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Since Flanders is about the size of the state of Connecticut in the US, it's no surprise that it's an easy place to travel around. All of our cities are really close to each other and accessible by train or car.
English is widely spoken and Flemish people are always ready to help out!
Customs and immigration
- US & Canadian citizens in possession of a valid US passport (on the planned date of departure from Belgium, your passport should have at least another three months validity) do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days within a six-month period.
- Other nationalities should check with the Belgian Embassy or nearest Consulate Office for visa requirements.
- European citizens (of countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA)) need a valid ID or a passport that has to have a minimum validity of three months on the departure date.
More information on www.diplomatie.be
The Belgian currency unit is the EURO (euro) €
Money can be changed at ATM’s, in banks, at the airport and main railway stations, at some hotels and in exchange offices, many of which are open on Sundays.
Foreign exchange traffic is not regulated. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency which may be brought in or out of the country. No restrictions if arriving from or traveling to another EU Member State. If arriving from or traveling to a country outside the EU: amounts exceeding EUR 10,000.- or the equivalent in another currency must be declared.
Euro notes are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. Coins come in denominations of 1 and 2 Euro, and 5, 10, 20, 50, 1 and 2 cent pieces.
To get the most current exchange rate, visit http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
Credit Cards & ATM
All major cards are accepted (Visa, American Express, Diners Club and Euro card)
ATM machines are available in all major cities and at Brussels International Airport
Belgium's health service is known for its easy accessibility and high-quality treatments. Belgian hospitals are well equiped and provide optimal care.
In case of emergency, you can dial # 112 (equivalent to 911 in the US)
For more information on Belgian medical services to foreign patients, visit Healthcare Belgium.
In Belgium you will need an adaptor of the type “AC.220 volts”. Plugs are continental 2-pin round.
Shops, banks, post offices etc will generally be closed on these days in 2016:
- January 1st
- March 27th
- March 28th
- May 1st
- May 5th
- May 15th
- May 16th
- July 11th (Flanders region only)
- July 21st
- August 15th
- November 1st
- November 11th
- December 25th
- December 26th (replacement day).
Shops are open from Monday - Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Most shops are closed on Sundays, except in Brussels at the Gallerie St Hubert and gift shops near the Grand Place. Bakeries and patisseries also open on Sunday mornings.
General local Post Office Hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Brussels Post Office at Brussels Midi Station (Fonsnylaan 47B, 1060 Sint-Gillis) is open: Monday - Friday, from 6:00 am - 7:00 pm ; closed on Saturdays & Sundays.
Brussels Post Office in the city center (De Brouckère, Anspachlaan 15, 1000 Brussel) is open: Monday - Friday, from 8:30 am - 6:00 pm ; Saturday, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm ; closed on Sundays.
A stamp for a standard postcard or letter from Belgium to the United States = € 1.42 (max. 50gr) or € 1.32, if you buy 5 stamps or more.
Stamps may be purchased at news stands, Delhaize supermarkets and souvenir shops.
Post boxes are red and marked "Post/Poste".
Banks are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm and are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Some banks close for an hour during lunch.
Many museums, concert halls, theaters and other public and entertainment facilities (not movie theaters) offer reduced ticket rates. Some sightseeing tour companies offer senior discounts as well. Reduced rail rates are available on our transportation page.
Since Flanders is about the size of Yorkshire, it’s no surprise that it’s an easy place to travel around. Driving is a perfect way to get from city to city. Rent a car and make the most of your time in Belgium. Take a look at some tips (provided by the European Consumer Centre) and search for car rentals.
Car rental companies
Chauffeur Driven & Limo Services
- Avis Chauffeur Driven
- Brussels Limousine
- Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services
- Direct Way Limousine
- Euro Travel Star
- Sacca Tours
- International Limousine Service
- Taxi Verts - Brussels
- Taxi Metropole - Antwerp
- Taxi Bleus - Brussels
- Taxi Sinjoor - Antwerp
- Taxi Gent - Ghent
- Directory of Taxis: telephone numbers for taxis in the Brussels region.
Taxis are available at taxi stands or at hotel entrances.
Taxi fare is displayed on the meter, including the service charge.
Minimum or initial fare in Brussels: € 2.40 (daytime); € 4.40 (evening).
Average price per KM (0.62 miles) in Brussels: € 1.80 for journeys within the Brussels Capital Region; € 2.70 for a journey located outside the region.
Average transport price between Brussels Airport and Brussels city center: € 38.00.
Travelling with your own car, bus or camper?
To the Low Emission Zone in Antwerp
As from February 1, 2017, Antwerp installs a Low Emission Zone (LEZ). Among others, cars, busses and campers must meet certain conditions regarding their emissions to be allowed inside the zone (not applicable for mopeds and motorcycles). Especially fuel, the Euro standard and the presence or absence of a particular filter will determine whether your vehicle is allowed (or not) in the zone.
- Belgian vehicles that meet the conditions for admission, can automatically enter the LEZ (their license plates will be recognized). No need to register. Check in advance whether your vehicle meets the conditions or take the online test.
- Vehicles from the Netherlands that meet the conditions for admission, can automatically enter the LEZ (based on the information in the RDW's license plate registry). No need to register. Check in advance whether your vehicle meets the conditions or take the online test.
- If you want to enter the LEZ with a foreign vehicle (excluding a license plate from the Netherlands), first check whether your vehicle meets the conditions for admission. If so, you can register your vehicle. You can register your vehicle no later than 24 hours after entering the LEZ, but if possible, it is advised to submit your application in advance. The registration is once-only.
More information about the Low Emission Zone in Antwerp:
Ghent also plans to install a LEZ as from Januari 1, 2020. Other cities and municipalities in Flanders will follow. By limiting access to heavily polluting vehicles in those areas, the air quality will improve. All for the benefit of our health.
Travelling with pets
A veterinarian certificate is required indicating rabies vaccination and health status. Certificates must be issued no less than 30 days or more than one year prior to entry. We also highly recommend that you check with your airline carrier for additional requirements.
Traveling with Pets Official Regulations
When calling a Belgian number from abroad, always dial 00 + country code 32 + city code:
Calling within BelgiumWhen calling a Belgian number within the country always dial (0) + city code + number.
Find a business or residence
Calling cards are available in post offices, train stations, book stores, newspaper stands, supermarkets, convenience stores and Belgacom Teleboutiques.
Take both coins and phone cards. Public phone that display stickers showing flags of different countries can be used to make international calls with operator assistance.
Belgium Time is located in the Central European Time Zone (CET)
- 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1)
- 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time
- 9 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time
People with disabilities
Flanders, an accessible holiday destination for all
The Accessible Travel Info PointYour barrier-free holidays in Flanders and Brussels! The Accessible Travel Info Point is a service of Tourism Flanders that provides you with free and independent travel information:
- Museums and attractions
- Travel organisations
- Holiday reports en tips from disabled travellers
Accessible accommodation in Flanders and Brussels
When searching for an accessible hotel, guesthouse, youth hostel etc., look for the A or A+ label.
Accessibility label A+
This holiday accommodation has obtained the Flemish label for accessible tourism, level A+. This means that it can be considered to be comfortably and independently accessible for visitors with a disability.
Accessibility label A
This holiday accommodation has obtained the Flemish label for accessible tourism, level A. This means that it can be considered to have basic accessibility. Such accommodations are still usable for most people with limited mobility, but extra effort or a helper may be needed.
Tourism Flanders awards an accessibility label to holiday accommodation after a thorough examination on site. Following items are assessed: the access walkway from the public road, the entrance and the reception area, the public toilets, the restaurant or the dining room, the bedroom with corresponding bathroom and the corridors between these components.
Often-used reference measurements are:
- Doors: 50 cm (19.7 inch) of free space at the side of the handle
- Doors and aisles: at least 85 cm (33.5 inch) wide everywhere
- Slope: 5 to maximum 10%, depending on the length of the ramp
- Circulation area: free turning radius of 150 x 150 cm (59.1 x 59.1 inch)
- Lift: at least 110 cm (43.3 inch) wide, 140 cm (55.1 inch) deep
- Roll-in shower: threshold maximum 2 cm (0.787 inch), shower seat with support handle or shower (wheel) chair with arm supports
- Free space next to a toilet or shower seat: 90 cm (35.4 inch)
- Free space in front of a toilet or shower seat: 120 cm (47.2 inch)
- Washbasin able to accommodate wheelchairs: clearance 70 cm (27.6 inch), depth 40 cm (15.7 inch) and width 90 cm (35.4 inch)
- Table able to accommodate wheelchairs: same as washbasin, but depth is at least 60 cm (23.6 inch)
- Bed: the height of the top is between 46 (18.1) and 54 cm (21.3 inch)
More information on travelling with disabilitiesThe Accessible Travel Info Point has put together several brochures with information on travelling with a disability in Flanders and Brussels. The brochures can be downloaded by clicking the links below or by visiting www.accessinfo.be.
- Accessible transport : public transport (train, bus, tram, subway), private transport (bus companies with lift bus, wheelchair accessible taxis) and tips for those travelling by plane.
- Accessible day trips : museums, attractions, guided tours, restaurants, pubs…
- Accessible cycling and hiking : hiking and cycling routes, accessible bikes rental.
- Accessible tourist information centers and visitor centers.
- Accessibility in Flanders Fields.