Belgium Vacations

Belgiums is made up of 3 different regions. The Wallon Region is located in southern Belgium and consist of the mainly French speaking population. Wallonia is also where the Belgium Industrial Revolution occurred. The largest city in Wallonia is Liege. The Flemish Region is where Dutch is the main language. This region is home to historical cities of Antwerp and Bruges. The third region is known as Brussels Capital Region. This section of Belgium is bilingual with signs in both French and Flemish are spoken. Within the Brussels Region there are 19 different municipalities.

Belgium Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

Belgium Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Belgium

Belgium Geography

Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population and Brussels inhabitants, which comprises 41% of all Belgians. Additionally, there is a small group of German-speakers who are officially recognized.

Belgium Culture

Belgium is a constitutional, popular monarchy and a federal parliamentary democracy. The bicameral federal parliament is composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Representatives.

Three Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine were awarded to Belgians: Jules Bordet (Université libre de Bruxelles) in 1919, Corneille Heymans (University of Ghent) in 1938 and Albert Claude (Université Libre de Bruxelles) together with Christian de Duve (Université Catholique de Louvain) in 1974. François Englert (Université Libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. Ilya Prigogine (Université Libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.

Belgium boasts an impressive range of products. The products that account for the lion's share of Belgian exports are consumer and intermediate goods such as machinery, equipment and chemical products, and the list goes on with cars assembled in Belgium, plastics and pharmaceutical, organic chemical and metal products.

Belgium is the world’s biggest exporter of diamonds and carpets. Joint second on the country’s list of exports are vegetable fibres, chocolate and margarine, third is glass and joint fourth are eggs, non-alcoholic drinks and cars assembled in Belgium. Brussels lace is well known for its delicacy and beauty. Originally it was only made from the finest spun linen thread, which was spun in dark damp rooms to keep the thread from becoming too brittle.

Don’t let Belgium’s relatively small size fool you — this country probably has more to do per square mile than most other places on earth. And best of all for the traveler, it’s a comparatively easy place to get around and English is widely spoken. The country is divided into two ethnic regions, Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north and French-speaking Wallonia to the south.

Major Belgium Destinations

Brussels is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s must-see destinations. With its central location in the heart of Europe, Brussels is easily accessible by air or high-speed rail from neighboring countries. It is an international metropolis – a mosaic of languages, cultures, and traditions – and the home of the European Union, NATO and hundreds of international organizations, English is widely spoken, making it a great place for even a novice French-speaker to get by without an issue.

Antwerp known for its vibrant nightlife, its funky bars and restaurants and numerous festivals, Belgians see Antwerp as the “capital of cool.” The Antwerp Fashion Academy produced a group of avant-garde designers who made a big splash on the fashion scene in the 1980’s and became known as “The Antwerp Six”. Nowadays, the academy continues to churn out new, hot talent.

The historic center of Bruges is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is teeming with places of interest. With the city center, closed off to cars, all the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city can be easily explored on foot, by boat along quiet canals, or by horse-drawn carriage on cobblestoned streets. Although Bruges is a small city, it is filled to the brim with architectural and artistic treasures, folklore, chocolate shops, lace boutiques and fine restaurants.

Ghent. If you ask a Belgian where they like to travel within their own country, many will tell you about the friendly city of Ghent. With most of the town center closed to cars, they will probably also tell you that Belgium’s third largest city is best explored on two wheels or by boat along the elegant canals. Ghent is an unassuming, un-touristy city filled with university students, linger-as-long-as-you-like cafes, well-priced restaurants and vibrant energy. It’s a city with great mustard, Stropke beer (which is Flemish for noose), and the ten-day Ghent Celebrations held every year in July where the inhabitants go all out with theater performances, concerts, singing, dancing, and drinking.

Under the watchful eye of Gravensteen Castle or Castle of the Counts, the city boasts an Opera House, 18 museums, 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. The most visited site in Ghent is the famous and beautiful polyptych, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert van Eyck in 1432.

Dating back to Charlemagne, Liege is a treasure trove of historical sites and celebrated collections. Sitting on the Meuse River is the Grand Curtius, home to the prestigious archaeology, decorative arts, religious and Mosan art museums, a glass museum as well as the famous weaponry museum. Travel back in time as you walk the Coteaux, a winding path of steps and courtyards leading up to the citadel of Liege with an incredible view.

Bastogne is close to the Luxembourg border where thousands of American soldiers died fighting in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge. Their legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of locals and they take it upon themselves to remember the sacrifice those soldiers made for them and their town. On the Grand Place of Bastogne, there’s a Sherman Tank from the 11th US Armored Division.