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Wedged between France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, Belgium is a small welcoming country, the meeting point of both Latin and Germanic cultures. Maybe for that reason the country punches well above its weight when it comes to European affairs. Belgium is the headquarters of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). With beautiful wooded countryside, charming villages with brick-walled houses, lively cities and a famous cuisine, Belgium is quickly becoming a number one destination for those after a taste of authentic and historical Europe.
Belgium’s rich history has left impressive churches, town halls, castles and art dating back to the early Middle Ages. The towns of Antwerp and Bruges feature much of this medieval architecture. In Brussels, take a walk around the Grand Place, Europe’s finest market square, rimmed with magnificent gold-gilded buildings. It’s at the core of the historic district brimming with cafés, restaurants, and museums. Don’t miss the cheeky Mannekin Pis – this statuette of a little boy creating his own water feature has become the emblem of the city’s rebellious spirit.
Shoppers have a broad range of choice in Brussels. Seek out the pedestrian-friendly Rue Neuve for Europe's major retail stores, the antique dealers of the Sablon, the Place du Jeu de Balle and its flea market or the Avenue de la Toison d’Or for its luxury goods. Elsewhere, Antwerp is a world renowned diamond trading centre and still a great place to buy. Belgium is famous for its variety of beer, and in most towns you’ll find the delicious chocolates and fine lace, a trademark ever since the Renaissance.
While visiting the city and exploring some of Brussels’ well-known chocolate shops, be sure to learn all about Belgian chocolate with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. After you’ve worked up a thirst, try some Belgian beer! There are literally hundreds and each is served in its own unique and sometimes outrageous glass. And for dessert, the best known of Belgian origin must be waffles!
Av temp: 15˚C59˚F
Av temp: 23˚C73˚F
Av temp: 18˚C64˚F
Av temp: 6˚C43˚F
London GMT + 1hrs
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When to go: May-October for the warmest temperatures; November-December for a fantastic festive atmosphere.
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