Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.
— René Descartes, 1596 - 1650
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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

BelgiumHotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise 

avenue de la Toison d'Or 40
Brussels 1050
Belgium

Price (US$): $140 - $565 / night

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Location. Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise is a business friendly hotel located in Brussels's Ixelles Avenue Louise neighborhood, close to Law Courts of Brussels, Royal Palace of Brussels, and Square Brussels Meeting Centre. Additional points of interest include Place du Petit Sablon and Place du Grand Sablon. Hotel Features. Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club. This 5… more »

BelgiumLe Meridien Brussels 

Carrefour De L'europe, 3
Brussels 1000
Belgium

Price (US$): $234 - $444 / night

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Location. Located in central Brussels, Le Meridien Brussels is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Square Brussels Meeting Centre, Brussels City Hall, and La Grande Place. Additional points of interest include Brussels Stock Exchange and Royal Palace of Brussels. Hotel Features. Dining options at Le Meridien Brussels include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves breakfast each morning… 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 »

BelgiumSteigenberger Grandhotel 

Avenue Louise 71
Brussels 1050
Belgium

Price (US$): $321 - $6058 / night

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Location. Steigenberger Grandhotel is a business friendly hotel located in Brussels's Ixelles Avenue Louise neighborhood, close to Law Courts of Brussels, Place du Petit Sablon, and Place du Grand Sablon. Additional points of interest include Place du Jeu de Balle and European Union Parliament Building. Hotel Features. Steigenberger Grandhotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet… more »

BelgiumRocco Forte Hotel Amigo 

Rue de L'Amigo 1-3
Brussels 1000
Belgium

Price (US$): $278 - $910 / night

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Location. Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is located in Brussels's Brussels City Centre Grand Place neighborhood, close to Brussels City Hall, La Grande Place, and Manneken Pis Statue. Nearby points of interest also include Cathedral of St. Michael and Museum of Musical Instruments Old England Building. Hotel Features. Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning (surcharges… 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