5 places to go to Belgium for

10 places worth visiting in Belgium

Belgium can be called an underestimated pearl of Europe. But this is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities!

So here are 5 of the most beautiful places in Belgium worth visiting ...

Bruges

By the way, Bruges is the most popular city for travelers and for good reason! It is also one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe. Bruges is a perfectly preserved medieval city.

This is the place to go for couples on a romantic European getaway. Tourists are struck by the collection of stunning market squares, gabled-roof houses, and winding cobbled streets that combine into compact, largely traffic-free traffic.

Be sure to visit Burg Square, the 14th century town hall, the market square with a 13th century bell tower with panoramic views and of course one of the best local restaurants!

Dinan

This is a truly stunning Belgian town nestled between a cliff and a river. It is located on the banks of the Meuse River in the Walloon region of Belgium.

The picturesque city is surrounded by an impressive cliff and protected by an ancient citadel, while its historic buildings are steeped in local legends.

A city once known as Belgium's best kept secret and a great place to visit and explore.

It is a small but beautiful port city. It is also a very calm and picturesque place.

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Dear pleasure

"Belgium has a favorable investment climate, tax preferences, a wide network of double taxation treaties, a reliable banking system," says Oleg Lemeshko, international lawyer at Elma Global. The specialist says that, on the one hand, Belgium is a country of relatively high taxes (VAT is 19-21%, but in some cases it can reach 33%). On the other hand, the Belgian tax system is very favorable for top managers and directors of holding companies within the international business structure, as well as for wealthy people. There is no property tax, no tax on net capital, no capital gains tax allocated on shares (Belgium is one of the last countries in Europe to have no such tax).

Top managers and directors with residence permit status are considered foreigners living in Belgium, additional tax benefits apply to them. Tax is levied only on income received in the territory of the country, outside its borders - no.

“In my opinion, the law on Belgian citizenship is the most liberal and most interesting document in terms of immigration to the European Union,” Oleg Lemeshko believes. - The right to apply for Belgian citizenship can be obtained after 3 years of permanent residence in the country. Compared to the rest of Western Europe, the naturalization period in Belgium is minimal ”. The expert says that the procedure for business immigration to Belgium itself is a very costly undertaking, comparable in cost to immigration to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and France. For example, when registering a company, you need to deposit the authorized capital of € 18,600, and this money can only be spent on the activities of the company. It should be understood that obtaining Belgian citizenship in three years is possible only if the company is functioning, there is a source of income in Belgium, taxes are paid, and also subject to physical residence in the country.

Not chocolate

As for small business in Belgium, due to the international specifics of port cities, there is no need to focus solely on consumption within the diaspora. Although one should not forget about the numerous "friends" either. As a result, we have warehouses of Russian products, we hire Russian nannies, we take our children to a music school according to the Russian method, which is typical for business within the diaspora. But at the same time, we run cafes, restaurants, car washes, travel agencies, hotels and even factories - something that is designed for consumers regardless of origin.

Competitive conditions in the country are quite tough, which is indirectly evidenced by the abundance of advertisements for the sale of business. They offer a beauty salon for half a million dollars in Ghent, a logistics company for $ 150 thousand in Brussels itself. The next ad is the sale of a bistro in Bruges. The owner, a former Novgorod citizen, Evgeny, said that he started the business with the fact that for € 2 thousand. I rented a space for a cafe a month and spent the same amount on paperwork, accounting services, insurance and other formalities. At the same time, he managed to get a loan, for which he bought furniture, equipment, and decorated the interior.

It should be borne in mind that Belgium is a country with strong culinary traditions and rather strict regulation in the field of catering. For example, in order to prepare desserts, you must have a certificate of graduation from the pastry school, in order to deal with meat or fish dishes, you must present a chef diploma. Without special education, it is more or less realistic to penetrate the fast food industry. Sandwiches and beer brought Eugene from € 500 to € 1000 per day (the latter is a very good, rare day, a holiday). In total, it was recruited from € 16 thousand to € 20 thousand per month. After all the necessary purchases, payment of bills, rent and other things, Evgeny had € 2,000 net, sometimes € 3,000. And this is considered a good result by European standards. It is clear that with this order of income, you have to constantly save money and look for new ways to attract customers, for example, through advertising on blogs and social networks, for example, posting discount coupons in travel communities. Such advertising is still effective and, if you approach the issue correctly, is absolutely free. With all these layouts, Eugene worked for two years almost seven days a week. Now he put his cafe up for sale - for $ 130 thousand. The official reason for the sale of the business, indicated in the ad, is to move to another location. This is true, but not all. “I'm dead tired,” Yevgeny admits in a private conversation. - But anyhow, I don't want to give my brainchild to anyone either. This cafe can be further developed by a friendly family, for example, spouses or brothers-sisters, in short, as a family business. "

Catering is an area that requires constant monitoring in any country. There are less labor intensive activities. “Anyone who wants to start a business should study local holidays. All these races of frogs, processions of cats and witches, parades of flowers are fun and materially useful things. Here you can look for your niche for those who want to serve tourists, ”says translator Irina. The fact is that there are three languages ​​in Belgium: French, German and Dutch. Paradoxically, the more languages ​​there are in the country, the faster the socialization of migrants takes place. Well, there will always be work for translators. Irina knows several languages ​​and has recently been developing author's, exclusive excursion routes for tourists and accompanying them. “I don't even know what our people like better - carnivals or gastronomic tourism. But I can argue with those who consider the tourist market to be very tight. Fresh ideas are just needed here! " - says Irina.

Marina is a stylist and has an interest in Brussels and the surrounding area. It is Belgium that is considered the place where you can find things of intellectual fashion and various vintages. The hunting grounds are local designer shops and outlets and handicraft shops. “People who know a lot about fine things bring hand-made carpets, handmade blankets, dishes from Belgium (on order and not only),” Marina says. Sales go through both word of mouth and the Internet. For example, women's blogging communities are actively involved in the sale of clothing brought from sales. Another option - more than once there were orders when the stylist was asked to select and bring a wardrobe for a specific person.

The only area where it is absolutely useless for beginners to bridge is the confectionery and chocolate business. In Belgium, it is actually a national brand. Should you reinvent the chocolate wheel?

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ⓘ Tourism in Belgium

Tourism in Belgium is a branch of the economy that provides 2.% of Belgium's GDP and provides employment for 3.% of the working-age population. In 2005, 6 million tourists visited Belgium. Two thirds of tourists come from the countries closest to Belgium - France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Tourism thrives most on the well-developed coastline in terms of infrastructure and in the Ardennes. Brussels and the views of Flanders attract many tourists with an interest in culture.

Belgium ranks 21st on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness List presented at the 2007 International Economic Forum - below its neighbors.

Transport

Belgium has 3 main passenger airports: Brussels Airport, also known as Zaventem by the name of the town where it is mainly located - the country's main airport, Brussels-Charleroi Airport, about 50 km south of Brussels, mainly serves low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizzair; and Antwerp Airport IATA: ANR has some business flights, including the reasonably priced CityJet link to London City Airport. There are also airports in Ostend, Liege and Kortrijk, but they only serve cargo and charter flights.

The length of Belgium's railways is 3592 km 2012, almost 0.2 km per 1 km² of area, including 3,022 km - double-track and 3,002 km - electrified lines. The track gauge is 1,435 mm. On ordinary lines, a voltage of 3 kV is used, on high-speed lines - 25 kV.

Major European highways pass through Belgium, including the E-19, E-17, E-40, E-411 and E-313.

The port of Zeebrugge is connected by ferry service to Kingston upon Hull England and Rosyth Scotland. Belgium's inland waterways are 2,043 km long, of which 1,532 km are constantly used for commercial purposes.

National cuisine

The national cuisine of Belgium combines the culinary traditions of neighboring countries - France, Germany, the Netherlands with its own culinary traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. While homemade Belgian food is simpler and more filling, as in German or Dutch cuisines, French cuisine has greatly influenced restaurant cuisine.

Belgian cuisine is famous primarily for chocolate, waffles, French fries and beer, which many experts consider the best in the world; There are 115 breweries in the country that produce more than 500 types of beer, the most famous of which are: lambic, scream, gueuze, Trappist beer and others. Among the Belgian waffles, the two most popular types are Brussels and Liege. Liège waffles are hard, oval or round, with caramelized sugar pieces inside "sugar pearls". Brussels waffles are softer and more fluffy, rectangular in shape, usually served warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar, whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, chocolate or fruit.

The Belgians prefer seasonal and regional products, the cuisine of both conflicting regions - Flemish and Walloon - have their own characteristics and variety of dishes. So, in the coastal regions, fish and seafood dishes prevail, in the Ardennes game is more often used.

Belgium is a country of contrasts: here history coexists with modernity. Walking around one city, you can enjoy both the historical heritage protected by UNESCO and ultra-modern constructions. Shopping, beautiful landscapes, delicious traditional cuisine, special atmosphere are just a few of the advantages of this small but attractive country. What to see in Belgium?

Grand Place, Brussels

The Grand Place is a market square dating back to the 12th century. Today it is the historical center of the city, where two architectural monuments are located - the Town Hall (built in 1455) and the Bread House ("King's House" in Dutch). To get the most pleasant experience from visiting the square, it is worth planning a trip in August: since 1971, every two years in August, the square is transformed by a giant floral carpet measuring 24 by 77 meters and an area of ​​1,800 square meters. ...

Manneken Pis

The most famous statue in Belgium is the Manneken Pis located near the Grand Place. There is no consensus on the date of installation of the sculpture: it is believed that this happened between the 14th and 15th centuries. The boy was given a modern look by Jer Deckenois in 1619. On ordinary days, the boy "emits" a stream of water, on holidays - beer or wine, and the change of his wardrobe takes place solemnly: honorary residents of the city accompanied by orchestral accompaniment.

Atomium

The Atomium is the main ultra-modern landmark of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The construction has become a symbol of technological progress - the developments of scientists that allow using the energy of the atom for peaceful purposes. The shape of the structure completely repeats the iron grid enlarged 165 million times. Some of the balls are hollow inside and are available for visiting; you need to move between them along escalators - connecting pipes. At the top of the figure is the Mini-Europe miniature park and an observation deck.

Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, Brussels

The Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert are the first shopping galleries in Brussels, opened in 1947. The length of the glazed passage is only 212 meters, on which there are:

  • Boutiques
  • Art and craft workshops
  • Restaurants
  • Theater stage
  • Museum letters and monoscripts.

While walking in the Royal Galleries, you can buy rare, antique, branded and ethnic goods.

Three years ago we moved to live in Belgium. I am writing these lines and I cannot believe it myself. Three years! Sometimes it seems like it was yesterday. And another time you remember how many things happened - as if they had lived a new life.

Definitely, we are glad to see such changes. For us, moving to Belgium has become a new step, thanks to which we have grown a lot: both as a personal growth, as well as material.

Not without complications:

  • Another language. And not one, but two: French and Dutch. We taught them from scratch.
  • Integration. Another country - different rules and you need to know them.
  • Social circle and support. Whom to run to, whom to find out from?
  • Interests, hobbies, job search - how to realize yourself?

Of course, everyone has their own "headache". In this article, I only talk about my experience. This is not a one-size-fits-all guide to action.

Adaptation in Belgium, where to start

Integration course

If you are moving on a work contract and plan to work in Belgium right away. Taking an integration course is not super important. At work, albeit slower, but you learn from colleagues about taxes, honey. insurance, education, etc.

But if you, like me, are moving on family reunification, then the integration course is the first place to start.

  • They will tell you about taxes, medicine, rights and obligations, buying real estate, utilities and everything else that you will have to face while living in Belgium.
  • If you have not worked in Belgium, then it is impossible to obtain citizenship without a certificate of integration.
  • After completing the integration course, you can sign up for language courses for free (or almost free).
  • In Flanders, this course is compulsory for all new arrivals. From 2020, it will become mandatory in Brussels.

Upon arrival, you need to ask the municipality which organizations are conducting an integration course in your city.

I took a course in Brussels from Bon in Russian. Our course was taught by Marina Volodina. I was delighted with both the content and the presentation of the material. Marina is very smart!

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