Belgians are well known throughout the world for their chocolate. The first tales of this now famous Belgian chocolate date back to the 17th century, when the country was under Spanish ruling, and the cocoa, imported from South Africa, was only available to royalty. Presently chocolate is the most popular sweet on the globe, Belgium being the world’s 1′st chocolate exporter.
Another aspect Belgians are famous for is their love of chocolate, waffles, beer, cheese and French fries, which they ofentimes consume together. This is actually a myth, no actual Belgian having regularly eaten all of the above at the same time. It is also said that the locals greatly value social etiquette, bringing flowers or chocolates for the host when visiting being expected. When it comes to how Belgians see themselves, the people tend to have a funny, self-deprecating sense of humor. A large number of movies, books and songs that exaggerate the clichés having been produced in the past years.
There are three official languages in Belgium, each of them being prevalently spoken in different parts of the country: Dutch (spoken in the north), French (in the south) and German (in the north – east). Because of cultural pride, addressing someone from the south in dutch or someone from the north in french is considered to be somewhat offensive. One thing all Belgians have in common though is the appreciation of good beer, it is said that here are produced over 800 different types of beer, the average native drinking about 150 liters of the liquor each year. Other interesting facts about Belgians are the ones regarding proper etiquette, it is very important, if receiving a written invitation to an event, to also respond in the form of writing, as well as arriving on time and waiting for the host to direct the guest to his or her seat.
One of the must-see tourist attraction in Belgium is “La Grand-Place”, the central square of Brussels, surrounded by architecturally impressive public and private buildings constructed mainly in the 17th century. The central square, measuring 100 meters in length and 68 meters in width, has been included in UESCO’s World Heritage Sites, among the buildings located here being Brussels’ Town Hall and the Breadhouse. Another interesting place to see in Belgium is the town of Durbuy, the smallest town in the world. The beauty of Durbuy lies in its beautiful old stone houses as well as in the pedestrian flowered and cobbled streets.