Belgium – Fact sheet

Official name of the country: Kingdom of Belgium
Capital: Brussels (Population 980,000)
Area: 30,518 sq km
Population: 10.2 million
Currency: Euro
Languages: Dutch, French and German (official languages of the country), English is widely spoken
Government: constitutional parliamentary monarchy
Time: GMT/UTC +1
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Nestled in the heart of Europe lies a tiny kingdom rich in architecture, castles, art cities, romantic canals and natural beauty. It’s a place alive with vibrant festivals, friendly people, delicious beer, incredible cuisine and world class services. Some call it heaven, we call it Belgium.

Food Glorious Food
Belgium is becoming increasingly popular with travelers as a gourmet destination – and rightly so. Belgian chefs prepare epicurean works of art with meticulous care using only the freshest ingredients.

Mussels Fresh from the North Sea they’re a bargain in season.

Fries Enjoy them Belgian style – served in a paper cone and topped with freshly made mayonnaise.

Beer There are over 500 different kinds of Belgian beer, each with its own individually designed beer glass.

Waffles Baked with special waffle irons only available in Belgium, they’re topped with sugar, whipped cream, berries, chocolate or just your lips.

Chocolate It’s not just hype! These hand-dipped beauties are highly addictive.

What makes Belgium so special?
The answers are many

This tiny kingdom in the heart of Europe is multicultural and multilingual with more to offer in a small area than your clients ever imagined. Within the span of one day they can take a romantic cruise down a canal in Bruges, hunt for diamonds in Antwerp, eat waffles on the beach in Ostend, frolic in a festival in Binche, get lost in a castle garden-maze in southern Belgium, explore a fine art museum in Brussels and much more. Medieval cities, incredible collections of Flemish Art, numerous museums, rich combination of castles, gardens and canals, diversity of architecture, festivals galore and art nouveau make Belgium the perfect tourist destination.

All hotels, from small charming properties to international chain hotels, assure that a quality experience awaits your clients. History and culture mingle with modern facilities whether it’s an 18th-century carriage house furnished with antiques and objets d’art or an ultra-modern spa resort.

Belgium is increasingly more popular with travelers as a gourmet destination – and rightly so. Whether it’s a simple meal or a gourmet feast your clients can expect impeccable and inventive cuisine, a vast wine list and service with a smile. Belgian chefs prepare epicurean works of art with meticulous care using only the freshest ingredients. Your clients can delight in fine chocolates, munch on Belgian fries with mayo, savor fresh mussels from the North Sea and then wash it all down with the country’s diverse variety of beer – over 500 available. Anyway you slice it, everyone leaves the table satisfied.

Burning off those delicious calories is a pleasure in Belgium where there is always plenty to do. Sailing, biking, horseback riding, ballooning, rock climbing, swimming, golfing, shopping, antique hunting: Belgium has it all.

Location… Location… Location

• Daily direct flights to Brussels (6 ½ hours from the East Coast) with American Airlines/SN Brussels, Continental, Delta, and United Airlines.

• Paris, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt are only a fast train ride away (1 ½ hours to Paris). Visit www.raileurope.com for details.

• From Brussels it is only 30 minutes by train to Ghent or Antwerp and only one hour to Bruges or Liege.

Did you know…?

• Brussels is headquarters to the European Union (EU), and NATO.

• We have more castles per square mile than anywhere in the world.

• Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate annually and has 2,130 chocolate shops.

• We have more than 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

• The word ‘spa’ comes from the town of Spa in Belgium.

• The only comic strip museum in the world is in Belgium

www.visitbelgium.com
For more on Belgium at ITKT