Touring Bruges in Belgium
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Belgium - Best Tours & Trips 2019

For a small country, Belgium packs in lots of diverse cultures, landscapes, and cities. Split into two distinct regions, Flanders to the North and Wallonia to the South, Belgium is perhaps best known for its culinary gems, including chocolate and, yes, waffles. More recently, companies specializing in Belgian beer tours have sprung up, offering travelers an insight into the mysterious world of Belgium’s Abbeys and the monks who oversee them.

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Travel Style

Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 117 $ 8,155

Price Per Day

Trip Length


Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.


Flights & Transport

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Top Belgium Experiences and Attractions

Top Belgium Experiences

Peering through a see-through church in Borgloon. From some angles it looks solid, from others you can see straight through it - this chapel/art installation is a hidden treasure in Belgium.

Biking through Belgium's expansive Sonian Forest, where flat routes weave in and out of huge beech and oak trees - there are not only maps at the ranger station, but local microbrews!

Making music at the Musical Instrument Museum, one of the most interesting museums in Brussels - you’ll be just as impressed by the art nouveau architecture as by the instrument collection from all over the world.

Visiting the Hallerbos (or Blue Forest) in springtime, when the 1,360-acre forest is complemented by a carpet of blooming bluebells - a favorite Belgium outdoor experience.

Strolling through the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken on the grounds of the Palace of Laeken, a must-see for nature lovers in Belgium.

Exploring the best castles in Belgium, the fairytale Gravensteen in Ghent and the Bouillon Castle in the Ardennes, one of the oldest castles in Belgium.

Climbing around in the Brussels World’s Fair 1958 Atomium - all but three of its nine gigantic spheres are available to enter and explore.

Visiting the site of the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels, with its famous farmhouses, huge panoramic painting, Lion’s Mound and interesting visitors center.

Going back in time at the Flanders Field WWI battlefield sites, the In Flanders Field Museum at Ypers, the many cemeteries and the somber memorials.

Visiting the world’s largest brewery in the buzzing college town of Leuven (also home to the world’s oldest Catholic university).

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Belgium Trip Reviews

110 Belgium Tour Reviews - Summary 92% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 71
Great 30
Average 7
Disappointing 2
Terrible 0

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Sri Lanka Trip

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Sri Lanka - fabulous trip but very poor Tour Rep
Just returned from a 12 day escorted tour to Sri Lanka (24 Feb - 8 March). The trip was excellent. The hotels were fabulous. Our guide Ravi was very good and very knowledgeable.

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Operator Riviera Travel

Culture shock never felt so good

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Beer steins, cabarets, sex shops, cows on mountains. This is what people who live in Europe see everyday. Exploring all these cultures in one trip is why I enjoyed our tour so much (aside from our outstanding tour director Brek and amazing driver Ivan). It is a glimpse, so you dont get much time in Amsterdam. Maybe 2.5 hours so I would suggest planning ahead for that. My favorite optionals were the local Switzerland guided horse and carriage tour, and the mount pilatus excursion. Both of which were in Switzerland (I'm Italian and just found Switzerland is my favorite country in Europe). The Caberet optional in paris is expensive, but the show is PERFECT. The Rhine river cruise optional allows you to see almost every important monument in paris while sitting down which is awesome considering it is only a glimpse. Our tour director Brek knew exactly where to stop and at what times it would be best to do so. As soon as we walked off the tour bus to stop and have a look at the Eiffel Tower it literally sparkled. He timed it that way. Anyways, I would take this tour if you're looking for an affordable, stress free, and under 10 day tour.

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Operator Trafalgar

Excellent vacation, biking in Holland and Belgium, 6 days

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Excellent vacation biking around Holland & Belgium with Backroads. See my videos to get a flavor for the trip. Biking in Netherlands, May 2014 Biking in Bruges, Belgium (May 2014)

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Operator Backroads

The most amazing river trip in Europe

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Traveling from Belgium through 6 countries to Switzerland is one of the most amazing travel experiences in Europe, especially if traveling with Grand Circle Travel. The ship's crew and staff are the most professional and personable folks that I've ever had the fortune to travel with. Not only have I traveled European rivers with these folks once, but have done so several times. For a single traveler, traveling with Grand Circle is a great bargain, as there is very seldom an extra charge for traveling solo and if their is, the price is very modest. You can't go wrong with these folks.

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Operator Grand Circle Cruise Line

i had a wonderful time

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

In May of 2016 we did the Heart of Europe Grand Tour which started in Amsterdam and ended in London. Both my husband and i had a wonderful time and saw sites we may have never seen before(we have been to Europe before but only to Germany and Amsterdam) Our Tour Guide was Ron Lazet and he was wonderful and very knowledgeable. Would recommend these tours for anyone. I hope to be able to do another tour in the near future

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Operator Image Tours

F'ing amazing

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

F'ing amazing

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Operator G Adventures

Belgium Tours and Travel Guide

Belgium Attractions & Landmarks Guide

For a small country, Belgium packs in lots of diverse cultures, landscapes, and cities. Split into two distinct regions, Flanders to the North and Wallonia to the South, Belgium is perhaps best known for its culinary gems, including chocolate and, yes, waffles. More recently, companies specializing in Belgian beer tours have sprung up, offering travelers an insight into the mysterious world of Belgium’s Abbeys and the monks who oversee them.

An Introduction to Belgium

Belgium is a fantastic introductory country to Europe. It’s easy to get around, there’s little to no language barrier, affordable flights, a compact size and an incredible array of historical, cultural and architectural treasures. Into the world wars? Belgium history tours are a big draw here, with thousands upon thousands of war sites to visit.

Foodies find much to love - a Belgium culture and culinary tour will not only include those crispy frites and creamy Belgium chocolates, but also that perfect beer for which the country is known - there are more than 1,000 breweries within the country borders.

Main Regions to Visit on a Belgium Tour

Center your guided Belgium tour on one or both of the small country’s two main regions: Flanders in the north, where the main language is Dutch, and Wallonia, where they speak French for the most part.

Flanders is home to Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent - all brimming with gothic and baroque architecture, winding canals and world-class dining establishments. The landscape is relatively flat here, so a Belgium cycling tour would be a good choice if you’re looking to get up close and personal, as well as rev up your heart rate. There’s a spectacular nature preserve here, beloved by Belgium outdoor enthusiasts: Het Zwin on the North Sea coast, famous for its migratory birds and sea lavender in the summer.

In Wallonia, your Belgium tour will undoubtedly include the lush Ardennes forest and the Haute Fagnes landscape for wildlife viewing. Outdoor adventure tours in Belgium will often center their stays here for the many hiking, biking and canoeing opportunities.

Top 10 Things to Eat and Drink in Belgium

Chocolate, waffles, French fries, beer - it’s here in spades.

  1. FritesThe ultimate comfort food, Belgian fries are famous for a reason. They’re usually double-fried (yes!), and sometimes even triple-fried, and are best with ketchup, mayonnaise or both.  
  2. Yule log cake - A favorite Belgian sweet, this rolled-up Genoise sponge cake is filled with buttercream and topped with chocolate frosting or ganache and woodsy decorations - it’s a ode to the Norse god Thor and the end of winter.
  3. StoempA popular Brussels meal, this side dish is a blend of mashed potatoes, vegetables and sometimes sausage or stewed meat to make it into a full meal.
  4. Chocolate hands in AntwerpThe best chocolate to eat in Antwerp is the severed hand (really) - ask about the myth of the Druon Antigoon giant for whom the hand is named.
  5. Carbonnade à la FlamandeBeer, beef and onions - the three simple, yet hearty ingredient in Belgium’s best stew. If you love bourguignon, this is for you.
  6. Chimay cheesePair a monk-made, aromatic, ale-flavored cheese with a Chimay “red” beer for the best countryside dining experience in Belgium.
  7. OlibollenSay “Happy New Year” with this traditional deep-fried dough filled with raisins or chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  8. Boulet au Sauce Lapin“Meatballs in rabbit sauce” can be misleading - the meatballs are usually made of pork and beef. Eat this popular Belgian meat dish with a sweet and sour sauce of onion, vinegar, brown sugar and sirop de Liège.
  9. GrisetteMake like a 19th-century miner and sip this favorite Belgian beer - a light-bodied, somewhat carbonated farmhouse ale originating in Hainaut.
  10. WaterzooiSave room for this heavy, creamy fish soup (often made with chicken instead) with an egg and butter base.

And one more for the sweet tooths:

  1. Cuberdons, one of Belgium’s best candies. Also known in Flemish as neuzekes or “small noses.” Bite the top off the candy shell, conical outer part, then suck out the sticky raspberry syrup that drips out.

A Guide to Belgian Waffles

What’s a Belgium gourmet tour without a carb-loaded dose of sweet, doughy Belgian waffles? These puffy little pastries date back to the Middle Ages, but they weren’t as sweet back then. Over time, sweeteners and eventually yeast were added to the batter, so the consistency morphed from cracker-like to the waffle of today.

They exploded onto the world culinary scene when a man named Maurice Vermersch sold traditional Brussels waffles during the 1964 New York City World’s Fair.

A couple of top tips for your Belgian waffle tour:

There are two different types of waffle sold in Brussels: the Brussels Waffle, made in a perfect rectangle, light and airy inside, crispy outside and a bit less sweet, and the Lieges Waffle, oval-ish in shape, denser than the Brussels version and with a caramelized, sweeter exterior.

Go for toppings (or not). Try Belgian waffles plain or with a bit of powdered sugar, as the Belgians do for the most part, or try any combination of topping you can imagine. Most Belgian waffle shops you visit as part of your Belgium tour will offer everything from caramel and nutella to freshly whipped cream and fruit.

Mussel Season in Belgium

Any summertime Belgium gourmet tour should include as many samplings of North Sea mussels as possible. Moules-frites or mosselen-friet (mussels and chips) are ubiquitous at cafes and best washed down with some of the best beer in the world. Try this unofficial national dish of Belgium June through April.

What to Buy in Belgium

Whether you’re sampling one of the 600 different varieties of beer or bringing home a gift of lace for just about everyone you know, here are our favorite items to purchase when we’re traveling in Belgium.

  1. Beer - Like we said, 600 different types…try the ones that entice you, then purchase a glass or two from a brewery as a unique souvenir. Be sure to sample the Trappist variety, produced by the monastic orders.
  2. Chocolate - Go on a Belgium chocolate tour and indulge - try the worth-the-price treats of Neuhaus, the chocolate croissant of Wittamer and the pure varieties and macaroons at the renowned Pierre Marcolini.
  3. WafflesEat your fill, then bring some to your family and friends, or pick up waffle flour to bake some of your own when you’re home.
  4. LaceBelgian lace lovers can pick up handmade items, from tablecloths to bridal veils - look for different types, such as duchess, princess and renaissance. The perfect souve
  5. Speculoos spreadBased on the favorite Belgium cookie made with brown sugar and spices, this spread is a delightful indulgent treat.

Six Trappist Breweries in Belgium

What’s a Belgium tour without Trappist beer? Wondering what the hype is about? Here’s what it means to be a true Trappist brewery: “measuring up to the quality and traditional standards rooted in the monastic life of a real Trappist community.”

Spread out between Flanders and Wallonia, the six Trappist breweries in Belgium include:

A Belgium guided beer tour may be able to ensure entry into the breweries and/or monasteries that are not otherwise open to the public. Typically, each brewery will have a cafe, where one can sample the beer and other monk-produced items, such as cheese and pȃté.

The most accessible Trappist brewery in Belgium is Orval - and its is also the most impressive to look at. Explore the 18th-century cellar and well exhibition and the ruins of the original 12th-century abbey.

Top 10 Castles in Belgium

Belgium is brimming with medieval castles - from crumbling ruins to postcard-perfect palaces you might feel Disney is borrowing inspiration from. These are our favorites to visit on a Belgium tour:

  1. Gravensteen van GhentCreepy, in the coolest possible way.
  2. Kasteel van Gaasbeek - From the pages of a fairytale.
  3. Freÿr sur MeuseA good starting point for castle lovers.
  4. Groot-Bijgaarden Castle and GardensTulips galore.
  5. BouillonChambers and dungeons on a steep bluff.
  6. Beersel13th-century wonder full of turrets, tower and even a drawbridge.
  7. Modave CastleRing the bell when you enter.
  8. Chateau de Beloeil - Gorgeous gardens.
  9. Alden Biesen Castle - Pretty as a picture.
  10. Chateau de WarouxArt by Chagall.

Top Museums in Belgium

From art to world war memorabilia, a Belgium museum tour should hit these top choices:  

  1. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, BrusselsTwo museums in one, the Museum of Historical Art and Modern Art Museum. Look for top Belgian artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Hieronymus Bosch, as well as Rene Magritte, Paul Delvaux, James Ensor and more.
  2. Musée de la Vie Wallonne, LiègeLearn about the Belgium French-speaking Wallonia region in this former 17th-century convent.
  3. Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (Royal Fine Arts Museum), Antwerp A comprehensive Belgium art tour should definitely include this ode to the Flemish Masters - in fact, you’ll find here the biggest collection of Rubens masterpieces in the world.
  4. Cinquantenaire Dating back to 1880, this museum complex in Brussels is home to the the Army Museum, the Auto World Museum and an interesting art museum, among others.
  5. Musee Magritte Museum, Brussels - Magritte fans will find the largest collection of Magritte works in Belgium - more than 200 pieces.
  6. The Museum by the Stream New to Antwerp, the MAS boasts a panoramic rooftop, a show-stopping restaurant and temporary and permanent exhibitions that tie Antwerp’s culture and history to the outside world.
  7. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels Check out the best dinosaur exhibit in Belgium - entire skeletons!
  8. Museum of Music Instruments, Brussels -The most popular music museum in Belgium, the Art Nouveau building houses more than 7,000 instructions, with about 1,500 on display for visitors to see.
  9. Flanders Field, Ypres - Belgium tours for World War I history lovers must include this somber setting, complete with the Flanders Field Museum.

Top Cities in Belgium

1. Antwerp

Funky, rejuvenated Antwerp has reemerged as one of Europe’s favorite cities and should be high on your list of top cities to visit in Belgium. This was once an important trading city, the hometown of Peter Paul Rubens and now known for its high fashion, world-class museums, hip art galleries, alfresco dining, people-watching on the main square and an overall heady spot to soak up Belgium’s history, culture and traditions.

2. Bruges

You’ll get lost - in a happy way - along the labyrinthian canals that wend their way through Bruges, telling time by the clock bell tower that chimes every quarter-hour. Gaze upon stunning castles, indulge in creamy chocolates and the world’s best beer and stroll through Grote Markt Square on your guided tour of this “Venice of the North.”

3. Brussels

Capital of Belgium, Brussels is a must-see city on your Belgium tour - it’s busy and crowded yes, being the headquarters of NATO and the European Union, but the Bruxellois, as the residents are known, are hospitable and kind, welcoming you to their Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Grand-Place, Town Hall and verdant parks.

4. Ghent

Looking for a more off-the-beaten-path Belgium city to visit? Don’t miss the working city of Ghent, with its historic quarter, huge cathedral with its Van Eyck altarpiece, art and design museums and a favorite dining destination, the Patershol restaurant quarter.

Outdoor Travel in Belgium

1. Ardennes Forest

For skiers, hikers, kayakers, mountain bikers and horseback riders, the La Roche area of the Ardennes Forest is the top outdoor adventure spot in Belgium. Fill up after an active day with the Ardennes’ top culinary treats: smoked ham, venison, wild boar, pâté and Trappist beer. Don’t miss the Castle of Bouillon, Han-sur-Lesse and Labyrinth of Barvaux.

2. Dinant

There are natural caves and caverns for exploring in the Namur province, another top outdoor enthusiast favorite in Belgium. There’s an amazing diversity of wildlife here, the Meuse River, the Caves of Han and the Grotto of Dinant to discover.

3. Het Zwin National Park

Play in the water all day in this top Belgium birding spot, paddling in dykes, ponds and lagoons and checking off all manner of freshwater and seawater birds on your life list.

4. Hautes Fagnes Nature Reserve

Look for the roe deer, black grouse and the pretty white wintergreen chickweed. This is Belgium’s oldest nature reserve.

5. Antwerp Zoo

Love animals and just being outside in the fresh air? Head to Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the world - it opened in 1843.

Top Belgium Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

Common Belgium Tour Lengths

Even if you’re pressed for time, your guided Belgium tour can include a hefty dose of local culture, history and architecture. Have a weekend? Explore Bruges and its Belfry, Markt Square, Historium and art museums. Longer weekend? Add on Brussels, with its Grand-Place and amazing beer, and Ghent, with its lively summer outdoor festivals. Have a week? Add to your complete Belgium tour with stops in funky Antwerp, with its world-class museums, and the sobering Flanders Field WWI battlefield sites.

Weather in Belgium

One thing we can guarantee about your Belgium tour - good weather is not guaranteed. In fact, Belgium is one of Europe’s rainiest regions, and the dampness in the air can make you feel a lot colder than the actual temperature. Dress in layers, invest in a good raincoat and umbrella and be ready to take mini-breaks in cozy cafes for coffee and a waffle to warm up. Your best bet for good weather for your Belgium guided tour is between May and September - we certainly can’t promise it won’t rain then, but at least it will be warmer than in the winter months.

Safety During a Belgium Tour

While the country is generally considered safe for travelers, you can expect that the petty crime rates are higher in Belgium’s main cities. Serious crime, however, is quite low. If you are out in the evening during your Belgium guided tour, consider avoiding Schaerbeek, Brussels North, Brussels Center, Molenbeek and Anderlecht in Brussels; the areas around the port and docks in Antwerp; and, in general, Bruges and Ghent. Should you be pickpocketed or robbed, most of the policemen in Belgium speak French, Dutch and English.

Who Will Enjoy a Belgium Tour?

With its enticing blend of medieval architecture, small lakeside towns, verdant natural areas and thick forests, a Belgium tour will appeal to just about all manner of traveler. Those with a penchant for history particularly enjoy going behind the scenes at centuries-old churches and castles. The architecture in Brussels is intricate and impressive - the Grote Markt is not to be missed for this very reason.

Foodies are also in for a treat on a Belgium tour - if not for the waffles and frites alone. Gourmands find much to love, from the meatballs with sirop de Liège to the scrumptious, stick-to-your-ribs carbonnade à la flamande (or stoofvlees in Flemish). And did you know that Belgium considers itself the “vegetarian capital of the world”? Veggie eaters will find plenty to choose from, particularly in Ghent.

For the storybook European experience, a Belgium guided tour is just the ticket. Ease of train travel, widely spoken English, delicious food, a captivating history, charming towns and a welcoming ambience make it a great choice for a compact, yet comprehensive Europe guided tour.

8 Top Things to Keep in Mind Before Going on a Belgium Tour

  1. You can cover a lot of ground. Your Belgium guided tour is likely to focus on the whole country. Its compactness lends itself well to immersive sightseeing and enables you to explore all the main cities and attractions within a one-week Belgium visit
  2. Don’t mind the rain. Pack a raincoat and sturdy umbrella for your Belgium guided tour and you’ll be miles more comfortable than those who simply hoped for sun. Soaked? You’ll soon cheer up with a warm, fluffy waffle.
  3. English is widely accepted. Practically everyone speaks English, so even though you’ll hear a lot of French, Dutch, German or Flemish during your Belgium tour, most residents are happy to converse with you in English.
  4. Belgium is part of the European Union. You will not need to go through customs if entering the country for your Belgium guided tour from another EU country. This also means the local currency in Belgium is the Euro.
  5. Beer is more potent here. Excited to sample all of Belgium’s famous beer? Take it easy as you visit bars throughout your Belgium visit - the alcohol content usually falls between 7.5 and 10.5 percent, on the high end for those not accustomed to drinking the local brew. Inside tip: Do not steal a beer glass as a souvenir - it seriously ticks off the bar owners.
  6. Tipping? Not so much. Unless you had out-of-this-world service for which you cannot imagine not leaving a tip, it is not mandatory nor expected on guided Belgium tours.
  7. Use the facilities in restaurants, museums, etc. Public (free) bathrooms are scarce throughout the country, so during your visit to Belgium, we would suggest always using the facilities at the restaurants, cafes and museums you visit. Even if you do find a public bathroom, there is likely to be a small fee.
  8. Time your Belgium tour well. If you’re not a fan of a wet climate, aim for visiting Belgium at the beginning of winter or over the summer.

All Belgium tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.6 for all Belgium trips.

228 trips from 57 tour companies with 110 reviews

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