Belgium Local Customs

  • Frites home made.
    Frites home made.
    by breughel
  • Moules in my dish.
    Moules in my dish.
    by breughel
  • Chocolate - Brussels
    Chocolate - Brussels
    by solopes

Belgium Local Customs

  • Eating

    Brussels Local Customs

    Mussels with frites are a national dish in Belgium. We call them "moules casserole" as they are cooked in a "casserole" which is a large pan of minimum 3 liters content. This volume is needed to prepare the usual amount of 1 kg mussels per person. This quantity of mussels contains about 250 gr. of flesh. The crux of the matter is the mussels. They...

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  • 2 languages are spoken Flemish and...

    Brugge Local Customs

    Just noticed this page is about Brugge only, I live in Maasmechelen, far away from Brugge, we have a even bigger language barrier with each other than with the french community... strange country indeed :) Can't say if they share my (our) point of view over there, only bin there once... Beautiful city but to crowded for me, nothing against tourists...

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  • Legends and urban stories

    Antwerp Local Customs

    This Art Deco building, owned by the KBC bank, is reckoned to be Europe's oldest skyscraper and was conceived after a visit by the then Mayor to New York. It was modelled on the Empire State Building but because of local restrictions, that no building could overshadow the Cathedral, was built considerably shorter. It's known as the "Farmers Tower"...

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  • Museums

    Oostende Local Customs

    THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS. Different works of art from Ostend such as Ensor, Permeke, Spilliaert, Finch, De Clerck, etc.. there’s a large variety of works from Belgian masters from 1830 until 1914. Location : Wapenplein - 8400 Oostende

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  • Poppies

    Ieper Local Customs

    The sight of the poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, of the Canadian forces, to write a poem starting with: In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, … He died in the last year of the war and never new the impact his poem caused. An American woman, Moina Michael started...

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  • Languages

    Brussels Local Customs

    The Flemish University of Brussels VUB has just published a study about the languages spoken in Brussels. There are 104 different languages spoken in Brussels. I don't know if there were as many at the Tower of Babel? Nr 1 is French 88%, Nr 2 English 30%, Nr 3 Dutch 23%, Nr 4 Arab 18%, and Nr 5 Spanish 9%. (A large number of inhabitants speak...

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  • Beers / Chocolates / Flemish Frites...

    Brugge Local Customs

    I would suggest to VT to stop using the term of "Flemish Frites" which is laughable because Belgians do not distinguish Flemish fritten from Walloon or Brussels frites!!! Even our Flemish or Walloon nationalists do not make such a distinction. On the other hand it is already a big progress that VT did not mention "French fries" as title. The...

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  • Festivals and events

    Antwerp Local Customs

    Each year in December you can go ice skating for free in Antwerp at "de grote markt" round the statue of Brabo with a magnificent view on the city hall and the cathedral.Especially in the evening when it is allready dark it is wonderfull.Bring your ice skates or you can rent them at a very cheap price.If you bring your own it is free.It takes place...

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  • Last Post

    Ieper Local Customs

    The tradition of the final bugle call of the day signalling the end of the soldier's day dates back to the 17th century in the British Army. After the officer on duty had inspected the final sentry post, the bugle call of "Last Post" was sounded. This was the final warning that everyone should be back in their billets. The "Last Post" bugle call...

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  • Drinking

    Brussels Local Customs

    Some day I will write a bit more about them because these beers when brewed in the authentic way (Oude Kriek) are somewhat sour so that people not born in the Senne Valley often don't appreciate them. They are beers for Brusseleirs and genuine Brusseleirs are a species in danger of extinction. About the other beers I must say that we were anxious...

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  • Lace making a well known Belgian Art.

    Brugge Local Customs

    There are many ways to make lace. Needlepoint Lace is made with a needle and thread. It is very closely related to embroidery but the stitches are made without cloth underneath them. They are simply woven and twisted on each other and on loops of thread held by the lace-maker using fine buttonhole stitches. There is also Irish Lace which is made...

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  • Famous people

    Antwerp Local Customs

    OK this is just an excuse to use the pic but as a bit of background. This is Jan Theodoor van Ryswyck who was an Antwerp-born poet, satirist and political philosopher. Despite being married with three children he led a rather Bohemian lifestyle and was a regular at the infamous inn "In 't Zwart Peerdeken" (The Black Pear Blanket??). His literary...

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  • Cat Parade

    Ieper Local Customs

    Cat haters must love the Kattenfestival which has it's origins in the 12th century when they would throw live cats from the Cloth Hall belfry, hope they hadn't cashed in on all of their 9 lives yet! Cats were thought to be evil spirits, I do too sometimes when they are hacking up hairballs on my carpet, and this ritual continued until the...

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  • Comic Strip Art

    Brussels Local Customs

    A common image in most cities, is the presence of someone painted in white, trying to imitate a known statue or figure. It's a job, like many other, with variable quality, inviting people to deposit a coin in front of it. We saw in Brussels a very uncommon statue, trying to represent Van Gogh, but in a so unbalanced position that no one could ever...

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  • Museums / Architecture / Art / ...

    Brugge Local Customs

    “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” — Michelangelo (1475-1564) As a tribute to Micheleangelo’s “Madonna and Child,” which can be seen at...

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  • Beer tasting

    Antwerp Local Customs

    Drinking for Belgians is a cultural and social happening. Being famous for the beers, we also take care of our pubs and we have some few! One that is very cute and stuffed with all kinds of saint's statues is called 'Het Elfde Gebod' which means 'The 11th commandment'. You wonder what the 11th might be? Well it is simply this : 'You have to enjoy...

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  • Tipping

    Brussels Local Customs

    Taxes and tips are always included in the price you need to pay in pubs, restaurants and even taxis. However it is an unwritten rule that if you are satisfied about the service and your bill is not a round number (*), you can add up to make it round. How much, it depends a bit on the total of the bill. You will not go tipping a lot if you only had...

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  • Paying at the Bar and tipping 10% is...

    Brugge Local Customs

    In a country where service is included in most bills, tipping is not a problem. Most people will not expect a tip. Possible exceptions are public toilets, where the attendant may expect a tip of 25 cents or so, and porter and maid service in the more expensive hotels. The citizens of Bruges and Ghent are open, friendly and patient. Most will say...

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  • Musea

    Antwerp Local Customs

    This museum is unique and part of Unesco World Heritage. It is a beautiful house where books where actually printed since the late 16th Century. It features 2 of the oldest printing presses in the world. I first visited the museum child with my grandparents when I was about 6 years old. It made a huge impression on me and I enjoy every visit.

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  • Festivals

    Brussels Local Customs

    Even at late night Grand Place is full of people. The holiday proceeds all through the night! You can watch my 3 min 17 sec Video Brussels in the evening part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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  • Procession of the Holy Blood

    Brugge Local Customs

    The great procession of the Holy Blood held each Ascension Day, when the bishop of Bruges carry the relic of the Holy Blood through the streets of the city. The procession culminates with the veneration of the relic, which is a fragment of cloth with trace of the coagulated blood of Jesus Christ wiped from his body by Joseph of Arimathea....

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  • Shopping

    Antwerp Local Customs

    Every year on August 15th the Rubensmarket takes place. Its to honour the famous painter P.P.Rubens. The sales people are all dressed like the people used to dress when Rubens was living. The decorations are also very special.%c¨*

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  • Flower Carpet

    Brussels Local Customs

    After the flower carpet in August it is also a long established tradition to plant a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the Grand Place. In the Belgium Ardennes fir trees are very common and the "Abies nordmania" type is cultivated as Christmas tree and widely exported in the EU. The Christmas tree on the Grand Place was often sent as a present...

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  • Horse Carriage / Canal Tours / Cultural...

    Brugge Local Customs

    these wildly popular canal-boat tours. It seems you can get a better view of things just by wandering around on your own, not being jammed into these longboats like sardines. But the guided-tour people, look at them, they've been told this is the thing to do so they line up for the canal boats like there's no tomorrow. No thank you!

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  • VT-Meetings

    Antwerp Local Customs

    On occasion of Leroys (Brewdog @ VT)'s visit to Belgium and my anniversary, I organised a VT pubcrawl. We were with 9 VT-ers and family and some friends. We had a great time! No wonder as we asked Johnny the barber and his wife Vera (yes Jeff, the one with the red hat and leather trousers) to look after us. Johnny plays music on his accordeon and...

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  • Markets & Flea Markets

    Brussels Local Customs

    These street markets are located near Place Agora, very close to the bronze statute of Burgomaster Chaeles Buls and his dog. There are a number of stalls selling everything from lace to imitation glass of beer. It is very colourful as you walk by late afternoon, stop and have a coffee and watch the world go by.

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  • A cavalcade of arts.

    Brugge Local Customs

    Like lots of big cities, Bruges also has its share of street performers, representing a wide variety of artistic disciplines, ranging from singers over musicians and jugglers to mimes and such. A truly enjoyable experience....

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  • Churches

    Antwerp Local Customs

    St. Andrew's houses scores of art treasures and other interesting objects. stained glass windows and a station of the cross of 14 large paintings. For those interested: this is very worthwhile your visit! ADDRESS: Sint-Andriesstraat 5 2000 Antwerp

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  • Museums

    Brussels Local Customs

    Before the prosaic numeration system for addresses was introduced in continental Europe, it was customary to place some distinctive element in the façade that would allow for its identification. Many old buildings still have these statuetes or decorations and are still even referred to after them.

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  • Ghent bicycle races

    here is the official site, you can turn it to English, they have it all therehttp://www.gent-wevelgem.be/The course is on the same terrain where 100 years ago the First World War was going on. IT is why the course its call the ‘Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields’. The metamorphosis of runners and soldiers that fight to win on the bike as their...

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  • Belgian fritkots at the UNESCO?

    Two weeks ago we had in Belgium the week of the Frites. A petition was launched to make the "fritkots" or "friteries" (shacks on the streets and squares where there make and sell frites) belong to the "patrimoine culturel et immatériel de l’humanité" Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.Please note that this concerns the...

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  • French Fries are upsetting Belgians!

    I'm upset that after writing several tips like "Say Frites not Fries" about the fact that there are no French Fries in Belgium not even in France (have you ever heard a Frenchman use the term "French fries" "Frites Françaises"?) these words are still used on VT.The "frites" (in French) "fritten or frieten" (in Flemish) originate from Belgium. All...

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  • Waffles

    Waffles are an important part of the Belgian diet and are unique because of the special waffle irons used to bake them; there are over a dozen regional varieties in Belgium alone. My favourite variety is the Brussels waffle, which are lighter, crispier and have larger indents then others. Waffles can be served with a variety of toppings such as...

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  • French Fries

    Belgium gave the world the thin-sliced-and-fried potato, which was promptly renamed "French fries" , the locals tend to believe that the term "French" was introduced when American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I, and consequently tasted Belgian fries. In Belgium fries (or frites) are often eaten on their own as a snack, the secret...

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  • Bernardus

    SINT BERNARDUS Small & dinamic brewery , locoted Watou , close by Ieper , on twoo foot steps from the French border. It produce good quality beers: the most famous is doubless the St Bernardus Abt 12: it's the beer that is closest from the one produce by the Sixtus Abbey , the most prised in the world: the Westvleteren. ---oooOOOooo--- Petite...

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  • Beer: Rochefort !

    Beer: Rochefort ! The Trappist "Rochefort" is brewed in the Abbey St Remy from Rochefort.There are three sorts of it:Rochefort 6: in fact alone drink in the abbey self. 7,5% alcohol. Twoo times a year brewedRochefort 8: Dark, in fact 9,2% alcohol Rochefort 10: Dark, in fact 11.3 % alcohol

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  • An another delicious beer: La Gauloise.

    Beer: Gauloise ! Not so far of Namur, you find the little town Purnode where this beer is brewered. There are three soorts of it:Blond: lager: 6.3 % alcohol Amber:5.5 % alcoholBrunes: Dark : 8.1 % alcoholVisit only on week-ends and bank or scool hollydays from 2 till 4 pm Adults payd 5 €.Adress Brasserie du BocqRue de la Brasserie 45530 Purnode

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  • The Zeunt

    ZEUNT A ale beer brouwed in Doornzelestraat 209080 Lochristi-Hijfte7 % alcohol

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  • Super des Fagnes come from The Ardennes

    Super des Fagnes A little brewery who's take the way of modernity and always stay traditionel.You find it in the Ardennes on the main road n° 5 behind Phillippeville and Couvin.Is open every day of the year till 9 pm;You have twoo variants:Blond or lager: in 25 or 75 cl bottle: or Dark one : also in 25 or 75 cl bottle.The alcohol is 7.5 %Adress:...

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  • Beer

    Beer is like a national pastime in Belgium,as a tourist you are literally spoilt for choice with hundreds of different beers and ales on offer in most towns and cities,wether its in the pubs or the local shops.There are approximately 178 breweries in the country,ranging from international giants to microbreweries.Beer in Belgium dates back to the...

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  • PRALINES - Belgian chocolates.

    IT IS NOW 100 YEARS AGO THAT JEAN (II) NEUHAUS INVENTED THE PRALINE IN BRUSSELS.First of all we don't use the term Belgian chocolates but "PRALINES". If you ask for chocolate you will get a bar of chocolate. The production of pralines in Belgium is now in hands of a number of companies who have industrialized the process what does, fortunately, not...

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  • Dutch vs French!

    Before I had my first Belgian group with EF Foundation, I knew very little about the country beyond it's location on the European continent. As I told the story, about the precocious little boy being seperated from his Dutch friends in class, in another tip, I won't repeat it again. Only to say that within the groups of Belgians I've had over the...

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  • All Is Not As It Seems

    Driving through the narrow residential streets I saw many flat faced homes, most with nothing more than a window or two and a short step leading to the door. What I didn't know was that once inside the door I could still be outside! Here are two pictures explaining what I mean. Step inside the door and find, not a house, but a path way through a...

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  • Belgian Shepherd Dogs.

    Not a local custom but a local production since Belgium is the country of origin of what is considered as one of the best working dogs. There are four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dog: Best known and most widespread is the Belgian Malinois or Mechelse Herder (Mechelen is a town North of Brussels).The three other varieties Tervueren, Groenendael...

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  • PRALINES - PRICES ON EXPORT.

    What is remarkable with Belgian pralines is the significant price increase as soon as they cross the Belgian border. Worst increase of price is when they are sold at luxury shops like Harrods in London. Multiplication by 2.5 of the Belgian price.I can understand that the poor Londoners buy Belgian pralines at Harrods by only one or two pieces at...

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Belgium Local Customs

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