Belgium, a compact yet culturally vibrant European nation, sometimes lives in the shadows of its larger neighbors such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands. However, the moment you travel to Belgium, you’ll discover the multitude of aspects that make it a remarkable country. From the Belgian chocolate to its thriving beer culture and everything in between, there are several things Belgium is famous for.
Belgium is a haven for chocolate enthusiasts! Renowned worldwide for its delicious chocolate, its chocolate-making heritage has its roots in the 17th century. Belgian chocolatiers are famous for their artistry and use of premium ingredients, producing an extensive array of delights, including pralines, truffles, and chocolate bars. When in Brussels, home to the famous brand Godiva, don’t miss the chance to take a chocolate-making workshop – it’s a sweet Belgian tradition you won’t want to skip!
Belgium is renowned for its vibrant music festival scene, attracting music lovers from all over the world. One of the most iconic festivals is Tomorrowland, a global sensation that showcases top-tier electronic music acts. Rock Werchter, another Belgian gem, hosts an impressive lineup of rock and pop artists, making it a must-visit for music enthusiasts. Besides these giants, Belgium boasts a diverse array of festivals catering to various musical tastes, from jazz and classical to hip-hop and techno, ensuring there’s a festival for everyone to enjoy in this musical haven. The country also hosts a range of other noteworthy festivals such as the Brussels Summer Festival, Pukkelpop, and I Love Techno.
A lesser-known historical tidbit is that the beloved French fries, yes, French fries, actually originated in Belgium. The “frites” in Belgium offer a gastronomic experience that surpasses any fry I had ever tasted before; they are truly scrumptious. What sets Belgian fries apart is their distinctive cooking method.
These fries are subjected to a two-step frying process, which sets them apart from the rest. Moreover, they are cooked using beef fat instead of the more common vegetable or sunflower oil. This unique preparation method infuses them with an unparalleled, mouthwatering flavor that makes them irresistible.
You’ve probably heard that Belgium is famous for its beer, but you’ll truly appreciate the extent of this reputation when you visit the country. Let’s dive into what makes Belgian beer culture so exceptional.
Dive into a world of aquatic wonders, savor exquisite cuisinBelgian beer culture is a UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritage, akin to Fado for the Portuguese, tango for Argentinians, or Thai massage for the people of Thailand.e, and unwind under the sun’s warm embrace at this idyllic island retreat.
Belgium boasts an impressive lineup of over 300 active breweries, ranging from big international names to historic, traditional ones. Belgium’s famous Trappist monastery brews contribute to its beer reputation. The array of Belgian beers is astounding, featuring pale lagers, amber ales, lambics, sour ales, strong ales, Flemish red ales, and velvety stouts. An interesting quirk: Belgian beer is usually served in unique glassware, not cans. Undoubtedly, beer ranks among Belgium’s cherished treasures!
Belgium is renowned for being home to the global diamond hub, Antwerp. Over 80% of the world’s uncut diamonds traverse through Antwerp, with approximately half of them returning annually for cutting and polishing.
Within Antwerp, there are 380 workshops, 1500 companies, and 3500 brokers employing over 30,000 individuals. It’s a remarkable world in itself and an ideal destination if you’re in search of diamonds.
Antwerp’s involvement in the diamond trade has spanned centuries, commencing with Lodewyk van Berken’s groundbreaking invention of the scaif, a tool for diamond polishing. While Belgium may not possess diamond mines, it serves as a pivotal transit point for nearly all of these precious gems.
One of Belgium’s famous landmarks, tucked away on a charming Brussels street, holds a rather unique reputation as one of Europe’s most unexpectedly unimpressive attractions. So, what’s the story behind its fame? Well, chances are, you’ve already heard of it: it’s a statue of a little boy in the act of relieving himself. In more recent years, artists have created additional statues, including Jeanneke Pis (depicting a little girl) and Het Zinneke.
The original statue, crafted in bronze by Jérôme in 1619, quickly became both an attraction and a beloved monument in Brussels. Belgians hold a deep affection for Manneken Pis and often adorn it in elaborate and amusing outfits.
While the original is showcased in the Brussels city museum, the replica that garners widespread attention is just a short 5-minute stroll from the Grand Place, located at the crossroads of Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat and the pedestrian Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat.
Belgium has made significant contributions to the world of comic strips and graphic novels. The country gave birth to iconic characters like Tintin, the Smurfs, and Lucky Luke, all created by Belgian artists. Tintin, in particular, has become a worldwide sensation, with his adventures translated into many languages and captivating readers of all ages. To celebrate this artistic heritage, Brussels created the Comic Strip Route, featuring murals of beloved characters on city buildings. Fans shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels, which offers a comprehensive look at the history and artistry behind these timeless creations.
Belgium has something for everyone, from its vibrant people and rich culture to its delicious cuisine and famous landmarks. If you’re thinking about visiting Belgium, feel free to reach out to us and our experts will be happy to help you craft the perfect itinerary!
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest offers and receive $50pp off your first Indus tour.