Belgium as an independent country, is still quite young. Independence was declared in 1830. At this time, the various regions of Belgium already had a rich history. The different periods from this era have each contributed to the diversity, openness, character and strength of Belgium today. Whether you’re looking for a weekend break or a longer trip, Belgium has a lot to offer to tourists. If you enjoy walking, sports and the outdoors, the Ardennes, which are the green heart of Belgium, are your place to go.
Belgium is a small country but it holds a special place. Belgium is situated at the heart of Europe. This is a basic observation but the importance of its central geographical location between the most important countries in Western Europe needs to be highlighted. At the risk of seeming paradoxical, Belgium was in a way already playing a “European” role even before it became “Belgian”. Just look at the past roles of Bruges and Antwerp in international trade, Leuven’s role as a university town and the part Liège played during the industrial revolution.
This tradition of openness continues today. Belgium is still a hub for international contacts. More than 1,000 public and private international organizations (international institutions, diplomatic missions, lobby groups, think tanks, multinationals), have set up headquarters or have a permanent secretariat in Belgium. Of particular note is the presence in Belgium, in addition to the institutions of the European Union, of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and the General Secretariat of the Benelux.
However, in addition to the foreign presence within Belgium, Belgium is also represented abroad. Belgium is an exporting country today, but it has always had an active foreign policy. Our country has 132 diplomatic and consular posts abroad, as well as a number of offices representing Communities and Regions.
If you prefer the beach or enjoy cycling, you will not be able to resist the call of our seaside! Our prestigious art cities are magnificent, even if you are not a fan of history, architecture or culture.
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and you can enjoy a walking tour of the old town, which will start with a visit to the Grand’Place. This magnificent square at the heart of the old quarter is considered to be one of Europe’s most ornate market squares. Close to the Grand’Place is Brussels’ most famous resident, the Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a small boy watering the fountain. Your tour will then take you further afield to the Horta House, and finally to the Atomium, from the top of which you will enjoy a panoramic view of Brussels.
Bruges, a beautiful medieval city of canals, often called the “Venice of the North”. You will be taken on a tour of the most attractive of the town’s waterways and houses. You will visit the market place, and see the celebrated belfry and gothic hall. Enjoy also a visit to the world renowned Groeninge Museum. Bruges is the most notable go-to city for travelers looking to get beyond the European whirlwind. It’s one of Europe’s original tourist destinations, attracting well-to-do British and French since the 19th century. They, like us today, were going to see a magnificent town built among a network of canals. You will witness ts stunning canals and graceful architecture, walking the old streets, climbing the 366 steps of its 13th century belfry, taking a boat ride through the canals, and sitting out and enjoying its street-side cafe culture.
Ghent is another must do place in the country. Ghent grew into a rich city from the Flemish cloth trade back in the Late Medieval time. The city center forms the largest car-free zone in all of Belgium, making it pleasant for pedestrians to admire the city’s medieval architecture, which remains mostly intact and remarkably well-preserved and restored. Ghent is also a lively university town and full of vibrant students. It has an opportunity of nightlife, and attractions to put it on your program.
Antwerp is a world city on a human scale. There’s always something to see and experience. On this page you will find all the city’s sights: from interesting museums and fun attractions to surprising spots and architectural highlights. This small place offers you to Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest and best-known zoos in Europe, Cathedral of Our Lady, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries and Vlaeykensgang, the secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another. You can explore Grote Markt, originally was a forum or square just outside the medieval residential quarter. Antwerp, is known for its history, fashion scene, diamond trading, and lively nightlife
- Art Fair Tefaf, Maastricht – TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) Maastricht is widely regarded as the world’s leading fair for art, antiques and design. This fine arts fair is a yearly feast for thousands of curious and art lovers.
- Christmas & New Year – Discover the seasonal magic over Christmas & New Year in Belgium. Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Liège, Ghent but also country side villages set a happy effervescence with a magnificent Christmas tree, ice-skating rink, and wooden chalets offering Christmas presents, great winter food and hot spicy wine to drive away the cold and warm ones.
- Belgian Beer Experience – As goes for Belgian chocolates, Belgian beer is known around the world. However, although they’re great, the majority of exported beers is just the very standard of what the big brands have to offer. The most refined, best beers, brewed with tradition and craftsmanship, are really hard to get outside of Belgium.
- Belgian Chocolate – For all who are passionate about Chocolate, Belgium is the perfect destination. Through generations of chocolatier; the Belgian Chocolate Art stand out from the rest because of its exquisite and authentic handmade style, and also because of the use of only natural products and surprising ingredients like spices, cereals, fruits, truffles and more.
- World’s most unusual restaurants – Every year in June, discover Brussels’ high cuisine in the most extraordinary manner possible: from a crane 150ft in the sky! Instead of a sitting round a cosy kitchen table, you will be dangling from a crane 150ft in the sky, complete with dining chairs, table, crockery, etc.
- Baroque in Antwerp – Find out everything there is to know about Peter Paul Rubens and his baroque, cultural legacy during “Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires”. You can discover and experience first-hand why Rubens was and is still regarded one of the most influential artists ever and is called Antwerp’s most famous inhabitant.
- The Carnival of Binche – The Carnival of Binche is a living and exceptional heritage, a popular, human and social event, recognized as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. During a few months, the inhabitants and the City prepare their Carnival, in a real communion, with the strong commitment from the family and carnival societies.
- Cycling in Belgium- Summer is just around the corner! Not only The Netherlands but also Belgium is a paradise for cyclists. You cycle on comfortable and secured bicycle paths along romantic rivers winding between quaint towns, charming castles, outdoor cafés and incredible restaurants.
- Walk and Trappist Beer – Founded about 60 year ago, the “Association des Sentiers de Grande Randonnée” (long distance footpath) offers hikers a network of over 5,000 routes in Wallonia and Brussels. The association recently launched a 300km itinerary in the South of Belgium to link through beautiful forests and valleys three abbeys famous amongst the beer lovers for their “Trappist” beer – Chimay, Rochefort & Orval.