Wordtravels

Wordtravels

 

 

 

Belgium Travel Information

The Basics

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2, Apr - Oct)

Electricity

Electrical current in Belgium is 230 volts, 50Hz. Standard European-style two-pin plugs will work. Three pin plugs, with a male grounding pin, can also be used.

Language

The Flemish, in the north, speak Dutch (60% of the population); the Walloons in the south speak French (40%). Brussels is bilingual, the majority of citizens speaking French. In the east there is a small German-speaking community. English is also spoken.

Travel Health

No vaccinations are required for travel to Belgium. Medical facilities and care in Belgium is excellent but expensive so travellers are advised to take out medical insurance. UK citizens receive emergency medical care for a reduced cost, but should have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to qualify.

Tipping

Service charges are included in bills in Belgium and tipping is not necessary, unless for exceptional service. Porters, coatroom and bathroom attendants are generally tipped.

Safety Information

Most visits to Belgium are trouble-free, but travellers should be wary of street crime in the cities, such as mugging and pickpocketing, particularly in Brussels at major railway stations and on public transport. Brussels is home to a number of international organisations, including EU and NATO, which could become the target of indiscriminate terrorist attacks.

Local Customs

Belgium law requires everyone to carry some form of official identification at all times.

Business

Belgians are very formal in business, enjoy a great deal of personal space, and are generally reserved and extremely private. Dress should be conservative; dark suits are acceptable, with a high importance placed on quality and neatness of clothing. Punctuality is extremely important at meetings, which will begin and end with a quick, light handshake with all involved, and exchanging business cards is standard practice; it is recommended that cards are printed in English with the other side translated in either French or Dutch depending on the main language of the region where business is to take place. it is a good idea to research beforehand whether a business is French or Dutch-speaking. Compromise is very important in Belgian business culture, and may be required as a show of friendship. Business hours are generally 9am to 5pm.

Communications

The international access code for Belgium is +32. Mobile coverage is extensive, with mobile phones operating on GSM networks. There are many internet cafes and plenty of coffee shops and bars offer free wifi.

Duty Free

Travellers to Belgium arriving from non-EU countries are allowed to enter the country with the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre spirits over 22% in alcohol or 2 litres of dessert wine 22% in alcohol and sparkling wine, and 2 litres wine; 50g perfume and 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods such as souvenirs to the value of €175. Prohibited items include unpreserved meat products.

Become our Belgium Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Belgium travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Belgium or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

  URI STRING  
/Travelguide/Countries/Belgium/Basics
  CLASS/METHOD  
countries/index
  MEMORY USAGE  
1,593,952 bytes
  BENCHMARKS  
Loading Time Base Classes  0.0014
Controller Execution Time ( Countries / Index )  0.0771
Total Execution Time  0.0789
  GET DATA  
No GET data exists
  POST DATA  
No POST data exists
  DATABASE:  globe_media   QUERIES: 39   
0.0005   INSERT INTO `ci_sessions(`session_id`, `ip_address`, `user_agent`, `last_activity`) VALUES ('352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5''54.211.201.65''CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)'1406021849) 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = 'a:1:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = 'a:2:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Belgium\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406021849, `user_data` = 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Belgium\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0004   SELECT *
FROM (`config_categories`)
WHERE `type` = 'left'
AND `parent_category_idIN (SELECT id FROM config_categories WHERE link "/countries")
AND `
display_order` != '0'
ORDER BY `display_order
0.0007   SELECT `province_code`, `province_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`provincesp)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `p`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Belgium'
ORDER BY `p`.`province_name
0.0044   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Belgium"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Belgium"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0042   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Belgium"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Belgium"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0015   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Belgium'
AND `attr_ski_chk` != "Yes"
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0013   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Belgium'
AND `attr_ski_chk` = 'Yes'
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0012   SELECT `iata_code`, `name`, `url_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`port_of_callpc)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `pc`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Belgium'
ORDER BY `pc`.`name
0.0004   SELECT *
FROM (`config_nodescn)
JOIN `config_nodes_categoriescnc ON `cnc`.`node_id` = `cn`.`id`
WHERE `cnc`.`category_idIN (select id from config_categories where link "/basics")
ORDER BY `cn`.`position`, `cnc`.`display_order
0.0029   SELECT `id`, `headline`, `via_title`, `via_link`, `body`, `event_date`, `end_date`, `anchor_link`
FROM (`news`)
WHERE `for_pro` = 1
AND `end_date` >  '2014-07-22'
AND `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Belgium") 
0.0009   SELECT *
FROM (`tour_operators`)
WHERE `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Belgium")
AND `
show_in_column` = 1
ORDER BY 
`show_in_columnDESC, `name
0.0004   SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Belgium" 
0.0010   SELECT from tourop_list WHERE destinations LIKE '%BE%' ORDER BY id DESC 
0.0007   SELECT `country_code`
FROM (`countries`)
WHERE `country_name` = 'Belgium' 
0.0172   SELECT d.id AS destination_idd.overview AS destination_overviewd.extended_overview AS destination_extended_overviewd.photo as destination_photod.*, c.*, 'Belgium' AS country_nameLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.timed.electricityd.languaged.healthd.tippingd.safetyd.businessd.communicationsd.duty_free)) AS basicsLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.embassy_consulate_usd.embassy_consulate_ukd.embassy_consulate_cad.embassy_consulate_aud.embassy_consulate_ird.embassy_consulate_nz)) AS contacts(SELECT money FROM destinations WHERE country_code "BE" ) AS money(SELECT LENGTH(CONCAT_WS(passport_visaentry_req_usentry_req_ukentry_req_caentry_req_auentry_req_irentry_req_nz))
 
FROM destinations WHERE country_code "BE" ) AS visa(SELECT group_concat(id) FROM public_holiday p WHERE p.country_code "BE" order by p.weight desc) AS public_holiday(SELECT count(*) FROM tour_operators t where t.country_code d.country_code) AS num_tour_ops(SELECT count(id) AS total_rows FROM tourop_list tl WHERE tl.destinations LIKE ("%BE%")) AS num_tour_operators(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM port_of_call pc WHERE pc.country_code d.country_code) AS ports_of_call(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS cities(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS regions(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM resorts WHERE major_resort AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_resort DESCname ASC) AS resorts(SELECT count(*) FROM dmcs WHERE country_code d.country_code) AS num_dmcs(SELECT concat(caption" © "copyright) FROM images WHERE filename d.photo) AS photo_copyright(SELECT count(*) FROM airports ai where ai.nfuwt != AND ai.country_code d.country_code) AS num_airports(SELECT count(*) FROM events e where e.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country 1) AS num_events(SELECT count(*) FROM activities where region_city_code "0" AND country_code d.country_code) AS num_activities(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND excursion "No") AS num_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND show_on_kids AND excursion "No") AS num_kids_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND excursion "Yes") AS num_excursions(SELECT phrases FROM phrase_book pb where pb.country_code c.country_code AND phrases != "") AS num_phrases(SELECT count(*) FROM image_bridge ib LEFT OUTER JOIN images i ON ib.image_id=i.id WHERE ib.destination_code c.country_code) AS num_photos(SELECT count(*) FROM hospitals h where h.country_code c.country_code) AS num_hospitals
FROM 
(destinations d)
LEFT JOIN countries c ON c.country_code d.country_code
LEFT JOIN provinces pr ON pr
.province_code d.province_code
WHERE 
`c`.`country_name` = 'Belgium' 
0.0006   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406021849user_data 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Belgium\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0005   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406021849user_data 'a:4:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Belgium\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";s:6:\"region\";s:0:\"\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '352644b3d46860022f0d46e127e7d9d5' 
0.0006   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Belgium'  
0.0005   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (510)
                
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0010   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 385,982,987,1647,1887,1892,3073,3981,4040,4368,5330,5783,6116,6374,6619,8164,8196,8780,8781,8782,9134,9160 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15
0.0007   SELECT i.*, e.fullnamee.bioe.pic FROM interviews i INNER JOIN experts e ON i.expert_id e.id
INNER JOIN countries c ON i
.spatial_id c.country_code WHERE i.interview_type 'country' AND c.country_name 'Belgium' 
0.0004   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Belgium'  
0.0004   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (510)
                
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0003   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 385,982,987,1647,1887,1892,3073,3981,4040,4368,5330,5783,6116,6374,6619,8164,8196,8780,8781,8782,9134,9160 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15