Say hello to your next travel destination! Belgium is a smaller country with a big personality. Before you pack your bags, there’s a few things you should know so you get the full Belgian experience.
Belgium is a country of chocolate, castles, and city sights. A perfect travel destination for slow travellers! Over 3,000+ castles are just waiting to be discovered. Seek out hidden gems in the less well known regions or plan an adventure in the city. Explore the museums, then relax with a glass of local beer at one of the many breweries.
It is also incredibly complex for such a small little country as it has 3 regions, 3 official languages and a whole lot of government.
Belgium is made up of three regions with their own unique quirks.
You’ve got Flanders in the north (Dutch speaking).
Walloon in the south (French speaking).
Brussels where you’ll see the capital (French).
Still, most Belgians speak English in the Dutch speaking and the Brussels capital region, so it’s not too difficult to say hi to the locals. The French-speaking Walloon side a bit less, but you should still be able to get around easily.
It’s easy to find adventure outdoors in Belgium! Go in the winter for a cross-country skiing trip in the beautiful Ardennes or simply look up at the summer sky to find adventure course bridges. Cycle through the trees or go off-road in the dunes.
No slow travel trip is complete without learning the culture. And Belgium has tons to discover. Check out tons of sights from refreshing outdoor open-air galleries to emotional museums on Belgium’s war history. Then, get a taste of Belgian culture by trying out the chocolate, local beer, and delicious frites.
Belgium is an interesting country to visit no matter the time of year. But there’s a few things to keep in mind when planning your slow travel trip. We’re letting you know when to avoid the tourist peak and the dates you need to know about.
Belgium has mild weather. Bring some jumpers for the winter and get those cute summer dresses ready. In the summer, you’re looking at a mild average of 22 c (about 72 f). Rainy and cloudy days are common throughout the year though. As for snow in winter, it’s not guaranteed unless you’re in the Ardennes.
Belgium is a multilingual country. Flemish - the Belgian dialect of Dutch - is the most commonly spoken language (about 60%), followed by Walloon - the Belgian French dialect (40%) and German (1%). English is spoken too, but you’ll get a deeper connection with the locals and the culture by trying out the language of the region. We’re giving you the basics of Flemish Dutch and Walloon French to help you get around!
In the southern part of Belgium, you’ll be hearing French. Head over to the north (aka Flanders) to meet Dutch speakers. While a tiny fraction of the east (Eupen, St Vith and Malmedy) speak German, it’s not that common. Brussels is even more of a mix with French, English and Dutch being used often.
Ready to try out another language? Stick to Dutch in the northern part of the country and French in the south.
Dutch is said to be one of the easier languages to learn for English-natives. For French and German speakers, you should be able to pick up phrases and some words pretty quickly as the languages can be similar.
All the practical info you need to know about travelling to Belgium!
Major Airports for international flights are near Brussels, Zaventem being the main one and Charleroi being the low-budget one. There are others in Antwerp, Liege, Ostend but with limited flights.
All major towns have train stations. Smaller towns might have one too or at least a bus stop.
Getting to Belgium via the bus or coach is a super affordable option.
There are no toll roads and roads are generally smooth. You’ll probably run into traffic in the city and some language confusion further out from Brussels, as road signs can be Dutch or French. Fuel is more pricey than other countries, but you don’t have to drive long distances. For convenience and harder to reach locations, renting a car is a good option too.
Belgium has a well connected public transport system. You can stick to the trains, buses and trams to get you around the cities. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi all have a tram network too. Check out the city guides for detailed info!
Major cities have bike stands and many use a rental system “Velo”. Watch out for the big trunk roads in the big cities, though. Most travellers also take their bikes onto public transport. Get out into the countryside and you’ve got tons of cycling trails to choose from.
Electric rental scooter options are available in most major cities; Bird and Lime being the most widely available.
Going on foot is the easiest way to get around the cities. Use our map to find out what’s near you and walk or combine with the bus for an easy, hassle-free day out.