A small country packing a big punch in terms of tourist attractions, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe, its cities soaked in history and famed for their lively arts, fashion, and dining scenes. Although it advertises itself simply as "A Food Lover's Dream," this country of just 11 million people boasts a rich architectural heritage, world-famous breweries, pristine natural areas, and touching memorials marking major battlegrounds from both World War I and World War II. Known for food, amazing cities and lifestyle remember Belgium also offers dense forests, rolling hills, and lush valleys.
Things to know before visit Belgium
Belgium is a small country and mostly all parts of the country experience similar weather. It enjoys mild winters and comfortable summers. Usually, it is rainy with some amount of humidity. The dry period ranges from April till September.
The capital city of Belgium, Brussels is a bustling town with a lot of character and aura. Many of the European institutions have their head quarters in Brussels so it is in a way it is the capital for the European Union. A visit to the Grand place is a must while in Brussels. This UNESCO World Heritage site has an outstanding melange of architectural and artistic styles. The 14th-century guildhalls surrounding it give it a grand appeal. Also visit the 20th-century Art Nouveau townhouses of Victor Horta.
This beautiful, little city of canals is aptly termed the Europe’s ‘Venice of the North.’ Bruges is an architecture lovers delight. It has some gorgeous medieval architecture seen eminently in the southern part of the city’s main hub- The Grote Market Square. In the western side you can relish neo-gothic style at the Provincial Court. Some of the other not to miss places include Belfry Tower, Gruuthuse Mansion and the grand Saint John’s Hospital, dating back to 1188.
A historical town, Ghent has imposing architecture evident in the churches and the house of rich traders. It has a late-medieval feel to it especially along the old Graslei harbour, the imposing 12th century Gravensteen castle and the cathedrals. Today, Ghent is an educational and cultural hub.
Antwerp is not as historically preserved as Ghent or Bruges but it has a fine mix of modern life and history. Art and architecture lovers would be delighted in this town where Revenshuis showcases the baroque works of Peter Paul Ruebens. Architecture wonder can be seen in the 1351 Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady and a mix of baroque and Gothic architecture seen at the Saint Paul’s Church. While here, visit the Grand Place to see some of the finest examples of guild house architecture with steeple-roofed shape and also the Town Hall to see some paintings depicting Antwerp’s history. Coopers' House and Grocers' House showcases some beautiful aspects of Belgian-style of architecture.
For some outdoor activities head to the rugged mountains of Ardennes with caves, cliffs and forests. You can see some wildlife, towering castles and impressive caves while on your trek. Start from city of Namur for your exploration of the Ardennes and be one with nature in all its glory.
Travel Advisory: For the latest information and advice on safety and entry requirements please consult your travel agent well in advance of your departure and visit the following government website:
Department of Foreign affairs and trade www.dfat.gov.au
Smart Traveler website www.smartraveler.gov.au
Electricity: While traveling to Belgium it is advisable to carry an international power plug adapter. The standard voltage is at 220-230V. Sockets are designed to take two round prongs.