A country to discover!
Belgium fires one's imagination. Tourists from all over the world are attracted to Belgium and its cosmopolitan capital, Brussels. It is no surprise then, that Belgium has a lot to offer the foreign tourist. Belgium means holidays in many forms. You will be able to briefly escape the daily grind, with a weekend in a Belgian city, but you can also plan a true voyage of discovery throughout Belgium.
Two of the big tourist attractions in Belgium are the Ardennes and the Coast. Do you like hiking, cycling, sport, nature and tranquillity? Then you will undoubtedly want to go to the Ardennes, Belgium's lungs. Are you more likely to be tempted by sun, sea, sport and enjoyable bustle? Then there is the lure of the Coast.
Tourists with a craving for art and culture or architectural beauty, will be pampered in our art cities. Those who would like a taste of our gastronomy, cultural events and nightlife, will have every wish satisfied. As a result, the many art cities - with Brussels at the top - are able to depend on an ever-increasing interest from tourists.
Belgium plays an important role in the gastronomic life of Western Europe. The Belgians are well known for their exuberant lifestyle and they take pleasure in their guests enjoying themselves. The restaurants are outstanding, and what is more agreeable to finish a beautiful day than the enjoyment of a Flemish meat casserole with a Trappist beer from the Ardennes?
The Coast's 65 kilometre long stretch of sandy coastline has 15 resort towns, each with its own character and unique atmosphere. The sandy beaches are ideal for children. The beaches shelve gently out to the sea, and life guards ensure everyone's safety. Sunbathers have found that they acquire a healthier tan here than in southern Europe, thanks to the iodine and salt in the air.
The Belgian coast offers a wide range of sport and recreation facilities : here you can hire a bicycle or a buggy, or go sailing or fishing. The wide beach is ideal for ball games, horse riding and beach surfing.
The summer months are the busiest period for the coast. However, other seasons have their own charm, even if sunbathing is not part of it. There are plenty of alternatives on the coast. Close by, there is Bruges, one of Belgium's finest art cities. A visit to this historic city is a must.
The Ardennes, situated in the south-east of Belgium, are one of nature's unspoilt areas, rich in fauna and flora, with vast forests of broadleaf and fir, hills and fast flowing rivers. Visitors can wander through the many picturesque villages nestling in the valleys where traditions and folklore still live on, and where the region's arts and crafts can be enjoyed.
Springtime in the Ardennes is the season for walking, cycling, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Horse riding, climbing and mountain biking are other examples of popular sports in the Ardennes. The keen mountaineer has an exciting choice of challenges. In winter, the Ardennes are a fun paradise for downhill and cross country skiers, or perhaps you prefer tobogganing and snow scooter racing. There is action, even underground. Some of the caves are certainly worth a visit.
Amongst the greenery lie the silent witnesses of the past of the Ardennes, such as castles, forts and citadels. They come to life again during special events and displays where knights and their shield bearers turn the neighbourhood into a battlefield.
For a small country, Belgium has a remarkable number of art cities: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, Mons, Liege, Ghent … Each of these cities has a lot in store for you, and is a choice destination for a city trip.
Do you like the idea of coming face to face with the paintings of Rubens, Ensor or Van Eyck in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, or do you want to go straight to the Rubens House Museum? Alternatively, does a visit to the house of the Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta, in Brussels, have greater appeal? Perhaps you prefer to simply stroll through the picturesque little streets of Bruges.
All art cities in Belgium have sufficient diversity and quality 'in house', to provide you with an agreeable stay. What's more, this not only applies to museums and monuments. After a visit to the museum, the enjoyment of a delicious meal with a glass of wine or Belgian beer in one of the many restaurants is a must. When in Antwerp, you can afterwards take a trip in a horse-drawn carriage through the old city centre. In Bruges, a boat trip along the Bruges canals will undoubtedly go down well. In the evening, you will then be ready for a dazzling cultural program or for a night out in the convivial surroundings of our pubs.
Families with children will find enough variety in between all these cultural activities, to make a party of it for them too. After all, there will always be an event somewhere, like a festival or a colourful brass band passing by.