Not a big country by any stretch of the imagination, Belgium is still a world-leader in many aspects. For most tourists, however, it is synonymous with great chocolate, chips and beer, what more could you want from a holiday.
Overview, traditions & history
A small country in the shadow of huge world players such as
it’s easy to see why Belgium has never quite been a tourist hotspot, however in recent years, it has started to slowly-but-surely become a favourite destination for city breaks, particularly in
Belgium’s climate is mild and temperate, with cold winters and warm, but not often hot, summers. The country is generally flat around the north and centre, but the Ardennes region in the south east is more rugged and mountainous.
Why visit Belgium?
Belgium is synonymous with three of life’s greatest pleasures; chips, beer and chocolate, so it’s no surprise that British tourists are starting to become wise to what was previously one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.
You can visit Belgium by taking a ferry from Newcastle
Newcastle to IJmuiden (near Amsterdam), and driving south to your destination. it takes only 1 and a half hours to reach the border, and you could visit
Rotterdam on the way if you're not in a hurry.
Rich in culture, steeped in history and graced with some of the most beautiful cities in Europe, there is so much to discover in Belgium.
Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world; Ghent has genteel charm and wonderful Flemish architecture in abundance;
Brussels is the capital of European culture and
Bruges is a fairy-tale, canal-laden city and home to the Guild of Chocolatiers. There is a city for every occasion and budget in Belgium.
Outside of the city walls, Belgium plays host to wonderful landscapes such as the valleys and hills of the Ardennes – ideal for walkers, hikers and cyclists. There are beaches too, with glorious white sands on the northern coastline.
There are countless chocolate shops all over Belgium, but that is in no way the only way you can treat yourself while on holiday, indulge yourself in some croquettes, waffles or moules et frites, accompanied by one of Belgium’s famous beers such as Duvel or Timmermans, or perhaps something a little bit more local and specialist.
Many of the people who holiday in Belgium’s Flanders region often pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the wars at the cemeteries of the many battlefields sites scattered across the region. One of the best known cities for this is
Ypres, with memorials such as the Menin Gate or cemeteries for soldiers who died in the First World War.
Want a more in-depth look at some of Belgium’s top cities? Visit our individual city travel guide pages for more information.
www.visitflanders.co.uk (for the North)
www.belgiumtheplaceto.be (for the South)
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