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Best hotels, facts and information in Belgium
Between France and the Netherlands, Belgium is the crossroads of Western Europe. Most Western European capitals are within 620 miles of Brussels, the country’s capital and home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. From dunes along the northern coast through Flemish lowlands to the forests of the Ardennes hills, Belgium is marked by three distinct regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, bilingual Brussels and French-speaking Wallonia in the south. A divide between north and south has led to the possibility of the country breaking up, though polls have shown most Belgians want to remain as one federation.
Smaller than Maryland, you can take in a lot of Europe in a little time in Belgium. Cruise the canals of the fairytale town of Bruges and witness the well-preserved medieval architecture; explore a castle in Namur; shop for antiques at a market in Liege; take your pick of the many museums in Brussels.
But of course, any decent trip must include the triumvirate of deliciousness: frites (French fries), chocolate and beer. Belgians have been perfecting frites since the 17th century, the misnomer “French fries” apparently derived from old English: “to French” meant “cut into sticks.” More than 2,000 chocolate shops throughout the country indulge the sweetest tooth with pralines, chocolate confections of a sculpted chocolate shell and a center filling. Over 450 varieties of beer are brewed, including at abbey breweries that use centuries-old methods to produce dark ales renowned throughout the world.
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