Belgium famous for

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 20/02/2024

Belgium stands as one of the most highly developed countries in Europe, drawing the attention of tourists from across the globe. Nestled between France, Germany, and the Netherlands, the country is known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and mouth-watering delicacies. Despite its modest size, Belgium has left an indelible mark on the world stage, earning itself a reputation for excellence in various fields.

But what is Belgium famous for?

Several things in this country can keep you hooked, from world-famous drinks to monasteries to delectable chocolates and waffles.

In this blog post, you will explore top Belgium tourist attractions, including the Belgium famous food and the top Belgium places to visit.

Belgium: Famous Food

Below is a list of famous Belgian food you must try while in this Cockpit Country of Europe:

Belgian Beer

You might already be aware of Belgium’s significant affinity for beer, but do you know just how much? Sufficiently so that UNESCO recognised Belgian beer culture as part of their list of intangible cultural heritages. Therefore, beer holds a cultural significance for Belgians akin to the way Tango does for Argentinians!

The country boasts over 220 operational breweries, each with its unique taste, colour, and brewing tradition. Abbey beers and Trappist beers stand out as among the most renowned Belgian brews globally.

Trappist beers derive their name from being produced in Trappist monasteries, as any beer seeking Trappist certification must be crafted within the confines of a monastery – a peculiar but interesting aspect.

Other well-known varieties of Belgian beer include Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, Blonde, and Flemish Red. Among these, Quadrupel is one of the strongest beers in the world, with up to 14% alcohol content.

Belgian Waffles

Food enthusiasts are well-acquainted with the delightful Belgian waffles. They are known for their light, fluffy texture that can hold more syrup than traditional American waffles.

Additionally, the batter for Belgian waffles is distinctive, traditionally relying on yeast. It contributes to their lighter texture and deeper pockets, characteristics often attributed to the prevalent style of waffle irons in Belgium.

Belgian waffles are available both as street food and in fancy restaurants. Whether topped with strawberries and whipped cream or served with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, Belgian waffles are a culinary delight that has become a global sensation.

The two most popular varieties of Belgian waffles include Brussels and Liege.

Chocolates, Truffles, and Pralines

One cannot discuss Belgium without mentioning its world-renowned chocolates, often hailed as the best in the world. Belgian chocolatiers, such as Godiva and Neuhaus, have perfected the art of chocolate making, creating pralines, truffles, and assorted delights that attract chocolate connoisseurs from every corner of the globe.

Belgium and Switzerland are the two top chocolate-producing countries in the world. While Switzerland boasts a greater number of chocolate manufacturers, the ones originating from Belgium enjoy an equally renowned status. Additionally, Belgian chocolates tend to be more affordable than their Swiss counterparts.

Belgian Fries

No one can say with conviction about the origin of French fries, but it’s no secret that it has become one of the most popular foods worldwide. Both France and Belgium claim ownership of this delicious fast food.

Nevertheless, Fries are among the most common Belgian foods available in every nook and corner of the country.

You can enjoy the delectable Belgian fries as street food without spending too much out of your pocket. You can also try some unique restaurant dishes involving Belgian fries to satiate your taste buds.

Belgium: Places to Visit

Below are some of the most famous places in Belgium you must visit during your trip:

Brussels

Belgium's capital city stands out as one of the most famous places in Belgium. Brussels is a truly distinctive city, showcasing a remarkable fusion of diverse architectures and cultures. With grand Gothic cathedrals, Art Deco taverns, and a 19th-century shopping arcade, the city offers a captivating blend of historical and contemporary elements.

While Brussels boasts numerous captivating attractions, one noteworthy highlight is Mini Europe – a theme park featuring replicas of some of Europe's most iconic buildings and landmarks. From Big Ben to the Berlin Wall, Mini Europe showcases famous landmarks from all European Union member states, making it a must-visit destination.

Just beside this enchanting theme park lies the Atomium, Belgium's somewhat infamous attempt at creating an iconic landmark. Initially envisioned to be Brussels' equivalent of the Eiffel Tower, it took time for people to embrace this peculiar monument. Other famous spots to explore in Brussels include the Castle of Laeken, the Grand Palace, the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg, and Parc du Cinquantenaire, among others.

Bruges

When it comes to famous places in Belgium, Bruges is just as popular as Brussels. The medieval city exudes a charm that is challenging to surpass, characterised by its canals, gothic architecture, and numerous museums.

The historic centre of Bruges holds the prestigious status of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, primarily due to the majority of its buildings being several centuries old.

There are numerous remarkable spots to visit in Bruges, including the Markt, the Belfry of Bruges, and the Groenerei, among others. The Central Square in the heart of the city hosts one of the most exceptional Christmas markets in Europe.

The Bruges City Hall is another awe-inspiring sight, featuring a Gothic exterior and tall towers. And, of course, the city is adorned with museums, ranging from the Sint-Janshospitaal, situated in an 11th-century hospital, to the Frietmuseum, narrating the tale of the origin of Belgian fries, among many others.

Ghent

Ghent is a vibrant Belgian city with a rich medieval history. It is often overlooked but deserves a place in the list of Belgian places to visit. Graslei and Korenlei are the two picturesque streets flanking the river and showcasing the city's medieval architecture with guildhalls and merchant houses lining the water. The Gravensteen Castle, a medieval fortress located in the heart of the city, provides a glimpse into Ghent's past.

Ghent is a haven for art enthusiasts. It boasts the impressive Saint Bavo's Cathedral, which is home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. The city is also known for its lively atmosphere, especially around Korenmarkt Square, where you can enjoy local cuisines in the shadow of historic landmarks.

Antwerp

As Belgium's largest port city, Antwerp is a dynamic metropolis known for its thriving fashion, art, and diamond industries. The Cathedral of Our Lady houses masterpieces by the renowned artist Peter Paul Rubens. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts showcases an extensive collection of Flemish paintings.

Antwerp's Grote Markt is a bustling square surrounded by Guild Halls and the impressive City Hall. It offers a vibrant atmosphere for visitors to soak in the city's energy. Additionally, don't miss the chance to stroll along the Scheldt River or explore the trendy neighbourhoods of Het Zuid and Eilandje, where innovative architecture meets historic charm.

Leuven

Home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, Leuven is a charming city that seamlessly blends history with a youthful energy. The Grand Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a well-preserved complex of buildings that once housed a community of religious women. The University Library's iconic tower offers panoramic views of the city.

Leuven's lively atmosphere is enhanced by its numerous bars and pubs, making it a fantastic place to savour Belgium's diverse beer culture. The city's central square, the Oude Markt, is often referred to as the "longest bar in the world" due to its abundance of bars and cafes. The impressive Town Hall and the M-Museum Leuven are also noteworthy attractions in this vibrant city.

Belgium: Things To Do

Below are the things you must add to your to-do list while planning a trip to Belgium:

Attend Tomorrowland – The Largest Electronic Music Festival in the World

Whether or not you are an enthusiast of electronic music, you must have heard of Tomorrowland at some point in your life. As one of the world's largest electronic music festivals, it takes place annually in the Antwerp Province of Belgium.

Originally held over a single weekend in July, Tomorrowland has evolved in recent years to span two weekends, resulting in a staggering total attendance of 400,000 overall. People from around the globe converge to experience performances from some of the finest artists in the world.

In the past, this music festival has witnessed the performances of some renowned names, including David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, The Chainsmokers, Afrojack, Carl Cox, and even Paris Hilton. Tomorrowland was cancelled for the first time since its inception in 2020 due to the global pandemic. But since then, it has enlarged in terms of popularity as well as attendance.

Engage in Adventure Sports at Ardennes

If you are an adventure junkie, Ardennes is the place for you in Belgium. This picturesque region allows you to escape the city buzz and venture into the serene landscapes known for its dense forests, rolling hills, and outdoor activities.

You can enjoy hiking and cycling trails on the hilly terrains while exploring the region’s natural beauty and charming villages. You can also delve into the mysterious underground world by visiting the Caves of Han. Here, you can embark on a guided tour through vast chambers adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.

For a more adventurous experience, you can try kayaking on the Semois River. You will paddle through lush landscapes surrounded by the tranquillity of nature.

Shop for Diamonds in Antwerp

If you are a fan of diamond jewellery, then Antwerp is the dream place for you. The city is also known as the Diamond Capital of the World, and it is estimated that approximately 60 to 80 per cent of the diamonds in the entire world are cut and traded here. What’s even more fascinating is the fact that Antwerp has been a focal point of diamond trading since the 15th century.

Thanks to Lodewyk Van Berken, the diamond industry in Belgium has completely transformed after the invention of the scarf – a tool that has revolutionised the process of diamond polishing. All these factors make Antwerp a perfect place to shop for diamonds. The city offers precious gems with the best price-to-quality ratio, which means that you can find the best quality diamonds here at highly competitive prices.

Revel in the Festivals and Celebrations

Belgium is home to a plethora of lively festivals and celebrations that showcase the country's vibrant culture. One of the most famous is the Carnival of Binche, recognised as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The carnival, held in the town of Binche, features vibrant parades, traditional costumes, and the iconic Gilles (masked performers who dance through the streets).

Beer enthusiasts also flock to Belgium for its numerous beer festivals, such as the Brussels Beer Weekend and the Zythos Beer Festival. These events celebrate the country's brewing heritage, offering you a chance to sample a wide variety of Belgian beers, from traditional Trappist ales to experimental craft brews.

The Concluding Lines

Belgium's fame extends far beyond its geographical size, and its contributions to the world are both diverse and significant. Whether you're drawn to the medieval charm of Bruges, the cosmopolitan vibes of Brussels, or the culinary delights of Belgian cuisine, this small European gem has much to offer.

So, why wait? Pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover this enchanting country where every street tells a story and every bite offers a taste of satisfaction. But before you begin your trip, don’t forget to procure a travel insurance policy. Opting for travelling insurance safeguards you against financial losses and unforeseen situations you can encounter during your trip.

Tata AIG offers Foreign Travel Insurance Plans with extensive features at competitive premiums. If you have senior citizens in your group, you can even buy travel insurance for elderly people, which entails customised covers for accidents and illnesses.

FAQS

What is the best time to visit Belgium?

The best time to visit Belgium is between April and June. The weather is perfect during these months, and festivals are abundant. You can also plan your visit between September to November.

What are the common languages spoken in Belgium?

Belgium has three official languages – Dutch, German, and French. Roughly 60% of Belgians speak Dutch as their first language.

Which currency is accepted in Belgium?

Like European countries, the currency of Belgium is the Euro. It replaced the Belgian Franc, which was the country’s official currency until 2002.

How to reach Belgium from India?

You can take a flight from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai to the Brussels Airport. It may take around 15 to 16 hours to reach Belgium. Two to four daily flights are operating on this route.

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