Best time to go: March – May and September – October
Best for: Castles, The Original Spa, War Sites
Belgium is a country whose specialities include ubiquitous beers, delicate chocolates, moules frites and Belgian waffles.
Enjoy the many Brussels museums such as the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Comic Strip Museum and the Museum of the City of Brussels – Maison du Roi. Pay homage to chocolate, which is one of Belgium`s best known products, with a visit to the Museum of Chocolate and Cocoa off Brussels` Grand Place, or Choco-Story in Bruges.
Don`t miss the highlight of Brussels – the spectacular gothic Grand Place. Pose for a photograph in front of the famous Manneken Pis nearby, and his less heralded sister the Janneken Pis; both statues hint at the exuberance and irreverence of the ‘Bruxellois`.
Explore Brussels further, with St Michael and St Gudule`s Cathedral and the Mont des Arts park, which links the upper and lower parts of the city. And don`t forget the elegant Place Royale.
For up to date Health & Visa information click here
Capital: Brussels (BRU)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Language: Dutch, French and German. English may be spoken.
Dialling code from SA: +32
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right. For non-EU nationals an international driving licence is recommended.
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the round two-pin type
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink, but bottled water is very popular with the locals.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however they are expensive and visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Speaking the “wrong” language can cause offence – make sure that you know which language should be spoken. If in doubt, English should be spoken.
Local Offences / Laws: All individuals are required by law to carry identification at all times. Smoking is prohibited in certain public areas.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Although credit cards are widely accepted, if visiting a smaller village, be sure to carry cash.
Duty Free: Belgium is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs – all at tax-free equivalent prices.
If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Belgium by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Restricted imports include firearms, narcotics, plants, animals and their products. Endangered species must be accompanied by a CITES permit.