Language: Dutch (Flemish), French, German

Climate: Cool summers and moderate winters. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with a dryer period from April to September. Especially in fall and winter, strong Atlantic low-pressure systems can bring gales and uncomfortable weather. Sometimes easterly winds can cause a more continental type of weather, warm and dry in the summer, but cold and clear in the winter with temperatures sometimes far below zero

Time Zone: CET - Central European Time

International phone code: 32

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Capital: Brussels

Transportation: Brussels Airport is Belgium's main airport. It is not located in Brussels proper, but in surrounding Flanders. There is direct train service between Brussels and a number of major European cities including Paris, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Being such a small country (300 km at its maximum distance), you can get anywhere in a couple of hours. Public transportation is fast and comfortable, and not too expensive. Between larger cities, there are frequent train connections, with buses covering smaller distances. Some rental cars come equipped with Sat Nav but it's a good idea to request this when you book your car. It's probably the most reliable way to get from A to B in Belgium.

Gay Belgium:

Belgium has a great record with regards to treatment of the LGBT community. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Belgium since 1795.

Belgium was also the second country in the world (after the Netherlands) to legalize same-sex marriages in 2003, and same-sex couples enjoy the same rights as opposite-sex couples.

In April 2006, the Belgian Parliament voted to grant homosexual couples the right to adopt children.

The following June, the country's first gay church, welcoming Catholic, Protestant and evangelical members, was inaugurated in Ghent.

Belgium boasts a number of openly gay politicians, including the current Prime Minister, Elio di Rupo.