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Kingdom of Belgium/Koninkrijk België

Region: northwestern Europe

Area: 30.5 thous. sq. km

Capital: Brussels

Major cities: Brussels, Antwerp, Gent, Charleroi, Liege.

Climate: temperate with mild winters and cool summers; in some areas occasional rains, cloudy, and heightened humidity.

Languages spoken: Dutch, French, German

Religion: Roman Catholic

Local time: GMT+01

Calling code: +32

Currency: euro

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Eurcard

Visa: not required for EU, US, Israel, and Japan nationals for a stay up to 90 days; required for citizens of CIS. For more details please visit here

Transport: air transport, rail transport, motor transport

International airports (cities): Brussels, Antwerp

In terms of medicine, Belgium provides the best value-for-money options. This country has an advantage of a convenient geographical location, which adds up to the high professionalism of a private health care system. Belgium is also known for affordable prices in Western Europe for many medical and recovery procedures, including plastic surgery, dentistry and kidney transplantation.

Every year, thousands of foreign citizens come to the capital of Belgium, Brussels, to undergo the up-to-date diagnostics and treatment of disease, tumours of the central and peripheral nervous system, blood vessels, brain and spine segments. Here they perform successful treatment of spinal and cerebral traumas, chronic pain syndromes, conduct the most complicated surgeries of spine reconstruction. In Belgian clinics the latest achievements in the field of medicine are applied – electronic microscopy, ultrasonic aspiration, computer navigation, invasive neuroradiology and robotized apparatuses. Personalised approach to each patient leads to the most excellent results in treatment and recovery.  

Among the top-priority directions of medical tourism in Belgium one should specifically note coronary artery bypass graft, which partakes about 45 % of the total volume of medical services provided for foreign patients. The price of such a surgery starts at 5 thousand EUROs.

Recommended time for treatment: April through October.


Belgium is rarely associated with treatment, not to mention recovery and recreation. The reason may be that Belgians do not like to advertise themselves too much. However, this country is exactly the location of some best European treatment, prevention and recovery establishments, and the famous Spa resort, which many think to be the homeland of Spa procedures.

Spa city, the pearl of the Ardennes, is considered a forebear of the fashion for resort and recovery recreation in Europe. The therapeutic qualities of Spa mineral waters were known already in the XIV century. As of today, multiple Spa centres are open here, offering recovery and rejuvenation programmes based on the waters from the seven thermal springs. Annually, over 40 thousand foreign citizens visit Spa, for the treatment of gynaecological diseases, relieving the problems of musculoskeletal apparatus and cardio-vascular system. 

Patients with the nervous system disorders  and chronic fatigue syndrome are recommended to visit Ostende or Knokke-Heist on the North sea coast. Physicians also direct the patients, who had severe traumas and serious surgeries.

3*- from €65;

4*- from €90;

5*- from €110.

Belgian cuisine is distinguished by particularly exquisite, delicate flavours, and light foods. Most of its dishes are based on meat, sea products, and vegetables. Following the traditions of Medieval cuisine, Belgian cooks substantially season their masterpieces with mustard, spices and herbs, creating unique sweet and sour taste combinations. Each meal is necessarily topped with a dessert, which includes famous Belgian waffles, sweets, and chocolate.


Starters are especially exquisite and appetizing: ‘la tomatte krevette’ (shrimps with tomatoes under mayonnaise), croquette from raw shrimps and melted parmesan cheese, ‘asperges à la Flamande’ (asparagus Flemish-style with sauce prepared from butter and whipped egg and chopped parsley), ‘mitrayet’ (baguette stuffed with fried meat, potato fries, and sauce), sandwiches with slices of white cheese, ‘Le Herve’ cheeses, ‘Le Fromage de Bruxelles’, ‘Mara’, salty cheese tart ‘La Tarte al d’jote».

Dishes from fish and sea products

Belgian cooks are great masters in preparing dishes from fish and sea products. The following dishes are a must for you to try: ‘Artguille au Vert’ (‘eel in green’ with vegetables and greens), ‘Les Moules-frites superstars’ (fried mussels), ‘les Moules crues’ (raw mussels), ‘La Truite Ardennes’ (trout Ardennes style), dishes with fresh scallops and crabs, eels under a green sauce, fish Brussels style (tempura-fried fish under a sauce from white wine, onions, and garlic), fish cutlets Flemish style, eel with shell fish, mussels with potato fries (national Belgian dish, mussels may be served under a spicy hot or beer sauce, under a light sauce with greens, or in their own juice), flounder with potatoes, fresh mussels (served under an onion sauce with lemon), sea tongue fillet under a sauce made with small North-Sea shrimp, tomatoes stuffed with shrimp and mayonnaise, croquettes with shrimp.

Meat dishes

There is a great variety of national Belgian meat dishes: beer-soaked rabbit, fries steak (served under various sauces), Flemish style carbonades (beer-stewed ham or sirloin with prunes), Ardenne style ham, chicken stewed with grapes, Mechelen cuckoo, meat with honey and mustard under a spicy fruit sauce, pork with beans, stewed beef tails (stewed in fat and beer sauce with garlic, celery, black pepper, and laurel leaf), hare under a mustard sauce or with plums, veal fried with asparagus, veal kidneys with Ardennes juniper berries, chicken fricassee in puffed/filo pastry, Brabant style pheasant with chicory, Flemish style beef goulash, Liège style dumplings.


‘Waterzooi’ soup is a classical Belgian broth cooked with fish or chicken clear soup adding separately boiled carrots, potatoes, kurrat, celery root, egg yolk, fresh cream, and spices — thyme, sage, parsley, laurel leaf).

Many Belgian restaurants offer on their menu: oysters in celery broth, fish soup, thick vegetable soups, and a famous Brussels soup from dried champignons.

Vegetable dishes

Above all they include potato fries, because Belgium is considered the motherland of this dish. But you will also be offered a variety of other vegetable dishes and salads, such as: tempura-fried tomatoes, young sprouts of hop plant (a real delicacy usually served in march), Liège style salad from green beans, baked chicory, many salads with Brussels sprout, warm potato salad, ham and runner beans, white asparagus under a cream sauce, etc.


Praline sweets (with liquor, marzipan, crocant), almond pastries, cream bizet, caramel biscuits, Gentse mokken (small dry pastries Gent style), Belgian chocolate (Côte d'Or, Godiva, Neuhaus, Leonidas) pastry-wrapped apple (whole apple baked in pastry is a traditional Walloon sweet dish), sweet Liège style syrup made with apples and pears, Liège style waffles (oval or round hard waffles with bits of caramelised sugar), Brussels waffles (soft airy rectangular waffles served warm with whipped cream, ice-cream, fruits or chocolate), rice pie, rice porridge (sweet milk porridge sprinkled with burned brown sugar), short-paste pie stuffed with rice cream, macaroons (almond pastry), crème bruilles, Liers Vlaaike (small pastry made from syrup, cinnamon, and flour), Pain perdu (stale bread soaked in a mix of milk and eggs and then pan-fried), honey cup-cake with spices.


Beer is number one favourite drink of Belgians. By different estimates, there are about 600 to 1000 kinds of beer in Belgium. Top popular include: Jupiler, Gueuse, Stella Artois, Maes, Hoegaarden.

Leffe, Trappist, Lambic are widely renown far outside Belgium. While visiting the country,, beer lovers should definitely try Blanche (unfiltered/cloudy wheat beer), Crick (cherry wheat beer), Genever/Jenever (a type of fruit-flavoured gin).

People indifferent to beer and any kind of strong drinks will be served aromatic black coffee in Belgium. You will find it especially tasty and invigorating when taken together with national desserts.


Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwe-Kathedraal), Central Square (Grand Place), Statue of the Pissing Boy (Manneken-Pis), Atomium (the monument to iron crystal), Flanders Fields.

Torch-lit visit of the Citadel (March), Foire de Namur (circus performances in July), Carnival of Binche (February), Place du Grand Sablon (antique market).

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