels and other large cities is clean and efficient. Wherever you may want to go to Belgium, getting there is easy. Located next to France, Germany, and the Netherlands. If you’re not sure where to go or what to see, a variety of Brussels Belgium travel agencies are there to help.
Dutch, French, and German are the three official languages of Belgium. Although Dutch is the language with the most native speakers, there are more French speakers overall when accounting for second-language French speakers. For your Brussels Belgium travel plans, you will get by just fine with English. Outside the capital, you may not find as many English speakers.
Still, you should be able to get around Belgium easily enough with English. If you’re worried about communication issues, a few French words and a spattering of Dutch go a long way in Europe. It’s never a bad idea to learn “do you speak English” in the local language. Belgium is one of the best places to travel if you want to hear a variety of languages in the same room.
Bieng a Good Guest in Belgium
Southern Belgians aren’t fond of being called French. The French-speaking region of the Netherlands is called Wallonia. You can simply refer to these people as Belgian, or you can call them Walloons.
In northern Belgium, the Dutch speakers can be referred to as Flemish. Their region is called Flanders. Don’t call them Dutch. Their Flemish identity is distinct from anything else, and they like to be recognized for who they are.
Don’t point at people in Belgium. It’s rude everywhere, but Belgians find this behavior especially barbaric. In other places, talking to someone with your hands in your pockets is no big deal. In Belgium, it’s a sign that you don’t really care.
While Belgium is a very safe place, it has its share of scammers. If a stranger asks you for money to help a friend or loved one in the hospital, say no! Some people see tourists as walking ATM. If it sounds sketchy, it probably is. If it seems too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam. On the bright side, Belgium is a country where you don’t have to tip. Waiters and waitresses make enough on their wages that tips are unnecessary.
As Belgium has a good reputation, you may feel like you can lower your guard. You don’t need to look over your shoulder or fear for your life. You do need to keep an eye on your valuables, and you should probably avoid wearing that totally legit Rolex in crowded places. Furthermore, if you’re unpleasant or snobby to the locals, they will be hostile to you. Angering a bunch of drunk, Flemish men outside the bar should be at the bottom of your to-do list. Even though Flemish people are renowned for their stoic patience, everyone has their limit. Please don’t be unkind to such friendly, patient, welcoming people. Belgians are warm to anyone who shows them courtesy.
Among the best places to travel to in Europe, Belgium is a blend of its neighbors distilled into a unique, robust identity. There’s so much to see, and there are so many different people to meet. It doesn’t matter if you’re there for the beer, the food, the people, or the sights. Belgium is a place that has it all. Get the most out of your trip. Make sure you find some excellent last minute travel deals. More euros in your wallet means a more exciting adventure in Belgium!
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