Northern Belgium - At a glance

Flanders at a glance

Location Northern Belgium, western Europe

Size/Area 13,522km²

Climate Temperate (mild winters, cool summers)

Status Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Population 6.6 million

Life expectancy Men: 80; women: 84.8

Capital Brussels (2.1 million)

Other main towns Brugge, Gent, Antwerp

Economy Exports: cars, food, iron, steel, finished diamonds, textiles and plastics

GDP per capita €38,288

Languages Flanders: Dutch; Brussels: official bilingual (Dutch & French) but over 60% of residents speak French as their native language

Religion Christian 60% (50% Roman Catholic, 10% Protestant), 5% Islam

Currency Euro (€) (for up-to-date rates, go to

National airline/airport Brussels Airlines/Brussels-Zaventem

International telephone code +32

Time GMT+1

Electrical voltage 230v AC/50Hz

Weights and measures Metric

Flag A black lion on a bright yellow background

National anthem De Vlaamse Leeuw (‘The Flemish Lion’)

Public holidays 1 January, 6 January, 14 February, Easter Monday, 1 May, 13 May, Pentecost Monday, 10 June, 11 July, 21 July, 15 August, 1 November, 2 November, 11 November, 6 December, 25 December

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UFO towers, marzipan churches and giant pineapples: the world’s strangest buildings

From a pyramid that rivals Doctor Who's Tardis to a library that has been classed as one of the ugliest in the world, here's our pick of the world's most unusual buildings. 


Cycling through Flanders

Explore Flanders from the saddle with our guide to the most picturesque cycling routes in the region.


Flanders: a food guide

From famous fries to a world-class brewing tradition, Flanders is a food-lover’s paradise.


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