With just 11 million inhabitants, you might think it would be easy to overlook, Belgium as a travel destination. It´s 30,000 sq. km. may not take up much space on the map of the world, but don´t be fooled by its size. Although it is one of Europe´s smallest countries, it is home to 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites and, in addition to Brussels, has a number of lovely, small cities to explore such as Ghent, Bruges and Mons, which was nominated European Capital of Cultural in 2015.
Belgium may be a small country, but it certainly knows how to quench your thirst! Treat yourself to a beer-tasting experience like nothing you´ve ever experienced before with more than 650 different brews to choose from, and don´t forget to sample some of the world´s finest chocolate while you are there. Oh, and did we mention the mouth-watering crispy French fries (surprisingly, the perfect accompaniment to steamed mussels or”moules et frites” – another wonderful Belgian invention!). Although we call them French fries, this method of preparation actually originated here long before the French began to deep fry their potatoes!
Just 65 km from Brussels is Mons, a former European capital of culture. With its ancient architecture, hidden squares and romantic, narrow, winding streets who could fail to be captivated by this gem of a city. And there are many others to explore: Charleroi – a joy for museum- lovers with everything from great artworks to photos and glass-making. Spare a little time for Durbuy – famed for being one of the smallest towns in the world. Fall in love with the beautiful Topiary Park, another form of art, with its wonderful “plant decorations” and green sculptures. And last but not least, don´t miss Brussels. This city, which houses the headquarters of the EU Commission and NATO, among others, has gradually been solidifying its position as a major European city destination worth visiting in recent years. Among the city´s many attractions are the atmospheric Place du Grand Sablon square, the ruins of the 12th C Coudenberg Palace, once one of the most sumptuous royal residences in Europe and now an archaeological site, and the Atomium – an extraordinary structure that was built for the World Exposition in 1958 and is the only one of its kind in the world – something halfway between sculpture and architecture – a relic of the past with a futuristic look.