Belgium is probably not on many people’s radars, apart from a quick trip to the capital of Europe, traveler’s often skip this amazing country. Many may say Brussels is boring but that could not be farther from the truth. Brussels is the the capital of Europe so it has all the food that the world has to offer. It is also one of the gourmet capitals of Europe, boasting many different restaurants that have garnered coveted Michelin Stars in gastronomy. Outside of Brussels, lies marvels like les Ardennes, a region of extensive forests and rolling hills, vibrant, eccentric and beautiful cities like Antwerp and Ghent and a coast that beckons beach loungers and extreme sport aficionados, like surfers and kite surfers. This Belgium travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Belgium Travel Guide: Fast Facts:
- Belgium power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug E
- The Belgian currency is the EURO and is around 1 Euro to 1.35 USD
- Day passes for the metro will save you money over the cost of a single ticket. A single metro ticket is €2.10 while a day pass is around €8 euros. Visitors can also opt to buy a MOBIB Basic card and refill it with 5 or 10 rides. STIB also has an app for Android and Iphone users that informs travellers of next departures in real-time as well as the timetables.
- Be careful when ordering food in tourist hotspots! A common trick is to offer you items which you might presume are free (bread rolls for example), which then end up on your bill! Most restaurants will not serve you tap water so if you order water, presume that the waiter will come with a bottle of water and charge you for it!
- Be adventurous! Belgium has an excellent transportation system that is also pretty cheap so why not hop on a train and check out what Belgium has to offer. Some recommended spots are: Ghent, Antwerp, Flanders Fields, Les Ardennes and Oostende.
- Get ready to drink beer! Skip the cheap Juplier brand and try one of Belgium’s famous beers. Beer in the country varies from a pale lager to lambic beers and Flemish red. In fact, there are approximately 180 breweries in the country. Our recommendation? Why not try a Trappist beer, brewed by monks!
Top Packing Tips fro Belgium Travel
Packing for Belgium can be tricky due to the unpredictability of the weather. Brussels has a temperate climate with four seasons spanning the whole year. Temperatures are relatively mild during the whole year with the average low at 1°C in winter and only 23°C in summer. On average Belgium receives more rainfall than the United Kingdom and slightly less than the Netherlands with the rainiest months being in July and in December.
- Rain gear – weather can be incredibly unpredictable. It can be pouring rain and then half an hour the sun is out and there are no clouds in the sky. Make sure to always carry either a rain coat or an umbrella so that you do not get caught in the rain.
- Warm clothes – the weather, even in the summer, can range from 15°C to 25°C degrees with temperatures dipping once the sun goes down. Make sure to bring warm clothes, like a sweater or even a light jacket.
- Walking shoes – Opt for closed toes shoes that are also waterproof, just in case. Many cities in Belgium are covered in cobble stone streets that are incredibly uneven, so leave those high heels at home! These streets can also be dirty, that paired with the possibility of a downpour, means that travellers should pack dark coloured walking shoes – leave those nice white sneakers or suede shoes at home!
- Rethink the summer clothes – the chances that you will be able to rock that beautiful summer dress or romper is slim. Limit the summer clothes to a few key pieces, instead pack spring / fall type clothes.