Belgium

Belgium is located in the west of Europe, the land mostly comprises of flat costal plains in the northeast and the Ardennes Forrest in the shoutheast. The official languages in Belgium are Dutch, Flemish, French and German, with Dutch being the widly spoken language followed by French. The weather here is pretty humid and the skies are gray, month from April to September are the warmest and the ones with the most sunshine. So if you visit Belgium during the rainy season do not forget to carry sufficent cover for maximum protection. In case of emergency one can all 100 or 112.


The Atomium in Brussels, Belgium

Culture

The locals are English-friendly and will make every attemt to speak English with a foreigner. When invited, especially for dinner remember to carry a small gift or flowers. In Belgium smoking is also acceptable in public.

Shopping

The main shopping centres are Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Ostend, Namur, Mons, Liège, Ghent and Mechelen. Belgium is famous for it’s fintes chocolates, woodcarvings from Spa, crystels from Val Saint Lambert, laces from Bruges and ceramics as well as hand-beaten copperware from Dinant, also diamonds from Antwerp are on high demand.

Eating Out

Horse and rabbit meat dishes are the speciality of most of the restaurants. But visitors can also find a wide range of ethic foods, the most famous are frites and mayonnaise and mitraillette; mitraillette is a bun filled with fries, donair meat and garlic sauce. At restaurants tipping is considered customary along with the value-added tax, at cinemas leave 0,50€ for the attendant and 0,25€ after using public toilets.


Road to Brugge, Belgium

Electricity

Voltage is 230 V and frequency is 50 Hz.

Travel

Delta Air Transport inaugurated is new European airline SN Brussles Airlines not to long ago. With them you can fly to over 58 destinations in Europe and as well worldwide. The Zayentem airport of Brussels is 12 km from the city and it takes about 35 minutes to reach the city from the airport. It provides facilities like duty free shops, car parking, taxi booking, car hiring, banks, post office, restaurants, and medical help. The Ariport City Express train will take you to the three main railway stations: Brussels North, Central and South. There is also a bus running regular from the airport and taxis can be hired outside the arrival hall. Tipping the taxi drivers is considered customary here. Train runs every 15 minutes.

Brussels South Charleroi is away 5km from Charleroi and 46km from Brussels. Ryan air serves as the local airline and has cheap deals to several European airports from Charleroi. Facilities provided here are bus and train services, cafés, car hire, and duty free shops.

Another airport is the Ostend airport which is 5km away from the city and it provides car parking, car hire, duty free shops and restaurants.


Horse drawn carriage next to the town hall in Bruges, Belgium

Antwerp airport is just 2 km away from the city. Buses run to the Brussels Central Station every few minutes.

Liege is located at a distance of 5 km away from the city. Buses run at regular interval here.
The departure tax at Brussels Zayentem is €20.93, Brussels South Charleroi is €3.49, Ostend and Antwerp is €10, and at Liege is €7.

There is also a network of high-speed trains, which are operated by Thalys from Belgium to France, connecting the Brussels with other cities like Bordeaux, Chambéry, Cannes, Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Valence, Perpignan, and Rennes. For this trains bookings should be made in advance. The national railway provides service to destinations such as Andorra, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands. One can also avail the Inter-Rail pass which allows visitors to travel nearly all 29 European Countries. This service is valid for residents who are settled there for more than 6 month.

Duty Free Items

The following items can be carried without customs duty being levied on them:
Every visitor of an age over 18 years can carry alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, coffee and tea without getting customs duty levied on them, but only a small amount of the goods is free. Check out how much you are allowed to carry with you before carring such goods.