A low-lying country in the Benelux, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe. It marries both the historical landmarks for which the continent is famous with spectacular modern architecture and rural idylls, whilst its capital, Brussels, is home to the headquarters of the European Union.
Lying on the North Sea coast, Belgium's immediate neighbours are France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands. The small nation of Belgium might leave you surprised by its rich and gorgeous heritage. It boasts a number of fascinatingly historic cities packed with medieval and Art Nouveau architecture and famous for their long traditions in arts, fashion and fine dining. If you've seen the best of them, the Belgian countryside offers anything from sandy beaches to the densely forested hills and ridges of the Ardennes. Brussels, the country's vibrant capital, is a modern world city with a highly international character. It combines massive postmodern buildings in its European Quarter with impressive historic monuments, such as the World Heritage listed Grand Place, surrounded by guildhouses and the Gothic town hall. There's Laken Castle and the large St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, dedicated to the cities patron saints. The Royal Palace is a more recent but no less grand structure. One of the city's most famous landmarks is the Atomium, a remarkable steel structure and remnant of the 1958 World's Fair.