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Honeymoon in Belgium

Chocolate, waffles, beer, mussels, and the Mannekin Pis...

About Belgium

There's just something about Belgium. Maybe it's the friendly & welcoming people who with three official languages still find it easy to converse in English, the 4th unofficial language. Maybe it's the stunning architecture decorating the quaint cobblestone squares. Or perhaps it's the incredible cuisine found in the vast array of restaurants where each meal seems better than the last. Energetic and carefree, the overall mood in Belgium is infectious, summoning in all of us to live as Belgians and enjoy life to the fullest.

Well situated between France and Holland, the kingdom of Belgium encompasses all the best that Europe has to offer in an area no bigger than Maryland. Within the span of one day you can take a romantic cruise, hunt for diamonds, enjoy waffles, frolic in a festival in Binche, get lost in a castle in Namur, discover antiques at an outdoor market in Liege, and explore a fine art museum in Brussels. A dense train network connects all of Belgium and makes navigation simple and comfortable for travelers.

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Often called the Essence of Europe, Belgium is both multicultural and multilingual. Flanders in the north, a flatland criss-crossed by canals, is proud of its medieval art cities, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the south in Wallonia, you will find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, countless castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai. The city of Brussels is one of the world's great cosmopolitan capitals, home to both the European Union and NATO, as well as a wealth of international trade and finance companies.

Belgium's history has always been linked to both commercial and cultural exchange, and much of its character is due to its role as the great meeting place of Western Europe. It would be difficult to name a European country who didn't want to stake their claim in Belgium at one time or another. Traces of the Austrians, Spanish, French and Dutch can still be seen in its architecture and in the lifestyle of its people. You will see superb examples of art and architecture past and present - Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau.

Somehow, Belgium has maintained a low-key approach to all of this international sophistication. It is a country for connoisseurs, but connoisseurs who do not take themselves too seriously. Because the Belgians themselves certainly do not. And after all this we didn't even mention the beer and chocolate.

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Brussels

Once thought of as dull and grey, Brussels is fast shedding this image and gaining itself a reputation as one of Europe's must-do destinations, with its small town charm, trendy bars and restaurants, fabulous food, great nightlife, fantastic shopping, numerous museums, and other attractions including the diverse and interesting exhibitions and festivals organized there every year.

Brussels is also becoming known as a mecca of style, art, and design. While attracting more and more big names in international fashion to its growing shopping districts, home-grown Belgian designers are rapidly gaining global notoriety. The streets of Brussels feature art and architecture created from an unmistakably Belgian point of view that cannot be replicated. This beautiful city is a center for fashion, art, and Belgian culture.

Brussels Must Sees

Grand Place: A unique mix of beautiful 17th century architecture and modern social life.

Town Hall: This Gothic-style tower remains one of Belgium's finest civic buildings.

The Royal Palace: A stunning palace in the heart of Brussels that is open for public visits.

castleManneken Pis: The infamous statue serves as an symbol of the spirit and humor of Brussels.

Coudenberg: Archaeological remains of a prestigious palace dating back to the Middle Ages.

The Royal Saint Hubert Galleries: Home to lively cafes and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Atomium: Built for the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, now the city's most popular attraction.

Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula: A beautiful Cathedral at the center of Brussels Place du Grand Sablon: Classic European architecture, now houses high-class antiques stores, restaurants, and chocolate shops.

Other Cities

Namur

Only a short distance from Brussels, Namur, the capital of Wallonia, is increasingly attracting attention.

Durbuy

The smallest city in the world. You are bound to appreciate the picturesque charm of Durbuy.

Dinant

Dinant is located at the heart of the Province of Namur, and is the gateway to the Ardennes. 

Mons

Mons is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital.

Turnai

This 2,000 year old town boasts of its long history and great cultural signifcance.

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Liege

Visitors to the Fiery City of Liege often comment how much it reminds them of Rome.

Spa

The town of Spa gave its name to all spas and was the watering hole of the entire aristocracy of Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.

Bouillon

Bouillon lies in the country's Walloon Region and Luxembourg Province.

Bastogne

In this town close to the Luxembourg border, thousands of soldiers died in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge.

Charleroi

Charleroi is the largest city of Wallonia. Its Belfry is included in the the list of World Heritage Sites, it is also the home of the largest Museum of Photography in Europe.

Cultural Belgium

Most tourist attractions and museums are open on Sundays and closed on Mondays with the exception of Tournai where they are closed on Tuesdays. There is a small entrance fee for most museums. Special entrance packages are available in main cities. Interested in religious architecture? Click on Belfries and Beguinages.

Fabulous Flanders: Traditional yet Trendy

The northern part of Belgium is known as Flanders, the inhabitants are called Flemings and speak Dutch. All Flemish towns are brimming with quaint medieval squares, tree-lined canals, gorgeous architectural facades, world class museums and friendly outdoor cafes perfect for sipping on the local brews.

The scenic Flemish countryside is painted with green hills and winding roads bordered by proud farms and peaceful canals. Cities in Flanders exhibit their charm with cobblestone streets, beguinages, gothic cathedrals and artistic treasures of internationally renowned paintings from the Flemish primitives to Breughel and Rubens and such modern masters as Permeke, Ensor and Magritte.

Castles and Gardens

There are more castles per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else in the world. Beautiful castles to experience, formal gardens to get lost in, peaceful abbeys and historic battlefields are awaiting your visit. We would like to suggest a few special sites for your historic journey through French speaking Wallonia and Brussels.

Gourmet Corner

chocolateBelgium is a genuine paradise for gourmet lovers. If you have ever had a chance to read Asterix and the Belgians, you would already know one of the most obvious truths of our weird and wonderful country: Belgian cuisine is as good as the French one, and as generous as the German one. At least we hope it is not the other way round!

And another fact about Belgium and food: you do not need to go to a 3 starred restaurant to really enjoy a delicious and original meal. You can experience some of the finest, oddest and most amazing places where you can enjoy something different, and so good, that you will not forget it for the rest of your life: from the internationally acclaimed restaurants to the most unlikely places.

When it is about Gastronomy, in Southern Belgium, just expect the unexpected and don't be surprised to meet people who have travelled for miles to join the experience!

Source: http://www.visitbelgium.com

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