With a population of over 10 million people, Belgium is located in north-western Europe and borders Holland, France, Germany and Luxembourg. It is the perfect country to begin a trip inter-railing throughout Europe but has a lot to offers visitors simply making a unique visit.
It is divided between two cultural and ethnic regions – Flanders making up the north and Wallonia making up the remainder of the country. There are two languages spoken between the two regions. Flemish (a Dutch dialect) is spoken widely in the north of the country with French featuring as the prominent language in the south.
Taking its name from the Belgae people from ancient Gaul, the original state formed was a Roman province called Belgica which was considerably bigger than the country is today. But Belgium, as we know it today, declared it’s independence between 1830 and 1831.
Its biggest industries are transport, trade and industry, although it is heavily reliant on raw materials they import from other countries like iron and steel from France. One thing Belgium certainly doesn’t need to import is beer – there are 15 breweries nationwide and, as opposed to ‘coffee shops’ in its neighbouring Holland, Belgium has ‘beer cafés’.