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Belgium

  • Belgium

Belgium (ned. Koninkrijk België, fr. Royaume de Belgique, ger. Königreich Belgien)   

State in Western Europe, a member of the EU, UN and NATO. Area is 30,528 km², population is 10.8 million people. The country is named after the Celtic tribe ethnonym - Belgie. Belgium is a prosperous European state with a considerable number of well-preserved architectural monuments of the Middle Ages (especially castles in the Gothic style), quality hotels and a good standard of life (on this indicator Belgium competes with Switzerland) and the corresponding prices. Belgium also boasts excellent beaches and a modern spa in the main resort of Ostend. Main types of tourism in the country are excursions and recreation, beach vacation, leisure.

General information

The location, grounds and landscape

The Kingdom of Belgium is located in Western Europe on the east coast of the North Sea. It has borders with the Netherlands, in the east - with Germany and Luxembourg, in the south and south-west - with France. In the north-west it is washed by the North Sea.

The country's territory is 30,528 km ².

Geographically the country is divided into three regions: the coastal plain (main towns are Bruges, Ostend), the central plateau (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent), Ardennes hill (relative less urbanized district). The coastal plain is located in the north-west of the country and consists of sand dunes and polders - coastal areas reclaimed from the sea by draining. The average height above the sea level is about 10 meters, but there are also areas lying below sea level. Central Plateau is a short section of the territory, consists of fertile plains. Ardennes hill is covered by forest plateau, which is about the average height of 460 meters, located in the south-west of the country.

Population: over 10 million 440 thousand people.

Capital: Brussels (niderl. Brussel, fr. Bruxelles, 183 thousand inhabitants).

Biggest cities: Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Liege, Charleroi, Bruges.

Languages​​: Dutch (only in Flanders and Brussels), French (only in Wallonia, in the territory of German-speaking community, and Brussels), German (only in German-speaking community).

Religion: the population is divided by religions, Catholics (85%) and Protestants (about 8%). Also live in the country Muslims and Jews.

Time zone: UTC +32.

Telephone code: 1.

Currency: Euro (EUR).

Credit card payment systems
: Visa, MasterCard, American Express.

The climate and the average temperature

Special influence on the climate of Belgium have the Atlantic air masses from which forms the Belgian weather throughout the year. Due to this the whole country has particularly soft winter and summer is relative cool. Average winter temperatures in the western lowlands range from 0 to 3 and the bulge due to their higher altitude and distance from the coast is from 0 to -1 degrees. On the coast the winter reigns  with quite windy and wet weather. Summer is here, on the contrary, in a very comfortable weather - daytime temperatures fluctuate around twenty degrees mark, and only in rare years, it is reaching 30 °. Humidity of the air is as in winter high enough due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. Precipitation occurs mostly during the cold period (about 800 mm in the plains and about 1300 in the Ardennes).

Flora and fauna

In the Ardennes  are widely spread forests - mainly coniferous - they cover around half the size of the area. However, in fertility local soil gives away to noticeably inferior soils of the central plateau and powerful alluvial soils covering the coastal lowlands of Flanders, which is used for agriculture. There are also natural pine forests - they covered about one-seventh of the area of ​​Flanders.

Fauna of the country can not be considered as exotic. The most characteristic are squirel, fox, badger, marten, deer, roe deer, wild boar, hare. The most common birds are partridge, pheasant and woodcock.

How best to get

From Kyiv and Lviv in Brussels you can take buses and trains. Directly flies there "Ukraine International Airlines", with transfer in Amsterdam and Warsaw - KLM and LOT.

Regular direct flights Moscow - Brussels carries out "Aeroflot" (only evening departures) and Brussels Airlines. Time in the air is about three hours.

From Minsk to Brussels you can go by train or airplane airline "Belavia», Austiran Airlines fly here through Vienna.

Best time to visit

For a beach holiday you should bear in mind that the swimming season here lasts only from mid-June to mid-September. For sightseeing purposes it is better to come here from May to September, when the weather is for the most part sunny and warm.

Popular tourist sites

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the Brussels-Capital Region. The main tourist attraction in Belgium the locals fondly called "Little Paris". In Brussels are located institutions of the French and Flemish communities and Flanders, the headquarters of the European Union, NATO office, the Secretariat of the Benelux countries. Be sure to visit the Central Square with the Town Hall, King's House, stroll through Brussels Park, where you can be photographed against the backdrop of the Royal Palace and the Palace of Justice. Then you should check the famous "Pothole", which is itself is nothing but a well lit, with exhibit items of the Museum of Modern Art.

Unmatched in terms of Gothic architecture are St. Michael's Cathedral, the Palace of the States-General and the building of the Brussels Stock Exchange. Art fans should not miss a visit to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts with an extensive collection of masterpieces of world art, including many paintings, painted by Rubens by himself.You can’t go to Belgium and not see its symbol – Manneken Pis, a national hero in Belgium, whose wardrobe is one of the richest in the world.

Antwerp is the second largest city and the largest in the world Dutch-speaking city that in addition to a set of medieval architectural structures is widely known for its diamond cutting. Not visiting at least one of the jewelry stores is nonsense, even if buying jewelry abroad is not included in your plans. Also be sure to go hiking through the South Quarter - the most beautiful historic city.

Tours in the direction of: Belgium