Belgium may be one of Europe’s smaller countries, but it has more than its fair share of sights and activities to keep you coming back for more. Historically, Belgium has been a meeting place of different cultures, which is still evident within the country's architecture and lifestyle. The country is divided into two areas, Flanders in the north and Wallonia in the south. Brussels, Belgium’s cosmopolitan capital, sits in the center of the country and is home of the European Union and NATO.
Combining the old with the new, Belgium has something to offer every traveler. Chocoholics and beer aficionados can indulge their cravings. Art lovers can admire masterpieces created by the great Flemish artists. The Grand Place is a must-see while you're in Brussels—the picturesque and lively city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Bruges and Ghent, cobblestone streets, canals and Gothic architecture give you a snapshot of medieval times. Medieval and modern collide in Antwerp, where gothic architecture mixes with a celebrated fashion scene and energetic club culture.
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Belgium has had a significant influence on Western art, producing master painters from the 15th to 20th centuries. Art museums in cities across Belgium showcase paintings from Flemish artists such as Bosch, van Eyck, Brueghel and Magritte.
Chocolates and beer
While Belgium has many local delicacies, probably the most popular are the Belgian chocolates and beer. Belgian chocolates are often considered some of the best in the world. The country is most famous for its pralines — chocolates with a filling in the center. Chocolates are sold throughout Belgium, but Brussels in particular has a proliferation of chocolatiers to keep your cravings at bay.
Belgian beer has an equally dedicated following in Belgium. There are breweries all over the country, brewing more than 450 different varieties of beer. Take a tour through any number of breweries to see how the different varieties are made — including Belgium's lambic beer, which is highly regulated and can only be brewed in a certain part of Belgium.
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|Population: 11.2 million |
|Language: Dutch, French, German |
|Currency: Euro (€) |
|Time zone: CET || |
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