Belgium: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Belgium

Overview

Belgium was declared a separate nation after being granted independence from the Netherlands in 1831. One of the smallest countries in Europe, Belgium, has a total landmass of 11,849 sq. miles. Bordered by Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France, Belgium is famous for its medieval towns, its ancient architecture, its beer, and its delicious chocolate. Belgium’s western border on the North Sea consists of 42 miles of soft sandy coastline, popular resorts, pristine beaches, and scenic coastal towns. Here visitors and locals alike enjoy a wide variety of sports and recreational facilities and due to the iodine and salt content in the air, beachgoers acquire a healthy tan. 

 

Capital city: Brussels

Population: 11,535,000 (2022 est.)

Currency: Euro (€)

Emergency Number: 112

Frites-Belgium
Belgian-Waffles

Packing List

Speak the Language

Language: The primary language in Belgium is Dutch, spoken by approximately 60% of the population.  The country has distinctive regions including Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north, French-speaking Wallonia to the south and a German-speaking community to the east.

Dutch:

  • Hello - Hallo
  • Goodbye - Tot Ziens
  • Thank you - Dank je
  • Do you speak English? - spreekt u Engels
  • How are you? - Hoe is hey met je
  • I’m fine, thank you - Alles goed, bedankt
  • What’s your name? - Wat is je naam?
  • My name is… - Mijn naam is
  • Where is... - Waar is...
      
    • The bathroom - de badkamer
    • An ATM - been pinautomaat

French:

  • Good morning - Bonjour 
  • Good afternoon - Bon apres midi
  • Good night - Bon nuit
  • Goodbye (to a person leaving) - Au revoir
  • See you soon - A bientot
  • Thank you - Merci
  • How are you? - Ca va?
  • I’m fine - Ca va
  • I’m sorry - Je suis desole
  • Where is... - Où est….
      
    • The bathroom - trouvent les toilettes
    • An ATM - un guichet automatique

German:

  • Good morning - Guten Morgen
  • Good afternoon - Guten Tag
  • Good night - Guten Nacht
  • Goodbye - Auf Wiedersehen
  • See you soon - She dich später
  • Thank you - Danke
  • How are you? - Wie get es dir?
  • I’m fine - Es geht mir gut
  • I’m sorry - Es tut mir Leid
  • Where is... - Wo ist...
      
    • The bathroom - die toilette?
    • An ATM - ein geldautomat?

 

Google Translate: Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

Cinquentenaire-Brussles-Belgium

Weather

BRUSSELS WEATHER

Fun Facts

  • Brussels South Charleroi Airport is the most punctual airport in Europe.
  • Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. Contrary to what many people believe, Flemish is not a language. It's a dialect cluster or simply the way people from the Northern part of Belgium – Flanders – speak Dutch.
  • One fun fact about Belgium many people don’t know about is that the word “spa” comes from the Belgian city of Spa, located in the province of Liège. Spa is world-famous for its many natural mineral springs, and over time the name of the city became synonymous with any health resort with therapeutic baths, hot springs, or wellness treatments.
  • Belgium has the lowest salary gap between men and women in the EU.
  • Aside from Spain, Belgium is the only country in the world to have two living kings. Current King Philippe's father Albert continues carrying the title “king” after his abdication.
  • Brussels International Airport is the world's largest chocolate selling point.
  • New York City was founded by the Belgian Pierre Minuit (1589-1638). He bought the island of Manhattan in 1626 from its original inhabitants.
  • The world's first beer academy opened in Herk-de-Stad, in the province of Limburg, in 1999.
  • Europe's first skyscraper was built in Antwerp between 1928 and 1932. It's called “De Boerentoren” (“Farmer's Tower”) and is still the second-tallest structure in the city, after the Cathedral of Our Lady.
  • The world’s first recorded lottery took place in Belgium. It was held to raise money for the poor.
  • The capital of Brussels is home both to NATO and the European Union.

Tipping

Tipping Suggestions: Tipping is not very common in Belgium, and is always at your discretion. It’s a nice way to show your appreciation for good service, and each culture has different etiquette around when to tip—and how much. Be prepared by carrying some cash in the local currency.

Guides USD $7-10 per person/per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day
Restaurants  Ask your Guide if you have any questions about how much to tip at a restaurant, in a bar, or in a taxi while you’re out exploring.

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

 

Is the water safe to drink? Despite the fact that many Europeans drink bottled water, tap water in Belgium is quite safe to drink. Drinking tap water is all that is required, and there is no need to buy bottled water.

 

Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.

 

What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com, or from a provider of your choice.

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.

 

What does public transportation look like? The Belgium public transport network is quite extensive, making it easy to travel through Belgium on train, tram or bus.

 

Is Uber or Lyft available? Yes, both are common in larger cities throughout the country.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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