The editor of Lonely Planet travel guides placed Belgium eighth in the ranking of must-visit countries for next year. The Australian publisher presented Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014, its guide to the best destinations.
The guide identifies Belgian essentials, such as Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent. Brussels is applauded for its pedestrian areas and exceptional museums. Lonely Planet also has good a word to say about the food in Belgium – it’s a “gustatory blast”, with the best beers in the world, superb chocolate and excellent fries. Other local dishes – waterzooi , mussels and fries and shrimp – also manage to convince travellers to make the trip .
The guide, distributed internationally, also hails a “surprisingly chic Coast” and cultural treasures that range from the medieval to Tintin. Details are also provided about Antwerp and its diamonds, the Atomium, the coastal tram and Dinant, birthplace of the saxophone.
Of course, First World War centenary celebrations have certainly helped Belgium find a place in the top 10. The guide predicts a large influx of visitors until 2018. On the political front, the long government crisis and community disputes are discussed in the ‘hot topic of the day’.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel is now in its ninth edition. Unsurprisingly, Brazil is at the top of the rankings for 2014 as it prepares to host the next FIFA World Cup. Antarctica comes second, followed by Scotland, which the Year of Homecoming, a government initiative to welcome the Scottish diaspora back to the mother country by celebrating Scotland’s heritage, food and drink. The other countries are Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Macedonia and Malaysia.
Lonely Planets Top Ten
Feature image: Knokke beach