Belgium: An Unforgettable European Destination

The beautiful main square and town hall in Brussles, Belgium.
The beautiful “La Grand Place” main square in Brussels, Belgium.

Nestled between two of Europe’s most visited countries—France and Germany—Belgium is a wonderful travel destination. Famous for being home to the European Union and having great beer and fine chocolate, Belgium packs a rich history and culture that’s sure to dazzle visitors. November is a busy time of year in Belgium, which makes for a fun-filled visit.

Belgium is bordered by France, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and is basically “Europe in a nutshell.” The country is divided into two regions: Flanders, the top Dutch-speaking region, and Wallonia, the bottom French-speaking region.

The country houses 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than 200 museums, and in the country’s capital, Brussels, there are 300 art nouveau buildings. It’s easy to see that art is an important cultural foundation in Belgium, so plan on visiting a museum and admiring public buildings during your trip.

Some must-visit museums include: ancient and modern art hub, University Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve in Brussels; the two-level, World War II-dedicated museum, Bastongne Ardennes 44 in Bastogne; the regional and international artifact Mecca, Grand Curtius Museum Complex in Liège; one of the largest photography museums in Europe, Charleroi Photography Museum in Charleroi; and the historical Museum of Folklore in Tournai.

Visitors can expect to see amazing architecture in Belgium. Travelers should visit Brussels to see some spectacular works of architectural art.

Some must-see sites in the capital include: the Grand Place, where 17th-century architecture meets modern life; the Atomium, Brussels’ most popular attraction that includes a sphere where visitors can get a panoramic view of the city; Place du Grand Sablon, a shopping and dining destination that houses “high-class antiques stores, restaurants and chocolate shops;” and Coudenberg, which is an archaeological site of the remains of an impressive palace built in the Middle Ages.

There are also art-themed festivals going on in Belgium this month. Don’t miss the gender and sexuality-charged film festival, Pink Screens, the Ice Sculpture Festival or the festive Nocturnes du Sablon event taking place in November. For the music lovers, the week-long, Brussles-based music festival, Autumn Falls, kicks off on Nov. 25.

Belgium is known as “a food lover’s dream” and “a beer lover’s heaven” for a reason. Belgium is home to more 650 different varieties of beers and 2,000 chocolate shops. There are a ton of brewery tours, beer museums, chocolatiers and chocolate museums tourists can visit during their stay.

Belgium is also the birth place of fries, home to Brussels sprouts and the source of all the endives sold in the U.S. While visiting, tourists should indulge in traditional cuisine, such as: a mashed potato, vegetable and sausage dish called stoemp; air-dried ham known as jambon d’Ardennes; a traditional Belgian shrimp appetizer named croquette aux crevettes; and a classic hot fudge sundae dubbed dame blanche.

In conclusion, Belgium is a Western European treasure that offers visitors a culture-rich trip with historical sites, great museums, scrumptious food and an overall awesome time.

For more information on visiting Belgium, visit the country’s tourist website here.

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