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Belgium

Belgium

Surrounded by France to the south, the Netherlands to the north and Germany to the east, Belgium is often overlooked for it’s more popular neighbors. However, the multi-lingual country offers a rich culture full of history and tradition, stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities and some of the most delicious food items you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. Did you know that Belgium has more castles per square mile than any other place in the world? More than 3,000 in total! Book your flight today to get a chance to visit this cultural gem right in the heart of Western Europe! 
 

FLY TO BELGIUM

SAS flies to Belgium via Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm (depending on route) from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. With daily departures from multiple locations, you can easily find a departure to suit your travel plans. Book early to save on airfare and when you choose SAS, enjoy a 24-hour right of revocation on your flight tickets and online check-in 22 hours prior to departure. Passengers on intercontinental flights can enjoy food and drinks on board. In addition, Wi-Fi is available for a small fee. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

If you are travelling with children under 2 years (without own seat) they fly either free of charge or with a 90% discount on the flight portion of the ticket price, depending on the destination. Children from 2-11 years get a 25% discount. The discounts do not apply to taxes and fees.
 

AN ECLECTIC MIX OF THREE CULTURES

Despite the small size, Belgium offers many exciting and different things to do. The country is divided into three areas: the Flemish region to the north, bordering the Netherlands, where Dutch is spoken, the French region to the south, bordering France, where French is spoken, and the smaller German section, bordering Germany, where German is spoken. Despite these cultural and linguistic differences, you will find that most Belgians (at least in the north) actually speak near perfect English in addition to one or more of the national languages.

Belgium’s Flemish region is famous for its deep-rooted connection with Dutch art. Throughout the region, visitors will find many historic “art” cities, with impressive medieval buildings and structures, traditional market squares, and, of course, numerous amounts of galleries and museums. A famous city in this region, Flanders, is still well known as the horrific scene of the Battle of Flanders Fields. Today, you can visit the battlefield and experience what life was like as a World War I soldier in the trenches at the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres. In addition, Flanders is also popular for its picturesque beaches and large moorland areas.

In the southern region of the country, the French influence dominates. Much of the French-speaking region known as Wallonia is the direct opposite of the industrial north: a rural collection of castles, caves and an impressive amount of natural sights dominated by the Ardennes, beginning in France, stretching through three Belgian provinces before continuing on its way into Germany.

Belgium’s German-speaking region, also known as the Eastern Cantons, albeit significantly smaller than the other two, still features a strong cultural heritage. Eupen is the capital of this region—a tiny city, for a tiny community. Not to be missed is a visit to the Hautes Fagnes Natural Reserve, the largest in Belgium, home to 10,000-year-old alpine sphagnum bogs, a number of winding hiking trails and picturesque waterfalls.  
 

BRUSSELS – AN UNFORGETTABLE ENCOUNTER 

Belgium’s capital city of Brussels is also the capital and administrative center of the European Union, and thus, home to a diverse collection of citizens from all over the world. The city is described as a mix of contradictions: signs are written in both German and French, the presence of the EU headquarters brings an air of bureaucracy, yet the city itself forages on in a bizarre and rebellious manner no better illustrated than by its most famous statues: Mannenken Pis & Jeanneken Pis. These two iconic sculptures take center stage in Brussels, depicting two naked children, a boy and a girl, urinating.

In continuing with its inability to make up its mind, Brussels is home to many stunning architectural sights, such as the Grand Place, often considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world, while at the same time, boasting some of the most unattractive buildings in all of Europe, a direct response to a rushed post-war development after much of the city was significantly damaged.

When you’re done taking in the sights, have no fear that Brussels has a vibrant bar/café culture where you can sit and unwind with tourists and locals alike over a hot coffee or a world-famous Belgian beer. 
 

GO HIKING IN BELGIUM

Belgium’s natural beauty is best found in the southern Wallonia region, home to the Ardennes. The most scenic entrance to the Ardennes is found in the city of Namur, strategically placed on the junction of the Sambre and Meuse Rivers. If you enjoy hiking, take a trip to this area, where you can hike in the forested areas and high hills. Throughout this region, you will frequently and continuously be astounded at the natural beauty of the idyllic river valleys, impressive rock formations, deep wooded canyons, and far-reaching green peaks.

Also popular for visitors and locals alike is the exploration of the Ardennes’ cave system, especially in the areas of the Meuse, Ourthe and Lesse valleys. These were carved over centuries by underground rivers, simultaneously cutting through and dissolving the limestone hills leaving impressive stalagmites and stalactites in their path.

This area in Belgium is also home to the famous cycling race, Liége-Bastogne-Liége, where the best  professional road racing cyclists compete each year. 
 

DELICIOUS BELGIAN GASTRONOMY 

With such an eclectic mix of cultural traditions and ethnicities, it’s no surprise that Belgium’s gastronomy is no different. Some say that in Belgium, they serve French cuisine, but in German portion sizes. The most popular dishes include indulgences such as waffles, frites (like French fries, twice fried of course), chocolate, and, of course, beer, beer and more beer. There are more than 1,000 breweries in the small country, in fact.

Though the country isn’t an agricultural powerhouse by any means—simply due to a lack of available land—the Belgians are notorious for their love of cooking and food. Classic dishes such as mussels and fries or steak and fries, can be found at almost any brasserie, bistro or restaurant throughout the country. And did you know that Belgium produces over 300 types of cheese? In addition, many regions have their own specialties: chicory, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and potatoes. For dessert, don’t forget to enjoy the Belgian chocolate, one of the only places in Europe that can compete with the Swiss, renowned for its many shapes and flavors.
 

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