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Belgium

A rail trip provides the perfect opportunity to experience the European cultural melting pot that is Belgium. Whether you are looking to drink in the nation’s beautiful scenery, or enjoy the fanfare of their bustling cities, Belgium has it all.
 
Belgium lies on the east coast of mainland Europe, sandwiched between France, the Netherlands and Germany. It takes its language from these three surrounding countries and subsequently, has adopted their cultures as its own: Belgium is, in many ways, a smaller, more condensed and filtered version of its three neighbours. Discover why many consider Belgium to be one of Europe’s hidden gems by setting off on one of our Belgium rail holidays.
 

Things to know

  • The Belgian city of Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world. The city has been the seat of diamond trade since the 15th century and today over 80% of the worlds rough diamonds pass through to be shaped
  • Belgian has three official languages, none of which are ‘Belgian’. Depending on which part of the country you are in, you will hear locals speaking, French, German or Dutch
  • One of Belgium's national symbols is a small statue of a weeing boy, which is situated in Brussels. The world-famous fountain dubbed Manneken Pis also has hundreds of different outfits, which are changed each week

Key Destinations

TGV
Belgium by rail

Travelling through Belgium by rail will allow you to experience all the joy of the country’s vast green countryside in between its beautiful cities. The efficient rail structure in Belgium connects the western Bruges with the central capital of Brussels. It also connects to the nearby municipal of Dilbeek, where the world-famous Floralia flower exhibition is held.
 
Brussels
Fantastic cities

Belgium’s capital city, Brussels, is a must-see for those who appreciate the striking architecture and the bold, bright colours of a vibrant but classy city. The equally impressive Bruges, with its spidery canals and charming dwellings, gives Belgium all the charm and appeal of the Netherlands, but with a gentler atmosphere.
Belgium Chocolate
Food and drink

A country that is famed for its desserts and treats, Belgium is a haven for those who have a sweet-tooth. Its deep, rich chocolate is a worldwide luxury, while its sticky waffles are available both in restaurants and from street vendors. Belgium’s Trappist beer — brewed in six monasteries across the country — is a regular winner at the World Beer Awards, so be sure to sample the local produce during your visit.
Rich cultural history

As Belgium is a trilingual country, it is very culturally diverse. Cultural norms from French, German and Dutch communities have merged to create something entirely unique. The Belgian contribution to the gothic and baroque schools of art is particularly notable — it is perhaps most evident in their religious art, a fine example being the Basilica of Holy Blood in Bruges. Belgian mythology is also celebrated in the Carnival of Binche, a festival where people wear wax masks and hats made of ostrich feathers.