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Campervan hire Belgium

Once known as Europe’s Battlefield, the multilingual capital of the EU is now its sweetest member, and your diet’s greatest enemy due to its world-famous weapons: waffles and chocolates.

 

Belgium is one of Europe’s most underrated countries for travelling. Don’t believe us? Well, let’s zoom in on the small country. This is where the famous (and ineptly-named) French fries were invented. And a thousand delicious ways of cooking mussels. Belgium, whose 61-centimeter-tall bronze boy has been peeing in a Brussels’ basin since the 1600s. And whose cities are like giant outdoor museums, one called the Venice of the North (Bruges), another with a castle you’d find in Syria during the age of crusades (Ghent's Gravensteen). Let’s stop underrating Belgium, the country whose cute size allows for great motorhome road trips; along the Ypres of WWI and the Waterloo of Napoleon; past castles, fortresses, and quaint little towns. Yup, that’s Belgium, and that’s what’s in store for you when you hire a campervan in Belgium and explore this incredibly sweet country.

 

Getting around Belgium by campervan

 

Diesel for your campervan rental in Belgium is slightly more expensive when compared to other EU countries, but about the same price as in neighbouring France and the Netherlands. Diesel is cheaper in Germany.

Campervan speeding limits in Belgium on freeways are 120km/h (75mph), 120km/h (75mph) on expressways, 90km/h (56mph) or 70km/h (43mph) outside of urban areas, and 50km/h (31mph) in urban areas.

When driving your rental RV through Belgium, take into account that national roads are sometimes provincial or communal roads, which means traffic lights and crossings. Roads in and leading into Brussels and Antwerp get very congested.

Aside from the Liefkenshoek Tunnel in Antwerp, there are no tolls for your van drive around Belgium.

Wild camping is illegal in Belgium, but camping is popular so you’ll find plenty camping sites available. Alternatively, ask a friendly farmer or landowner for permission to park your campervan overnight.

 

Campervan or motorhome travelling in Belgium can be a little more expensive than in the lower European countries. Eating out, a mid-range three-course meal for two costs on average €60. Costs vary depending on the city, with Brussels having higher costs.

Flat and therefore breezy, Belgium’s maritime temperate climate sees cool summers (averaging 22°C in July), moderate winters (averaging 0°C in January), and much rainfall. Temperatures don’t vary much across the country due to its size, though the coastal west has temperatures mediated by the ocean.

Belgians are usually reserved, friendly people that will gladly help you. Flemish and French-speaking Belgians differ slightly, but both are real bon vivants who love to eat and drink with good company. Bedankt or merci (thank you in Dutch and French) are always well received.

There are 3 official languages in Belgium: Dutch, French and German. The northern Flemish speak Dutch, while the southern Walloons (and other French-speaking communities) speak French. A tiny part of East Belgium speaks German. Many Flemish speak French, and often Belgians will speak (some) English.

Mussels, mussels and more mussels! There’s so many different recipes for cooking these tasty molluscs, you won’t be able to try them all––but we recommend you have mussels in beer. They go perfectly with French fries, though they should really be called Belgian fries. Besides the savoury dishes, indulge your sweet tooth with waffles and chocolate!

 

About Belgium

Sat at the crossroads of Europe’s biggest (and smallest) power mongers, Belgium has been subject to wars, political games and power struggles. Surviving two full world wars while literally being their battlefield, the country is proof it’s possible to thrive after incredibly dark times. WWI was especially gruesome, with Germany invading neutral Belgium as a (what was thought to be a fast and easy) shortcut to undefended French borders. Little did the Germans know that, instead of giving way, the Belgians would put up a heroic fight. Or that the British, formally backing Belgian neutrality, would join the war to honour their allegiance to the small country. What should’ve been a 28-day campaign to conquer Paris turned into 4 horrible years of trench wars, claiming tens-of-millions lives and changing the course of history. But let’s not focus on the past, since you can’t use your campervan to travel through time. And even if you could, you certainly wouldn’t want to go back to 1915.  

Present-day Belgium is as full of surprises as a box of chocolates. Some of those chocolates are all-time favourites, like French fries. Historians trace the origins of the potato fritters back to the 1600s––and, yes, to Belgium! So why aren’t they called Belgian fries? Popular legend has American WWI-soldiers  overhearing French-speaking Belgian soldiers ordering ‘les frites’, with the result of Americans called them French fries. But more than tiny treats, the chocolate box that is Belgium has whole cities full of surprises. Hire a campervan in Belgium’s main city, Brussels, stroll this grandesque capital of Europe, and quench your thirst by choosing from over 2,000 beers in the Delirium Cafe, home to the world’s best beer. In Bruges, find a picturesque medieval city taken straight out of a movie. And if you drive your RV down to Wallonia, you’ll find more medieval splendour in the form of rustic towns and beer-brewing monasteries. Belgium’s port city Antwerp is brilliant, too––literally, its centre home to thousands of diamond traders, cutters and polishers working their magic. And with a thousand more things to discover in such a moderately-sized country, underrated Belgium is a diamond in the rough, waiting for you to be explored on a truly Indie road trip.

 

What to discover

In and around the country

Manneken Pis

Never has so much glory been packed in a mere 61 cm of bronze. But only the idea of a small statue being more famous then the country that owns it is just astonishing.

This bronze statue embodies the people of Brussels’ sense of humour (it’s called “zwanze” in their dialect) and it survived the bombardment of Brussels of 1695. It wasn’t even pissed about it.

Gravensteen

It’s in Ghent where you’ll find the monumental building that used to be home of the Counts of Flanders (its name means ‘castle of the count’).

The medieval castle is exactly how you’d imagine a mighty citadel to be. Built in 1180, Gravensteen follows the crusaders’ influences that marked the count responsible for its existence: Philip of Alsace. Get a ticket at the entrance and visit this monumental castle.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

This minor Roman-Catholic basilica looks interesting on the outside, stunning on the inside––but the relic stored inside is truly unique.

Apparently, the phial held in the upper chapel contains a cloth with the actual blood of Jesus Christ, acquired by the count Thierry of Alsace during the Second Crusade. Bloody interesting, isn’t it?

 

Top Regions

Campervan hire in Flanders

Officially called The Flemish Region, Flanders is the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Although not the country’s biggest region, it’s the most populated with 68% of Belgians living here. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, though Brussels itself has an independent regional government––complicated matters (as are Belgian politics) that won’t affect your road trip! The region has a lot to offer, like Belgium’s best and biggest (though modestly-sized by international standards) cities.

Hire a campervan in Flanders and start your road trip in Brussels. Head to Ghent to visit Instagrammable Gravensteen, a 10th-century castle inspired by the Crusaders’ castles in Syria; the Basilica of the Holy Blood where you’ll find a cloth with what might be the blood of Jesus Christ; or the Choco-Story, a museum of…chocolate, of course! Explore Bruges, including its Markt, the historical market plaza and heart of medieval Bruges; get to know the wonders of Antwerp, like its port, the Cathedral of Our Lady and Het Steen, a medieval fortress located right in the middle of the old city centre. Can you visit all by motorhome? Easily!

Travel to Wallonia

The southern part of the country, Wallonia is the French-Speaking region of Belgium. It also contains the German-speaking minority in the east that forms Ostbelgien, with its own government and parliament for culture-related situations. It’s a bit complicated (not to say impossible) to explain how politics work in Belgium, especially in this region (because it also has a political entity for the French Community of Belgium), but at least you get the point that each community handles itself – like when you’re traveling with friends in separate campervans: all have the same destination as they drive in single file, but each van has its own driver.

Wallonia’s where you can make most your campervan. Enjoy the greenest part of Belgium, zigzag from location to location, always with natural sceneries as your background. Visit Lion’s Mound, a giant lion located on the top of a green hill to commemorate the battle of Waterloo that marked the end of Napoleon’s power. The hill offers an incredible view over the battlefield, but you’ll have to climb all the 225 steps to reach the top. Dig into the darkest place of the country, literally: the beautiful Caves of Han-sur-Lee, only accessible by a historic streetcar. Live the thrill of heart-pounding rollercoasters in Walibi Belgium, nowadays called Six Flags Belgium. Explore the Citadel of Namur, a fortress rebuilt along the years after its original construction in 937. Or add a great picture of Castle of Vêves to your Instagram, classified as Major Heritage of Wallonia. Whatever you decide to do, it all starts with the same: hire a campervan in Wallonia and explore Belgium!

 

RV rental in Brussels-Capital Region 

Brussels is a curious matter. Although being part of the Flanders Region and of the Wallonia region, it’s also an autonomous region, forming the Brussels-Capital Region. Way smaller than the other two regions, it’s highly populated with 1.2 million people (2,1 million in all the metropolitan area) and is the country’s, European Union’s and NATO’s seat of power. You’ll hear both French and Dutch in this bilingual region, French being the most spoken language.

Visiting Brussels is a must, even if you park your campervan on the outskirts of the city to avoid traffic and expensive parking fees. There are plenty of things to discover in this incredible city-region. Be amazed by the bare and beautiful Manneken Pis––a 61cm statue that’s evoked responses––amazement, emberrassement, sometimes rage!––from folks since the 1600s. Talking about a sense of amazement, why not visit the mighty Atomium, a giant stainless-steel atom built in 1958 for the Brussels World’s Fair? Feel like a giant in the region’s miniature park showing all of Europe’s major monuments, created in an attempt to show how united the EU truly is. And, of course, don’t forget to take a look at the famous Grand Place, with its light festival during Christmas and wonderful flower carpet set every 2 years. And, while you’re doing all this, you’re probably munching on Brussels’ famed chocolates, or a soft and toasty, incredibly tasty Belgian waffle!

Explore Belgium - monument and a beautiful garden
Explore Belgium - typical food and local culture
Explore Belgium - river and boats by night
Explore Belgium - houses by the river
Explore Belgium - buildings refleted on a canal
Explore Belgium - beautiful buildings in a square
Explore Belgium - colorful flowers close to the river
Explore Belgium - beautiful mountain reflected on the river
Explore Belgium - city by night and lights
Discover Brussels -  Grand Place and Maison du Roi

Campervan hire in Brussels

Indie Campers Brussels Depot
Smisstraat 141, 1840 - Londerzeel

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