22 Amazing Belgium Facts: Beyond Chocolates and Waffles

Belgium is a lovely country in Western Europe between the Netherlands, France, and Germany. Regrettably, because of its highly famous neighbors, it is frequently neglected by many European visitors.

If you decide to visit the tiny country, you’ll discover a treasure mine of unique sites. Here’s the guide to the best Belgium fun, odd, and interesting facts.

There are three official languages in Belgium

People in Belgium speak French, German, or Dutch, depending on where you are in the country (which is known as Flemish in Belgium, so don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re two different languages- rather, they’re dialects of the same language).

Additionally, there is no such thing as a ‘Belgian’ language.

Many people in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium speak excellent English, so you may get around by speaking only English, however learning a little French or Flemish is usually appreciated.

Belgium is a Kingdom in theory

Belgium, like the United Kingdom just across the ocean, is officially a Kingdom due to the presence of a royal family.

A King or a Queen leads the monarchy, and there have been seven Kings since Belgium gained independence in 1830. Philippe has been King of Belgium since 2013, when he succeeded his father, who abdicated.

Belgium may function in the absence of a government

One of Belgium’s most intriguing features is that it can run without a government. The country is a federal state, which means that, in addition to a central government, there are three regions, each with its administration.

Wallonia, Flanders, and Brussels-Capital are the three regions.

Owing to the complexity of building a government across the three areas, forming a central government can take a lengthy time (federal government). From 2019 to 2020, creating a national government took a whopping 652 days.

Belgium has seven legislatures

As previously said, there are numerous intricacies involved with operating in Belgium. One of the most fascinating facts about Belgium’s political status is that it is the only country in the world with seven parliaments.

There is a parliament for each of the three regions, each of the three communities (French-speaking, German-speaking, and Flemish-speaking), and the entire country (federal government).

The MannekenPis is Belgium’s national symbol

One of the most amusing facts about Belgium is that the country’s national symbol is a statue of a tiny urinating boy.

Many travelers are lured to Brussels for one of the most unusual (and free to see) sights the Belgian capital city offers: the opportunity to witness a miniature statue of a weeing boy.

The Manneken Pis, which has been dressed up in various clothes and attracting crowds from near and far for several centuries, dates back to the 17th century.

Because of the popularity of MannekenPis, an entire subculture of urinating statues has sprung up due to the original little monument.

There is also a urinating dog statue

Aside from a 1980s sculpture of JeannekePis, MannekenPis’ peeing sister, there is also a 1998 urinating dog statue, Het Zinneke.

Check out our guide to the top hidden jewels of Brussels for even more unusual things to do in the Belgian capital.

Belgian chocolate is exceptionally well-known

Belgium is well-known around the world for the high quality of its chocolate.

In fact, it is estimated that Belgium produces 725,000 tons of chocolate annually, accounting for around 11% of global chocolate output.

the French fries come from Belgium

If there’s one thing you should know about Belgium, it’s that French fries were invented there (but don’t call them that when you’re in the nation!)

Fries in Belgium are known as ‘frites’ in French and ‘frieten’ in Flemish (Dutch), and are often served with a type of mayonnaise rather than ketchup.

In Belgium, over 1000 beers are produced

Of course, if you’re looking for Belgium facts, you’ve noticed that there’s a lot to learn about regarding food and drink in Belgium.

While there are no accurate figures on how many beers are produced in Belgium, most estimates place the figure between 1000 and 2000.

Another Belgian specialty is Trappist beer, which can only be named that if it is brewed in a monastery. Six of the world’s eleven Trappist beers may be found in Belgium.

Visit Delirium Café for a more in-depth look into Belgian beers, which boasts over 2000 different varieties of beers.

Each beer, like wine, is served in a specifically shaped glass

One of the favorite beer glass shapes is in a bar in Ghent where you have to swap your shoe for the ‘loan’ of the glass during the duration of your drink.

You can check out the beginner’s guide to Belgian beer for additional information.

There are numerous varieties of Belgian waffles

On a vacation to Belgium, you may be surprised to learn that there are numerous sorts of Belgian waffles.

The most famous waffles are the Brussels Waffle (light and shaped like a rectangular window) and the Liège Waffle (sweet and containing large sugar chunks).

The proportions of the Belgian flag differ from those of several other European flags

Whereas the French flag has 2:3 proportions, the Belgian flag has 13:15 proportions, making it appear more square-like than many of its neighboring country counterparts.

The Belgian flag is striped with equal parts black, yellow, and red, Belgium’s national colors.

Belgium’s capital is Brussels

Belgium’s capital city is Brussels, a unique metropolis that is easily accessible from many other European capital cities, such as Paris and Amsterdam.

Because of the country’s modest size, day journeys from Brussels to the rest of the country are relatively straightforward.

Brussels is host to one of Europe’s largest Christmas Markets

Over 2.5 million visitors are estimated to visit the Brussels Christmas Markets each year!

Actually, the Christmas Market is one of the largest in Europe, owing to the grandeur of the yearly festive event.

A Belgian created New York City

One of the world’s most prominent cities, New York, was founded by a Belgian. Peter Minuit became a Dutch West India Company member and journeyed to the Americas in quest of trade goods.

When he first came to America, he met with the local native tribes near the Hudson River. He eventually purchased Manhattan, which is now one of the most expensive areas in the world.

What is the cost? Just 60 guilders, or $1,500 in today’s currency.

Belgium holds the record for the longest period without a government in the world

You might believe Iraq lasted far longer, however, the Iraqis “spent” only 289 days without a government, compared to Belgium’s 541 days.

Despite this, the latter presided over the EU for six months in the same year – 2010.

Belgium reigned over a colony that was 80 times its size.

Belgian Congo, located in Central Africa, was a colony of the Belgian Empire from 1908 to 1960. Belgium got a significant portion of its diamonds from there.

Is cricket not English?

A sport so inherently British that they are one of the few Europeans that participate in it. Yet, the ancient game remains alive and well today, thanks to Belgium.

An Australian researcher recently unearthed an obvious allusion to cricket in the 16th-century work of English poet John Skelton. Skelton refers to weavers from Flanders, the northern region of current Belgium, in his 1533 poem.

This lends credence to reports that the immigrants took cricket with them and played it in fields near their sheep, using shepherd’s crooks as bats.

The Law Courts of Brussels are the world’s largest courthouse

The Brussels Palace of Justice now measures 520 by 490 feet (160 by 150 meters) and has a total luxurious surface area of 280,000 square feet (26,000 sq. m).

This makes it more significant than the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Because the courthouse is built on a slope, the lower and higher levels are separated by 66 feet (20 meters).

The majority of Belgians reside in cities

Cities are home to 98% of Belgium’s population of 11.6 million people. When Svet lived in Belgium, he’d board a train and ride for hours through Flanders without ever seeing an empty seat.

That is how urbanized the country has become. In reality, it is Europe’s most urbanized country.

It hardly ever snows

While the snow falls on 30 to 35 days in the Ardennes region, Flanders receives less than 15 days of snow on average. Even less snow falls on the coast.

Belgium’s temperate, marine environment makes it ideal for travel for most of the year. It wouldn’t hurt to have an umbrella, though.

Belgium is primarily flat

 If you travel through Flanders by car or train, you won’t see a hill for hours. Such a region is known as the “Low Lands.” It also includes the Netherlands.

The Ardennes hills, on the other hand, can be found in the country’s south. Botrange has the highest elevation of 2,277 feet (694 meters).

Still not tall enough to topple the world’s tallest building, the BurjKhalifa, which stands at 2,716 feet (828 m).

In this article, we have read about the various facts about Belgium. To know more, follow this website.

Was this article helpful?
Hungry for more Facts?

Want to learn something new? Our fact generator tool is your solution. Click and get facts as much as you like!

Let's Go
Explore Fun Facts!

Leave a Comment