Belgium

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Why Belgium?

Some reasons why you might consider traveling to Belgium.
A low-lying country in the Benelux, Belgium (Dutch: België, French: Belgique, German: Belgien) sits at the crossroads of Western Europe. It marries the historical landmarks for which the continent is famous with spectacular modern architecture and rural idylls. Its capital, Brussels, is home to the headquarters of the European Union.
Although Belgium is a relatively wealthy country, it is also one of the most politically complex countries in the world. Differences in language and culture between Flanders (the Dutch speaking portion) and Wallonia (the French speaking portion) have lead to several far-reaching reforms, and this continuing antagonism makes Belgian politics so complex that even ordinary Belgians aren't able to make sense of what's truly going on. Despite this all, the two halves form a country that contains some of Europe's most attractive and historical cities, and is a true 'must-see' for any visitor to the continent.

Cities:

  • 1 Brussels — Belgium’s capital and the unofficial capital of the EU. Nice historic centre and several museums of interest. One of the most multicultural cities in Europe.
  • 2 Antwerp — Belgium’s second largest city, with a giant cathedral, medieval streets and artistic heritage, and a great place for fashion.
  • 3 Bruges — one of Europe’s wealthiest cities in the 14th century, it is touristy yet still very authentic, medieval and quiet at night, with small guest houses and family businesses greatly outnumbering chain hotels.
  • 4 Ghent — once one of Europe’s largest cities, now a perfect mixture of Antwerp and Bruges: a cosy city with canals, yet with rich history and lively student population.
  • 5 Leuven — a small city dominated by one of Europe’s oldest universities. Beautiful historic centre and a lively nightlife.
  • 6 Liège — second largest city of Wallonia, along a wide river, industrial cityscape with hiking and resorts in the nearby hills, it has a very strong, independent character and an exciting night-life.
  • 7 Mechelen — a small medieval city with a nice historic district around the cathedral.
  • 8 Mons — has had the extraordinary privilege of having two sites inscribed on the WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site List and one event on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • 9 Namur — capital of Wallonia, at the confluence of Sambre and Meuse with the Citadel.

Other Destinations:

  • 1 Kraainem — a municipality with a rich industrial history on the outskirts of Brussels with many historical landmarks.
  • 2 Tervuren — known for its proximity to the lush Sonian Forest, its parks, and royal summer residence.
  • 3 Grimbergen — known for the beer with the same name, risen to worldwide fame, but still produced in its abbey.
  • 4 Ardennes Flemish Ardennes on Wikipedia — the most sparsely populated region in Benelux, this is a hilly countryside region covered with forests
  • 5 Dinant — small city in a stunning natural setting, a popular spot for adventure sports such as canoeing and rock-climbing, best visited in winter
  • 6 Pajottenland — also called the “Tuscany of the north”, is a green region west of Brussels, consisting of rolling hills, meadows, small villages and castles. Home of the Geuze beer and great for hiking, biking, and horse riding tours.
  • 7 Spa — the hot water treatments of the spa town that gave its name to all spas in the world has drawn visitors for centuries.
  • 8 Ypres, 9 Poperinge and surrounding villages — destroyed during World War I, this former military stronghold is marked by memorials and cemeteries.
  • 10 Sint-Niklaas — known for its market square (the largest in Belgium), its annual balloon festival and nearby scenery along the river Scheldt.

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