Belgium is located in the heart of Europe, bordering the Netherlands, Germany, France, Luxembourg and North Sea. This kingdom is split between the Dutch-speaking Flemish region in the north and the largely French-speaking Walloon region in the south. Headquarters of the European Union and NATO, there are three official languages and English is spoken widely too.
Belgium is made for city breaks. The country has elevated chocolate making to an art form and there are more than 400 types of beer. With five airports, it is very well connected. Flights to Belgium with easyJet and Brussels Airlines land at Brussels Airport, while Ryanair offers cheap flights to Belgium, landing at Brussels Charleroi, 46km from the city. Other airports include Antwerp, Ostend and Liège.
Flanders boasts Antwerp, Europe’s diamond capital; Bruges, a popular medieval town, and Ghent, less touristy than Bruges but equally pretty. The Flanders coast has smooth sandy beaches with pretty little resort towns such as Blankenberge, De Haan and De Panne, and has one of the longest tram lines in the world – the Kusttram.
In Wallonia are the Ardennes and Liege, Namur and Tournai. Brussels is capital, a charming cosmopolitan city of cobblestone squares and modern buildings.
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Winters in Belgium are usually cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging between 0 and 6 degrees. Summers are much more pleasant, with temperatures averaging 12 to 22 degrees.
As the weather doesn’t vary hugely between seasons and there are so many towns, there is no particularly defined peak or off-peak season. Summer is usually more full of tourists and it is wise to book Belgium flights and accommodation in advance if you’re travelling to the big cities during the holiday period. Christmas and Easter also tend to see more holidaymakers. Be aware, however, that it rains year-round.
(prices quoted are from London)