Belgium: worth a Christmas trip
Thinking of Belgium, many people usually connect it to Brussels as being the political center of the European Union. But in fact, Belgium has much more to offer than politics. For some, the references to beer, mussels or Belgian chocolate may ring a bell, but the country is also rich with regard to its architecture and lifestyle. For a longer Christmas trip from South Africa to Europe, it is a good idea to find out more about a country in which three official languages, namely German, French and Dutch, are spoken.
Preparing for a trip to Belgium
From a far destination like South Africa it is, of course, common to arrive in Belgium by plane. Antwerp International Airport, Brussels Airport and the Ostend-Bruges International Airport are the biggest airports in Belgium and it should be no problem to get flights from Johannesburg or Pretoria to those places. But before coming to the country, it is also a good idea to check for travel coupons as these might offer discounts on the long flights, or on eventual train or bus trips within the country. Another option is to travel in groups to save money. That way, you can save a lot of money which can then be spent for souvenirs to bring home and also for several services in Belgium.
A part of Belgium’s border is the sea. For people who enjoy industrially romantic places, the port of Bruges-Zeebrugge is definitely a place to go. It is a place of trade in the first place, but the big containers in front of the horizon can be very inspiring to visit. Further into the country, the city Antwerpen offers a distinctive urban charm. The Cathedral of Our Lady, which was built between 1352 and 1521 impresses with its Gothic style and houses. A number of works were created by Peter Paul Rubens, Otto van Venn and other famous painters. Other museums worth visiting are the Royal Museum of Fine Arts which keeps collections of the old masters and the Plantin-Moretus Museum. The guildhouses at the Grote Markt offer a nice picture to the eye as well.