Belgium's sluggish surface hides cultural cachet and a passion for pleasure.
If Belgium's spotlight on the European stage is a little dim, it's only because its people are rarely boastful. This slow-burning country has more history, art, food and architecture packed into its tiny self than many of its bigger, louder neighbours.
A rich and bubbling vat of beer, chocolate, oil paint and bureaucrats, Belgium gives off the heady pong of the bourgeoisie. But stir the pot a little and you'll find an 'artificial state' roughly made up of two parts Germanic Flemings to one part Celtic-Latin Walloons.
Belgium's main international airport is Brussels airport (formerly called Zaventem), 14km (8.7mi) northeast of Brussels. If you're in Europe already, a bus or train is the best option. Eurolines operates international bus services to and from Belgium. Belgium Railways has frequent international services. Brussels has three main stations and is the central hub, with lines in all directions. Car/passenger ferries operate to and from Britain