Belgium Travel Guide,The Heart of the European Union

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Belgium was regarded back in the day, and maybe still is, who knows, as a relatively boring country, and that’s what today’s article will try to remedy. Truth be told, Belgium is a really interesting place, a melting pot of cultures and traditions and it makes for one of the most underrated traveling destinations in the European Union.

If you’re a first time visitor and a city slicker, you may very well begin your “spiritual” (pun intended) journey in Belgium trying the country’s best of features, the likes of beer, moules frites and chocolate, but while Belgium is a place where you can drink and eat well, there are many other things to sample.

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If you want to see a movie which will make you want to jump into a plane and visit Belgium ASAP, just watch In Bruges, you’ll thank me later. Bruges is an awesome medieval city in Belgium but it’s not the only one. Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels alike (the country’s capital, the European Union and NATO headquarters) are some of the most interesting cities in the world, boasting their stunning architecture and their rich culture and history, including a glorious military legacy which covers the last 300 years easily, ranging from Waterloo, the place where Napoleon was taught a lesson by Nelson to War World 2.

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One of the biggest advantages of visiting Belgium is the fact that the country is compact, with an excellent infrastructure which makes it very easy to travel around. Also, in Belgium you’ll be able to visit sixty UNESCO world-heritage sites, and that’s reason enough to pay a visit here, don’t you think?

Belgium is divided into three main regions, which are very different being almost separate countries, as it follows: Flanders in the north, where the predominant language is dutch, Wallonia in the south, where french is lingua franca, and then the Brussels region, which is a veritable tower of Babel. If you’re thinking about a multicultural city, it doesn’t get any better than Brussels, believe me folks. I am not saying that’s a good thing necessarily and I would advise you to stay away from the Muslim quarters, the likes of Molenbeek.

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Thing is, Belgium is a country that’s pretty much split down its linguistic lines and even true-blue Belgians will tell you after a couple of beers that they don’t regard Belgium as a homeland per-se, as Belgium is more or less an artificial construct (as in an artificial country).

However, in many ways that’s what gives Belgium a special flavor and makes it really unique, at least in this writer’s opinion.

Flanders is the place to visit if you’re a culture buff, a place which is incredibly rich in medieval architecture and museums, with a countryside which boasts its white washed hamlets and countless miles of cycling paths.

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On the North Sea coastline you’ll have the experience of a life time if you’re an adrenaline junkie, the likes of kite surfing or land boarding. If you want a slower place, you may try Wallonia, a region with towns boasting their elegant French heritage and steeped in folklore, making for the perfect jumping off points if you’re into exploring the rolling hills of the Ardennes, which also is imbibed in World War 2 history, being a place where major battles took place.

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Both halves of Belgium are abundant in extremely beautiful landscapes and a warm and friendly populace. But by far, Brussels is the place to visit, a city making for an unique melange of art nouveau architecture and state of the art sky scrapers, flea markets and art galleries, not to mention local chip stands and Michelin starred resorts and restaurants.

Brussels is composed of nineteen communes, all of them very different and interesting in their own way, with different personalities, but just get there and Belgians will do the rest.

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