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Belgium Belgium Today

General information

The Kingdom of Belgium
Koninkrijk BelgiŽ
Royaume de Belgique

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    Belgium... a constitutional monarchy since 1830 is now a federal state and a very versatile place to be. Located in the centre of Europe, with Brussels as the capital city, Belgium borders to the Netherlands, France, Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and can very easily be reached by aeroplane, boat, train or car.

    With a surface of + 30.000 km, Belgium is divided in 10 Provinces :

    • Antwerpen
    • Brabant Wallon
    • Hainaut
    • LiŤge
    • Limburg
    • Luxembourg
    • Namur
    • Oost-Vlaanderen
    • Vlaams Brabant
    • West-Vlaanderen

    Apart from this Provinces, Belgium is also has different "communities" where people speak French (La Wallonie) or Flemish (Vlaanderen). Another small part of Belgium is German speaking (Die Ostkantone) but most people in big cities and touristic places throughout Belgium speak English too.

    There are 10 Official Public Holidays on which a lot of shops and offices are closed :

    • New Year's Day (1st January)
    • Easter Monday (1998 : 13th April)
    • Labour Day (1st May)
    • Ascension Day (1998: 21st May)
    • Whitmonday (1998: 1st June)
    • National Holiday (21st July)
    • Assumption Day (15th August)
    • All Saints' Day (1st November)
    • Armistice Day (11th November)
    • Christmas Day (25th December)

    Most large shopping centres are open from 0900 am till 0700 PM. On Friday and Saturday, opening hours extend till 0900 PM and some shopping centres are also open on Sunday's.

    Banks and Post Offices generally open at 0900 am and close at 0400 PM, but in order to improve their "Public Service", some of them will be open until 0800 PM one day a week and on Saturday mornings. Money can be retrieved around the clock from "Bank Automates" spread throughout the country.These cash dispensers are labelled with the word "Bancontact".

    Belgian currency is the Belgian Franc (BEF). A currency converter is available in the Business Lounge for your convenience.

    Telephone boots can be recognised by the "Belgacom" Logo and are available anywhere in Belgium. The newer ones do NOT work with COINS anymore and you will need a "TeleCard" or a "Proton" Card. TeleCards are available in all Post Offices and major Bookstores. In most boots, Automatic International calls are possible. Special, orange coloured, phones are placed along the highways. These can only be used in case of emergency (accident, breakdown, fire, etc ...)

    • International dial out code : 00
    • International dial in code : 32

    Belgium is an hour ahead of Greenwich (GMT +1).

    Current in Belgium is 220V AC - 50 Hz.

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