By Jennifer N. Dienst, Contributing Editor
Belgium is a rare blend of new and old Europe, with centuries-old cities that are home to one of the world’s most forward-thinking cultures. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brussels, where visitors will find UNESCO World Heritage sites like La Grand-Place alongside headquarters of international organizations and companies including NATO and Estee Lauder. And since Brussels is an epicenter of international activity, English is widely spoken throughout the city.
Belgium offers a wide range of historic meeting facilities for groups of up to 10,000 attendees, one of the best examples being the Atomium. Built for the 1958 World’s Fair, the Atomium’s nine spheres represent a molecule’s nine atoms. The venue also features some of the city’s best panoramic views. Other unusual venues include the Belgian Comic Strip Center, the world’s only comic-strip museum; Brussels Town Hall, which features stunning views of La Grand-Place; and the historic Tour & Taxis, home to Europe’s first postal service.
Just beyond Brussels city limits, a wide variety of relaxing hotels, chateaus, and meeting venues lie hidden away in the rolling hills of the verdant Belgian countryside. When it’s time for play, recreational options in Belgium will meet every interest and appetite, especially when it comes to dining. Visitors can’t leave Belgium without sampling some of its famous chocolate confections or 650 kinds of beer. Any way you slice it, in Belgium, everyone leaves the table satisfied.
At a Glance
Meeting facilities: The largest facilities include the 1.2-million-square-foot Brussels Expo, the 187,400-square-foot Tour & Taxis, and the 140,000-square-foot SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre. Accommodations:
From five-star, city-center hotels to affordable three-star properties, Belgium offers accommodation options at every price point.
Arts, culture, and dining in Brussels, the capital of Europe; castles and chateaus in the French-speaking region of Wallonia; Durbuy, the smallest city in the world; historic museums and architectural sites in Liege; world-renowned beer, chocolate, and other gastronomic delights in every part of the country; and much more. Hops To It:
Beer is no casual affair in Belgium - the country has its own version of wine country, dubbed “the Beer Route,” offering more than 650 varieties. Royal Welcome:
There are more castles per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else in the world. Perched on a 200-foot-high rock overlooking the Hoyoux river, the Château de Modave in the Liege province dates back to the 13th century. For More Information:
Veronique Boyens, Meetings & Conventions Manager; Belgian Tourist Office; 212.758.8130 ext. 17; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.VisitBelgium.com