Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports... all others are games.
— Ernest Hemingway, 1899 - 1961
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Belgium

Background

Belgium

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

About

Belgium (Dutch: België, French: Belgique, German: Belgien) is a low-lying country on the North Sea coast in the Benelux. With the majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of the Belgian capital of Brussels, and as a member of the long-standing international Benelux community, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe. Its immediate neighbors are France to the southwest, Luxembourg to the southeast, Germany to the east and the Netherlands to the north.

Read more about Belgium in our Belgium travel guide »

Featured journals from

Belgium

Into the mangroves, down to the corals

by FieldworkMozambique

Rosa and Dennis on fieldwork in Mozambique

Apr 2014 - Jun 2014  »  Belgium | Mozambique

Is the idealism between work and life balance actually exist?

by estyindra

Euro Trip Trilogy - part 1 (Summer 2006), part 2 (Autumn 2012) and part 3 (Spring 2013)

Sep 2012 - Apr 2013  »  Netherlands | Indonesia | Germany | Switzerland | Belgium | Austria

Romantic Holidays in Milan!

by citybreak1

Milan Holidays!

Jul 2010  »  Italy | Belgium

Summer 2017

by madjeanne

Headed North to cool down a bit.

Jul 2017 - Sep 2017  »  United States | United Kingdom | Norway | Svalbard and Jan Mayen | Sweden | Estonia | Russia | Finland | Germany | Netherlands | Belgium | Ireland | Iceland | Greenland | Canada

Grand Tour of Europe

by cojack63

Sep 2010  »  Belgium

Provence-reis 2010

by PVB

23 tot 31 augustus 2010

Jun 2010  »  Belgium

Featured hotels in

Belgium

BelgiumStanhope Hotel 

Rue Du Commerce 9
Brussels 1000
Belgium

Price (US$): $342 - $660 / night

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Location. Stanhope Hotel is located in Brussels's European Quarter neighborhood, close to Royal Palace of Brussels, European Union Parliament Building, and Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Nearby points of interest also include Museum of Musical Instruments Old England Building and Notre Dame du Sablon. Hotel Features. Stanhope Hotel features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a sauna and a fitness facility. Spa… more »

BelgiumChateau Du Lac Hotel and Spa 

Ave Du Lac 87
Genval
Rixensart 1332
Belgium

Price (US$): $120 - $214 / night

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Location. Chateau Du Lac Hotel and Spa is located in Rixensart's Genval neighborhood, close to Genval Lake and Chateau La Hulpe. Additional area points of interest include Walibi Leisure Park and Lion's Mound. Hotel Features. Dining options at Chateau Du Lac Hotel and Spa include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, a sauna, a fitness facility, and a… more »

BelgiumLe Châtelain 

17 Rue du Chatelain
Brussels 1000
Belgium

Price (US$): $227 - $328 / night

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Location. Le Châtelain is located in Brussels's Ixelles Avenue Louise neighborhood, close to Horta Museum, European Union Parliament Building, and Notre Dame du Sablon. Nearby points of interest also include Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and Museum of Musical Instruments Old England Building. Hotel Features. Le Châtelain features a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant… more »

BelgiumRoyal Windsor Hotel Grand'Place 

Rue Duquesnoy 5-7
Brussels 1000
Belgium

Price (US$): $125 - $290 / night

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Location. Located in central Brussels, Royal Windsor Hotel Grand'Place is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Jacques Brel Foundation, Square Brussels Meeting Centre, and Brussels City Hall. Additional points of interest include Brussels Stock Exchange and Royal Palace of Brussels. Hotel Features. Royal Windsor Hotel Grand'Place features a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a sauna and a fitness… more »

BelgiumSofitel Brussels Europe 

Place Jourdan 1
Brussels 1040
Belgium

Price (US$): $262 - $498 / night

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Location. Sofitel Brussels Europe is a business friendly hotel located in Brussels's Etterbeek neighborhood, close to Leopold Park, European Union Parliament Building, and Parlamentarium. Additional points of interest include European Commission Headquarters and Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Hotel Features. Sofitel Brussels Europe's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities… more »

Browse more hotels in Belgium »

Belgium

Full name
Kingdom of Belgium
Capital
Brussels
Location

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Geographic coordinates

50 50 N, 4 00 E

Area comparative

about the size of Maryland

Border countries

France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

Coastline

66.5 km

Climate

temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Terrain

flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Lowest point

North Sea 0 m

Highest point

Botrange 694 m

Natural resources

construction materials, silica sand, carbonates

Population

10,423,493 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Religions

Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

Languages

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Independence

4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)

National holiday

21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I

Chief of state

King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch

Head of government

Prime Minister Yves LETERME (since 25 November 2009); note - the king accepted the resignation of LETERME on 26 April 2010; LETERME remains as caretaker

Internet country code

.be

Internet users

8.113 million (2009)

Airports

43 (2010)

Other countries in the region