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The harbor city Antwerp offers an exciting culture scene

Medieval wealth still shows everywhere in Ghent

Bruges is a must-see fairy tale city

Belgium is known for its wide range of excellent beers

Antwerpse Handjes, yummy cookies from Antwerp

Belgians love going out for lunch, dinner or drinks

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Belgium: country of amazing food and exceptional art

 

Tucked in between the Netherlands, France and Germany, Belgium has a crucial position in Europe – not in the least for being the “Capital of the Continent” with the European Parliament based in Brussels. The country, with approximately 11 million inhabitants, is divided up in a Dutch (or Flemish as they like to call it) speaking part and a French speaking part. The Flemish speaking part, Flanders,  sits in the north, the French speaking part Wallonia is in the south.   

Brussels is the shared capital that, situated in Flanders, is mainly French speaking. Over the years, Brussels has become a very internationally dynamic city due to being the centre of European politics. During the week, people from all over Europe are in Brussels to work in the European Parliament or related organizations. As a result, the city has a large number of excellent restaurants and hotels, and great cultural events and museums.  

From the capital Brussels it takes at the most an hour to get to any one of the other amazing cities Belgium has. The second biggest city is Antwerp, close to the Dutch border. The harbor city is known for its great cultural and night life, with a large number of cultural festivals and events. Antwerp is full of pleasant bars and restaurants on tranquil squares. It also has a thriving fashion and art scene, with famous designers like Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. Last but not least, Antwerp is the heart of the global diamond trade.   

Two other absolutely must-see towns are Bruges and Ghent, in the west of the country. These cities were key economic centers in medieval Europe, partially due to the textile trade. The centers are preserved and provide gorgeous fairytale like scenery.    

Astonishing nature is to be found in Wallonia, in the “Ardennes” region. It attracts outdoor lovers of all kinds: rafters, hikers, climbers and bicyclists. Nature is combined with the most beautiful castles, monasteries and abbeys spread out over the country side.

Even though the Wallonian and Flemish parts are rather autonomous, they have a love for food in common. Who doesn’t know Belgian waffles, chocolate and beers? Join the Belgians and enjoy the wonderful food during a copious lunch or dinner.