Belgium is a country in Western Europe that is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. There are three language communities within Belgium. These are the Flemish Community of Dutch-speaking individuals, the French Community, where French is spoken, and the German-speaking community, where German is the primary language. The German community is a very small part of the country. Tourism is very important to the country, and it accounts for 2.8 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. In 2005, around 6.7 million tourists visited Belgium, and most of them traveled from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, or The Netherlands. The country’s developed coastline or to the Ardennes, a forest region with rolling hills and interesting landscaping. Other popular tourist sites are the Flemish cities of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and the capital city of Brussels.
There are interesting buildings and museums to visit in Brussels, including the Grand-Place. This is the main square in the city that is comprised of beautiful old buildings that can be seen on a walking tour. This site is a World Heritage Site. Several museums in Brussels draw visitors to the city. Among these is the Musical Instruments Museum where a variety of instruments can be seen and heard. The museum houses a collection of musical instruments, and tourists usually enjoy the quaint building that is called Old England. Those interested in Art Nouveau will enjoy the Horta Museum, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This museum is dedicated to the work of the Belgian architect Victor Horta, and it stands complete with furniture, art objects, and utensils designed by this architect. There are several popular art museums in Brussels that tourists often visit when in the city. One of these is Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, a covered 19th Century shopping arcade. It is the oldest shopping mall in Europe.
The Flemish coast of Flanders on the North Sea is another popular tourist destination. This area has resorts complete with luxury hotels, casinos, museums, and shops. The city of Blankenberge is a seaside resort that is known for its festivals. Ostend is the main city on the coast, and it is connected to Brussels by train. There are many luxurious high-rise apartment buildings and condominiums along the beach.
Air travel to Belgium is possible with flights from around the world into the country. There are five international airports into Belgium. The Zaventem Airport in Brussels, Deurne Airport in Antwerp, the Ostend Airport in Ostend, The Brussels South Charleroi Airport, and the Liege Airport handle domestic and international flights. Flights from the U.K., France, Germany, and other European countries are scheduled into these airports on a regular basis. Visitors from Asia, Africa, the United States, and other areas in the world also fly into Belgium’s fie international airports. Every area of the country can be reached by air at these airports that are strategically placed in various parts of the country. Transportation to and from the airports is possible by train, bus, or by car rental.
The main travel season in Belgium is from mid-April to mid-October. July and August are the peak season, when the weather is the best. Belgium has a moderate climate year-round with a high temperature in July and August of around 73 degrees.. Visitors who are looking for the most economical time to visit may want to go to Belgium during off-season. The country is still beautiful at this time of the year, and hotels and restaurants charge less during this time. Brussels begins its music season in April, well before most tourists arrive. In the forests of Ardennes, the autumn months are ery beautiful with the changing leaves, making this another good time to visit. Winter in Bruges and Ghent causes the lakes and canals to freeze enough for ice skaters, and parts of the Ardennes is used for downhill skiing. There is a possibility of rain year-round in most parts of Belgium.