Population: 11.3 Million
Area: 30,528 km² (11,787 sq mi)
Official Languages: Dutch, French and German
Timezone: GMT +1
Emergency Nr: 112
The capital of Belgium is Brussels. It’s also home of the European Parliament and NAVO. There are about 11,3 million Belgians living in an area of 30,528 km³ meaning Belgium is a fairly dense populated country.
There are 3 official languages in Belgium: Dutch, French and German. English is widely spoken or understood as well.
Money & Banks
Belgium uses the Euro as currency.
ATM’s or Cash Machines are widely available. For cash withdrawals it’s recommended to use a Debit Card since Credit Cards may charge extra fees for withdrawing money.
Belgians prefer the use of debit cards over credit cards. Debit cards will be accepted at most places, whilst credit cards may be refused at smaller shops or retailers. Often an extra fee of 5% is charged for paying with your credit card. Make sure you have a card with the Visa, Mastercard , Maestro or Cirrus logo.
Citizens of the European Union have access to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that provides access to the Belgian healthcare at reduced cost or even for free.
Citizens from other countries should find out if there is a reciprocal arrangement for free medical care between their country and Belgium. If not, a good travel insurance is recommended, but not obligated.
In Belgium the standard voltage is 230V and frequency is 50 Hz.
The power sockets are of type E.
You can use a European Travel Plug Adapter for most of your electronics, but always check the maximum input voltage of your device first. If your device doesn’t support volt rates up to 230V it will most likely get damaged and might even cause a fire hazard. Most high-end electronics have a build in voltage convertor allowing voltages between 100-240V.
Prices, taxes and Tipping
All prices are advertised incl 21% taxes.
Tipping is not expected in bars, restaurants or hotels as an amount is included in the bill. Of course, if the service has been particularly good, a small tip is always appreciated. However for taxi rides it’s normal to round up the fare and include a small tip.
- New Years: 1 January
- Easter: Date varies
- Easter Monday: first Monday after Easter
- Workers’ day: 1 May
- Ascension: sixth Thursday after Easter
- Whitsun: seventh Sunday after Easter
- National Belgian holiday: 21 July
- Assumption: 15 August
- All Saint’s Day: 1 November
- Armistice Day: 11 November (End of World War I)
- Christmas Day: 25 December