Tourism in Belgium is one of Belgium's industries, and its accessibility from elsewhere in Europe still makes it a popular tourist destination. The tourist industry generates 2. 8% of Belgium's Gross Domestic Product and employs 3. 3% of the working population (142, 000 people). 6. 7 million people travelled to Belgium in 2005. Two thirds of them come from the larger nearby countries - France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The culture of Belgium comes into shape through the customs and traditions of a population consisting of people from different ethnic groups. The French speakers from Brussels and Flemish from Flanders together give color to the distinct Belgian culture. The country of Belgium has a rich artistic legacy which is evident in its architecture as well as the world class museums spread across the country. The Royal Museum for Fine Arts in Antwerp is one of the most important museums of the region. The Groeninge Museum in Bruges and Plantin Moretus in Antwerp are other important museums showcasing the true legacy of arts in Belgium.
Belgium has been called a nation of gourmands rather than gourmets: a country, in other words, where "big cuisine" comes before "fine cuisine". It has been said that Belgium serves food of French quality in German quantities
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. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. Snowfalls are also frequent. The average daily temperatures range between 4 degrees in winter and 22 degrees in the summer.
Clothing: Medium weight clothing all year, with a jacket or pullover for the cooler summer evenings. Waterproof clothing is useful at any time of year. Men are requested to wear a jacket in most good restaurants. Heavier clothings is advisable in the winter months.
In Brussels, there are numerous department stores and big shopping centres offering various goods, from fashionable clothes to delicious chocolate and fine wine. One of the oldest malls in the city, Innovation, is situated at the main shopping artery, Avenue Louise. Another large shopping gallery is located on nearby Avenue de la Toison D'Or. There, you’ll find luxury boutiques by such famous designers as Laura Ashley and Kenzo. Another fashion district goes through the Boulevard de Waterloo, which shows the latest trends from the catwalk with such noble names as Armani, Chanel, Gucci and Ralph Lauren. Last but not least is the famous store Maison Delvaux, creating the finest leather goods for the Belgian royal family. This luxury shop is one of the oldest and most reputed boutiques in Brussels.
Living costs depend a lot on your lifestyle and on the city you live in. As goes for most places: big cities will be more expensive than rural areas. Here you will find out what life as a student will cost you
he franc (Dutch: frank, French: franc, German: Franken) was the currency of Belgium until 2002 when the euro was introduced into circulation. It was subdivided into 100 centiem (Dutch), centimes (French) or Centime (German).
Belgian chefs may be influenced by the French, but they add their own special touches. Native specialties in Wallonia include jambon d'Ardenne (ham from the hills and valleys of the Ardennes) and savory boudin de Liège (a succulent sausage mixed with herbs). Almost every menu lists tomates aux crevettes (tomatoes stuffed with tiny, delicately sweet North Sea shrimps and light, homemade mayonnaise), which is filling enough for a light lunch and delicious as an appetizer. A special treat awaits visitors in May and June in the form of Belgian asparagus, and from October to March there's endive, which is known in Belgium as witloof (white leaf).
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, as well as those of several other major international organisations such as NATO. Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many international organisations, including ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC (observers), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (non-regional), WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC.
Belgium covers an area of, and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish, and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons, plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region.
A small German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.
The (original) (already) mentions 73, 000 instead of 71, 500 inhabitants.
Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political and cultural conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government.
Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin because of the Roman province Gallia Belgica which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was a prosperous centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the battleground
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