Belgium, general information
|Note that some of the information (gas prices!) can be outdated since we made this page after visiting the country for the last time!|
|Official name||Kingdom of Belgium (or short just Belgium) Inside Belgium these names are used: Royaume de Belgique in French and Koninkrijk Belgium in Dutch.|
|Area||30,528 km², of which 250 km² is water (Belgium is somewhat smaller than Holland)|
|Number of inhabitants||10.3 million (July 2005)|
|Population density||340 inhabitants per km²|
|Monetary unit||The Euro since 2002. (1 € = $ 1.24; 1 Dollar = € 0.7; Rate in Jan. 2009)|
|Fuel prices||about € 1.32 for 1 liter of gas, diesel is about € 1.04 and LPG € 0.52 (December 2005)|
|License plate of cars||B|
|Telephone country prefix||32|
|Internet country code||.be|
|Time difference||GMT +1, the same as in Holland|
|Road network||116,540 km. paved roads; but a lot of the smaller roads are in a bad shape with potholes|
|Prices in general||Belgium has the same level of prices as Holland. In restaurants we paid between € 1.80 and € 2.50 for a cup of coffee, but we were there in the winter season, so maybe it is more expensive in the summer.|
|The best in Kingdom of Belgium (or short just Belgium) Inside Belgium these names are used: Royaume de Belgique in French and Koninkrijk Belgium in Dutch.||The Ardennes is a beautiful region with unspoilt nature, and concerning cities we like Antwerp best.|
Geographically Belgium can be divided into three parts: Lower-Belgium (until 100 meters high), Middle-Belgium (between 100 and 200 meter height) and High-Belgium (from 200 meters until more than 500 meters high). Belgium borders in the west to the Northsea (coastline: 66 km), in the north to the Netherlands (450 km), in the east to Germany (167 km) and Luxembourg (148 km), and in the south to France (620 km).
More information at insidecountryinfo.com.
More information at insidecountryinfo.com.
Nearly 61 % of the people in Belgium live in the Flanders region. The population density (340 persons per sq km) is one of the highest in Europe, but the largest concentrations are in and around Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, and Gent, as well as in the narrow industrial region between Mons and Charleroi. In recent decades the Limbourg city region has increased in population because of industrial development in that area. Almost 10.5 % of all Belgians live in Brussels, which is also home to a large number of foreign guest workers. More information at insidecountryinfo.com.
The population of Belgium is separated into three linguistic communities. In the north the Flemings, who constitute more than half of Belgium's population, speak Dutch or Flemish. In the south and east the Walloons speak French. About 10% of the population is completely bilingual, but a majority has some knowledge of both French and Flemish. The German-language region in eastern Liège province, containing fewer than 1 % of the Belgians, consists of 9 communes around Eupen and Saint-Vith. More information at ethnologue.com.com.
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 and was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. It has prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. We have decided not to write a detailed history anymore, since there is already a huge amount of information on this topic on the internet. Instead a few links with more information on the history of Belgium:
Belgium is subjected to a temperate climate from the coastal regions inland to about Brussels. Towards the ardennes the climate becomes more continental, with colder winters and warm summers. The average temperature for the whole of Belgium is 11.2 degrees Celsius. More information at southtravels.com.
The flora of Belgium is made up of plants like hyacinth, strawberry, goldenrod, periwinkle, foxglove, wild arum, and lily of the valley. Forest trees include oak, beech, elm, and stands of pine that have been planted as part of reforestation programs. The fauna is made up of small animals, primarily fox, badger, pheasant, squirrel, weasel, marten, and hedgehog. The Ardennes highlands is home to deer and wild boar. On his website more information about the fauna of Belgium and click here to learn more about the flora.Brussels Antwerp Oostende Gent
Travel through Europe and Africa
with Elisabeth and Teije