Belgium Facts

Facts about Belgium for Kids

Belgium: Antwerp, Atomium, EU Flags and ParliamentAntwerp - Atomium - EU Parliament

Here are some interesting Belgium Facts for Kids which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

  • Population: 11.7 million people live in the country (2020)
  • Capital: Brussels, with 2 million inhabitants
  • Name: Kingdom of Belgium (or Belgium in short: Belgique, Belgie, Belgien)
  • Motto: Unity gives power
  • Government: Democracy
  • Language: Dutch, French and German
  • Religion: Christians 52% (mostly Roman Catholics), Muslim 5%
  • Currency: 1 Euro = 100 cents, until 2002 Belgian Franc
  • National Day: 21 July 
  • History: Belgium was part of Gaul and occupied by the Romans. In the 14th century, Flanders was one of the richest centres in Europe. Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands in 1830. Belgium was occupied by Germany in 1914 and again between 1940 and 1944 until Belgium was liberated by the Allied Forces. 
  • National Symbols: golden rampant lion
  • National Flag: red, black and yellow
  • Anthem: 'La Brabançonne' (The Song of Brabant)

Belgium Map | Belgium Geography

Belgium is a small country in Western Europe and borders the Atlantic Ocean's North Sea. The capital city of Belgium is Brussels.

Belgium mapMap of Belgium

Belgium shares land borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The longest border is shared with France.

Brussels is not only the capital city of Belgium, but with 2 million inhabitants also the most populous city in the country. Antwerp in northern Belgium is the second largest city but only with half the population of Brussels. Other big cities in Brussels are Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Belgium topographic map

Most people in Belgium live in the Northern and Western parts of the country. Most of Belgium is covered by rolling hills and coastal plains. The most sparsely populated areas are found in the Southeast where there is also the forest of the Ardennes with rocky and rugged uplands. 

Belgium is divided in three regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels with the Capital Region.

In geographical terms Belgium is divided into the coastal plains of Flanders, the central plateau and the Ardennes highlands which are in Wallonia.

Panoramic views near Bouillon in the Ardennes/BelgiumPanoramic views in the Ardennes

Here are some more Belgium facts and geography superlatives:

  • Belgium belongs to the Benelux countries which include: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
  • Most people in Belgium are at least bilingual and many can speak more than two languages fluently.
  • The highest peak in Belgium is called Botrange. It is located near Eupen in the High Ferns and is 694 metres/ 2,276 ft. high.
Cross country skiing in Belgium - image by Thomas Dekiere /shutterstock.comCross-country skiing in the High Fens National Park in Belgium - image by Thomas Dekiere
  • The longest river in Belgium is the Scheldt (in French: Escaut, in Dutch: Schelde). The Scheldt river runs through the country over 200 km/ 124 miles.
  • The Eau d'heure lake district in Wallonia is the largest lake area in Belgium and includes five artificial lakes which are used for watersports and there is also a fun waterpark.

Belgium is roughly the same size as the state of Maryland in the USA - or about the same size as Lesotho in Southern Africa.

Belgium Facts
Tourist Attractions in Belgium

Brussels, the capital city, has many attractions and landmarks. Among these are the main landmark called 'Atomium' (shown on the image at the top of the page), the Royal Palace, the EU parliament buildings and Grand Place, also called Grote Markt. And dont' miss to visit the Comic Art Museum which is one of the most popular museums in Belgium.

Grand Place in Brussels

Ghent is a picturesque and known for its medieval buildings and the castle. Ghent is the third largest city of the country. The belfry of Ghent is the tallest bell tower in Belgium.

Ghent

Bruges in western Belgium has many canals. One of the canals lead out of town to the port of Zeebrugge, which is Belgium's main port. Zeebrugge is also the place of one of the largest fish markets in Europe. Bruges has many chocolateries, little chocolate factories and shops, so don't miss to stock up on delicious treats to bring home.

Bruges/Brügge

Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium and best known for its Flemish Renaissance architecture and its diamond district. Here you can visit Rubens House and marvel at the buildings at the historic city center.

Antwerp

Belgium Facts | Belgium Languages

Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. French is spoken mainly in Wallonia in southern Belgium while people in northern Belgium speak predominantly Dutch. Dutch is spoken by about 60% of the population as first language. Only a small minority of people in eastern Belgium speak German as first language.

Brussels is a bilingual city and in many touristy places people speak English as well as French and Dutch or German. English is the second foreign language in many schools.

The Belgian Dutch is slightly different to the Netherlands Dutch and referred to as Flemish, while the Belgian French is today similar to standard French. The Belgian French Walloon is spoken only by some people.

Belgium Facts
Famous Belgian People

Belgium has a king and a royal family. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde have four children. 

King's Day in Belgium is celebrated every year on 15 November.

Among the most famous Belgians are:

  • Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594)the geographer is famous for his world map referred to as 'Mercator projection'
  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): painter and most well known Flemish artist
  • René Magritte (1898-1967): surrealist painter
  • Jacques Brel (1929-1978): singer and songwriter who is known for his French songs
  • Hergé (1907-1983): His real name was Georges Prosper Remi: cartoonist and creator of the story " Adventures of Tintin' and his dog Snowy
Stamp with Tintin, dog Snowy and Captain Haddock - image by Catwalker/shutterstock.comTintin with his dog Snowy and Captain Haddock

Belgians love sports and many are active players of soccer, hockey or basketball. Cycling, running and swimming are also popular pastimes.

Belgium Economy

Belgium is one of the co-founders of the European Union and the headquarters of the European Union Commission are based in Brussels. Read more about the EU on our EU Facts page here.

Belgium's main trading partners are France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The main export products of Belgium are chemicals, machinery and finished diamonds.

Antwerp is the centre of the world diamond trade

Did you know that Antwerp is the 'diamond capital of the world'? Belgium is the world's biggest importer of rough diamonds. About 84% of the world's most precious gems are cut and polished in Antwerp diamond factories. Over 1,200 diamond cutters work in Antwerp.

Belgium Facts | Belgian Food

The Belgian cuisine is famous for waffles, chocolate and beer as well as moules frites, which means mussels with french fries.

Moules Frites - Mussels with Fries

Here some typical Belgian food:

  • Frites or Frietjes: the Belgian fried potato sticks are slightly thicker and crunchier than French fries and usually served with mayonnaise.
  • Crevettes/Garnalen: tiny grey shrimps from the Atlantic are popular snacks along the coast
  • Carbonnade a la Flamande/Stoofvlees: Flemish-style beef stew is cooked with beer and served with potato fries or mashed potatoes.
  • Gaufres/Wafels: the Belgian waffles are less doughy and more crispy and are usually topped with cream, chocolate or fresh fruits
  • Chocolates: Belgian chocolate is a treat, it comes in many forms. In Belgium chocolate pralines must consist of minimum 35% of cocoa. In Antwerp you can visit the world's largest chocolate museum. Read more here.

Belgium is also known for the many varieties of beer. The world's largest brewery is Belgian company Anheuser-Busch. This beer and soft drinks company is based in Leuven.

Belgium Facts | Resources

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Belgium." CIA WorldFactBook. Last updated 18 August 2020. Last accessed 17 September 2020
  • Classic FM. "What are the Lyrics to the national anthem of Belgium, the Brabançonne?" ClassicFM. 18 June 2018. Last accessed 18 September 2020
  • The Belgian Monarchy. "The King, the Queen and their family." Monarchie. Last accessed 18 September 2020
  • The Diamond Loupe. " Diamond Fun Facts." Diamond Loupe. Last accessed 18 September 2020

Related Pages

Picture Credits on Belgium Facts: All Pictures, own and if not otherwise mentioned from sxc.hu and shutterstock.com

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