If your response to seeing a travel article about Belgium is “Oh, yeah … isn’t that the place that makes the waffles?” then you’re not alone. This charming European country is often overlooked in favor of its larger cousins, France, Germany, Spain, or the UK.
But Belgium has endless fascinations to offer the tourist, not to mention delicious food and breathtaking sights to behold. In addition to the waffles, there’s also chocolate, beer, and the famous speculoos … what isn’t there to love about Belgium?
It’s not all about the food, though. The Belgian people are a sharply divided mix, speaking Dutch in Flanders and French in Wallonia. You can travel within the same country and have a Scandinavian experience in one part and a Francophone experience in another.
Pretty good bang for your buck, you might say … and that’s before you hear all our great tips. Without further ado, we’re here to help you plan a Belgium trip that won’t break the bank. Read on!
Average Trip to Belgium Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Belgium for two people will cost around $4,100:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $900 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
- Transportation: $200
- Total Cost: $4,100
These prices give you an average idea of what it costs for two people to travel to Belgium for a week. Naturally, they will vary somewhat. If you’re honeymooning, for instance, you might want to blow the roof off of budgetary categories such as accommodations or food and drink.
If you’re a backpacker, on the other hand, there’s plenty you can do to keep costs low. Our advice is to read up on Belgium ahead of time and understand what it truly has to offer, then curate your trip around that.
If you’re a history buff, for instance, then you’ll be interested to know that humans have inhabited Belgium for at least 100,000 years. In fact, says Eupedia, “Eastern Belgium has one of the highest concentration of Neanderthal sites in Europe. The world’s very first Neanderthal remains were discovered in Engis, a suburb of Liège, in 1829.”
As if that’s not exciting enough, “Remains of the world’s first domesticated dogs, 33,000 years ago, were also discovered in Belgium, in Goyet Caves near Namur.” Of course, perhaps your interests trend in another direction.
Lovers of classic romantic getaways won’t be displeased by this lowland country, with its beautiful wetlands and coastlines. In addition to the excellent food, chocolate, glorious architecture, and happening nightlife, it abounds in countryside dovecotes perfect for cuddling up next to a warm fire.
Truthfully, if you like the idea of a European vacation, Belgium won’t disappoint. Again, though, it’s important to keep that budget in mind!
Belgium Trip Cost: Average by Item
It’s always hard to estimate the cost of a trip. I mean, if it’s hard for one person or couple to do it, it’s that much harder to provide accurate guesses of how much a trip could cost for an average population (but we’re always up for a challenge!).
Just keep in mind that the following prices will vary depending on when you go, who you go with, what your idea of good vacationing includes, and how long you stay.
Belgium is cheaper than many other European countries, and the lodging is no exception. You can get a decent hotel in Brussels for about $75 a night, and in Antwerp for about the same. If you’re willing to stay further out, the price will drop even further.
If, on the other hand, you want to stay close to a city center, in a seaside tourist town, at a resort, or during the high seasons, you should plan to pay a bit more: about $125 per night out to do it. On average, plan for $100 a night and call it good.
Flights to anywhere in Europe will cost you, and Belgium is no exception. An average round-trip flight cost from LA to Antwerp is around $1,000. If you’re willing to take longer to get there, you can pay less – about $800.
If you want the best, fastest flights, you’re likely looking at closer to $1,200 or $1,300. From New York City to Antwerp is less, an average of around $800 instead. Prices are about the same to fly into Brussels.
Overall, plan for about $900 when traveling from the US, taking into account factors such as the time of year, whether you’re okay with overnight flights, what class you’re flying, how many stopovers you have, and whether you’re flying out of a major hub or need to connect to it.
There are several ways to save money on flights. The first is to book well ahead of time and have flexible travel dates. It’s surprising how much money you can save by adjusting your flights a few days in either direction. Also, make sure to browse flights in incognito mode.
Otherwise, your browser saves a record of your searches, knows you’re interested, and serves you higher-priced options the next time around. Some airlines will let you stay overnight in connecting cities without charging more.
For instance, when you fly Icelandair to many places, you can stay in Iceland for between one and seven days without adding anything to the cost of your ticket. Eligible destinations do include Belgium!
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
We’re just going to put this out there up front: there are dozens of different types of Belgian waffles, and you should try as many as you can. From fruit toppings to savory cheesy things, the opportunities are endless. Make sure to set aside some time to hunt down a few.
Happily, they’re just plain old waffles to the Belgians, who price them at an un-fancy $3 to $5, making it an inexpensive experience for the traveler. Overall, food isn’t very expensive in Belgium, provided you eat at cafes and grocery stores.
Your average coffee or pastry will cost between $3 and $5 as well, while groceries are very affordable. If you want to go out to a nice dinner, expect to pay about $20 a person, not including drinks. You can find more specific dining information here.
The good news about this country is that, given its wealth of countryside views and old architecture, you can have an amazing experience on the price of a few meals and a cone of gelato a day. If you choose to do paid activities, that will cost more – but not as much as you might think.
For instance, you can enjoy an adult biking tour of Antwerp for about $35 per adult, or a beer crawl for about $50. A historic tour of Antwerp by tuk-tuk costs more, about $125 per person, but it’s still a charming way to see the city.
From Brussels, you can take a comfy van to the fairytale cities of Bruges and Ghent starting at $60 per person, which is a great deal for a day-long trip. Or take a day trip to Amsterdam, canal ride included, starting at $70.
When averaged out, you should plan to spend about $100 per excursion. If you add in food and drink and assume only 3-4 excursions on your weeklong trip, you can get by on $100 a day per person.
If you skip the trips and eat on the cheap, just enjoying the natural and architectural beauty of this lowland country, plan for $50 to $75.
Transportation is quite reasonable in Belgium. You can travel by train from Brussels to Antwerp for $35 per person, and an in-city ticket will cost around $3. Taxis are less affordable. A 5-kilometer (3-mile) ride will be about $17.
When you can, opt for public transportation instead. If you want to rent a car, plan to pay an average of about $25 a day. Assuming you rent a car, you should plan for about $200 in transportation per couple.
If you take public transport everywhere and assume a few train rides between cities, then it’s about the same – with the added hassle of picking up and dropping off a vehicle.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Belgium:
- Don’t be weirded out if you see statues of a little peeing boy everywhere. This motif, called the Mannekin Pis, is the symbol of Belgium. You may see it in bronze or stone, frequently as a fountain, and often in gift shops as well. Whip out your camera and see how many times you can document it.
- Note that while renting a car is affordable, parking is totally lame. Spots aren’t abundant and it’s difficult, especially for the larger-size cars that Americans tend to go for. If you can, take public transportation.
- You will rarely need cash in Belgium. As such, you can keep a slim amount on you for emergencies – $100 per person should do it – and use your card almost everywhere.
- Don’t forget to take some chocolate with you. Belgium chocolate is famous the world over, and for good reason. Chocolatiers in the country are very picky about their beans, sourcing only the best varieties from specific places. They also grind it very finely, which gives it an extremely light and melting structure. In the United States, you’ll pay for its fine origins, but in Belgium it’s pretty affordable. Be smart and stock up for the holidays, for souvenirs, or for that secret drawer in your office.
Frequently Asked Questions
What language do they speak in Belgium?
Belgians speak either French or Dutch. If you’re traveling in Flanders, where Dutch is the primary language, you can expect a lot more English speakers around. That’s because much of the televised programming is in English, so kids learn it early on. On the French side of the country, where television is dubbed, your high school French and translator app will likely come in handier.
Do I need a visa to travel to Belgium?
According to the Belgian embassy, “US citizens in possession of a valid US passport do not need a visa for airport transit, tourist or business trips for stays up to 90 days per 180 days. Do note that your passport must have at least six months validity after your date of entry into Europe (Schengen Zone).”
In other words, you can come into a different part of Europe with 6 months left on your passport and still get into Belgium with less than 6 months because it belongs to said Schengen Zone.
When is the best time to visit Belgium?
Most tourists opt to visit Belgium in the spring or fall. Weather is lovely, not rainy, and the perfect temperature for outdoor enjoyment without a lot of gear. (You should still bring layers though.) Plus, there are lots of festivals and activities to choose from at these times of year.
However, keep in mind that you will pay more during peak seasons. If you go in high summer or winter (excluding the busy holiday season, when Belgium becomes a winter wonderland), then you’ll pay less for airfare, lodging, tours, and more.
Is it easy to get around?
Yes, it is easy to get around in Belgium. It has excellent public transportation, both safe and affordable. They don’t deal with the same rush hour problems as cars do, and the railway system between cities is excellent as well. You can find a train from almost any town and city to almost any other for a good price.
Is Belgium expensive?
Belgium is not cheap, per se, but neither is it very expensive. If you avoid costly tourist activities, plan ahead, eat at grocery stores and cafes, and steer clear of spendy drink-soaked dinners, then you can travel very affordably there.
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Trip to Belgium?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$100 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$900 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$100 per person, per day|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,100|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Belgium is around $4,100 for two people. Not only is it romantic, culinarily inclined, and saturated with history, it’s a pretty budget-friendly European destination. So get packing and let us know how it goes!