Sitting at the crossroads of Western Europe, Belgium is known for its rich Flemish medieval cities in the north such as Bruges, Kortrijk, Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, while Wallonia in the south is home to the thick, forested hills of the Ardennes and the country’s largest nature reserve the High Fens.
There are three official languages: Dutch is spoken in the north, French in the south and German in the east.
Brussels is also referred to as the capital of Europe, home to many EU institutions as well as NATO headquarters. Its most famous resident is the Manneken Pis statue of a little urinating boy.
Chocolates, waffles, mussels and frites are all quintessential Belgian while many of the country’s restaurants consistently rank high in the world’s most influential restaurant guides.
There are over 1,100 varieties of beer with the Trappist beer of the Westvleteren abbey been repeatedly ranked the best one in the world.
Festivals and Events
Despite its small size, there are a surprisingly large number of varied festivals and events in Belgium that attract thousands of local and international enthusiasts. From large beer and music events such as the Bruges Beer Festival, Zythos Bierfestival and Pukkelpop Music Festival to the historical Carnaval de Binche and Europe’s largest cultural open air festival Gentse Feesten. Towards the end of each year, there arre also many atmospheric Christmas markets all over the country of which the iconic Brussels Christmas Market and the Antwerp Christmas Market are two of the most popular ones.