Travel Belgium Guide
Belgium stands at a crossroads in European culture. A bustling, international and industrial nation, Belgium benefits from its vital, hard-won coastline and its strong shared cultural heritage. Many observers today note that Belgium is a land divided, with the Flemish- and French-speaking populations occasionally being at odds.The truth, however, is that Belgium has ridden out plenty of turmoil to reach where it is today. Forced to bow and pay tribute to multiple empires, including the Roman, Belgium was also plunged into centuries of bloody strife under the yoke of feudalism.
Belgium became a battleground for both World Wars, used as a punching bag for Germany and a propagandistic clarion call for the opposition.Today's soul-searching quest for Belgian identity has some agitating for a split along ethnic and linguistic lines, but the centrist majority sees the strength in maintaining this unique nation's political status quo. The disagreement is far from violent, and travelers find Belgian people and their country to be warm and hospitable--even through this northern land's cold winters. It is these cold winters that are in large part responsible for the massive, four to six hour dinners that make foreign visitors wonder how the Belgians stay so slim. Belgians don't skimp on butter or any form of dessert.Like neighboring France, Belgium is overwhelmingly Catholic.
Despite most of its major political parties having some Christian affiliation, the nation, like most northern European countries, operates a progressive, liberal government.What Belgium lacks in natural resources, it more than makes up for in cultural riches. Antwerp, Brussels and other cities are considered home to sophisticated artistic enclaves, and Belgium vigorously pursues cultural and artistic exchanges with other nations both in Europe and far beyond. Belgium relies on outside contact to fuel its economy. Despite its high number of corporations with vast international scope, Belgium primarily produces value-added products, importing its raw materials from elsewhere. From electronics to textiles, Belgians are the best at what they do.Visitors to Belgium can expect to take in everything from bucolic expanses to tourist wonderlands to booming port towns with a tasty layer of grime. Along the way travelers will be treated to a cornucopia of gourmet pleasures and some of the world's best beer. More and more intelligent travelers are stopping to soak up a pint along with the architecture and national character.
People are attracted by the Belgians' lilting voices, unique outlook on life, and deliciously dark, ribald sense of humor. Too many tourists zip through Belgium on their way from the stately environs of gay Paris to the bawdy pleasures of mind and flesh to be found in Amersterdam. Why not hop off that rusty old train and take a look at one of Europe's most fascinating and resilient nations--and don't forget to stop saying "Bon jour!" when you reach the northern regions.
Our tipp: Before you start your vacation, you should inform yourself about an travel-insurance.