Ten Important Things to Do When You Visit Belgium

Belgium – a beautiful country that is quite appropriately dubbed as the "Battlefield of Europe." Indeed, Belgium has had its share of wars. It has ended the rages of greedy kings and ambitious warlords from all epochs, but no war can diminish this country's beauty, making it an ideal place to visit.

1) Have a Cup of Hot Chocolate

No Belgium vacation can be without a trip to the capital city's famous sidewalk cafes. It is absolutely essential to drop by any of the few caf├ęs littered in Brussels City and have yourself a sip of Belgium's famous rich hot chocolate. If there's anything that the beautiful country of Belgium can offer you, it's your sweet tooth's utter satisfaction.

2) Participate in the Carnival of Binche

Be a smart tourist and visit Belgium at the time of year when it's most festive. During the month of February, Belgium hosts its most colorful festival ever, the Cranival of Binche. With Firework displays and music parades and colorful costumes and projectile oranges, this certainly is a festival worth participating in. This festival is even included in UNESCO's heritage list.

3) Follow the Gourmet Trail

One of the greatest things about the Belgians is that they know good food like the back of their hands, and Belgium is known for its fine cuisines that are heavily influenced by the different countries that surround it. Try eating Belgium's Mussels, a shellfish dish, and see if your tongue agrees with the Belgian taste. Also, why not try Belgium's French Fries. It is, after all, the original.

4) Have Fun with a Fluvial Cruise

Hop on any one of Belgium's colorful boats and cruise around Belgium's waterways to have a perfect view of the various cities and towns lining the coastline. You can try the Lys River, which will take you to Bruges or Ghent. You can also try the Escaut river to reach Tournai and Bossuit.

5) Exercise Your Inner Scholar

Belgium is a country that places high stock on good education. Visit Ghent or Leuven, Belgium's student cities, and hurl yourself into local coffee shop and strike a conversation with any of the university students. You'll be sure to find an intellectual conversation anywhere.

6) Party in Ghent

If you're the type who can party well into the night for days on end, then Belgium just has the thing for you. Ghent City hosts the Gentse Feesten, a gigantic street festival which has everything from street dancing to theater to diverse musical performances. The Gentse Feesten happens on the 14th of July until the 23rd.

7) Frolic in the Flander Fields – the Westhoek

Have you ever wanted to run unfettered through beautiful flower fields and lush green plains? Well, your fantasy comes true in Belgium's Flander Fields where the Flander fields are not only beautiful but also rich in history. This is the only part of Belgium that was not captured during the world war due to the townsmen's ingenious plans of opening the flood gate.

8) Brussel's Oldest Citizen

Who would have thought that Brussel's Oldest Citizen is a little boy atop a fountain? The Mannekin-Pis, located in the Rue de l'Etuve, is probably the most popular tourist spot in the capital city. The Mannekin-Pis is a bronze statuette of Belgian irreverence, a sculpture of a little boy who is 'answering the call of nature' (eg taking a piss).

9) Where Great Men Once Walked

And you can not have a trip to Belgium without going to the Grand Place, a beautiful piece of architecture that has been around since the middle ages. This is where Marx and Engels once worked to write their Communist Manifesto.

10) Castle Hopping

And, if you're hungry for beautiful and diverse architecture, then Belgium is certainly the place for you. Wallonia in Belgium has a huge collection of castles of every kind. They have fortresses and towers and everything you will ever need for your medieval fantasies. These castles have even become popular as honeymoon spots for newlyweds.