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Belgium Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Belgium in 2022

Belgium Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Belgium in 2022

Welcome to Belgium

Welcome to this Ultimate Belgium Travel Guide, a perfect guide for every traveler who wants to visit Belgium. This guide provides destination information, travel documentation requirements, COVID-19 restrictions, and much more.

Belgium is a small country, located in Western Europe and bordered by France, Luxemburg, Germany and Netherlands. It is world-renowned for its medieval cities and Renaissance architecture. The country has distinct regions, such as Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, and Brussels, the capital, which has ornate town halls and elegant art-nouveau buildings.

Get ready to plan an incredible trip!

Document checklist for Belgium

These are some of the entry and exit requirements to travel to Belgium:

Valid passport - You will need a valid passport with at least six months' validity from the date of travel to enter Belgium.

Lodging - Please present the list of your hotel reservations.

Economic proof - You must prove that you have enough money to cover your trip costs and return home.

Insurance - It is vital to travel with travel insurance that covers overseas medical costs, medical evacuation, travel advice, and more.

Air ticket - It is essential to show that you will leave Belgium after your trip.

Essential Belgium Travel Information

Here you will find some general information about Belgium that will allow you to better plan your trip.

Currency - The currency of Belgium is the euro.

Languages - French and Dutch are the main languages spoken in Belgium, although the linguistic variety also extends to English and German. In addition, it is possible to find, in tourist places, people who speak Spanish.

Socket type - The plugs and sockets are E-type. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Time zone - The zone is one hour ahead of UTC (UTC+01:00).

Top 3 cities to visit - Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent. Top landmarks/monuments* - Grand Palace, Gravensteen, and the Atomium.

Visa Information for Belgium

Schengen visa - This type of visa is a short-stay visa and is called a C-type visa. This type of tourist visa allows you to perform some activities for a period not exceeding 90 days. You need the following information:

  • Valid electronic or machine-readable passport with an expiration date of more than three months.

  • A round-trip ticket for a period not exceeding 90 days.

  • Possession of the invitation form or document.

  • In case your stay is in a hotel, present proof of the reservation where you will be staying.

  • Sufficient economic resources for your stay during the trip.

  • Travel insurance in case of accident or emergency.

Long-term visas or type D visas are also available. These are as follows:

International Exchange Visa - This visa is issued to young people enrolled in international exchange programs such as Rotary, AFS, or YFU.

Study Visa - This visa is granted for higher education in institutions recognized by the Belgian authorities, private institutions, preparatory courses for higher education, and one-semester exchange programs between universities.

Visa as a researcher with a research agreement - This visa is granted to researchers with a research agreement with an approved organization.

Family reunification visa - This visa is granted to family members of a nationalized person residing in Belgium, family members of a sedentary Belgian, family members of an EU citizen, or a non-sedentary Belgian.

Au Pair Visa - This visa is for persons over 18 years of age and under 26 years of age who have been temporarily hosted by a family that provides accommodation and food in exchange for small daily family tasks, to improve their linguistic skills, and also to get to know Belgium by participating in the family life of their host family.

There are also work visas, such as the Single permit work visa and the Self-employed work visa.

Typical costs and budget for Belgium

These travel tips refer to the approximate costs of a trip to Belgium. Please take this information into account when planning your trip.

Daily expense per person - For tourist activities in the country, you can choose to visit some free destinations, but if you want to go to museums or tours, the average cost is 25 euros per person.

Meals - The average cost of food in the country is 15 euros for small restaurants or fast food, while if you want to go to a more luxurious restaurant, you can spend up to 65 euros.

Transportation - Regarding transportation in the country, if you use public transportation, you can spend between 5 to 10 euros a day, but if you want to move more privately, you can spend up to 40 euros a day.

Hotel - Lodging can vary according to the type of hotel. If you want to stay in a backpacker-type hotel, you can spend approximately 40 euros per night. On the other hand, more luxurious hotels can cost from 130 euros per night.

Transport and ways to travel around Belgium

There are different ways to move around the country. Here are the most common ones:

By car - Belgium has one of Europe's most modern road and freeway networks. There are no tolls, and it is perfectly signalized. The use of seat belts is compulsory in both front and rear seats. If you want to rent a car, you must have an international driving permit.

By train - Belgium has the densest rail network in Europe. Moreover, as it is not a very large country, distances are short. Therefore, in addition to connections to the various Belgian cities, there are trains to other European cities.

By bus - Belgium connects small cities that do not have a train station by bus.

Urban transport - Buses, streetcars, and subways are available in Belgium's major cities.

By taxi - Cabs should be taken at taxi ranks or by calling the official telephone numbers in Belgium.

Safety in Belgium

In general, Belgium is not a very high-risk country to travel to. The only problems to be aware of are terrorist attacks and pickpockets.

Transportation in Belgium is very reliable and safe. However, be careful when taking the bus or train, as pickpockets and thieves frequent them. The chances of encountering a pickpocket are high, especially in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

As far as muggings are concerned, Belgium is relatively safe. There have not been many cases of people being mugged, but some areas of Brussels should be avoided altogether. Don't hesitate to contact the local authorities if something happens to you.

Finally, as in any country, especially those frequented by tourists, there is a good chance that you will be scammed. Always double-check your change and be wary of people who try to distract you and offer to help you with your luggage.

Weather in Belgium

Belgium has a climate of mild winters and not very hot summers. In the north, temperatures are somewhat colder in the winter. On the other hand, in the interior of Belgium, winters may be colder, even with snowfall, and summers are slightly warmer.

You can check local news to research how the weather is when traveling.

Must Do and See in Belgium

Some tourist destinations you should visit when traveling to Belgium are:

Ghent - The view of the Graslei quay at any time of the day is a perfect stop. However, the city has beautiful architecture capable of enchanting even the most demanding of visitors. Ghent is also a cultural hotbed full of museums, concerts, and festivals.

Dinant - Known for the Meuse River, this city will surprise you every moment you spend there. Get an excellent view of the Citadel after climbing the more than 400 steps that lead up to it, and be amazed by the atypical bulb that crowns the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame. But the charms of Dinant are not only on its surface. You can also visit the Cave of La Merveilleuse.

Bruges - This destination is lovely; it is essential not to be surprised by the small houses of a couple of heights that overlook its canals. Bruges is a place to observe from at least three different perspectives: the canal, the Belfry Tower, and walking through the streets.

Liège - To see this place in its full splendor, you will have to climb the stairs that ascend the slopes of the mountain Bueren, 373 steps that is worth the effort. There you will be able to take incredible pictures.

The Ardennes - This is an ideal destination for walking, hiking, or forgetting the world for a few days to take a break and relax.

Typical Belgian gastronomy to try

Known as the country of beers and chocolate, Belgium, however, is much more than that. Belgium has a wide variety of foods, such as mussels and fries. In addition, you can add herring, some soup, a good meat dish, a beef steak or waterzooi, and some chocolate dessert, especially waffles.

Its gastronomy is influenced by French and Dutch cuisine, being in some cases, a fusion of both. Additionally, in recent years, Belgian food has been influenced by Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.

Vaccine Information for Belgium

Some recommended vaccinations for visiting Belgium are Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Influenza.

It is no longer necessary to present the COVID-19 vaccination certificate; therefore, you do not need to show the passenger locator form.

Fun facts about Belgium

Among some of the country's curiosities are the following:

  • Belgium produces more than 220,000 tons of chocolate per year.

  • Zaventem airport is the place where the most chocolate is sold in the world.

  • Belgium's highest point is lower than the world's tallest building.

  • Europe's first skyscraper was built in Belgium.

  • Brussels has the oldest shopping arcades in Europe.

  • New York was founded by a Belgian.

  • When you live in Belgium, you have a "Belgian Health Insurance Fund" that helps you when needed.

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