10 good reasons to come to Belgium

10 good reasons to love Belgium

Belgium is often called the crossroads of Europe: most Western European capitals are about a thousand kilometers away from Brussels. This is partly why Belgium’s capital is home to many international organizations, including the Parliament of the European Union and NATO Headquarters. However, the Belgians themselves prefer to set aside all politics and are sure that their country is the heart of Europe. Channel “360” decided to remember ten things, which gave us this country.

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Belgium is worldwide famous for its chocolate. The country annually produces more than 200 thousand tons of this delicacy. Bitter chocolate, one of the most useful types of this product, was invented by Belgian Johann Neuhausu. He worked as a pharmacist and tried to make a cough medicine, but ended up with something more palatable. Later, the Belgians invented the praline, a chocolate mass ground with nuts. Confectioners are still experimenting and making new sweet masterpieces.

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Belgian cuisine is unthinkable without sweet treats. Confectioners make unforgettable cakes and waffles, and each family passes down a family recipe from generation to generation. There are three main varieties of Belgian waffles: Liège, Brussels and galette.

Many people associate this country with beer, and for good reason. The Belgians love this drink so much that they named an entire year after it (2005 was the year of beer in the country). There is a legend that in the past centuries, Belgium had as many breweries as there were churches. Countless flavors of Belgian beer, some of which are based on recipes that have been around for centuries.

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Ironically, Belgians believe they invented French fries. According to a legend that survives to this day, local fishermen once carved fish out of potatoes and then accidentally dropped them in boiling oil – which is how the world-famous dish appeared.

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Forget the food, Belgium also gave the world the saxophone

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One of the most famous wind instruments, from which you can extract unique sounds, invented the Belgian Adolphe Sachs. He took the clarinet as the basis, replaced the metal with wood, changed the cross section, made the mouthpiece more comfortable and provided it with a more oboe and flute fingering. He received a patent for the instrument on June 23, 1846. So without Belgium, the world would never have known Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young and other famous saxophonists.

Surrealism and René Magritte

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The famous surrealist painter René Magritte lived all his life in Belgium. He is known as the author of both witty and poetically enigmatic paintings. Magritte painted ordinary objects, but their arrangement and the equanimity of the artist’s style, immerse viewers in the mystery of things.

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One of the smallest cities in the world is located in Belgium. Durbi has only about 500 inhabitants, but it has retained its status as a city since the Middle Ages. Not to forget such extraordinarily picturesque places like Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels.

One of the most famous French-speaking singers, Jacques Brel, is Belgian. He is also known as a filmmaker, bard and poet.

The Formula 1 circuit

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Belgium has one of the most interesting race tracks in the world, Spa-Francorchamps. Belgian Grand Prix, GP2 and Formula 1 races are held on the track.

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Belgians have a unique sense of humor, tolerance and are accustomed to remain neutral to the last. Also they never leave a man in trouble and will always support him in a difficult situation.

The terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels on March 22 will not be able to break this strong and unforgettable country. They united people even more strongly in the fight against senseless cruelty.

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Residents of Brussels organized a memorial for the victims of the terrorist attack in Bourse Square. Colorful inscriptions appeared on the sidewalks, people were carrying flowers to the memorial. Hashtags #IkWillHelpe (“I want to help” in Flemish) and #OpenHouse Hashtags appeared on the internet.

Photo: Irina Kalashnikova/RIA Novosti

One of the goals of the terrorist attacks is to awaken fear and hatred in people. However, this time it was not achieved. After the attacks, many people were left homeless and without means – Belgians are willing to provide strangers with a roof over their heads and everything they need. It is easy to look at terrorist attacks and see only the worst in people, but caring behavior will always be the most human response to tragedies.

Inexplicable cruelty can easily cause apathy and fear in people, but Belgians were able to find the strength of understanding and compassion and did not let the terrorist attacks kill the humanity in them.

10 things to do in Belgium

Victoria Shostak

Belgium’s main city is Brussels, but it is not just one of Europe’s capitals, but the very real capital of the European Union, with an equally real European Parliament. Glass and mirror complex of buildings is amazing in its size and always looks different depending on the weather: mirrors reflect the color of the sky! Inside the complex there are not only meeting rooms but also a special tourist information center where each citizen of the European Union can take a tiny book of 2.5*3 centimeters in size in his/her native language where all his/her rights as a citizen of the EU are written. Such little books are also available for us, but not in Russian (

A piece of Evroparliament.

2) Taste delicious symbols of Belgium First of all, chocolate! With a variety of flavors, fillings, in the form of candy, chocolate bars or in liquid hot form. Even if you do not consider yourself a sweet tooth, look into a candy store at least for the atmosphere, I’m not even talking about the scents) Then waffles are a must: crispy or soft, with whipped cream and strawberries or with hot chocolate. All in all, there are tons of options and they’re all delicious!

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Deli in Brussels

3. “Lay low” in Bruges Bruges is without a doubt Belgium’s most stunning city, known the world over as yet another “Venice of the North.” And I can say that it really is, the similarities are many. Here is a must-drive along the cozy canals, climb the Belfort Tower and see the doll city from above, and find old mills, which actually should be in the neighboring Netherlands, but somehow oddly ended up in Bruges.

Bruges promenade

Hug the Tower of Pisa and get scared of Vesuvius Many countries in the world have their own miniature parks, where all local attractions, only in a smaller version. Belgium has gone further in this business and as the true capital of the European Union has created a park of Mini-Europe. The experience is indescribable! Here you can hug the Tower of Pisa, spin the London Ferris wheel, examine in detail the construction of the tunnel under the English Channel, and be seriously frightened by the eruption of Vesuvius.

Traditional picture, but not in Italy. but in Belgium))

5. Do not limit the geography of your Belgian trip to Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp, be sure to visit less well-known places. For example the third largest city of Belgium, Liege, or the old Ghent and Leuven, pretty seaside Ostend or wonderful rocky Dinant. There is also a city that has become the ancestor of all the water resorts in the world, because it is called Spa!

Magnificent Dinand

6. Visit the Venetian Carnival in an ancient park The Carnival in Venetian costumes takes place every spring (this year on May 19-20) in the Annévois garden park, which is located between the towns of Namur and Dinant. However, if you can’t make it at that time, don’t feel bad. And without carnival there is a lot to see in the park: the strict English garden layout, fountains, small waterfalls and the palace, which looks more like an impregnable castle with a moat.

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Venetian Carnival in Parc d’Annévoie

7. See the real Belgian carnival The real Belgian carnival and the most popular Belgian carnival is held since the 14th century in the town of Bensch, near Mons. Dates of this holiday are more logical – in February, a few days before the start of Catholic Lent. However, you do not need to come to the main action – in the last two Sundays before the carnival in the city there is a dress rehearsal of the festive procession with music and in costumes, though the last year).

Fun carnival costumes in Bensch

8. Climb into the caves Not far from the village of An-sur-Lès (the nearest big city is Rochefort) there are caves of the same name, which are one of the main natural attractions of the country. You can get here only by a special sightseeing streetcar departing from the village. Then the tour continues by boat through the cave lakes. By the way, it’s usually quite cool inside, so bring warm clothes!

An-sur-Les Caves

9. If you are a big beer lover and you come to Belgium with friends, the most fun is to take a ride on the beer mobile. The scheme of this “device” is as follows. A barrel with foamy drink is installed in the nose of the car, wherefrom the beer under pressure is fed to the “bar,” where a special “bartender” pours it into glasses for all comers. Those who want it pay for their drink by turning the pedals under their feet, thereby setting the beer car in motion. And there’s another person behind the wheel, but it’s not clear whether he can drink beer or not! But it seems to me, that he can, otherwise the poor guy would never have agreed to drive such a car))))

Jolly Beermobile.

10. Find unusual monuments Belgium is one of the leaders in the number of original monuments, so it would be very interesting to find them among other attractions and take funny pictures. The most interesting for me was the monument of the policeman in Brussels. Next in the ranking is Tongeren with its composition about the life of girls of easy virtue (although I may be wrong about their profession))) Then we should mention the children playing in one of the squares of the town of Juy. Very popular in Belgium are the monuments with benches: the bronze couple in Hasselt, the Belgian writer Simenon in Liège and the lady with a jug in Leuven. And, of course, the most famous are the three pissing monuments of Brussels: the boy, the girl and the dog. Finding the last two will be very difficult!

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