Belgium visa guide and travel medical insurance
January 03, 2019
The Kingdom of Belgium, famous for its mussels. fries, beer and chocolate, has a very vibrant culture and idyllic scenery. Belgium boasts a number of castles and colourful medieval towns, a progressive art scene and a string of hip cultural hubs as well as moving war memorials. Belgium is a place of distinct contrasts which is most apparent in its capital city Brussels where modern architecture beautifully blends with historic sites. There’s a lot to get excited about when thinking of visiting Belgium. With all the excitement and opportunity to explore, travel insurance will not be your first priority, but it’s important to think about organizing your travel insurance policy so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.
Aside from finding the right cover for you, here are some other important travel tips to be aware of before you set off on your adventure:
Visa Information for Belgium
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Belgium?
If you are an American Citizen with a valid US passport visiting Belgium for up to 90 days, then you don’t have to apply for a visa.
Travel Documents You Will Need:
A valid U.S. passport.
Your passport must be valid for minimum of 3 months beyond your date of departure from Belgium and your passport should also have at least 2 blank pages for stamping.
Health and Medical Advice
Before jetting off on your travels, you should check for any required vaccinations or any epidemic breakouts occurring in Belgium. It’s also a good idea to find out where the nearest hospital is in case of an emergency.
Do I Need to be Vaccinated When Travelling to Belgium?
Some travellers get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B and Rabies when visiting Belgium. Make sure to also update your routine vaccinations, the standard vaccines are:
• MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
• Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis
Book an appointment at your local practitioner or find your local Passport health clinic. You should book an appointment at least four to six weeks before your trip.
Travel Health Updates in Belgium
Currently, there are no reported epidemics occurring in Belgium.
To keep up to date on any breakouts, visit the CDC website.
Emergency Contact Information
No one ever wants to have to call the emergency services whilst they’re on vacation, but unfortunately accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for when they do.
• Pan-European number for all emergencies: 112
• Police emergency number in Belgium: 101
• Fire emergency number in Belgium: 100
• Medical emergency number in Belgium: 105
Belgium Local Laws and Customs
- Belgium law requires you to carry a form of identification with you at all times.
- In public places, it’s illegal to wear clothing that covers or hides a person’s face and is punishable with a fine or a 7-day detention.
- Illegal drug use or trafficking is considered a serious offence.
Safety and Security
Due to recent events in Belgium as well as in Europe, Belgium is a very likely target for another terrorist attack. As such the Belgian government has increased its internal security to protect both its citizens and visitors. Attacks could happen anywhere so it’s important to stay vigilant and be aware of any possible safety concerns.
Here are a few tips listed from the Travel State Government Website:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings when traveling to popular tourist locations and large crowded public places.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Belguim.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Petty Theft and Crime
Serious crime is generally not much of a problem in Belgium, but like any popular tourist areas, pickpocketing and petty theft are common. Be alert and keep your belongings with you at all times, especially in crowded areas like train or metro stations and popular tourist spots. It’s always a good idea to keep valuable belongings or extra spending money in a hotel safe, if you have one.
U.S. Embassy Brussels
U.S. Embassy Brussels
Regentlaan 27 Boulevard du Régent
Telephone: (32-2) 811-4000
Useful Tips for Belgium
Official Languages: French, German and Dutch
Belgium has three official languages but Dutch is the most widely spoken of the three. English is also used and understood by the majority of the population, especially in popular tourist areas like Brussels.
Before your trip, make sure to exchange enough euros for your spending requirements. It’s always a good idea to take some traveller checks with you too.
Belgian Plug Sockets: Type E
The standard voltage and frequency is 230 V and 50 Hz. If you don’t have one already, you will need to buy a plug adapter for your appliances and devices.
You will also need to buy a voltage converter or transformer as the standard Belgian voltage is higher than in the U.S (120 V). Its best to go for a converter which can also alter the frequency as the U.S. frequency rate is 10 Hz higher than in Belgium and so may be dangerous to use without a converter.
© 2018 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. For informational purposes, UHG does not guarantee the correctness or completeness of the information.