Medieval cities, moules and frites
Belgium is a thriving, easily accessible and stylish destination. Aside from its famously delicious offerings of chocolate, mussels, chips and beer, Belgium has lots to tempt the visitor. To the north lies Flanders, the flatland where Flemish is spoken. Here the main cities each have their own charm. Antwerp is home to fashion and design, Ghent renowned for its medieval architecture and Bruges highly regarded for its beauty. To the south of the country is French-speaking Wallonia. Here the landscape is of rolling hills and the main cities are Liege, Tournai and Namur. In the centre of the country sits Brussels, the capital. It’s a dynamic city with delightful cobbled streets, attractive boulevards and lively squares. There are also some interesting museums and galleries, countless bars and restaurants, and a zesty nightlife. Brussels is home to the headquarters of NATO and the European Union.
Go to sample the delights that one or more of Belgium’s charming cities has to offer. Bruges, Brussels, Liege and Ghent are particularly delightful with excellent restaurants, pleasing architecture and flourishing nightlife. Also go for the mouth-watering Belgium chocolate, waffles, beer, moules and frites.
When to Go?
Belgium’s weather varies from day to day, year to year. The best months to visit are from May to September when the weather is at its warmest and driest. From November to March the days are short and the weather cold and grey. Temperatures can be bitterly cold in the winter. But, despite this, sitting in a cosy cafe after a day at one of the Christmas markets is very pleasant.
How to get there?
A number of airports serve Belgium. These include Brussels National (also known as Zaventem), Brussels Charleroi, Antwerp, Bruges, Liege, and Namur. There are direct flights from across the UK on budget or scheduled flights to Brussels National, Brussels Charleroi and Antwerp. Getting around Belgium is straightforward. Roads are extremely good, taxis are plentiful and the rail system is one of the best in Europe.
For a taste of history, head eight miles out of Brussels to visit Waterloo, where Napoleon’s defeat put an end to his rule as Emperor of France. Here you can climb the mound, which is made from the soil of the battlefield. Visit Spa, from where the word originates and enjoy a deep tissue massage. For the full Spa experience, coincide a visit with the F1 Grand Prix. Those looking for a young fashion-conscious scene should head to Antwerp. For architecture it’s hard to beat Bruges and Ghent. Rural Belgium is at its most attractive in the hilly Ardennes region.