The Belgians

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Separated by language and culture, but united under the flag of Belgiuminfo-icon, Belgians are unique combinations of French, Dutch, and Germans. With high living standards and many comic strip artists, with waffles and chocolate, with beer made by monks and a highway that can be seen from the moon, Belgians are a happy people. 

Welcoming and peaceful, meticulous and patient, these people host the second most expats per capita in the world. Both old and new, architecture and arts are highly appreciated. 

Here you can find jewelry old towns and the European Union’s administration. It’s like the Belgians designed their country after a chocolate truffle recipe: layer by layer, using only the best ingredients, and loving every step of the way.

Culture of Belgium

Art has been a prominent part of Belgian culture through the history and it has given birth to some of the most beautiful pieces like this one, from Flemish artists.

Although the two main cultural groups (the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons) have their own artistic spirit, Belgian culture is equally vital for everybody. 

During history, arts and architecture have played a prominent role in people’s life. When it comes to Belgian architecture, maybe the most edifying style is the Gothic cathedral in Antwerp. 

Art Nouveau Belgian architects were famous at the beginning of the 20th century so that you can see many of their works in Brussels and other cities.

The most famous legacy of Belgian culture is the Flemish artists. From medieval times to modern days, Flemish art was appreciated and hosted in king’s castles and museums. Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Pieter Bruegel the Elder are just some of Belgium pride.

Belgian Cuisine

Belgian cuisine in one picture!

When it comes to Belgian food culture, it seems that Belgians only thought of happiness when they decided to be masters of craft beer and chocolate. 

If you really need more food, try a waffle. Belgian cuisine is a mix of French, German, and Dutch cuisines, with a unique local flavor. You can try Belgian endives, white asparagus, and fries. 

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Fries are very popular here; their origin goes back to the 18th century. Cheese isn't bad also, especially when a brewery produces it. 

Artisanal chocolate and craft beer will take you a year to taste. Hundreds of specialties, bars, restaurant, delicatessen shops, and street shops will tempt you at every turn. 

Places to visit in Belgium

Visit Bruges, a beautiful picturesque city, to get an authentic look at the Flanders region.

Your journey to Belgium should include a stop to Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The headquarters of the European Union administration, Brussels is a cosmopolitan city, with Art Nouveau architecture, and a distinctive taste for art. 

There are many things to do in Brussels in just one day. For example, you can visit one of many museums, you can see the Atomium – a masterpiece of modern architecture – or you can walk with no direction and let the city inspire you. 

If you are looking for unusual museums, try Belgian Comic Strip Center, a museum dedicated to Belgian comics. Founded in 1989, the museum is home for a permanent exhibition and also for temporal events. 

It has a comics' store, a library, a room for animation, and an auditorium. The art of laughing has a home in Brussels.

To eat Belgian waffles in Brussels is also a must. The smell only will not let you pass until you are completely charmed. 

Also, include in your tour a visit to Belgian Chocolate Village, a 900 m² chocolate museum. Belgian chocolate is famous in the entire world, but here you can see how chocolate can become an art.

Bruges is situated in the North of Belgium, in Flanders. It is a little and picturesque city, full of flowers and history. Visit the old and stunning Burg, Rozenhoedkaai, the most photogenic spot in the city, the Markt full of history and heroes. 

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Actually, there aren't any places in Bruges that you don't want to see. This town seems built to be a postcard, a photo studio for architecture, art, and serenity. Bruges is also an example of the best preserved pre-motorized cities in Europeinfo-icon because cars are not allowed inside the city.

Belgian Mentality

Belgians are calm and indulgent. Similar to the nature in Belgium, they don't get very high or very low in spirit and attitude. With a pretty country and a good lifestyle, Belgians are happy to be Belgians. 

They are friendly and open, love good food and good beer, live by rules and don't have a problem with that. 

There are three official languages in Belgium (French, Dutch, and German), but the Belgians seem to get along pretty well. In addition to official languages, there are other spoken languages, like Walloon language in the South, Picard, Champenois, Lorrain, Flemish, Limburgish, Low Dietsch, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. Every community preserves its ethnic features, which gives diversity, tolerance, and creativity.

All the things you should know about the Belgians can be found out from the Belgians. Heart opened and joyful, Belgians are people who will speak with everybody, in more languages that you can think of. They are cosmopolite, stylish, and modern. Have a gift for order, handmade, and arts. They are creative and funny. They give us the word ‘spa’ and probably cricket, and have a monument with a boy who pisses. But it is hard to understand until you try it for yourself. Belgium and Belgians are amazing.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.