Belgium Tourism And Travel Guide
2.5° C / 36.4° F
April to September
6 to 8 Days
Brussels International Airport
The name Belguim brings to fore those memories of Tintin running across a footbridge with Snowy barking by his side, of those Nat Geo videos where people throng the squares of Belgium to bite into waffles and decadent chocolates, of old European World War II films shot in its locales. Belgium is all this and a whole lot more. It is a country in Western Europe and welcomes people into its folds with all the love and warmth. With part population speaking Dutch and part French, tourism in Belgium may seem a little hassled but is really pretty smooth; what with English becoming widely spoken by locals.
So all ready to embrace Belgium in this vacation? Here’s a travel guide to help you.
How to Reach
There are regular stop-over flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Brussels International Airpot and even Antwerp International Airport. Since a lot of the Indian diamond merchants travel to Antwerp frequently on business, many flights are available with operators like Air India, Brussels Airlines, Emirates and Qatar.
You can take the road to Belgium from neighbouring nations like Germany, Luxembourg, France as well as Netherlands. Eurolines and Flixbus have buses and coaches plying between these countries while you are also welcome to hire a car.
Train travel is one of the cheapest and most preferred ways to commute to Belgium from anywhere in Europe. Eurostar operates regular trains to Belgian cities like Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges from London, Lyon, Paris, Berlin, Basel etc.
You can cycle around towns here, hire cars or hail cabs. There is the subway metro available in Brussels, while other cities need to be toured by buses and taxis. All said and done, travelling in Belgium is not much of a hassle.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Belgium is definitely its summer, however, spring is also a good time without too much crowd.
Spring (March to May):
With temperature averaging at around 12°С highs by April, spring season gradually becomes better. March may not be as cheery and sunny, but April is great. May again brings occasional rainfall. Overall, April is a good time to visit.
Summer (June to September):
Summer is not too hot, but fairly warm in Belgium, with a temperature range of 16-25°С. Crowds flock in for a holiday by June-July and the high season continues until September. Occasional rainfall is expected, but the place is still ripe for exploration.
Autumn (October to November):
The season of autumn is cold and windy and wet here by November. So if you want to enjoy some shoulder season time then visit during October.
Winter (December to February):
Belgian winters are not freezing cold as such; why, in most places the temperature hardly ever crosses the 0 mark. Occasional snowfall may be expected but the snow melts just as fast, without really sticking to the ground. Christmas in Belgium is a memorable time in this season.
Things to Do
Walk in Bruges:
Bruges is a small city in Belgium but its beauty is not proportionate to its size. This city is like a timepiece of medieval era, with its streets lined in cobblestones and footbridges that look out of historical textbooks, old city squares and narrow canals and homes with thatched roofs. Do take a walk through the many small streets and squares of Bruges.
Tour the Grand Place of Brussels:
The Grand Place is a town square in the capital city Brussels, home to the City Town Hall and Museum. This square is a cultural centre of Brussels and is the best place to get a one stop experience in Belgian culture, history and society. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts regular festivals for tourists.
World War tour:
Belgium was affected greatly during both the World Wars, situated as it is between France and Germany. There are many battlefields, burial grounds, memorials and museums here of those martyred. Visit Flanders for its haunting Battlefields, museums and memorial sites nearby. Other parts of the tour are Breendonk Fortress, Ardennes and Ypres.
Read Comic books:
Belgium is renowned for giving the world some highly cherished comic books, like Tintin, Spirou, Nero and the Smurfs. You will find these comics everywhere and moreover, enjoy the Comics Art Museum in Brussels that takes your through the different eras of comic strip development.
Go Kayaking and Hiking:
There is also some scope for adventure in Belgium. You can go kayaking to Ardennes, where there are quite a few opportunities in River Lesse. You can also go hiking up Mt. Waterloo to the Lion’s Mound, where Napolean was defeated.
What to Eat
Well, Belgium’s most famous and most favourite are waffles, fries and beer, but it is true that you can’t survive on only that junk. So you can go street hopping in Brussels to enjoy some thick fries with mayonnaise (served in a paper cone), buy a hot waffle right off the maker, and try some pints in a pub; but do also eat Belgian local dishes like Waterzooi (a creamy stew of fish, eggs and butter), Stoverij, stoemp (spiced veggies with mashed potatoes), meatballs, Flemish stew and Rabbit with prunes.
Also, don’t dare return from Belgium without eating chocolates. If possible, get a sack full of them home. The best brands around are Godiva, GuyLian and Neuhaus.
What to Shop
Aside from chocolates and pralines as souvenirs for loved ones back home, bring comic books. Tintin, The Smurfs, The Adventures of Nero, Spirou and many more. For those who are comic fans, they will value your gift more than any gold in the world. The country is also known for its cute laces, so make sure to shop for lace dresses, lace kerchiefs, veils etc, buy local jewellery, stock up on duty free cigars, beer and candy. The unique shaped local beer cups are also a good addition to your shopping bag.