Belgium

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Belgium

  • Entry
  • Getting Around
  • Accommodation
  • Food And Health
  • Weather And Time To Go
  • Communications
  • Dangers And Considerations
  • Respecting Culture

  • Recommended Reading




    Europe

    Area - 10,180,000 sq km

    Population - 742,452,000

    Budget

    Eastern: Low-Medium

    Western: Medium-High

    Countries

    Western

    Andorra

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein

    Luxembourg

    Malta

    Monaco

  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino

  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

    Eastern

    Albania

    Armenia

    Azerbaijan

    Belarus

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia

    Finland

    Georgia

  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Kazakhstan

    Latvia

    Lithuania

    Macedonia

    Moldova

    Montenegro

    Poland

    Romania

  • Russia
  • Serbia

    Slovakia

  • Slovenia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

    Recommended Vaccinations

    Always consult your doctor before travelling - the information below is only a guide. Vaccination requirements can change.

    Routine Boosters (MMR, DPT and Polio).

    Hepatitis A.

    Hepatitis B (optional).

    Rabies (optional for Eastern Europe).

    Typhoid (Eastern Europe).



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    Backpacking Belgium Need To Know

    Basics

      Languages: Dutch, French & German
      Capital: Brussels
      Currency: Euro (EUR)
      Dial Code: 32
      International Access Code: 00
      Emergency Services Number: 112
      Time Difference: GMT +1

    Entry

    Belgium is a member of the borderless Schengen Zone, meaning you can freely move to other member states without the need for multiple visa applications and passport controls.

    Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland don't need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone, and can generally stay for as long as they wish.

    A vast amount of passport holders from other countries can also enter the Schengen Zone visa-free for up to 90 days including; Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

    Citizens of visa-exempt nations need only produce a passport which is valid for the entirety of their stay, but other nationals require a Schengen visa and must have a passport which has at least 3 months' validity beyond their period of stay.

    For official information visit diplomatie.belgium.be or your home government travel bureau.

    Getting Around

    Official Europe wide rail passes can be obtained through Rail Europe

    More details are to come in this section, but you can read about general advice regarding Getting Around When You Get There

    Accommodation

    Belgium has a wide variety of hostels and you should never have any problem finding one.

    The average price of a hostel is €10-25 a night.

    All hostels in Belgium will provide linen and bathroom facilities. Usually there will be cooking and internet facilities as well as common and laundry rooms.

    Read more about Accommodation When You Get There and Living in Hostels

    Food And Health

    The standard of food safety and hygiene is good.

    Water is completely safe to drink from all kitchen taps in Belgium, unless stated.

    Medical facilities are good, but make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

    EU and EEA citizens should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving home. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip.

    Other nationalities may also have reciprocal health care agreements, find out from your government travel bureau.

    Always contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Visit here for Recommended Vaccinations and read here for more about Travelling Health In General

    Weather & Time To Go

    Belgium has a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers; it is often rainy and cloudy.

    Communications

    Internet and wifi is widespread and accessible in most hostels. Local pay-as-you-go SIM cards for your mobile phone and international calling cards are cheaply available.

    Dangers And Considerations

    Thieves, pickpockets and scam artists commonly operate in tourist areas and on public transport networks and stations. Pickpockets often work in gangs, some distracting you while the others go into your bags, so be alert and try not to get distracted around tourist attractions and cash points.

    Belgian law requires you to have some form of identification with you at all times.

    Dangers constantly change. Always check with your foreign office (British Foreign Office webpage) or travel advice bureau for the latest information regarding your destinations safety.

    Read more about Safety And Security here

    Respecting Culture

    Belgium has multiple languages; be conscious of the language of where you are in the country. Speaking the "wrong" language (i.e. French in a Dutch speaking region) can be considered very offensive. Also don't refer to Belgians as French, Dutch or other, including associating the country with the EU.

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