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 www.xe.com)

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. 

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Cycling through Flanders

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

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Flanders: a food guide

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

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