Belgium: Overview

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Updated: 2017-03-15.

Kingdom of Belgium | Koninkrijk België (nl) | Royaume de Belgique (fr) | Königreich Belgien (de)

Belgium is a country in western Europe. It is bordered by France to the west and south, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the south and east, and the Netherlands to the north. It is also bordered by the North Sea to the north, and the United Kingdom is just to the northwest, across the North Sea. Belgium is a small country that is full of historic sites and beautiful architecture. Brussels, the largest municipality and the capital of Belgium, is also the capital of the entire European Union, where they hold their international headquarters. Belgium is the central country of the old economic union called Benelux (BElguim, NEtherlands, and LUXembourg), which was a predecessor to the European Union.

Though a relatively small country, Belgium is by no means homogeneous; different regions of the country are influenced by several cultures. In north,  such as around the city of Flanders, it is very Dutch-influenced; in  the south, such as around Wallonia, it is primarily French-influenced; in the northeast, it is quite German-influenced. The majority of the country speaks Dutch, while French is also widely spoken; it is not uncommon for Belgians to speak both languages. A small minority of Belgians speak German, especially in the northeast of the country.

Belgium, as a low-lying country, is known for its lowlands, because it is part of the greater North European Plain. The country is dotted with many beautiful and picturesque rolling hills, wooded forests, and deep valleys.

Because of the different influences in the various regions of Belgium, food is quite different as well. Architecture itself is a reason many people visit the country, with cities such as Brussels and Antwerp displaying many beautiful and ancient buildings from ages past. Art is another major tourist draw.

Overview | Key Info | Explore | By the Numbers | Cuisine | Culture | Historical Timeline | Dates & Holidays | Weather & Climate | Currency

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