Official name: Kingdom of Belgium
Population: About 11.5 million
Capital city: Brussels
Other major cities: Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Bruge and Liège
Neighbouring countries: Belgium is bordered by The Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the south and France to the west.
Geography: Belgium is a small Western European country made up of three main geographic regions, the northwest coastal plain, the central plateau and the Ardennes. The Ardennes is a heavily forested, rocky plateau in the south of Belgium. The rest of the country has a rather flat landscape, with a few natural lakes and many artificial waterways and canals.
Political system: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Main languages: Dutch, French, German, English
Major religions: Catholicism is the most widespread religion, with Islam and Protestantism making up a smaller demographic.
Currency: The Euro (EUR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 cents
Time: GMT +1 (+2 from the end of March to the end of October)
Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are used.
International dialling code: +32
Internet domain: .be
Emergency number: 112
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road. The country has an excellent public transport system and expats can generally get by without having to own a car.