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Countries

Belgium

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Political divisions 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. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.

🇧🇪 Belgium Tourism Information…

Belgian Tourist Office

Visit Belgium

Belgium.be

Belgium Travel Info

🇧🇪 The Best of Belgium…
 

🇧🇪 Belgium Country Information…

Capital:

Brussels

Largest City:

Brussels

Government:

Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch

Currency:

Euro (€)

Area:

30,510km² – ranked 140th water: 6.4%

Climate:

Temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers

Population:

11,409,077 (July 2016 est.) ranked 78th

Language:

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%

Ethnic Groups:

Flemish 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Religion:

Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

Electricity:

230V, 50Hz (European plug C,E)

Telephone Code:

+32

Local Emergency Phone Number:

112 (mobile) / 101

Internet TLD:

.be

Time Zone:

CET (UTC+1) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October

Road Driving Side:

Right

Anthem:

The Brabançonne

Motto:

“Eendracht maakt macht” (Dutch) “L’union fait la force” (French) “Einigkeit macht stark” (German)” Strength through Unity”

Monarch:

King Philippe

Prime Minister:

Alexander De Croo

🇧🇪 Holidays and Observances in Belgium in 2021…
Date NameTypeDetails
Jan 1FridayNew Year’s DayNational holiday 
Jan 6WednesdayEpiphanyObservance 
Feb 14SundayValentine’s DayObservance 
Mar 20SaturdayMarch EquinoxSeason 
Mar 28SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Apr 2FridayGood FridayBank holiday 
Apr 4SundayEaster SundayNational holiday 
Apr 5MondayEaster MondayNational holiday 
May 1SaturdayLabor Day / May DayNational holiday 
May 8SaturdayIris DayRegional government holidayBrussels
May 13ThursdayAscension DayNational holiday 
May 14FridayDay after Ascension DayBank holiday 
May 23SundayWhit SundayNational holiday 
May 24MondayWhit MondayNational holiday 
Jun 21MondayJune SolsticeSeason 
Jul 11SundayDay of the Flemish CommunityRegional government holidayAntwerp, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Limburg, West Flanders
Jul 21WednesdayBelgian National DayNational holiday 
Aug 15SundayAssumption of MaryNational holiday 
Sep 19SundayDay of the Walloon RegionRegional government holidayNamur
Sep 22WednesdaySeptember EquinoxSeason 
Sep 27MondayDay of the French CommunityRegional government holidayHainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, Namur, Walloon Brabant
Oct 31SundayHalloweenObservance 
Oct 31SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Nov 1MondayAll Saints’ DayNational holiday 
Nov 11ThursdayArmistice DayNational holiday 
Nov 15MondayDay of the German-speaking CommunityRegional government holidayLiège*
Dec 6MondaySt. Nicholas DayObservance 
Dec 21TuesdayDecember SolsticeSeason 
Dec 24FridayChristmas EveObservance 
Dec 25SaturdayChristmas DayNational holiday 
Dec 26SundayBoxing DayBank holiday 
Dec 31FridayNew Year’s EveObservance
Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Imports:

$615.9 billion (2017 est.)
partners: Germany 13.7%, US 9.5%, China 9.3%, Netherlands 8%, France 5.4%, Belgium 5% (2017)