This new second edition of Bradt's award-winning Northern Belgium: Flanders with Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp remains the only standalone guide to this enticing region, home to more Michelin-starred restaurants per head than France and the largest number of comic-strip cartoonists in the world.
Bradt's Northern Belgium provides in-depth coverage of Brussels, including the outer communes that are often overlooked but are home to excellent off-the-beaten track eateries and kooky museums. The guide covers every inch of the region, from the sandy stretch of North Sea coast, through medieval cloth-spinning cities like Bruges and Ghent, to quaint villages.
Features include eyewitness accounts of what it was like living under the control of the Germans during World War II, a rare interview with one of the 29 Cistercian monks at Sint-Sixtus abbey in Westvleteren who brew the revered Westvleteren Trappist beer, and a guest contribution from Tim Webb, author of the best-selling Good Beer Guide: Belgium, who has written the section on beer, covering the best local tipples and which brewery to visit to try them.
Also new for this edition is information on the new Brussels Airlines ' Hi Belgium Pass', a nationwide Belgian rail pass and city pass, a focus on the best Christmas markets of northern Belgium, and details of new WWI information offices and permanent artworks. Restaurant listings have been completely revised to keep pace with Flanders' dynamic dining scene and there is a new feature on quirky accommodation options and museums, including Brussels' Underpants Museum! Carefully designed walking tours of Brussels city centre are featured, and the guide includes more maps of the area than any other. With festivals forming a major part of Flemish social life, an in-depth list of events is included, from the hip Pukkelpop festival to the best village fêtes. Flanders has one official national park and several nature reserves, and this guide offers more coverage of them than any other.
Emma Thomson has lived in the country for nearly a decade and her first edition of this guide won Best Guidebook at the British Guild of Travel Writer Members' Awards.