CapitalBruxelles (1.048.500 inhabitants in 2008)
Population10.309.725 inhabitants in 2004
Time zoneUTC +1. Summer time applies
LanguageFrench, Flemish and German. German is widely spoken.
ReligionChristian catholic, with some Jewish, Muslim and protestant minorities.
Entry requirementsPassport and visa are not necessary for European citizens. A valid identity card is sufficient. Most of European driving licenses are accepted.
Travelling with petsSmall sized pets like cats, dogs and ferrets must travel with an animal passport (in force since 2004) and have an identification microchip or tattoo. Also, they must be vaccinated against rabies.
Health and safetyBoth private and public health structures are excellent. No vaccination is required. General safety is good, even if there might be a risk of terrorist attacks just like in all UE Countries.
ClimateBelgique enjoys a temperate Atlantic climate, with moderate cold winters and hot windy summers. Rainfalls are frequent and equally distributed throughout the year. The climate differences from region to region are determined by height and distance from the sea: in fact the influence of the sea is weaker inland, so the climate tends to be more continental, with strong excursions among the seasons.
Form of GovernmentFederal constitutional monarchy.
EconomyBelgian economy is solid and well structured, and it is mainly based on industrial activities and commerce. It is one of the most dynamic and competitive economies in Europe, relying on an efficient transport network and several mineral resources, especially cool. The regions of Flanders and Vallony represent the most productive areas of the Country. Tourism has been growing and growing in recent years. The main tourist attractions concentrate in art cities, sea resorts on the coast and the hilly region of Ardennes. Agriculture employs only 5% of the work force.
ElectricityVoltage: 230 V – Frequency: 50 Hz
Posts, banks and telephonePost offices and banks are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 16 pm. They are closed on Sunday and public holidays. Some banks close for lunch break at midday. Mobile coverage is excellent.
Country code: 0032 (also for mobile phones) followed by the local code (without zero) and the number.
First aid: 100 or 112