Belgium is a small nation with a big role to play in European life and world history. If you are interested in the First World War, Belgium has a million sites to keep you busy during your visit. But what people mostly come here for is the beer, chocolate, and fries. There are over 1,000 breweries in this little country. Belgium’s chocolate rivals the Swiss, and the frites will make you look at french fries differently for the rest of your life. This country usually just gets glossed over as travelers visit Brussels before moving on, however it has a lot of great medieval towns, historical sites, and breweries worth sticking around for. This travel guide to Belgium will help point the way.
Accommodation – Prices will really vary for a night’s stay depending on where you are in the country. A night in a hostel dormitory room will start around 20 EUR, though none are more than 30 EUR. Private rooms are around 25-35 EUR per night for a double room. Budget hotels start at around 45 EUR per night for a single room, but in a place like Bruges, your best value option is going to be renting a guest house or a room from a local.
Food – Casual meals and fast food cost around 12 EUR. A meal in a sit down restaurant with table service will cost about 23 EUR. Frites (french fries and a great snack) cost around 4 EUR. If you want to cook your meals, there are some great markets throughout the country that will allow you to eat cheap. Expect to pay around 55 EUR for a week’s worth of groceries.
Transportation – City metro tickets are roughly 2-3 EUR per ride. Travel around the country isn’t expensive as the country is small and easy to get around. Most intercity train tickets cost around 15 EUR for a second class fare.
Activities – Belgium is all about soaking up the local culture, whether it’s the international flavor of Brussels or the historic cobblestones in Bruges. Museums vary in cost from 5-14 EUR, but can be affordable, especially if you have a student card to get discounted entry. Free walking tours around town will give you a glimpse into the country’s history – information is easy to find at hostels around town.
Money Saving Tips
Metro passes – Day passes for the metro will save you money over the cost of a single ticket. For example, a day ticket is 7,50 EUR, whereas a single is 2,10/2,50 EUR (purchased outside/inside vehicle) on the Brussels metro.
Skip the bread – Be careful when ordering food in tourist hotspots as a familiar trick is to offer you items which you might presume are free (bread rolls for example) but then end up on your bill!
Eat cheap – Eat at little sandwich, kebab, or frites shops to save money on food.
Drink beer – If you want to drink, this country has so many breweries (the most per capita in any country in the world!) that beer is the cheapest form of alcohol. A beer will set you back just a few Euros.
Source: Nomadic Matt