(Koninkrijk België (Dutch); Royaume de Belgique (French); Königreich Belgien (German) (Kingdom of Belgium))

Capital of Belgium : Brussels

Population (Estimated July 2012): 10,438,353

Area: 30,528km2 or 11,787mi2

Currency: Euro (€)

Official Language: Dutch; French; German

Political Information: Federal Parliament with Constitutional Monarchy

Official Religion: No Official Religion (approximately 75% of the population are Roman Catholic, 25% have other religious beliefs)

Highest Mountain: Botrange at 694m or 2,277ft


GDP Official Exchange Rate (OER is more precise at gauging a countries economic power)

(Estimated 2011): $529 billion (US$) or £317.4 billion(GBP)

GDP (OER) Per Capita (per member of the population estimated 2011): (US$) or (GBP)


GDP Purchasing Power Parity (PPP is good for gauging living conditions and use of resources but not as accurate as OER. This data has been calculated based on the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States)  

 (Estimated 2011): $412 billion (US$) or £247.2 billion (GBP)

GDP (PPP) Per Capita (per member of the population estimated 2011): $37,600 (US$) or £22,560 (GBP)


Time Zone (GMT/UTC): +1:00


Counties/Provinces/States: 3 regions (French: regions, singular – region; Dutch: gewesten, singular – gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)


Leaders: King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH, daughter of the monarch; Prime Minister Charles MICHEL (since 11 October 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander DE CROO (since 22 October 2012), Jan JAMBON (since 11 October 2014), Kris PEETERS, Didier REYNDERS (since 30 December 2008)

Sources: CIA World Fact Book, Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Belgium, located in Western Europe, is often referred to as the “heart of Europe” due to its central location. Despite its small size, Belgium has a rich and diverse culture that is influenced by its neighbouring countries, including France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The country is known for its medieval cities, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and warm-hearted people.

Geography of Belgium: From the Ardennes to the North Sea coast

Belgium’s landscape is characterized by a mix of rolling hills, fertile plains, and a picturesque coastline along the North Sea. The southern region of Belgium is dominated by the Ardennes, a densely forested area with deep valleys and winding rivers. This region is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, cycling, and exploring nature.

In contrast, the northern part of Belgium is known for its flat plains and polders. The region is home to vibrant cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent. The North Sea coast offers sandy beaches and charming seaside towns like Ostend and Knokke-Heist.

History of Belgium: From the Roman Empire to modern times

Belgium has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The region was inhabited by Celtic tribes before being conquered by the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Over the centuries, Belgium has been ruled by various powers including the Spanish, French, Dutch, and Austrians.

In 1830, Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands and became a constitutional monarchy. The country played a significant role in both World Wars and was heavily impacted by the conflicts. Today, Belgium is known for its commitment to peace and diplomacy as it hosts several international organizations including the European Union and NATO.

Belgian culture: Art, music, food, and festivals

Belgium has a vibrant cultural scene that encompasses art, music, food, and festivals. The country has produced renowned artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, René Magritte, and James Ensor. Belgian musicians have also made their mark on the international stage with artists like Jacques Brel, Stromae, and Selah Sue.

Belgium is famous for its culinary delights, including waffles, chocolate, and beer. Belgian cuisine is known for its rich flavours and high-quality ingredients. The country is also home to numerous food festivals where visitors can indulge in local delicacies.

Belgian politics: A federal monarchy with a complex system

Belgium is a federal monarchy with a complex political system. The country is divided into three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels-Capital Region. Each region has its own government and parliament, which are responsible for regional matters such as education and culture.

At the national level, Belgium has a constitutional monarchy with a king or queen as the head of state. The monarch’s role is largely ceremonial, with the prime minister serving as the head of government. Belgium’s political system is known for its consensus-based decision-making process, which can sometimes lead to lengthy negotiations and coalition governments.

Belgian economy: A hub for international trade and innovation

Belgium has a thriving economy that is driven by international trade and innovation. The country is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and serves as a major transportation hub. Its ports in Antwerp and Zeebrugge are among the busiest in the world.

Belgium is known for its strong manufacturing sector, particularly in industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and automobiles. The country is also a leader in innovation and research, with several world-class universities and research institutions.

Belgian education: World-class universities and bilingual education

Belgium has a strong education system that is highly regarded internationally. The country is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Leuven, Ghent University, and the Free University of Brussels. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs and attract students from around the world.

One unique aspect of the Belgian education system is its bilingual nature. The country is divided into Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia, with a small German-speaking community in the east. As a result, many schools in Belgium offer bilingual education, allowing students to become fluent in both Dutch and French.

Belgian sports: Cycling, football, and other popular sports

Belgium has a strong sports culture and is known for its success in cycling and football. The country has produced some of the world’s top cyclists, including Eddy Merckx and Tom Boonen. Belgium is also passionate about football, with the national team consistently performing well on the international stage.

In addition to cycling and football, Belgium also has a strong tradition in other sports such as tennis, hockey, and athletics. The country hosts several major sporting events each year, including the Tour de France and the Belgian Grand Prix.

Belgian tourism: From medieval cities to scenic countryside

Belgium is a popular tourist destination known for its medieval cities, stunning architecture, and picturesque countryside. The country is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the historic city centres of Bruges and Ghent. These cities are famous for their well-preserved medieval buildings and charming canals.

In addition to its cities, Belgium offers beautiful countryside with rolling hills, picturesque villages, and scenic landscapes. The Ardennes region is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and kayaking. The North Sea coast also attracts visitors with its sandy beaches and seaside resorts.

Belgian cuisine: Waffles, chocolate, beer, and more!

No discussion of Belgium would be complete without mentioning its famous cuisine. Belgian cuisine is known for its indulgent treats such as waffles, chocolate, and beer. Belgian waffles are a beloved delicacy, often served with a variety of toppings such as whipped cream, strawberries, or chocolate sauce.

Belgium is also renowned for its high-quality chocolate, with numerous chocolatiers producing exquisite pralines and truffles. The country is home to several beer breweries, offering a wide range of styles and flavours. Belgian beer is considered some of the best in the world and is an integral part of the country’s culture.
Belgium may be a small country, but it has a big heart and a rich cultural heritage. From its diverse landscapes to its vibrant cities, Belgium offers something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring medieval towns, indulging in delicious cuisine, or cheering on your favourite sports team, Belgium is sure to leave a lasting impression. So why not plan your next trip to this charming country and experience all that Belgium has to offer?

History of Belgium

History of Belgium

Belgium, located in Western Europe, has a rich and complex history that spans thousands of years. From its early settlements and Roman invasion to its role in the European Union, understanding Belgium’s history is crucial to understanding its culture, politics,...

Exploring Belgium’s Population Density

Exploring Belgium’s Population Density

Belgium, a small country located in Western Europe, is known for its high population density. With a land area of just over 30,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 11.5 million people, Belgium has one of the highest population densities in Europe....

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