Travel Information Belgium
- FLAG 🇧🇪
- CAPITAL Brussels
- GOVERNMENT federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
- CURRENCY euros (EUR)
- POPULATION 11,409,077
- TOTAL AREA 11,787 Square Miles or 30,528 Square Kilometers
- LANGUAGES Official languages are French, German and Dutch.
- DECIMAL SYSTEM metric system (kilograms, centimeters, °C)
- TIME ZONE UTC+01:00 with daylight saving time
- LOCATION Belgium is located in Western Europe
Most popular cities in Belgium
- Brussels — Belgium’s bilingual capital and the unofficial capital of the EU. Today one of the most multicultural cities in Europe. Brussels has a nice historic centre around the famous Grand Place with its Gothic town hall and baroque guild halls.
- Antwerp — Belgium’s second largest city, along the Scheldt river, is landmarked by the enormous Gothic cathedral of Our Lady and especially known for four things: Rubens, diamonds, fashion and the port, the second largest of Europe.
- Bruges — One of Europe’s wealthiest cities in the 14th century, nicknamed the ‘Venice of the north’ because of the canals and romantic atmosphere. The historic centre is mainly medieval, including the famous belfry, a Beguine and the Groeningen museum.
- Ghent — Once one of Europe’s largest cities, Ghent is now a perfect mixture of Antwerp and Bruges: a cosy medieval centre with canals, a lot of churches and a great castle.
- Leuven — A small city dominated by one of Europe’s oldest universities. Beautiful historic centre and a lively nightlife. Leuven is also known as the home of Stella Artois and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company.
- Lier — Charming Flemish city situated along the Nete river with a beautiful Beguine, a belfry, stair-shaped houses, a Gothic cathedral and small medieval streets.
- Mechelen — An important medieval city with a nice historic district around the Saint Rumbolds cathedral, famous for its carillon school, the oldest and largest in the world.
- Tongeren — The oldest town in Belgium along with Tournai.
- Ieper — Once one of the largest cities in the Low Countries, now best known for its destruction during the First World War, marked by memorials and cemeteries.
- Binche — Walled town that is famous for its carnival.
- Charleroi — Although the name ´Charleroi Brussels-South Airport´ suggest otherwise, Charleroi is not a suburb of Brussels, but is actually the largest town in Wallonia.
- Dinant — A small town with a cathedral and citadel in a stunning natural setting on the Meuse river. Dinant is known as the place where Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone.
- Liège — The cultural hub of Wallonia – which sits on the banks of the wide river Meuse – is a many sided city that is definitely worth visiting if you are in Belgium.
- Mons — Also known as the ´Bruges of Wallonia´, Mons´ historic centre is simply stunning!
- Namur — The political capital of Wallonia, Namur is a classy town of around a 100,000 inhabitants, that boasts a tidy, well preserved old centre and an impressive citadel at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers.
- Spa — The elegant small town in the Ardennes which put the word spa into spa-town.
- Tournai — The oldest town in Belgium along with Tongeren, Tournai is a pleasant town on the banks of the Escaut (Scheldt) with an impressive four-towered cathedral.
- Verviers — Overlooked by almost everyone, Liège’s little brother to the east was one of the first towns in the world outside Great Britain to be mechanically industrialised in the early 19th century.
Sockets & Plugs
Belgium uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type E.
Belgium uses the euro (symbol: €), code EUR.
Banknotes come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euro. Euro is subdivided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 2 and 1 euros and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Credit & debit cards
Credit cards are widely accepted within Belgium (at hotels, shops, and restaurants, travel agencies, car-rental agencies etc.). Visa, MasterCard and Maestro are the most widely accepted. American Express is less common. Diners Club is pretty rare. Discover, JCB, UnionPay and RuPay are unknown.
Automatic teller machines are very common in Belgium. You can find them in both large & small cities, tourist areas etc.
You do not need a chip & PIN card to use an ATM — your standard magnetic card will work fine.
Not expected, but can leave extra tip
Tipping is usually not expected in Belgium. However, if you are satisfied with the service provided you can show your appreciation by leaving a small ‘extra’ tip. Receipts usually include a service charge. If there is a service charge there is no need to tip.
Internet speed in Belgium is on average 14.2 Mbps.
WiFi coverage in Belgium is very high. Most hotels, hostels, cafes, restaurants and bars have it.
You can buy a SIM card for about €22.04 (€22.04), which includes 2 GB of data plan. You can choose from 3 telecoms: BASE, Mobistar or Proximus.
To call Belgium, dial +, then 32 (the country code for Belgium), then the area code (without the initial 0) and the local number.
Moderate crime rate
Belgium has a moderate crime rate (about the same as Belgium). Take precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pickpocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended.
It’s recommended to follow security precautions like wearing a money belt, leaving valuables in your hotel room safe or well out of sight, securing your bag, staying vigilant in crowds and steering clear of commotions.
In Belgium you drive on the right side. Most cars have manual transmission (stick).
Unless otherwise posted, the speed limits for cars and motorcycles are as follows: 120 km/h (74 mph) on motorways, 120 km/h (74 mph) on expressways, 30 km/h (18 mph) in residential areas, 50 km/h (31 mph) in all built-up areas and 90 km/h (55 mph) on undivided highways.
Rent a car
In order to rent a car:
- you must be over 25
- must hold a full license for at least a 1 year
- almost always have a credit card (Visa & MasterCard are the best)
Alcohol, drugs & prostitution
Minimum age to purchase beer and wine is 16 years old while to drink is not defined. Minimum age to purchase spirits is 18 years old, while to drink is not defined.
Prostitution is legal (in a way of exchanging sex for money). Brothels are illegal.
Cannabis is illegal, but decriminalized
Although drugs are illegal (including cannabis), cannabis (marijuana) is decriminalized meaning you will not go to jail and it will not be on your criminal record if you get caught. However, you could still get a fine, rehabilitation, community service or a combination of the three.
- Police 112
- Ambulance 112
- Fire department 112
- Police 101
- Ambulance 100
- Fire 100
- Missing children 116 000
- Mental problems hotline 106
- Red Cross 105
No vaccinations are required to enter this country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country, but it is recommended to perform routine immunizations for your protection and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
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SOURCE & MORE INFORMATION: thebasetrip.com