Although Brussels is a travel hub for most Indian airlines travelling to Europe and USA, the number of Indians tourists to Belgium is still quite low at just around
currently. This will grow at a relatively low pace in the coming years.
|Location / Language
Belgium, is in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of around 30,000 sq km and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well.
|Visa Requirements / Currency (please note these procedures/ exchange rates can changed from time to time…please get an update from the embassy prior to travel)
As India is not part of the Schengen Area, if one is an Indian passport holder you will need to apply for the appropriate type of Schengen Belgium Visa for travelling to the country. To be eligible for a Schengen Visa for Belgium, one will mainly need their current passport, along with certain documents, to be submitted with the Visa application form.
Currency : Euro (EUR)
Conversion: Rs.1 INR = 0.013 EUR
1 EUR = Rs. 78.04 INR
|Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Belgium
- Grand Place – It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding blend of architectural and artistic styles with an ornate medieval hall, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the 75/24-meter Flower Carpet, made up of more than 700,000 cut begonias.
- The Basilica of the Holy Blood, Bruges – It is not only impressive for its blending of Romanesque and late Gothic architecture but also for the sacred relic kept inside. The upper chapel is home to the famous vial said to contain a drop of Jesus Christ's blood that was brought back to Belgium after the Second Crusade.
- Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent - This majestic cathedral with its high Gothic choir and Romanesque crypt showcases the best of religious architecture with its harmonious stained glass windows and the Flemish masterpiece known as The Altar of Ghent. The crypt also contains important tombs and some beautiful wall paintings.
- Waterloo - The place where Napoleon was defeated in the famous battle is today a countryside of agricultural fields, but an artificial hill rises up from the surrounding flatlands with a memorial lion sculpture atop the summit to commemorate the day when Napoleon's army was finally stopped.
- Horta Museum and Town Houses – Horta Museum has been preserved as Victor Horta designed them, with the original stained glass, mosaics, wood work, and decorations. The two joined buildings of his house and studio show Art Nouveau and his four major town houses - Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, and Maison & Atelier Horta - are also included in the UNESCO site.
- Mons Old Town - The Grand Place, a main square graced by a variety of typically ornate buildings, the Toison d'Or House (1615) and the Chapel of St. George (1604) are architectural highpoints which any tourist must explore. Also the UNESCO-listed bell tower on the hill above town and the Church of Sainte-Waudru are important attractions.
- The Canals and Belfry @ Bruges - On the banks of the river Reie, the series of waterways (canals) connecting it to the Zwin estuary and the North Sea are beautiful reminders of Bruges history. Walk or take the Boat and enjoy the picturesque bridges and hidden gardens.
- Semois Valley - In the southeast of the country, the Semois River cuts through thick forest-clad hills of the valley which offers a slice of Belgium's scenery at its most viscerally beautiful particularly during spring when the wildflowers bloom.
- The Battlefields of Flanders - The battlefields are a major pilgrimage site where the preserved trenches run for kilometers around the town of Ypres, while this area is also scattered with vast cemeteries for the thousands of soldiers who died here.
- Ghent's Gravensteen and Old Town - Gravensteen is a surviving moated fortress which has been incredibly well-preserved with its strong and impressively thick and high walls but it's the castle's architecture itself that is the real star of the show.
|Things You Must Do in Belgium
- Don’t miss a Canal Cruise on Bruges - It is indeed a city to be enjoyed and its beauty can be best admired by cruising through it on the canals by boat. This is one of the things to do in Belgium that you must add to your bucket list.
- Read Comics at the Museum - In fact there are more comic artists in Belgium than any other nation. A number of museums are even dedicated to the art of comic making. One must enjoy this experience of reading Tintin etc...
- Go Kayaking on the Lesse - Though the river Lesse is safe and shallow, the downstream current has the ability to carry you along with minimal effort for paddling, a must try activity.
- Explore the Woods on Wheels - One of the best things to do in Brussels in a day is exploring the expansive green Sonian forest on two wheelers. This ancient forest has beautiful old oaks, and smooth, well – marked routes that criss-cross through the dense beech trees.
- Attend a Crazy Music Festival - Every weekend there’s a festival on somewhere or the other. There’s a festival for everybody – the free, the paid, the big and small, the jazz, folk, techno, rock and even pop.
|Food on the Plate
Belgian cuisine is widely varied also reflecting the cuisines of neighbouring France, Germany and the Netherlands. It is sometimes said that Belgian food is served in the quantity of German cuisine but with the quality of French food. Outside the country, Belgium is best known for its chocolate, waffles, fries and beer.
Belgian food one must try includes:
- Waffles – The Brussels waffle, is rectangular and flaky. It is often topped with whipped cream, chocolate, ice-cream or various fruit toppings. The denser Liège waffle has rounded edges and crystallized sugar baked into it, making it slightly sticky and sweeter than the Brussels waffle.
- Belgian Chocolates and Beer – One can’t but resist sampling the best chocolate in the world and then sipping on the varieties of beer on offer.
- Flemish Stew - This typical Belgian food is made from meat slowly simmered in Belgian beer until it melts in your mouth. The sauce is thickened with a few slabs of bread slathered in mustard, a bit of onion, and some seasoning.
- Fries (French Fries) - They are somewhat the national dish of Belgium. You’ll never hear a Belgian call them “french fries”, and once you eat fries in Belgium, they’ll never taste as good anywhere else.
- Mussels – The most common way mussels are served in Belgium is steamed in white wine, in big black mussel pots. In addition to wine, moules, marinières also contain shallots, parsley, and butter.
|India travel health Insurance for Belgium
Since Belgium is a country which is part of the Schengen countries in Europe, it is mandatory for Indian traveller applying for Begium Visa to purchase Schengen Visa insurance.
India Travel insurance for Belgium is relatively cheaper when compared to destinations in Americas, and most insurance companies offer a specific Schengen Insurance Plan. One must ensure that the minimum Accident & Sickness (A&S) sum insured for a Schengen plan must be €30,000 (around $50,000), and a visa to visit any Schengen country will not be provided without this minimum coverage.
The insured must purchase an “Excluding Americas” Plan, if they are travelling to other destinations that don’t include only Schengen countries.
Illustration for 15 days travel health insurance for Indians visiting Belgium.
You can also choose “Excluding Plans” with Sum Insureds as high as $500,000 as well. These premiums are across different plans and different benefits.. please log in to www.eindiainsurance.com to compare and buy the best Schengen visa Insurance for Indian tourists to Belgium.
|Sum Insured($USD or €Euro) / Premium in Rs. INR
||Insured Age 35
||Insured Age 65
|Schengen - €30,000
|Schengen - €50,000
|Excluding - $50,000