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Discovering the Flemish culture
A federal country with three official languages and an ongoing rivalry between its two main groups – Dutch-speaking Flemish and French-speaking Walloons – Belgium’s dull reputation is definitely misleading.
A cruise to Belgium will show you lively and cultured cities in the predominantly urban north, beautiful forests and rugged hills in the south. A holiday to Belgium is a pleasure: factor in the Belgians’ enthusiasm for beer and fine cuisine, and all the ingredients for a truly memorable trip are in place. With Europe’s finest cliff-top city, neighbouring Luxembourg certainly does its bit too.
Roughly in the middle of Belgium lies the capital, Brussels, the heart of the EU and a genuinely vibrant and multicultural city. North of here stretch the flat landscapes of Flemish Belgium, whose main city, Antwerp, is a bustling old port with doses of fine art, cutting-edge fashion, and twice as many bars as Amsterdam.
Further west, also in the Flemish zone, are the charismatic cities of Bruges and Ghent, each with a stunning concentration of medieval architecture. To the south of Brussels, Belgium’s most scenic region, the Ardennes in Wallonia, has deep, wooded valleys, high elevations and dark caverns, with the town of Namur the obvious gateway.