Lying at the intersection between France, Luxemburg, Germany and the Netherlands, Belgium is probably the best kept secret in Europe. Despite its small size, it is linguistically, culturally and regionally very diverse. Flanders in the north, a flatland criss-crossed by canals, is home to famous medieval towns – Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent – that have preserved their ancient heritage and cultural richness. Wallonia in the south, with the scenic hillscapes of the Ardennes, its caves, its winding canyons and numerous castles provides an interesting contrast to the bustling cities of the north. In-between lies Brussels, the cosmopolitan capital of Europe, a city of multiple facets brimming with vitality.
This geographical diversity and the rich historical heritage which includes gothic cathedrals and town halls, castles and belfries, lively cities, flourishing Art nouveau architecture, to say nothing of the excellent cuisine and the unique range of beers make Belgium a fascinating place to visit. Below are a few websites that provide a good introduction to Belgium and will help you plan your trip.
Official websites of the regional tourist offices
Tourism in Flanders – Toerisme Vlaanderen
Official Toerisme Vlaanderen website (in flemish). www.toervl.be
Tourism in Wallonia
A website offering tourist information on Brussels and Wallonia (the southern part of Belgium). www.opt.be
The charming villages of Southern Belgium (Wallonia) await your visit. http://www.opt.be/contenus/tourisme/en/45.html
Tourism in Brussels
Brussels is the federal capital of Belgium. It is known for its squares, monuments and magnificent museums, especially the impressive Grand-Place with its surrounding alleways and old houses. But Brussels is much more than that. There is the European Brussels, the royal Brussels, the surrealistic Brussels, the artistic Brussels… The website of Brussels international, Tourism and Congress offers you an inspiring source to discover this fascinating city. www.brusselsdiscovery.com
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Art cities and interesting historical sites.
Glamorous gothic cathedrals, townhalls, gabled guildhouses, cobbled streets, rich museums… The cultural heritage of architecture, paintings, tapestries and sculptures reflect the intense intellectual and artistic life of these cities which were important trading centers as far back as the 12th. Century
Built on the river Schelde, Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium. It is home to one of the world’s most important ports and is a leading diamond center. The international travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has added Antwerp to its prestigious  list of the world’s ten most interesting cities. (Each year Lonely Planet publishes a top ten of cities that are worth a visit during the coming twelve months). “Few places offer such an appealing mix of classic and modern features.” “Eclectic art nouveau houses right next to neo-classic villas and medieval castles provide a fantastic backdrop to the many bars and pavement cafés.”
www.visitantwerp.be Official website tourism Antwerp. Proposed walks, accommodation, practical information.
www.diamondland.be - Antwerp, the diamond city.
Nicknamed “Venice of the North”, Bruges, a medieval city of stunning beauty and charm, graced by quiet canals and waterways, attracts millions of visitors every year. www.brugge.be
Known in the past for its flourishing cloth trade, Ghent boasts many interesting museums, fine churches and historical monuments, such as the medieval castle of the Counts of Flanders. www.visitgent.be
Liège, nicknamed the “ardent city”,is the third largest city in Belgium. Its inhabitants have the reputation of being proud and tenacious, mocking and rebellious. It is a famous university town and a major river port. www.liege.be
Namur is the capital of Wallonia, the southern region of Belgium. Bordering the river Meuse, it is set in a stunning valley landscape. Lovers of history and legend will enjoy touring its citadel and the châteaux and abbeys of the region. www.namur.be
In Tournai, 2000 years of history awaits you, you will relive centuries of art and glory. It is the city of the Kings: Childeric, Clovis, Philippe Auguste, Louis IX, Henry VIII, Charles V, Louis XIV, who all have left traces of their glorious or transitory reigns in its institutions and stones. www.tournai.be
Belgium is also well-known for its impressive natural tourism areas: to the North, the Belgian coast has a dozen seaside resorts and about 70 kms of sandy beaches while to the South the Ardennes with its lush landscape and vast wooded areas is a paradise for lovers of nature. Whether you want to scale the region’s highest peaks, to stroll along the banks of its many rivers, to go pony-trekking or bike-riding along forest paths, you will always find something to suit you.
The Belgian Coast - The website www.dekust.org (the coast) provides a short description of each seaside resort. You will find useful tips for recreation, relaxation and entertainment.
The Ardennes http://www.belgium.be/en/about_belgium/tourism/the_ardennes/ a good source of information for the tourist who is looking for a relaxing holiday in the south of Belgium: river tourism, nature reserves, regional produce, caves, sport facilities, cycling trips, etc.
Other useful and interesting gateways to Belgium:
www.visitbelgium.com the official site of the Belgian Tourist Office in the Americas.
www.alltravelbelgium.com - site of the European Travel and Tourism bureau, lots of useful information on Brussels, the art cities, the Ardennes, top attractions, accommodation, car rentals.
www.belgium-hospitality.com - find and book hotels and venues in Brussels and other Belgian cities.
www.brusselslife.be - good tips about Brussels
http://www.use-it.be/- tourist information for young people.
www.laj.be - youth hostels in Belgium.
http://www.the-backpacking-site.com/countries/belgium-overview.html - backpacking in Belgium
www.dreamit.be/castles Belgium has over 3000 castles. About 300 of them are open to the public.
www.eastbelgium.com All you wanted to know about the eastern cantons of Belgium
www.365.be good tips for excursions, tourist attractions, museums.
www.discoveringbelgium.com Belgium off the beaten track