7 reasons why you should travel to Belgium right now

Anastasia Ilchenko11 April 20212665 views10 min. read
7 reasons why you should travel to Belgium right now
Belgium on the map of Europe is considered one of the most unusual countries in its North-West. Stuck in the past or incredibly progressive? Boring, grey, rainy or humorous, bright and sunny? Excellent beer, hypnotically delicious chocolate, and a statue of the same boy-is that all? Attractions in Belgium are not easy to find in travellers' world rankings, and the capital of Belgium seems too boring for tourist promenades. Let's go break down the stereotypes! Interesting facts about Belgium, a little history, many reasons why you need to think about booking flights right now – and just a few minutes of your precious time.

1. Belgian waffles, French fries, and chocolate

belgian waffle Crispy or juicy, generously poured with syrup or covered with a layer of air cream, decorated with fruit berries or sprinkled with powdered sugar. What if all this splendour, every ingredient, without exception, will be on your plate? Although Belgium on the map of Europe seems very tiny, the variations of a delicious delicacy are not counted here – an ideal reason for a second visit. What about a portion of the most delicious and crispest potatoes in Europe? According to the "gold" standard, it is wrapped in a paper cone, fried twice or three times - the gold standard. Do not disdain mayonnaise and ketchup. Mix both sauces and enjoy a fantastic symphony of taste, sitting on the summer terrace of one of the best friteries in Belgium, Maison Antoine. chocolaterie shop Get ready to be surprised – by biting off just one piece of local chocolate, you risk forgetting about everything planned on the "what to see in Belgium" list. A real cultural phenomenon and a cult heritage of the country are amazing truffles, exquisite pralines, and fragile souvenir masterpieces beckon showcases from the shelves. Ask what language is spoken in Belgium? It seems to be in a dialect – culinary.

2. Vegetarian and brewing culture

belgium beer Interesting facts about Belgium are not limited to historical information and cultural curiosities. Did you know that there are more than 200 breweries in the country producing almost 1,500 original malt varieties? The local beer culture is even included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list! From bitter to sweet, from invigorating strong to soft sweet – in the lands where is Belgium located, beer is prepared for every taste! Special attention should be paid to Corsendonk, La Chouffle, and Kriek Lindemans varieties served in special glasses to give a unique taste to the drinks. beef steak Even if you would have enjoyed a juicy beefsteak for breakfast, a plate of flavorful homemade pork dumplings for lunch, and a miniature chicken drumstick for dinner, check out a few vegetarian restaurants in the "things to do in Belgium" list. Especially rich in such institutions is the capital of the province of East Flanders – the Ghent, which is famous for its reputation as a university and cultural centre of the country. An eternal favourite of the locals-the cosy restaurant De Appelier is generous with culinary delights and special dishes in their simplicity, the taste of which can impress even the notorious meat eater.

3. City hustle and paradise shopping

belgium One of the first and most obvious reasons to see for yourself what language is spoken in Belgium (and this is not so easy!) is to come here for the sake of striking architecture. As if grown from the depths of crystal clear lakes, small towns and noisy, like a city's wound-up mechanism, are cordially open to every tourist, even the most sophisticated. For example, the capital of Belgium, Brussels, is famous not only for the abundance of elegant buildings in the Art Nouveau style but also for hundreds of guild houses, distinguished by particularly intricate facades, dozens of exquisitely monumental temples of Gothic art. A visit to the Grand Place (Grote Markt), also known as the "Big Market", can be equated with a trip in a time machine for a couple of centuries ago. brugge The charmingly picturesque, quaint, old-fashioned town of Bruges is the undisputed leader in all tourist guides. You've probably seen the gabled roofs of "gingerbread" houses, cobbled alleys and winding water channels in photos on the Web. Every brick in the central part of Bruges is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city itself was once called the "Venice of the North". Abounding in charm and basking in fame, the centuries-old city can outshine even Belgium's most colourful locations. shopping What about shopping therapy? The doors of the Brussels fashion house of St. Hubert are open to you at any time of the day! Strolling along the spacious pedestrian alley, looking at the iridescent glitter of sequins, jewellery and gold shop windows, you can buy exclusive items from the capsule collections of local and international designers. For more democratic shopping, go to the New Street (Rue Neuve), where the most popular chain clothing stores' concentration is off the scale. Hundreds of euros here usually fly away at the click of your fingers, but during the summer holidays, you can catch 70% discounts!

4. Comics, surrealism, and museum art hangouts

comics museum Childhood reminds you of yourself only with rare flashes of memories, but the love for books with illustrations does not leave you to this day? Give up trying to visit all the attractions in Belgium – devote as much time as possible to getting to know the local comic book industry. Oddly enough, it is here, and not in America, that the greatest number of humorous-adventure hand-drawn stories with small intersperses of text are produced annually. The world-famous "Smurfs", "Lucky Luke" and " The Adventures of Tintin" (in honour of its creator, exhibitions are organized at the Herge Museum!) - not even a drop in the ocean. The characters of other more or less well-known comics look at passers-by from the walls of residential buildings and grocery stores, look out from around corners and seem ready to jump off the windows of souvenir shops, wherever you go within the territory where is Belgium located. royal museum complex Born in the art workshops of Paris, surrealism found its logical continuation in the works of the Brussels artist Rene Magritte. The museum named after him keeps in its spacious halls unique examples of extravagant paintings of the mid-twentieth century. The spirit of the great Rene is embodied in the collection of paintings dear to the creator's heart, presented in the walls of his own home. As the birthplace of many outstanding artists of the past and present, it is not surprising that Belgium on the map is full of art galleries, which present collections of undeniably brilliant works of art. The Royal Museum Complex in Brussels (Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts), the Art Museum in Ghent (Musea voor Schone Kunsten), and the Gallery of Modern Art in Antwerp are proof of this. Presented here, the mysterious and slightly insane works of symbolists, bright and energetically filled masterpieces of the Expressionists, are in a peaceful neighbourhood with the challenging and creative works of modernists and representatives of the post-era.

5. Sense of humour and territorial mobility

boys statue Balancing between incomprehensible absurdity and crude self-irony, the Belgians' humour goes beyond the canons recognized by Europeans. The urinating boy's statue here is a national symbol for the colourful "outfits" of which the local authorities organized a whole museum. Moreover, almost an entire industry has grown up around a very ambiguous sculpture! The young man's company was made up of a girl and a dog, and from his smaller copies of different colours, the shelves of souvenir shops are bursting. The interesting facts about Belgium grotesque do not end there! The ironic worldview is also embodied in the strange architecture of the absurd buildings erected over the past few years – all this is the result of the state program "Ugly Belgian Houses". While ridiculing their everyday lives and putting irony at the forefront, those who know firsthand where is Belgium on the map – its loyal citizens-have took their comfort and the convenience of visitors very seriously. The railway tracks that run the country's length and breadth allow you to get from the centre of Belgium to its sea coast in less than an hour, and even if you want to stop in the neighbouring Netherlands, France, or the United Kingdom.

6. Belgian Ardennes, coasts and forests

belgian ardennes Spreading their pointed peaks mainly in the south of the country, the Belgian Ardennes is like an autonomous mountain country within the Kingdom. Sheltered by dense, mostly deciduous forests, the majestic mountains' slopes are home to haughty deer and agile lynx. If the capital of Belgium and other big cities no longer (or at all) attract you, charming mountain villages, glades whose borders go far beyond the horizon, and mysterious vaulted caves are just what you need. Lovers of hiking, rock climbing, water canoeing and kayaking – in your list of "things to see in Belgium", Ardennes have to be the first. To come to Belgium for a fairy tale seems like a pointless idea, but only at first glance. Once a year, around mid-April, millions of hyacinths bloom blue in the Hallerbos forest. The ground at this time is covered with a carpet of soft buds, the paths between which are trampled by hundreds of tourists and locals who are eager to slow down and take a break from the high-speed race of city life. belgian city Typing in the search engine "what to see in Belgium", you probably do not expect to see comfortable beaches and picturesque coasts in the list of main attractions. Don't let the search engines mislead you! The western border of Belgium is represented by the coastline that rests on the distant horizon, the territory dotted with residential skyscrapers built once for the convenience of citizens. But a true hedonist-visual artist has something to profit from here. Beautiful dunes near De Panne's commune, which is washed by the North Sea right on the border with France, or the coastal part of the city of De Haan - you definitely come here!

7. Majestic ruins

majestic ruin The European Northwest's small country has seen many bloody battles and battles in its 200-year history. Since Belgium's territory is located borders Germany, France, and Britain, its lands have always been of exceptional tactical importance. That is why, by the way, there is no clear answer to the question "what language is spoken in Belgium" because French, Dutch, and German are recognized as official here. They say that Belgium has more castles, fortresses, and citadels per capita than France! It is a pity that many of them are now only ruins. But those ancient buildings, whose powerful walls are still strong and unshakable, keep the stories of dozens of generations. In one of them lived the "father" of the saxophone (mouthpiece ophicleide according to the creator) Adolf Sachs, the Walloon citadel of Namur was chosen by Napoleon himself, and about the inhabitants of the Castle of Gerald the Devil, there are blood-chilling legends. It is impossible to list all of them, and even more so to visit them, alternately crossing each of them out of the list of "attractions in Belgium". The castle of the Counts of Flanders or Vèves in the province of Namur, the majestic citadel of Dinant or the cold ruins of the fortress in the city of Bouillon, as well as the abandoned stronghold of Villers Abbey, are must-visit.

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