List of countries
Travel in Europe
Travel in Africa
Travel in Asia
Travel in Europe :
Travel in France
Travel in Belgium
Travel in Finland
Travel in Germany
Travel in Asia :
Travel in America :
Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in flanders
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in flanders, Bed and Breakfast!
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium. It is wedged between the North Sea and the Netherlands in the North and Wallonia and France in the South. This region has an immense historical and cultural wealth which is made visible through its buildings, its works of art and its festivals. Every turn of a corner will bring you something new.
Nowadays, Flanders is one of the three federal regions of Belgium (the other two being Wallonia and Brussels). This means that it has its own government, a parliament and separate laws. Oddly enough the capital of Flanders is Brussels, lying in another federal region. But Flanders has travelled a long historic road before arriving at its present situation.
The E19 goes through Flanders, also the E40 crosses the region.
By bicycle or on foot. As we are in the European Union there are no borders and you can enter. Several places have nature parks and allow you to walk in and out (often following old-smugglers routes).
All roads (highways, main roads, ...) are free in Flanders. Some tunnels can ask for a fee to pass it (fe. Liefkenshoektunnel in Antwerp) Roads are pretty good and signalisation is pretty good too. Older cities can appear to be a maze of one-way streets. Often it is better to park your car in a parking and continue on foot. Towns are not big in general.
The national train-company is called NMBS. Trains will get you to most cities.
Flanders has a vast net of special roads for bicycles. Get a map in a tourists office, because sometimes they can be hard to find. In general cycling can be very pleasant, though don't expect to find many places where you can repair your bike.
The official language of Flanders is Dutch, although English, French and German are widely understood. A typical Fleming will always try to speak the foreigner's language but he really appreciates a foreigner speaking some words of his native tongue Flemish, as the variety of Dutch spoken in Flanders is usually called, differs slightly from Dutch spoken in the Netherlands. There are typical words, phrases and expressions that are not used in the North, and the accent is quite distinct too. (One of the most obvious is the soft g-sound as opposed to the harsh sound heard in the Netherlands.) Although it is the same language, you might be surprised to see Dutch television programs subtitled in Flanders and vice versa. Generally the older generation speaks better French (a long time ago only French was used in administration and industry), and the younger generation better English (there is more contact with the English language through music, computers and internet).
There are many music festivals organised throughout the summer. The bigger ones happen in a small village, because there is lots of space and not many neighbours to complain about the noise.
The festivals organised in towns are often free and very nice. They stay away from commercial music and have good bands playing combined with small local bands. Flanders has some nice music bands with some internation fame(dEus, Das Pop, Zita Swoon, ...)
Every citty, village, habited place has a cafe. You will find every style of café and if you have a problem this is the prime location to get help.
Flanders is very safe. You will find that people are usually very helpful. In towns, you should off course beware of usual things (pickpockets in tourist places, some towns have bad neighbourhoods, ...)
If you visit Flanders it would be very logical to also visit the Walloons. Though there is a different mentality, you will find that they are Belgians just like the Flemish (lots of beer and good food).