15 things you didn’t know about Belgium

Curious about Belgium? Well, here are 15 things you may not have known about this wonderful country!

1. Three official languages!

Belgium has three official languages:

  1. French (spoken mostly in the southern Wallonia region and Brussels)
  2. German (spoken in the eastern regions of the province of Liege)
  3. Dutch (spoken mostly in the northern region of Flanders)
Illustration found online. Credited to Victoria Fernandez.

2. Tipping

In Belgium, you won’t have to tip in addition to your bill when you eat at a restaurant.

Why? Because the tip has already been included in the bill itself.

Pictured is a plate half-filled with Flemish beef stew with dried barberries on top and the other half filled with fries. A little bit of herbs are found to the side as well. Coca Cola is paired with the dish.
Flemish beef stew paired with a side dish of perfect fries.

3. Chocolate samples

Chocolate shops tend to always give out free samples of their chocolates.

Want to have something sweet? Just pop into any chocolate shop and try a piece of their goodies.

Three rows of chocolates that are in the form of people
How cute are these chocolates? I’ll take 50 please!

4. Easy to walk everywhere

It is quite easy to walk from one location to another in Belgium. It’s mostly flat land and there are things to see everywhere – so you won’t get tired, nor will you get bored.

A shot of an vintage-looking hotel and a church in the background. There are trees with orange leaves in front of the church, covering most of it.
Walking around in Belgium is great, but walking around when it’s the fall season makes it even better.
Buildings are seen in the near distance and cars are driving in between them.
Walking through buildings and finding new places to explore.

5. Brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts actually do come from Brussels!

They have been grown in the Brussels area for over 400 years.

A piece of steak with a side of Brussel sprouts.
You can’t say you’ve been to Brussels if you haven’t eaten their Brussel sprouts!

6. Comic central

The Adventures of Tintin and The Smurfs are Belgian creations.

Fun fact: Did you know that Belgium has more comic makers per square kilometer than any other country in the world?

7. The Euro

Belgians proposed both the name of the euro currency and the design of the  € symbol.

8. Eat your body weight in chocolate

Imagine eating over 20kg of chocolate per year!

Every year, Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate – averaging to 22kg of chocolate per person!

Holding a red bag filled with boxes of chocolate from Laurent Gerbaud.
Trying to get in my 22kg of chocolates for the year!

9. Airport = chocolate sales

The Brussels International Airport is the world’s largest chocolate sales point.

Walls filled with chocolate.
It’s hard to choose one kind of chocolate when every kind is delicious.

10. Servers at restaurants

Don’t expects servers and waiters to come up to your table when you want to order something or get the bill. You should get their attention. If not, you might find yourself waiting for a long time.

11. Dog poop areas?

There are certain locations in Brussels which are designated for dogs to do their business in. Well ain’t that new!

Area for dog to poop in.

12. Invention of the saxophone

The saxophone was invented in Belgium in 1840 by Adolphe Sax (a Belgian instrument maker).

13. Shopping arcades

Shopping arcades are places where a number of shops are connected together under one roof.

The Galleries Saint Hubert (in Brussels) was one of the first shopping arcades to be built in Europe. It was opened in 1847.

14. Diamond capital

Antwerp (Belgium’s second largest city) is the diamond capital of the world.

15. A bright highway

The Belgian highway system is the only human-made structure visible from space at night because of all its lights.

Do you have any more fun facts about Belgium? Let me know in the comment section below!

For more posts about my adventures in Belgium, click the link here.