If you are planning a trip to Belgium, then you might be looking for a complete Belgium travel guide and tips. If Yes, then you have come to the right place. This post is going to help you with all you need to know before planning your trip to Belgium. Therefore, you come prepare on what to expect in Belgium.
When to Travel to Belgium?
You can travel throughout the year in Belgium but the most popular and touristy season will be June to August. It will get crowded due to European holiday season. Our recommendation will be travelling during shoulder season April to May or September to October.
How many days are needed for Belgium travel?
Belgium is not a big country to travel, unless you want to cover every nooks and corner on your first trip. If you are travelling to the country for the first time 3 to 4 nights stay will sufficient enough to explore popular cities like Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges and Dinant.
Should you rent a car or leverage public transport?
If you are planning to travel around the cities, then public transport is your best bet. In Belgium the public transport is affordable, frequent and efficient. Most of the popular tourist destinations are right next to the railway stations, you can easily cover them by walking. You also don’t have to worry about parking within the city. If you are like us who wants to stay back till sunset and return late, then do not worry the trains run till 11-11.30PM at night. You can check the time table in SNCB App.
- Download SNCB App for domestic travels
- Download SNCB International for cross-country trains
- Book in advance in case travelling to another country
- Leverage App or Ticket Kiosk or Ticket Machines all costs same
- Look out for discounts running in the app to make most of your money
- Carry power bank as most the trains do not have charging ports, very difficult to find even if it has
- Watch out the train platform information in the railway station digital display, do not rely on google on SNCB app.
In case you want to travel offbeat locations and love driving then you can opt for car rentals directly from the airport. We highly recommend that you use the public transport as it is really convenient.
Is Belgium Safe?
If you are wondering if Belgium is safe then depends. Be aware of pickpocketing at all times in the trains and big cities like Brussels or Antwerp. You don’t need to worry about snatchers or scammers as of yet. You need to be very careful in train where you keep your bags, cause my friends laptop bag having all important document along with passport got stolen.
On our last day one lady was asking for some inputs for Belgium, and kind of followed us for few steps but we ignored her as we know about the scams that happens in Paris. We just walked away saying No. Thank you!
- Keep your important belongings with you at all times
- Lock your passport and visas in hotel room while in the city for day trip
- Do not take any pamphlets or engage into conversation
- Please avoid taking part of any form of surveys and donations
Is travelling in Belgium is expensive?
If you compare with Switzerland or Nordic countries then travelling in Belgium is cheap but in comparison to south asian countries it is expensive. Just to put perspective one large sandwich costs €7 , beer costs €1-3. Staying in hotels are cheaper than Amsterdam, even in peak of August we managed to get apartment with private bathroom at £70 per night ( ₹7000/night). You can easily get airbnbs or hostels with private room at £50(₹5000)/night.
Where to eat during Belgium Travel?
Belgium is famous for its waffles, fries and chocolates. If you visit Belgium and you do not have all three of these and leave then that will be considered as a travel sin. Belgian beers are also very famous so do give them a try. Please keep in mind while trying that these beers may contain more than 5% alcohol, also go for the not known brands. Trust us you will not regret it.
Belgian fries which you might know as french fries originated from here. The story goes like this during world war one american soldier tried Belgian fries but being confused he thought he had in in France. So, when he went back to America he called them French Fries. Thus, the name of French fries got famous but in Belgium do not dare to call them French Fries. Trust me the animal fat fried potato fries with sauce is heavenly and you must try them.
Anything specific to shop from Belgium?
Belgium is famous for it’s chocolate, so do make sure while travelling back home you get some for your loved ones. Also, it is a home of many cartoon characters like Tin Tin, Asterix etc. , then it’s the best place to collect these character merchandise.
Do they speak English?
Yes! they do, even if they don’t most people understand English, so will be able to help you with your questions. You still need to know that there are 3 official language in Belgium; Flemish, French and German. You still need to have Google translate to read the signs or understand the announcements (mostly non-english) in the stations.
- Download Google Translate in your phone
- Understand the announcement language and select propeperly in Google Translate
- If not clear please ask around people here are really helpful and nice.
How is the temperature in Belgium?
If you are planning to visit in August then be prepared it is going to be extremely hot. If you thing 28 degree celsius temperature is nothing as you are Indian then, you are wrong. You will get burnt, thirsty and tired quickly, so carry water, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses at all times.
It is also important to carry a light rain jacket cause it might drizzle at any time. If you are coming on the shoulder season then expect pleasant temperature.
What to expect from Belgium Travel?
We went to Belgium with a bit miffed as Belgian embassy gave us only 3 months Schengen visa. In our mind we were like this will be our first and last trip to Belgium and we will cover as many places we can and never come back. We were more keen on visiting Amsterdam to be honest, but towards the end of our trip we fell in love with Belgium
- People are really friendly and helpful
- Food is amazing even the cold sandwiches from normal stores tests heavenly
- Day trips to smaller cities like Ghent, Brugge or Dinant is a must
- Brussels have a strong smell of piss in any corner of the city
- Carry a power bank with you as you may run out of phone battery without charging option at Cafes or Trains or Railway Stations
- Not matter what you will love the country
Is the water safe to drink during Belgium Travel?
In Belgium you don’t need to spend on buying drinking water. The water here is safe to drink, so you can drink tap water.
Do you need to carry Cash?
You do not need to carry cash as most of the touristy places card is widely used. You can use your cards even in the small shops, being said that if you are travelling a bit offbeat then you might need to pay cash.
All toilets in Belgium are charged, even the ones at the airport. You might get away with using your card but we have been in situation where we had to pay cash. We will advise you to carry cash of 50 cents or 1 Euro with you at all times. You might use the free washrooms in restaurants.
I hope this Belgium travel guide and tips will help you to plan your trip. In case you have any question feel free to put in comments below, we will be happy to help.