15 Essential Travel Tips for an Amazing Trip to Belgium
Planning a trip to Belgium? Make the most of your adventure with these 15 travel tips, ensuring safety, affordability, and an authentic experience. Whether you’re exploring historic cities like Brussels and Bruges or immersing yourself in the stunning countryside, these tips will help you navigate your way through Belgium with ease.
1. Stay Safe and Secure
Prioritize your safety by being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded tourist areas. It’s always best to purchase travel insurance to ensure peace of mind throughout your trip.
2. Optimize Your Budget
Explore Belgium on a budget by taking advantage of free attractions, such as browsing through the gorgeous Grand Place in Brussels or enjoying a stroll along the medieval streets of Ghent. Look out for the “Menu du Jour” at local restaurants for affordable meals.
3. Language Assistance
While the official languages in Belgium are Dutch, French, and German, many Belgians speak English fluently. However, a few basic phrases like “hello” (Dutch: hallo, French: bonjour) and “thank you” (Dutch: dank u, French: merci) can go a long way in connecting with locals.
4. Currency Exchanges
Belgium’s official currency is the Euro (€). Be sure to carry some Euros in cash for smaller establishments that may not accept credit cards. Exchange currency at authorized bureaus or withdraw cash from ATMs for competitive rates.
5. Delight in Belgian Cuisine
Indulge in the culinary delights Belgium has to offer. Don’t miss out on trying famous dishes like moules-frites (mussels and fries), waffles with various toppings, and the deliciously rich Belgian chocolates. Be sure to pair your meals with some Belgian beer, renowned worldwide.
6. Public Transport with Ease
Belgium has an extensive and efficient public transportation network comprising trains, trams, and buses. Consider getting a “Mobib” transport card for convenient access to different modes of public transport across the country.
7. Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Belgium is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the historic center of Bruges and the beautiful Flemish Béguinages. Explore these remarkable landmarks to delve into Belgium’s rich cultural heritage.
8. Shop Local for Unique Souvenirs
Avoid tourist traps and support local artisans by shopping at local markets, such as the Antiques Market in Brussels or the Sunday Market in Liège. Find unique souvenirs like lacework, exquisite chocolates, or handmade crafts to cherish long after your trip.
9. Experience Belgian Festivals
Immerse yourself in Belgium’s vibrant festival scene. Don’t miss the colorful Carnival of Binche, the awe-inspiring Flower Carpet in Brussels, or the lively Gentse Feesten, a massive street festival in Ghent. These events showcase the country’s cultural traditions and lively spirit.
10. Explore the Battlefields of World War I & II
Discover Belgium’s role in World War I by visiting significant battle sites, such as Ypres, Bastogne and the Menin Gate Memorial. Pay homage to the soldiers who fought bravely and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s history.
11. Marvel at Architectural Marvels
Belgium boasts magnificent architectural wonders, including the Atomium in Brussels, the splendid medieval architecture of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, and the modern marvels of the Liège-Guillemins railway station by Santiago Calatrava.
12. Embrace Bicycling Culture
Join in on Belgium’s love for cycling by renting a bike and exploring the scenic countryside or cycling-friendly cities like Ghent or Mechelen. Follow designated cycling paths and enjoy the charming landscapes at your own pace.
13. Visit Art Museums and Galleries
Art enthusiasts must visit Belgium’s world-class museums, such as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels or the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. Marvel at masterpieces by renowned artists such as René Magritte and Jan van Eyck.
14. Stay Connected with Wi-Fi
Stay connected throughout your trip by taking advantage of the numerous Wi-Fi hotspots available in cafes, restaurants, and public spaces across Belgium. This will enable you to access maps, check transportation schedules, and stay in touch with loved ones.
15. Dress for the Weather
Check the weather forecast before packing for your trip to Belgium. The country experiences mild summers and cool winters, so dress accordingly to ensure comfort while exploring the diverse attractions Belgium has to offer.