Religion in Belgium
By religion, the population of Belgium is divided into Catholics, who number about 85% and Protestants, who are ten times less – about 8%. Muslims and Jews also live in the country.
Transport in Belgium
The main type of public transport for moving around the country in Belgium is rail. There are no domestic airlines in this small country, and buses serve only urban and suburban routes. But this is quite enough here – the size of Belgium allows you to drive through it all through in three hours.
The railway network is quite dense, thanks to which it takes one and a half to two hours to get to the capital from almost any fairly populated area. As in other countries of Western Europe, there are trains marked IC (Intercity) – intercity trains, and IR (InterRegio) – fast trains, which, however, do not differ much from each other in speed and comfort, since the distances covered by them, are small. There are no night or sleeper trains in Belgium for the same reasons.
The fare in them can be estimated according to the following example: to travel from Brussels to Anwerp (about 40 km) the first class will cost 8 euros 60 cents, and the second – three euros cheaper.
In order to take in To rent a car in Belgium, you need to have a standard set of documents: driving license, passport, credit card, sufficient funds to pay for insurance.
Roads throughout the country are free, well lit at night, and the quality of the canvas is amazing. The maximum speed limit on highways is 120 km/h, on national roads 90 km/h, in built-up areas 50 km/h. For any violations, the fines are simply huge – so it’s better to drive by the rules.
BICYCLING AND HITCHING
In the warm season, the ideal means of transportation in Belgium (as well as in other Benelux countries) is a bicycle. Bicycle rentals are available in every city. In addition, hitchhiking is popular – fellow travelers are taken very willingly here.
Plant and Animal World in Belgium
Forests are widespread in the Ardennes, mostly coniferous – they cover about half of the area of this region. However, in terms of fertility, local soils are noticeably inferior to the soils of the Central Plateau and the powerful alluvial soils that cover the coastal lowlands of Flanders, which are used for agriculture. There are also natural pine forests here – they cover approximately one seventh of the area of Flanders.
The fauna of the country cannot be called exotic. For him, the most characteristic are the fox, badger, squirrel, marten, deer, roe deer, wild boar, hare. The most common birds are pheasants, partridges and woodcocks.
Minerals in Belgium
Of the minerals, Belgium is rich in coal (in Campina and along the valleys of the Meuse and Sambre rivers), but there is little coking coal here. In the Ardennes there are small deposits of iron and polymetallic ores (lead, zinc, copper), antimony and other metals. In addition, the country has significant reserves of building stone (granite, sandstone, marble).
Banks in Belgium
Banks in Belgium are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 12.00 or 13.00, and after a break – from 14.00 to 16.00 or 17.00. On Saturday they are only open until noon, and on Sunday they are closed all day. In large cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges), many banks do not close for lunch.
If you need to change money in the evening, when banks are no longer working, you can use the services of exchange offices. In addition to the international airport, they are also available at three railway stations in the Belgian capital. On two of them – Gare Centrale and Gare du Nord – they are open until 20.00, and on Gare du Midi – until 21.30. At the Central Station of the second largest city in Belgium – Antwerp – the exchange office is open even until 22.00. Even later, money is changed only in large hotels. However, the exchange rate here is much less favorable than in banks.
Money in Belgium
Since 1999, the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EURO), has been put into circulation in Belgium. 1 Euro = 100 Euro cents. In circulation there are banknotes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros, as well as coins: 2 and 1 euros, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD
POLITICAL STATUS in Belgium
According to politicsezine, Belgium is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the king (Albert II), the head of government is the prime minister. Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral parliament.
Population in Belgium
The ethnic composition of the country’s population is quite diverse.
The vast majority of the population is represented by Flemings (51%) and Walloons (41), Italians and Germans are much less – 3% and 1%, respectively. In addition, the French, Spaniards, Dutch, Moroccans, Poles, Jews and Greeks live in the country.
There are three official languages in Belgium – French, Flemish (close to Dutch) and German.
Cuisine in Belgium
Belgian cuisine is similar to French cuisine and is mainly based on seafood. Each region of Belgium has its own special dish. Butter, cream, beer and wine are generously used in the recipe. Restaurant menus always include alcoholic drinks unless they are sold separately at the bar. Of the Belgian beers, Stella Artois is widely known, but domestically it can compete with varieties exclusively produced in small breweries.
The local beers are very good. Two of the most popular are Lambic (wheat and barley) and Trappist. Under the new law, most cafes can now sell liquor. Beer and wine are freely sold without any restrictions.