Belgium, a country rich in history, culture, and countless natural beauties, entices tourists from around the world. It offers an unforgettable experience for every visitor, from fairytale-like historical landmarks to diverse nature and the famous Belgian cuisine. Let’s explore some Belgium attractions and tourist destinations that you shouldn’t miss on your journey through this picturesque country.
Belgium is a small country that boasts a rich history, culture, and nature. It offers tourists a wide range of attractions that are worth seeing.
Belgium – Landmarks, History, and Culture
Belgium is home to some incredibly well-preserved historical landmarks. Let’s begin with a visit to the capital of Belgium, Brussels, where nearly 200 thousand inhabitants reside, and at times, it is considered (unofficially) the capital of the entire European Union. It is a beautiful place full of landmarks and culture:
- Grand Place in Brussels is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Its Gothic and Baroque buildings are architectural masterpieces and annually host various cultural events. The square is dominated by the Gothic town hall with a 96-meter-high tower, featuring a statue of Saint Michael, the patron saint of Brussels.
- Atomium, a futuristic structure symbolizing the iron molecule, is one of the most iconic buildings in Belgium. It is a 165-meter-high construction made up of 9 steel spheres connected by tubes. Inside, you can explore exhibitions dedicated to science and technology and enjoy panoramic views of Brussels.
- Manneken Pis, the main attraction of Brussels, is a 60-cm-high bronze statue of a urinating boy from the 17th century. Interestingly, over time, the little boy has been adorned with more than 800 costumes, which you can explore in the nearby museum.
- Royal Palace – Belgium being a monarchy, the Brussels Royal Palace is the official residence of the Belgian king. The presence of the monarch is indicated by the raised Belgian flag on the main dome of the palace. However, the palace is open to the public only from the end of July to the beginning of September.
Another must-visit landmark in Belgium is Gravensteen Castle in Ghent. This impressive castle, built in the 12th century, provides a captivating glimpse into medieval history. For architecture enthusiasts, the cathedrals in Antwerp are also must-see attractions, adorning the city with their majestic Gothic style.
Last but not least, don’t forget to visit Bruges, it’s a picturesque city with canals often referred to as the most beautiful city in Belgium. You’ll also find many beautiful buildings, such as the Cathedral of Saint Donatian and the Belfry, a bell tower standing at 83 meters.
Belgium – Nature and Natural Parks
Belgium doesn’t only offer urban charm; it also presents stunning natural landscapes. The Ardennes, a mountainous region stretching across the southern part of the country, is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. Tourists can try hiking, cycling, or simply admiring the beautiful views.
Also, visit Hoge Kempen National Park, where you can stroll through expansive forests and beautiful lakes and admire the rich fauna and flora. The natural beauty here provides a pleasant contrast to the hectic urban environment.
If you prefer the water element, consider the Flemish coast, a 160-kilometer-long stretch of sandy beaches ideal for relaxation and swimming. You’ll also find many resorts offering a wide range of services.
Belgium – Beer, Fries, and Chocolate
If you’re more of a food enthusiast, you’ll likely agree that sightseeing and walking alone won’t fill your stomach. How do you best recharge it in Belgium? With beer, fries, and chocolates (not necessarily all at once):
- Belgium is renowned for its chocolates and pralines. Visit the famous chocolate shop Pierre Marcolini, where you can taste some of the best Belgian chocolates. Also, try Belgian waffles, which are served with various fillings.
- The country produces more than 1500 different types of beer, so everyone will find something to their liking. Among the most famous Belgian beers are Stella Artois, Leffe, and Chimay. Visit the breweries in the Pajottenland region, known for its lambics, or take a trip to the town of Poperinge, famous for its hops. Beer culture is so important in Belgium that several beer festivals are held throughout the year, such as the renowned Brussels Beer Weekend. Here, you can taste a wide range of local beers, from traditional top-fermented Belgian beers to innovative craft brews.
- Don’t forget to try the famous Belgian fries, prepared in several stages in beef fat.
Life in Belgium
Belgium is a modern cosmopolitan country where two official languages are spoken: Dutch and French (with German also used). Belgium has over 11 million inhabitants, with the majority residing in cities.
Tips for Tourists
- Belgium is a member of the European Union, so citizens of the Czech Republic can travel to the country without a visa.
- The currency in Belgium is the euro.
- The most commonly spoken languages in Belgium are Dutch, French, and German.
- Belgium is a relatively expensive country.
Belgium is a beautiful and fascinating small country with a big heart, offering tourists many opportunities to spend their time. If you’re looking for your next vacation destination, Belgium is a great choice.