There’s no rule that says that a “Plat Pays” (literally, a flat country) can’t be full of contrasts and flavors. This is particularly true of Belgium, the land of Jacques Brel and the lush green Ardennes.
From Gothic to Art Nouveau, from antiques to avant-garde designers, from cutting-edge exhibitions to festive nights, Brussels is all of these things rolled into one. The capital and its legendary Grand-Place boast all sorts of different atmospheres, like a collection of little villages. A few kilometres away in Bruges, the Venice of the North, a series of canals captivates hopeless romantics and its center is as delicate and intricate as its famous lace. The cultural port city of Antwerp is as proud of its multicultural reputation as it is of Rubens, heritage, sophisticated fashion, architectural innovation and trendy bars. Ghent is a bit more reserved, hiding behind the façades of its traditional gables and divine cathedral. Further south, the Province of Luxembourg reveals all its green glory, stretching from the slopes of Marche-en-Famenne to the top of the Baraque de Fraiture, one of the highest points in Belgium. A city undergoing extensive renovation work, with the fantastic station designed by Renzo Piano leading the way, Liège is a stylish innovative city, while Mons is still basking in its title of 2015 European Capital of Culture. One thing you can say about Belgium is that its clichés taste amazing. Gorge yourself on the chocolate, chips, mussels and beer that this small country produces with such flair. But as well as its stoemps and its carbonades flamandes, the Belgian cuisine created by the likes of Gert De Mangeleer, Peter Goossens, Pierre Wynants and Yves Mattagne has won Michelin stars and invented a whole new world of dazzling, innovative treats. Just one more example of this destination’s diversity!
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