Belgium Vacation and Travel Information
It happens time after time. People understand Europe the way they've been introduced to it - The usual tourist meccas, the attractions on a thousand postcards. Then they remember Belgium, the little country, they passed through a few days ago. It seems beautiful, it's practically next door to Paris, London and Amsterdam, and they have 24 hours to explore it before heading home. Two hours later, they are in love with Belgium !
Because it is the best kept secret in Europe. Visiting medieval cities, quaint towns, gothic cathedrals and town halls, castles and carillons will keep you busy during the day. At night go to a pub, there are more than 350 delicious beers to chose from. The reputation of our gourmet food makes the French jealous and it is almost impossible to find chocolates as good as ours !
Belgium, a kingdom no bigger than Maryland, is Europe in a nutshell, multicultural and multilingual. Flanders in the north, a flatland criss-crossed by canals, is proud of its great art cities, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the south in Wallonia, you will find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, numerous castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai. Its capital city of Brussels is one of the world's great cosmopolitan cities, home to both the European Union and NATO, as well as a wealth of international trade and finance companies.
Belgium's history has always been linked to both commercial and cultural exchange, and much of its character is due to its role as the great meeting place of Western Europe. Traces of the Austrians, Spanish, French and Dutch can still be seen in its architecture and in the lifestyle of its people. You will see superb examples of art and architecture past and present - Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Nouveau. Cities teem with museums, historical buildings, theatre, music and festivals.
Much has been said about Belgium's hospitality and it's all true. Because of the country's location as an international center of commerce and culture, Belgians are at ease with travelers from all over the world. They are proud of their homeland, and anxious to help get to know it better. You'll find them always personable, cooperative and courteous. The Flemish speak Dutch and the Walloons speak French. In Brussels, the capital, both languages are spoken. But to make it easy, everybody speaks English, albeit with an accent.
Folklore is an important part of life in Belgium. Carnivals, festivals, pageants, plays and religious processions are held all year long. Almost any occasion is cause for a parade and almost every parade includes a giant or two.
Somehow, Belgium has maintained a low-key approach to all of this international sophistication. It is a country for connoisseurs, but connoisseurs who do not take themselves too seriously. Because the Belgians certainly do not.
If you are interested in a crash course on medieval cities, search no longer, Belgium is your thing.
We have so many and they are so close to each other that you can visit more than one a day if you are really in a hurry. But we recommend that you take your time, choose a comfortable seat at a side walk terrace on the main square and let the town cast its spell on you.
Glamorous gothic cathedrals, townhalls, gabled guildhouses, rich museums will tempt you. The cultural heritage of architecture, paintings, tapestries and sculpture reflect the intense intellectual and artistic life of these cities which were important trading centers as far back as the 12th century.
Courtesy of http://www.visitbelgium.com/.