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Belgium Facts: 25 Interesting Things That You Didn’t Know


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Emmi Marek



Welcome to the fascinating country of Belgium, a small yet vibrant nation nestled in the heart of Western Europe. Known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and culinary delights, Belgium offers a plethora of intriguing experiences for both locals and visitors alike. From its captivating architecture to its world-renowned beers and delectable chocolates, there is something to entice every traveler’s curiosity.


Belgium may be small in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to cultural significance. With its strategic location, this land has been a battleground for various European powers throughout history. It has endured countless conflicts and witnessed the rise and fall of empires, leaving behind a legacy of architectural wonders and a unique blend of influences.


One of the most notably distinct aspects of Belgium is its linguistic diversity. The country is divided into three regions with three official languages: Dutch in the Flanders region, French in Wallonia, and German in the east. This linguistic divide adds depth to the country’s cultural fabric and contributes to its vibrant multicultural society.


When it comes to sheer indulgence in culinary delights, Belgium truly stands out. It is widely recognized as the beer capital of the world, boasting an impressive array of breweries and a beer culture deeply ingrained in its society. From traditional Trappist ales to fruity lambics, beer aficionados will find themselves in hop-filled heaven.


Belgium is also renowned for its mastery of chocolate-making. The country is home to numerous artisanal chocolatiers who craft intricate and mouthwatering creations. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, a visit to Belgium is incomplete without savoring its velvety and rich chocolate treats.


But it’s not just the beer and chocolate that make Belgium unique. The country has a penchant for waffles, with delicious specimens found in every corner. Whether you prefer them topped with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or drizzled in decadent chocolate sauce, these fluffy treats are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.


Belgium’s cultural influence extends to the world of art as well. It is the birthplace of the iconic comic strip characters Tintin and the Smurfs, both beloved by audiences around the globe. The country also boasts a strong presence in the world of fine arts, with famous painters like René Magritte and Pieter Bruegel hailing from its artistic heritage.


Get ready to discover the hidden gems of Belgium as we embark on a journey through its fascinating history, diverse culture, and irresistible culinary offerings. From medieval towns to surreal carnivals, this country has something for everyone to enjoy. So grab a beer, indulge in some chocolate, and let us uncover the captivating secrets of Belgium together.


Historic Background

Belgium’s history is as captivating as it is complex. With a strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, this land has borne witness to countless conflicts and the rise and fall of empires. From Roman conquests to Spanish and Austrian rule, Belgium’s historical background is a tapestry woven with tales of triumphs and tribulations.


2. Language Diversity

Belgium is a prime example of linguistic diversity. Divided into three regions, each with its own official language (Dutch in Flanders, French in Wallonia, and German in the east), the country celebrates multilingualism. This diverse linguistic landscape adds charm and richness to its cultural fabric.


3. Unique Flag

Belgium’s flag is a striking and distinct combination of vertical black, yellow, and red stripes. The colors hold symbolism with black representing the country’s secularism, yellow for its industriousness, and red for its unwavering determination. The flag is a proud emblem of Belgian unity.


4. Beer Paradise

Belgium is often hailed as the beer paradise of the world. With over 1600 different types of beer, including famous Trappist and Abbey brews, Belgium boasts a rich and diverse beer culture. From refreshing wheat beers to complex and flavorful ales, beer connoisseurs will find themselves in hoppy bliss.


5. Chocolate Capital

When it comes to chocolate, Belgium takes the crown. Renowned for its mastery of chocolate-making, Belgian chocolatiers are celebrated worldwide for their artistry. Using only the finest cocoa ingredients, they create mouthwatering delights that melt in your mouth and leave you craving more.


6. Waffle Obsession

Belgians have a deep love affair with waffles. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these delectable treats come in a variety of styles and flavors. Whether you prefer them topped with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or smothered in rich chocolate or caramel sauce, Belgian waffles are a must-try indulgence.


7. Comic Strip Heritage

Belgium has a rich comic strip heritage, and it is the birthplace of iconic characters like Tintin and the Smurfs. The country is proud of its comic art legacy, with dedicated museums and festivals celebrating this unique form of storytelling.


8. Surrealism Influence

Belgium has a deep-rooted connection to surrealism. Inspired by the works of René Magritte and other artists, Belgian surrealism has left an indelible mark on the world of art. This whimsical and thought-provoking artistic movement continues to inspire and captivate audiences today.


9. Famous Artists

Belgium has been home to many renowned artists throughout history. From Flemish masters like Pieter Bruegel and Pieter Paul Rubens to modern painters like James Ensor and Paul Delvaux, the country’s artistic pedigree is truly impressive.


10. Impressive Architecture

From medieval castles and Gothic cathedrals to Art Nouveau townhouses and contemporary structures, Belgium’s architecture is a blend of styles spanning centuries. The Grand Place in Brussels, with its ornate buildings, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a testament to the country’s architectural splendor.


11. Multicultural Society

Belgium is known for its multicultural society, shaped by its diverse population. People from various backgrounds have come together to create a harmonious blend of traditions, languages, and cultures, making Belgium a truly cosmopolitan nation.


12. EU Headquarters

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is also the de facto capital of the European Union. The city is home to important EU institutions, including the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of Europe.


13. Tintin and Smurfs

Belgium is famed for being the birthplace of beloved comic characters Tintin and the Smurfs. Created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé and the artist Peyo respectively, these characters have captivated readers of all ages around the world with their timeless adventures.


14. Waterloo Battlefield

History enthusiasts can visit the battlefield of Waterloo, where Napoleon Bonaparte faced his final defeat in 1815. Today, the site is a poignant reminder of Belgium’s role in European history and a place where visitors can delve into the events that changed the course of nations.


15. Cycling Nation

Belgium is a nation of cycling enthusiasts. The country’s love affair with bicycles is evident in its countless cycling lanes, dedicated infrastructure, and the renowned cycling race, the Tour of Flanders. Whether you’re a professional cyclist or a leisurely rider, Belgium offers picturesque routes to explore on two wheels.


16. Delicious Cuisine

Belgium’s cuisine is a delightful blend of French and Flemish influences. From hearty stews like carbonade flamande to delicate seafood dishes and mouthwatering cheeses, Belgium’s culinary offerings will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


17. Favourite Fries

Belgium takes its fries, or “frites,” very seriously. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these golden strips of potato goodness are a national treasure. Served with an array of mouthwatering sauces, they are the perfect accompaniment to any Belgian meal.


18. Diverse Festivals

Throughout the year, Belgium comes alive with vibrant festivals celebrating everything from music and film to food and culture. From the legendary Tomorrowland electronic music festival to the Ghent Film Festival, Belgium offers a diverse range of events to suit every interest.


19. Surreal Carnivals

Belgium is known for its surreal and whimsical carnivals, where elaborate floats, masked revelers, and colorful parades take to the streets. The Carnaval de Binche, recognized as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, is a prime example of Belgium’s lively and enchanting carnival traditions.


20. Diamond Trade

Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world, plays a significant role in the global diamond trade. The city has been associated with diamonds since the 15th century and continues to be a major hub for diamond cutting, trading, and jewelry manufacturing.


21. World’s Largest Brewer

Belgium proudly hosts the world’s largest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch InBev. With a vast portfolio of popular brands, including Stella Artois, Leffe, and Hoegaarden, Belgium’s brewing heritage is a source of national pride.


22. Comic Strip Heroes

Belgium’s comic strip legacy extends beyond Tintin and the Smurfs. From iconic characters like Lucky Luke and Spirou to the irreverent adventures of Jommeke and Nero, Belgian comic books have captivated readers of all ages for generations.


23. Fashion and Design

Belgium has a well-deserved reputation for cutting-edge fashion and design. Belgian designers like Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, and Raf Simons have made a significant impact on the global fashion scene with their innovative and avant-garde creations.


24. Medieval Towns

Belgium is home to picturesque medieval towns that seem frozen in time. From the charming canals of Bruges to the cobbled streets of Ghent and the majestic fortress of Namur, these towns offer a glimpse into Belgium’s enchanting past.


25. Quirky Traditions

Belgium is no stranger to quirky traditions. From the bizarre ritual of throwing oranges during the Battle of the Oranges in Binche Carnival to the peculiar practice of shrimp fishing on horseback in Oostduinkerke, Belgium is a country that embraces and celebrates its unique and sometimes eccentric customs.



Belgium is a country that captivates with its rich history, cultural diversity, and culinary delights. From its fascinating historic background to its linguistic diversity and unique flag, Belgium offers a unique blend of traditions and influences that make it a truly remarkable destination.


No visit to Belgium would be complete without indulging in its world-famous beer and chocolate. With its incredible array of breweries and artisanal chocolatiers, Belgium stands as a paradise for beer enthusiasts and chocolate lovers alike.


The country’s love affair with waffles, its rich comic strip heritage, and its profound influence on surrealism and art add to the tapestry that is Belgium’s cultural fabric. From the enchanting medieval towns to the impressive architecture and diverse festivals, Belgium offers a wealth of experiences to satisfy every traveler’s curiosity.


Belgium’s multicultural society, with its multiple languages and rich cultural traditions, contributes to its cosmopolitan atmosphere. As home to the headquarters of the European Union, Belgium also plays a significant role in shaping the future of Europe.


Whether exploring the historic battlefield of Waterloo, embarking on a cycling adventure, or indulging in the country’s delicious cuisine and iconic fries, Belgium never fails to leave a lasting impression on its visitors.


As we conclude our journey through Belgium’s fascinating facts, we invite you to immerse yourself in the wonders of this captivating country. Discover its hidden gems, experience its diverse culture, and savor the tastes and traditions that make Belgium truly unique.


So, pack your bags, satisfy your wanderlust, and let Belgium amaze you with its history, culture, and tantalizing treats. Jump into its surreal world and create memories that will last a lifetime in this enchanting land that surprises at every turn.