Undecided about Belgium for your next family holiday? Think chocolate, waffles and Tin-Tin; outdoor adventure in historic Wallonia; and no long journeys anywhere.
It’s one of the smallest countries in Europe, easy to explore by road or rail and just over an hour’s flight from the UK. So whether you visit for summer cycling and sailing in Ardennes or Bruges’ Christmas markets, Belgium’s hospitality and accessibility is made for family holidays.
Direct flights from London to Brussels take just over an hour.
Brussels is two hours by road from Calais and the Folkestone to Calais ferry crossing is one hour and 34 minutes.
The historic cities of Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, Tournai, Mons, Namur and Liège are all under an hour by train from the centre of Brussels.
You can drive right across Belgium, south to north, in just over three hours.
As one of Europe’s main administrative capitals, Brussels has lots of space when the Eurocrats head home to Paris, Strasbourg etc. on Friday night. So it’s a great city for cheap weekend hotel deals.
Brussels has the largest green belt of any European capital and it contains the 12,000ha Soignes Forest.
Belgium has 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites, is home to the Ghent Altarpiece and charges less than anywhere else in Europe for entry to its public museums and galleries (average €8 for adults over 26 and €2 for children).
Belgium’s divided into two distinct areas: Flanders to the north which includes Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges and Ostend; and French speaking Walloon to the south where you’ll find Mons, Tournai, Liège and Namur. The country’s road and rail network is excellent and there’s a wide choice of accommodation from country inns and guesthouses to five star city centre hotels, self-catering apartments, campsites and Airbnb.
Between 2016 and 2017, Belgium reduced its emissions by 17%, more than any other country in Europe. Understandably, it’s keen to keep up the good work and makes travelling around by train very easy and inexpensive. Public transport in cities is excellent and most are small enough to walk around and extensively pedestrianised.
In Wallonia, the RAVeL network covers more than 1350 km of old Walloon railway lines and towpaths converted into routes and trails reserved for cyclists, hikers, horse riders and wheelchair users.