Flanders-Brussels by the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels | TravelResearchOnline

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Flanders-Brussels by the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels

Flanders, the northern region of Belgium consisting of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges is a delightful addition to any European vacation. Just a short train ride from London, Paris or Amsterdam, these breathtaking cities provide a myriad of chocolate, diamonds, beer, extraordinary architecture and art.


60-Second Geography

Flanders-Brussels

There’s no greater pleasure in Brussels than sipping a refreshing lambic or cherry-flavored kriek beer in a cozy estaminet. Each pub has its own history and character, from the puppet theatre’s quirky Estaminet Toone to the Art Deco splendor of the beer café A la Mort Subite. The scene is more champagne cocktails, club beats and people-watching around the image-conscious Avenue Louise.  On Rue Antoine Dansaert check out the legendary jazz bar “L’Archiduc.” For top-drawer ballet and opera, head to the neoclassical La Monnaie.
  • Getting to Flanders by air is easy from numerous North American gateways.  Direct flights are operated from JFK, Atlanta, Chicago, Newark and Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.  Brussels International Airport (Zaventem) is only 8 miles northeast of the city center.
  • Home to the European Union and NATO, Brussels is the capital of Europe! It is only 1 hour 50 minutes from London on the Eurostar, 1 hour and 50 minutes from Amsterdam and 80 minutes from Paris on the Thalys.
  • The major ports in Flanders are Antwerp, which is the second-largest port in Europe and a popular port of call on river cruises.  Sea cruises also call at the port of Zeebrugge which is just a short hop over to Bruges.
  • With four distinct seasons, Belgium is seldom too hot nor too cold. Summer temperatures range from 54 to 72 degrees F and winter temperatures from 32 to 43 degrees F.
  • Bruges, a lovely little medieval city recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is great to explore on foot, by boat on the canals or in a horse-drawn carriage. Perfect for a romantic visit or to celebrate a special occasion, cozy boutique hotels with charming interiors await visitors. Bruges is also the Capital of Chocolate and has a chocolate festival every December. Not to be missed is the art of the Flemish Primitives.
  • Ghent is a historic yet vibrant city that has all the good looks of Bruges – pretty canals and a medieval city center – but with more things going on. You could say it’s history with a heartbeat. We recommend taking in culture in bite sizes. Take a nibbling tour of Ghent and get to know something about the history and architecture while tasting local specialties whether they are raspberry-filled sweets, cured ham or beer brewed with ‘gruut’ – an herb mixture – instead of hops. Art buffs should head to the St. Bavo Cathedral to admire the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the masterpiece painted by the Brothers Van Eyck in 1432.
  • Antwerp has a very cosmopolitan vibe. It’s also the diamond capital of the world. 80% of the world’s diamonds are traded through Antwerp. Antwerp is also a fashionista’s paradise, both for the latest designer collections as well as for more mainstream or boutique fashion.
  • Beyond mussels and frites around the St. Catherine Square in Brussels, find innovative flavors in voguish restaurants on the Avenue Louise and classics like creamy waterzooi stews in cozy wood-paneled brasseries. A short stroll from the bustle of the Grand-Place, the romantic Grand-Sablon‘s petit bistros are a great place to indulge.  Bag bric-a-brac at Place du Jeu du Balle flea market, or comb through antiques along Rue Haute, Rue Blase and Sablon Square or seek out Belgian designer labels such as Ann Demeulemeester.  The ideal gift, a box of artisanal pralines, is easy to find: there’s always a local chocolate shop nearby.
 
 
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