Things to Keep in Mind Before You Head to Belgium

Brussels Belgium

Flanked by exquisite Paris on one side and vibrant Berlin on the other, Belgium is resplendent. However, it may not always make a position for itself on the list of places to be explored. But, trust us, that’s a folly most are committing. A compact country of contrasts, you can witness medieval forts befriending urban café culture in Belgium. The country talks to the artistic souls with its splendid art galore. It is possible that you may return as an art aficionado, if you were not before. It’s that captivating. Book a flight to Brussels — its capital— and explore everything this country has to offer.

The country is home to some scenic towns and cities that fill the hearts of beholders with warmth. The incredible architecture easily evokes awe in everyone who visits this gorgeous country. And, taking snaps of yourself against the backdrop of the spectacularly designed squares means your social media posts will rake in super likes. Belittled for being drab, the country gives ample space to refuel oneself with the necessary “me” time. And, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. So, now that we have cajoled you enough to look at Belgium as beyond a stop-over country, take heed of certain travel tips that may come in handy in this beautiful nation.

Watch as you cross the road

It’s not something unique to Belgium. You always need to be careful while crossing roads. But, a little bit more when doing so in Belgium. I don’t want to stereotype, but Belgian drivers are labelled for their reckless driving skills. So, unless you want to turn your experience in Belgium in to that of a nightmare, it’s better to stay watchful while crossing roads.

Drink but do not overdo it

Ok, I am not saying, do not drink while in Belgium. How could I? When the country is world famous for its brew. I sincerely don’t want you to miss out on the varieties of the lip-smacking brews you will not find anywhere else. As enticing as hundreds of flavors may be, do not binge drink. You don’t want to earn the repute of a bad tourist in the country. Locals wet their whistle for the taste of it and not to get sloshed. So, don’t drink more than you can handle.

Skip Sunday for shopping

Sundays are just not a good start for shopping. You will end up seeing locked doors in almost all the shops. So, it’s no point setting aside Sunday for shopping as it will leave you with limited choices. And, you do not want to return home without satiating your shopping hunger. It is advisable that you fasten yourself up to delve in to your shopping desires on other days of the week.

Leave the bling home

Well, I don’t want to earn the dislikes of our fellow Belgians by saying this but truth be told, the crime rate in Belgium is quite evident. So, it’s a safe move, if you do not adorn your precious jewels in Belgium. You do not want to attract the attention of local thieves with all that bling. Be easy-breezy but at the same time a vigilant traveler. However, there is no need to be scared. The country is every bit worth exploring.

Chocolates? Mmm…

Belgian Chocolates

Chocolates leave everyone weak in their knees. A little indulgence never hurts when traveling. And when it comes to Belgian chocolates, it’s well understood that just a bite won’t be enough. So, grab a bar and send your taste buds on a heavenly ride. Let no one disturb your alone time with the Belgian chocolate.

Fries, anyone?

Okay, it seems like I am finally spilling the beans on Belgium. A side dish that compliments everything, fries in Belgium hold another stature altogether. The Belgium fries are to die for. They are crunchy, tasty and oh-so-satisfying. Well, it’s too much calories, given that they are double fried, but then again, its fries! So, just eat. Period.

Tipping isn’t a thing

You don’t have to worry about tipping at the restaurants. The waiters in Belgium are well paid and the bill you pay is inclusive of the service charges. So, unless you are exceptionally impressed with the services and food, you can always skip tipping. It won’t be seen as rude.

Avoid protest routes

In Belgium, one thing you will surely witness happening is a public demonstration every other day. It’s a common thing. Nothing to worry about. All these protest mobs are usually overseen by the police. But, sometimes, there may be some protests that do not have any police protection. In that case, I would recommend that you steer clear from such areas.

Belgians possess a sense of humor

The sense of humor of Belgians is something that has been talked about often. While their pranks may not cause any harm as such, it is considered better that you know how to differentiate between a genuine and a made up story. Also, comic adorned streets and some hilarious statues speckled throughout the country strengthen people’s notion about Belgian folks― they’re funny. But let’s give it to them. They know how to play along and take jokes in their stride. Pat on their backs, for this one!

Keep your flirty nature in check

Ok, I full well agree with you that Belgian women are drop-dead gorgeous. But they do not like to be hit on at random. Many may think that beauty comes with arrogance. But let me pop your bubble. Belgian women are not arrogant. They simply do not like the idea of receiving casual remarks. So, do not irk them.

Don’t use the language unless…

You are confident about it. And if there is even a speck of doubt, leave the language be. In Belgium, there are two languages that are spoken at large― Dutch and French. But what’s tricky about it other than picking up the right sentences and accent is which language to speak in which region. Yes, it can get confusing. So, if you are not sure whether to speak Dutch or French in a particular region, do not fumble around with words. Speak English instead. It will be better received.

Now that you’re familiar with Belgium’s social etiquettes, book light tickets and embark on a memorable vacation.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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