Belgium is a small nation with a big role to play in European life and world history. If you are interested in either of the world wars, Belgium has a million sites to keep you busy during your visit. If you want to learn about government, it’s the home to the European Union. But what most travelers come for is the beer, chocolate, and fries. There are over 1,000 breweries in this little country and Belgium brewers were some of the first to perfect beer brewing. 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 – a day in Brussels, Bruges, and maybe a trip to Ghent – and then onward, but, when you look deeper, you see this country has a great many medieval towns, historical sites, and parks worth sticking around for. This travel guide to Belgium will help point the way.
Accommodation – A night in a hostel dormitory room starts around 20 EUR for 6 beds. Private rooms in a hostel with an ensuite bathroom start around 52 EUR per night. In this country, most hostels come with breakfast, which is usually just meat, cheese, hard boiled eggs, juice, and bread. Budget hotels start at around 50 EUR per night for a single room with basic amenities and WiFi included. Airbnb is popular throughout the country and you can get a shared room (i.e., a couch) for 16 EUR while prices for an entire apartment start around 50 EUR
Food – Meals at cafes and fast food restaurants cost around 12 EUR. A meal in a sit-down restaurant with a drink will cost about 25 EUR. Frites (french fries), which is extremely popular around the country, costs around 4 EUR. If you want to cook your meals, there are some great markets throughout the country. Expect to pay around 55-60 EUR for a week’s worth of groceries. Panos is a nationwide chain serving cheap and delicious sandwiches. 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. Brussels to Bruges via train costs 9-14 EUR. Brussels to Antwerp via train costs 6-9 EUR. Intercity bus tickets are also quite cheap, often under 10 EUR for most journeys. Getting to and from most of the major airports is quite easy, with buses and trains readily available. Expect to pay 10 EUR (usually less) for a one-way ticket.
Activities – Museums and attractions vary in cost between 5-15 EUR (A student card will get you discounted entry – about 20-50% off.) City cards (like the Brussels Card or the Bruges Card) will get you into museums and attractions for heavily discounted rates. You can buy cards that are good for 1-3 days. (It’s about 22 EUR for 24-hours.)
Suggested daily budget – 50 EUR / 52 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)