Which country is cheaper, Spain or Belgium?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Belgium or Spain? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
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Belgium is a historic, tranquil, and diverse country. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the history and culture, nightlife, food, and shopping.
Belgium is a smaller but diverse nation with a long history, lots of attractions, and a mix of cultures. As it's at a crossroads in Europe, visitors can see influences from the native Belgian and Flemish people as well as from nearby France, Germany, and Holland. Historic and world-class cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent offer amazing cuisine, historic art and architecture, and fun activities for all types of travelers. Smaller cities such as Bruges, Liege, and Leuven let you delve into history in their historic old towns with cathedrals, charming cafes, art galleries, and carriage tours. And as a smaller country, it's easy to get around to see everything on the trains in just a few hours at the most between destinations.
Spain is a gorgeous, friendly, and diverse country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, theater, and adventure travel.
From the popular coastlines to the rugged interior, Spain is full of history, natural beauty, vibrant people, amazing cities, unique cuisines, and gorgeous views. While Madrid is the capital, it's by no means the main attraction of a country full of beaches, ancient castles, and cultural diversity. Barcelona is the hub of the Catalan region with its own unique culture, and the southern areas have a deep historic relationship with Moorish culture, too. Visitors will also find epic hikes, world-class food, vineyards and wineries, epic nightlife, famous art, natural wildlife, multiple coastlines, cultural dances and music, friendly smiles, and affordable prices.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Belgium and Spain. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Belgium and Spain.
Belgium offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. From art to history to culture, you'll find something for everyone. Some of the most popular art museums include The Magritte Museum in Brussels, François Duesberg Museum in Mons, and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent. But it's not all about art, as visitors also love the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp which focuses on the city's history as a maritime port. Also, science lovers should check out the Euro Space Center and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. For interesting history lessons, visit the Gallo-Roman Museum, Dossin Casern, and the In Flanders Fields museum.
Many visitors head to Spain specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, and others all have world-class museums that cover a variety of topics from history to art to science. Many of them are also family-friendly. In Barcelona, don't miss the Picasso museum dedicated to the famous artist. Casa Batllo is one of Gaudi's famous buildings and worth a tour along with Casa Vicens, too. MNAC is a great place to learn about the local Catalan art and history. And the Joan Miro museum is dedicated to the work and life of this famous artist. In Madrid, you can find plenty of historical places such as the Royal Palace and the National Archaeology Museum. If it's art you seek, make sure to visit the Prado, the Queen Sofia Arts Center, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, all of which have world-class art from Spain and Europe. In Valencia, kids will love the Oceanografic aquarium and the Bioparc zoo. In Seville, the Real Alcazar has fascinating architecture. and the Flemenco museum showcases Spain's most famous dance. This is just a small sample, as you'll find even more museums in Bilbao, Malaga, Granada, and other cities around the country, too.
Seville: This elegant city is filled with historic buildings and world famous architecture. From the iconic Catedral de Sevilla to the Real Alcázar and Plaza de España, there is an endless supply of world class sights around town.
Cordoba: The city is filled with monuments that reflect its past. The Great Mosque (La Mezquita) is one of the most iconic sights. You can also visit Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Palacio de Viana, and Puente Romano.
Granada: Many visitors head to Granada specifically to visit the famed Alhambra. The palace and fortress complex will not disappoint. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the palace is filled with intricate details. It's easy to spend hours wandering around. In addition to The Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral is also impressive to visit. If you have kids or extra time to fill, head to Parque de las Ciencias, which is the city's Science Park.
Santiago de Compostela: The iconic Cathedral of Santiago has long attracted pilgrims and travelers from around Europe and the world. The spectacular sight includes a museum and the crypt and tomb of Saint James. Another interesting sight in town is the former hostel for pilgrims, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Also make sure you visit Plaza del Obradoiro and the Galician Center of Contemporary Art.
You'll find great culture, arts, and history when visiting both Belgium and Spain.
Belgium is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. Although it's a smaller country, the history and culture here is packed into its cities and small towns. You'll find museums that focus on art, history, science, and more in many of the cities and town. For example, visit the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Castle of the Counts in Ghent, or the grand cathedrals of Antwerp. Large castles dot the countryside, many with grand views such as the one in Bouillon. Theaters are everywhere, too, so you can take in a play, opera, or the ballet in addition to enjoying the cafe culture and the unique cuisine.
See also 14 Free Things to do in Brussels.
Spain has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. The blending of cultures in this region of Europe along with the accessibility of historic sights and cultural traditions make this country an obvious place to visit for history lovers. A long period of Spain's history was influenced by the Moors from the south, and you can see it in the architecture, art, cuisine, and music. Furthermore, the Catalan region in the east has it's own cultural differences. The Roman empire also left its mark, as did visitors from the rest of Europe and northern Africa. Some of the best historic places to see in Spain include the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, the huge cathedrals of Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid, El Escorial palace outside of Madrid, Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, amongst others. Some of the best historical sites are actually the smaller castles and fortresses that are left from the long conflict between the Spanish and Moors that dot the countryside in the southern regions. Furthermore, Spain has made unique contributions of music, theater, and culture to the world stage. Flamenco dancing and Paso Double are just two of the musical art forms that are worth seeing on a smaller, intimate stage during a visit. And don't miss the world-class cuisine, too.
Spain is considered to have more larger cities than Belgium.
Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions in the big cities of Spain that attract lots of visitors. Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities and most popular places to visit. Both have world-class museums, historical attractions, cathedrals, parks, shopping, restaurants and cafes, markets, and unique culture. Some of the other cities in Spain should not be overlooked either, as they also offer plenty of big city activities, museums, and culture. Valencia, Seville, Alicante, and Cadiz are also large and full of terrific activities.
Because of the large cities in Belgium, visitors will find many sights and attractions. Brussels and Antwerp are both popular destinations for visitors because of the large number of attractions and activities. In both of these cities you'll find a wide array of hotels, restaurants, historical sites, museums, and activities for every type of traveler. In Brussels, tour the Grand Palace, climb the Atomium, and go shopping at the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. In Antwerp, after admiring the historic railway station, check out the Meir area for some shopping and chocolates, the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp, and the windows of the Diamond District.
Spain is considered to have more smaller towns and villages than Belgium.
Because Spain offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. A few of the most popular small towns to visit include Ronda with its dramatic cliffs, Besalu and it's bridge and castle-like gate, Cudillero on the northern coast, and Morella with its castle. All around Spain visitors can find small towns that once contained fortified cities, fishing villages, monasteries, and more. Bunol, near Valencia, is the location of the famous annual tomato fight. And Pamplona is home to the running of the bulls every year. Benasque in the Pyrenees sits in a valley and offers plenty of outdoor activities. And don't miss the famous hanging houses of Cuenca. Frigiliana is full of white-washed Andalucian houses, along with other nearby towns worth visiting. Every region of Spain offers something unique and special, so make sure you add some of these places to your itinerary.
As Belgium is a destination with many small towns and villages, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. Some of the more popular small towns to visit draw large crowds to see the old cathedrals, local markets, narrow canals, historic homes, and delicious local cuisine. Bruges is one of the most popular towns for travelers because it has several gorgeous cathedrals, scenic canals, museums, and terrific restaurants all packed into a small walkable area. Other popular smaller towns include Spa, where you'll find relaxing hot springs; Bouillon, home of a beautiful castle; Durbuy, with its winding narrow streets; Dinant, with cliffs above a scenic river; and Rochefort, famous for its beer from the historic monastery. But dozens more small towns are dotted around the countryside, and if you have the time, are worth visiting.
There are great theater venues available in both Belgium and Spain.
If you have some extra time in Belgium, take in a show. While Brussels has the most theater productions, Antwerp, Ghent, and others host a variety of shows and concerts, too. The most popular theaters in Brussels include the Théâtre Royal du Parc, Vaux-Hall, and the KVS. For other interesting performances, don't miss the Royal Toone Theatre with its myriad of puppets or La Montagne Magique (Magic Mountain) which offers youth and children's productions in French. In Antwerp, a few of the most popular theaters are Koningin Elisabethzaal, De Roma, Stadsschouwburg, and Bourla, among others.
Spain offers a number of shows and performances. In Madrid, you can see plays and musicals at the Theatro Real Theatre and from the National Classical Theatre Company or the National Drama Centre. The Spanish National Ballet and the National Dance Company provide terrific opportunities to see world-class dance productions. Also, you can see Flamenco shows at small, intimate venues around Madrid and other cities, too. For example, in Barcelona you should try to catch a Flemenco show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes which is one of the best venues in the country. Also in Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a large historic venue with a gorgeous interior that hosts a variety of productions. And don't miss the Palace of Catalan Music where you can listed to music from the region. Many other cities host terrific theater productions from the local culture as well as touring shows.
Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Spain a bit more than Belgium.
Spain has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Tapas are perhaps the most famous Spanish culinary export. These small sharable dishes started as something to snack on while drinking, and have transformed into a style of meal all their own. Typical tapas dishes include potatoes, sausages, stewed meats, calamari, olives, cheese, and more. But tapas are not the only local foods you should try. Chirizo is a special type of smoked sausage, and jamón Iberico is a smoked ham with tons of flavor. Calamares (rings of squid) are also popular around the costal areas, and are cooked with a variety methods. Anchovies and other seafood are popular, too. Paella is also famous. The name comes from the wide pan that the rice dish is served in, usually with seafood or meat and a variety of spices for flavoring. Finally, while in Spain, taste the local olives, bread, cheese, and fruit as they are all usually fresh and delicious.
Madrid: The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.
Valencia: The city is famous as the birthplace of paella, which is one of Spain's most famous dishes. Beyond the paella, there are a number of other amazing traditional dishes. Fideuà is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. All i pebre is an eel and potato dish and clóchinas are tiny local mussels. For dessert make sure you try the flan de calabaza, which is pumpkin flavored. Many restaurants also have tapas that can be shared. Restaurants in the old town are charming and delicious, but out by the beaches the quality isn't as good.
San Sebastian: It is a famed culinary capital of not just Spain, but the entire world. The city has many Michelin-starred restaurants where you can experience modern or traditional recipes prepared by world class chefs. There are also pintxo bars, food markets, and gourmet food shops, that sell local ingredients and dishes. Much of the cuisine includes seafood, but you'll also find a local twist on traditional tapas. Dining is a true experience in this town.
Almeria: The food is focused on local, fresh ingredients with many traditional recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Popular dishes change with the seasons because they rely so heavily on local produce. Particularly during the winter months you'll find hearty stews like patatas en ajopollo and gurullos con conejo, which is prepared with rabbit. Sardines are also popular year round.
There are many up and coming restaurants in the Belgium area. While Belgium is famous for waffles, beer, and chocolate, plenty of other traditional dishes should be on your list as well. Furthermore, as a modern and diverse nation, you can find cuisine from all over the world in the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp. World-class chefs have started terrific restaurants serving a wide variety of dishes. But if you're after some traditional fare, try the mussels (moules), fries with garlic-mayo, Flemish stew, or Croquettes, and Vol-au-vent.
If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Belgium and Spain.
The nightlife in Belgium has something for everybody. As the largest city, Brussels not only draws the biggest crowds in the evenings, but has also earned itself a reputation as a party-oriented city at night. With dozens of nightclubs offering every type of music, to the vibrant bar and pub scene, as well as the theater and fine dining offerings, Brussels has an active scene for both locals and visitors alike. Some of the best spots in Brussels include Madame Moustache, the Music Village, Fuse, and Spirito. Antwerp also offers its share of nightlife. Dozens of bars and clubs come alive at night here also. Ghent, Bruges, and other tourist destinations also offer plenty of bars and theaters, although the nightlife scene is not as active later in the night.
Ghent: With its young student population, you'll find plenty of lively bars and clubs around town. There are many places where you can party or dance into the early hours of the morning and some of the best places are around Oude Beestenmarkt, De Overpoort, and De Vlasmarkt. There's also the famous Ghent Festival every July.
Spain offers plenty to do in the evening. Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, and many other beach resort towns all have active nightlife scenes, each with their own personality. Barcelona is very popular with all types of bars and dance clubs for locals and travelers alike. Sidecar, Opium, and Pacha are some of the most popular places, and many more can be found in Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter. In Madrid, check out Kapital, Barbara Ann, or Ochoymedio. Along the coast, the nightlife varies from family-friendly restaurants and theaters to more active dance clubs, pubs, and bars for singles and younger couples.
Barcelona: The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.
Valencia: Dinner starts late, so you can expect the nightlife to pick up even later. During the summer there are all night terrace parties and year round you'll find nightclubs filled from evening to dawn. If all night raves aren't really your thing, you'll also find plenty of local bars where you can hang out with friends in a more relaxed setting. The nightlife scene really is varied enough that there's something for everyone.
Malaga: The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.
Palma de Mallorca: Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.
Marbella: European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.
Most people pick Spain for its beaches over Belgium.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Spain. The beaches in Spain are world-class, popular, and extensive. With a huge stretch of coastline on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as famous islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The coastline of Andalusia and Valencia are perhaps the most visited, as tourists from all of Europe, and all of the world, come here for holiday beach vacations in Spain. Good food, sunny warm weather, wide sandy beaches, and family-friendly amenities are found up and down the coast. Some areas are more party-oriented, while others offer a calm, relaxing vibe, or family-friendly activities. Some of the best and most popular beach destinations in southern Spain include Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Puerto Banus near Marbella, Bogatell in Barcelona, Almunecar in Costa Tropical, and the beaches of Cadiz, amongst others. You can't go wrong with any of them.
Palma de Mallorca: The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.
Almeria: Outside of town you'll find kilometers of stunning coastline and beaches. There are pristine natural beaches that still feel undiscovered with beautiful long stretches of sand. One of the biggest resort areas is Roquetas de Mar.
Marbella: The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.
You'll find a beach in Belgium. The relatively short stretch of coastline here has some beautiful beaches which can be enjoyed during the warmer months. Some areas are more natural with sand dunes and open spaces, while others have stretches of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and seaside attractions. Knokke-Heist is a popular area with plenty of activities and hotels. De Panne and Nieuwpoort are also extremely popular with wide, white beaches and a diverse selection of dining options. On the other hand, Bredene is more secluded for those that want to escape the crowds.
While Spain and Belgium are both popular shopping destinations, overall Belgium is considered to be better.
Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Belgium. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major cities offer plenty of trendy shops, fashionable boutiques, art galleries, and chocolate shops. Also, you can't miss all of the diamond stores in Antwerp. Even if you're not buying, it's fun to peruse the window displays. In Brussels, make sure to visit the Royal Saint Hubert Galleries not just for the shops, but also for the architecture and history of the building. Another nice indoor spot is Passage du Nord, and Boulevard de Waterloo has plenty of upscale shops. In Antwerp, the diamond shops are located not far from the historic train station, while more of the clothing boutiques are found in De Modewijk, the fashion quarter of the city.
Brussels: Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.
Antwerp: The city has become known for its fashion scene. The main shopping street is Meir, which is where you'll find a variety of European fashion chains. It's also fun to buy chocolates, art, or other souvenirs around town. You'll find both locals and tourists perusing the main shopping areas around town.
Many visitors go to Spain to go shopping. In Barcelona, visitors can find plenty of great areas with fashion boutiques, local arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Check out Portal De L'Angel in the Gothic Quarter, Paseo de Gràcia with its high-end stores, Avenida Diagonal for its diversity of shops, and the famous Boqueria Market where you'll find fresh food and other surprises. In Madrid, don't miss Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle de Fuencarral, or the historic El Rastro flea market where you can find plenty of hidden gems. Elsewhere in Spain, most beach resort areas have shopping streets, and the larger towns such as Valencia, Malaga, and Marbella have multiple shopping neighborhoods. In Granada and Seville, it's also possible to find those special local arts and craft shops for the perfect gift or souvenir.
Madrid: Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.
Barcelona: Head to Portal De L'Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.
Marbella: This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.
Spain provides a better hiking experience than Belgium.
People visit Spain specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. The Camino de Santiago is Spain's most famous hiking route. Also known as the Way of St. James, this historic 500 mile-long pilgrimage route stretches across the entire width of Spain and also has numerous secondary paths. Hikers come from around the world to trek the entire length or just a small portion of the trail which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest. Additionally, you'll find plenty of other hiking opportunities in the Pyrenees mountains, the various national parks, or even in the Canary islands or Mallorca. Also, the Caminito del Rey has amazing trails along cliffs near Malaga. From Barcelona, it's easy to reach the base of Montserrat, where you can hike up to the monastery instead of taking the cable car, or hike on the higher up trails as well. Sierra Nevada national park, near Granada, also offers plenty of hiking trails that are close to a major city. And in the Costa Brava region up the coast from Barcelona, even more gorgeous trails have great views of the landscapes and Mediterranean Sea. Generally, no matter where you visit in this country, you can find some great trails.
Santiago de Compostela: This small city is the culmination point for the famed Camino de Santiago. The 780 kilometer route is followed by pilgrims and travelers who seek enlightenment or adventure. Hikers travel both independently or as part of organized tours.
Tenerife: The island's volcanic landscapes mean that there are dramatic and breathtaking hikes throughout the island. Some of the best hikes are found in the Anaga Rural Park, Teide National Park, and the Teno Mountains.
While not known for its hiking, Belgium has a few options. Many hiking trails are within easy reach of nearby cities and towns, making them accessible. Many are also easy hikes since Belgium has a fairly low elevation. Some of the best areas to hike include Deux Ourthes Natural Park, Southern Ardennes Natural Park, or Eifel Natural Park.
Spain often provides a better experience visiting national parks than Belgium.
Visiting the national parks is a popular activity when in Spain. With sixteen national parks and a variety of other natural parks and wilderness protection areas, visitors are offered a diverse set of natural destinations to explore. Some are in the mountains, some at the coast, and others are found in unique ecosystems. Some of the most popular include Cabañeros in the mountains of Toledo, Guadarrama near Madrid, and Illas Atlánticas de Galicia near A Coruna on the northern coast. Several national parks are found on the Canary Islands and make the trip there even more interesting if you have the time. In many of Spain's national parks, you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, adventure sports, and beautiful views.
Belgium has some national parks and wilderness areas for those that seek them out. With only two national parks and 10 other large natural protected areas, most visitors don't come here to see the wilderness. But a variety of beautiful scenery can still be found in this small country. Hiking trails and camping spots providing opportunities to see the rivers, hills, and native birds of the region. They make for a good escape from the cities if you're looking for somewhere nearby to get into nature.
Overall, Spain is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.
Spain offers fun and exciting watersports activities for visitors. With a huge length of coastline both on the southern Mediterranean shore and the northern Atlantic shore, water sports in all forms can be found here. Surfing is very popular on both coasts, as wake boarding, kite surfing, and wind surfing. It's also easy to rent kayaks or canoes both on the coastline or in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular along the coast, as well as in the Canary Islands and around Ibiza and Majorca. The beaches and clear waters of these island paradises attract plenty of water bound tourists for a good reason. If you're interested in doing more at the beach than just laying on the sand, Spain is the place for you.
Belgium does offer some watersports. The beach along the coastline offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, and swimming during the warmer months. Also, plenty of the canals and rivers through the country are great spots for kayaking, boating, or swimming, too. While you can explore the waterways of the countryside by kayak or canoe, don't forget that you can often do this in the cities and towns as well, which offer a fun perspective on the historic urban areas.
Overall, Spain is considered to offer more outdoor activities and attractions to visitors.
Spain offers fun and exciting outdoor activities for visitors. Popular outdoor activities here include camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more. Canyoning is popular, especially in the Pyrenees. The Sierra de Guara is one of the most popular spots for this, located outside of Zaragoza. Or, try rock climbing in Andalucía where you'll find a variety of spots not far from Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. For those looking for a hike, trails are everywhere and not just in the national parks. Of course, there's always the famous Camino de Santiago if you're looking for an adventure.
Belgium does have some outdoor activities to explore. Wildlife areas and parks are very accessible to the larger cities and towns, many by public transit. So, if you're looking to get out of the urban areas, these parks are a good option. Hiking trails, boating, swimming, and other fun activities are found all over the country. And while the country is smaller than many others, it still has scenic outdoor spots such as the West Coast (Westkust) cycling route from De Panne or the Zwin walking route in Knokke-Heist, or the Eifel Nature Park.
Generally Spain is better for road trips, as it offers more possibilities.
Spain is a very popular destination for those that love to take road trips. The roads in Spain are efficient, quick, and well-maintained, making it easy to get around. If you don't have a car, it's also easy and often affordable to rent or hire one at the airport upon arrival. Many visitors take a road trip along the coastlines. The northern coastline in particular is very scenic with epic views and small towns The southern coastline is lined with beaches, more small towns, and larger cities. The Catalan coast north of Barcelona is especially beautiful with small towns, cliffs along the sea, and historical sites. The interior shouldn't be missed either, as you'll find national parks, castles and fortresses, and beautiful cities such as Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo. And since Spain is not too large, the drives won't be too long between destinations.
See also Andalusia Road Trip.
Belgium is generally not the best destination for road trips, but it has a few options. To see some of the small towns in the countryside, taking a road trip might be a good option. Since the distances between cities and towns are not large, driving can be quite quick between destinations. The roads are great, and having your own car means that you can see some of the small and quaint places that are not as easy to reach by train or bus. Don't miss some of the castles (such as in Bouillon, or the monasteries that produce beer such as the one in Rochefort. Keep in mind that visiting the big cities with a car is generally not recommended since parking is limited.
There's generally more to do with your family in Spain than Belgium.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, Spain is a very family-friendly destination. Beach vacations are one of the first things that come to mind for a family holiday or vacation to Spain. The Mediterranean coast has multiple beach resort towns such as those in Valencia or around Malaga and Marbella. Even Costa Brava and the areas around Barcelona are popular beach spots, too. But don't assume that the beaches are the only thing to see for families, as the big cities and mountains have plenty of activities as well. Madrid has kids tours of the Prado museum, the Mercado de San Miguel, a great zoo, the Warner Brothers Park, a railway museum, and a fantastic natural sciences museum. Barcelona offers the CosmoCaixa science museum, Montjuic and it's fun gondolas, the chocolate museum, a terrific aquarium, and plenty of interesting architecture. Kids also love all of the old castles and fortresses that dot the countryside, especially the Alhambra, the Castillo de Peñíscola, and the Royal Palace of Olite. Furthermore, plenty of cities have a mix of cultural and historical sites combined with modern family attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and natural park areas. The mountains also have national parks with wide open spaces which are great for family hikes, bike rides, camping, and road trips. You can't go wrong with a family trip to Spain, as there's just so much to do.
Tenerife: The island has many great waterparks for kids, with one of the best being Siam Park. Other family-friendly destinations include Aqualand, Loro Parque, Jungle Park, and Monkey Park. There are whale watching trips, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly beaches as well.
See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.
Belgium is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. From fairy-tale cities such as Bruges to the large cathedrals filled with lights, and from the horse-drawn carriage rides and playgrounds to the old Castle of the Counts in Ghent, kids will be very entertained here. After all, this is the country of waffles and chocolate, and the adults can have a Belgian beer on the side, too. Many of the cities are also bike-friendly, which adds to the fun if you want to take a tour on two wheels. Or hop on a boat tour as Ghent, Bruges, and many others have canals and rivers with scenic views, too. And Brussels offers the Pixel Museum which is all about gaming and technology, as well as a puppet theater and various other art and history museums. You can also get into the outdoors to visit hiking trails and national parks, as well as interesting caves. And any kids interested in military history should visit Waterloo as well as the trenches of Ypres
Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Spain than Belgium.
Spain makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. In addition to the historical centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia which contain plenty of romantic attractions, couples and honeymooners also love Majorca and Ibiza for it's epic beaches, the southern coast of Spain for the beach resorts, and Costa Brava for its charming small towns with fantastic cuisine. Honeymooners could stay in one spot for a week, or spend their entire trip touring the highlights. Or, if you're just looking for a quick weekend getaway, any of the major cities or smaller towns offers plenty of charming activities. Andalucía is a popular destination because it combines the beaches with historic towns, mountain retreats, and fantastic food. The Asturias region on the northern coast is popular for many of the same reasons. No matter where you visit, it's easy to combine all of the best features of Spain into one terrific and romantic trip.
Marbella: The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.
See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples in Madrid, Hostels & Campgrounds in Ibiza for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Pamplona for Backpackers, Solo Travellers, and Couples.
Belgium is a good country for couples to visit. While it might not be the first place that couples think of, the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp offer plenty of charming and romantic activities. Furthermore, many of the castles and chateaus in the countryside have been turned into luxury hotels, so you can experience history and luxury together. Hikes from some of the small villages to nearby castles are common any time of the year, especially in the spring and fall. And whether you're in a small town or one of the big cities, you'll find chocolate, waffles, and beer all over, not to mention plenty of other gourmet food options for that romantic evening out on the town. Theaters are also common, so take in a show or a concert after dinner.
Travelers usually think of Spain as a better destination for backpackers than Belgium.
Many backpackers visit Spain. Affordable prices, easy transportation, and a wide array of budget accommodation make this country extremely popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Barcelona, Madrid, the costal cities, and small towns all have plenty of hostels, pensions, and guest houses. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife, attracting younger travelers on a budget, and plenty of places cater to them with low-cost accommodations with a party vibe. Also, a huge number of museums and cultural attractions have low-cost or free entry tickets, or provide discounts for anyone under 25. Affordable food is also found everywhere, whether at local restaurants, street vendors, or markets. Transportation is also easy, cheap, and efficient, and serves the entire country. Overall, prices in most spots in Spain tend to be a little more affordable than in the rest of Europe.
Barcelona: There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers. Backpackers will also appreciate the young vibe and late night party venues that keep the city fun and entertaining.
Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.
Belgium is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major tourist destinations might not be the most budget-friendly places, but plenty of hostels and low-cost accommodations can be found in and around the cities. Furthermore, food at most restaurants is reasonably priced, especially if you avoid the touristy areas and the higher-end establishments. In generally, there's plenty of activities which are free or low in price. And younger travelers tend to enjoy Belgium's vibrant nightlife and bar scene, which is especially popular in Brussels as well as Antwerp, Ghent, and elsewhere. Transportation is also cheap and readily available.
For students, both Belgium and Spain are great places to visit.
It's common for students to visit Belgium. With major universities attracting students from all over the world, along with an active nightlife and bar scene, as well as affordable travel options, this country is a pretty good place for students. You'll find hostels, affordable food, fun cafes, and cheap activities in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other cities. The largest university areas are found in Brussels, Leuven, Liege, Ghent, and Antwerp, so you might want to focus on these areas if you're visiting or are interested in studying abroad.
Ghent: The city is very popular with international students so it has a young and energetic vibe with plenty to do throughout the year.
Spain is a good country to visit for students. Other than Barcelona and Madrid, the most popular cities for students include Granada, Seville, Valencia, and Bilbao. Here, you'll find large universities surrounded by student-friendly neighborhoods. Nightlife, bars, affordable restaurants, and fun activities can be found in all of these cities which cater to budget travelers and locals alike. Spain is a popular destination overall for study-abroad students and younger travelers.
Madrid: With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.
Barcelona: This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. It's also a lively city, but do expect the price tag to be higher than other Spanish cities.
Valencia: The city is young and vibrant with a lot of culture and beautiful neighborhoods. It's also well connected to the rest of Spain with a convenient central train station.
Seville: It's a top destination for international students who appreciate the many great educational institutions, beautiful year-round weather, and many festivals and evening activities.
Cordoba: It's a top study abroad destination for international students. The university is excellent and the city is easy to navigate. It's a cultural city with a great student-friendly atmosphere.
Belgium and Spain both offer transportation to get you around.
Belgium has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. The combination of the national train system, city trams and buses, great roads, and a good network of bike paths makes this one of the easiest countries to get around. Belgium is fairly small as a country, so the major cities and towns are not too far apart. The trains run frequently and efficiently, as do the local city trams and buses. Roads are well built for those that want to drive, too.
Is it easy to travel around Belgium?
With a huge network, the transit system in Spain can get you around easily. High speed trains as well as local trains take visitors and residents around all of the cities in Spain fairly quickly. Once in a city, the local transit systems are excellent at reaching most places quickly. And if you choose to drive, you'll find a quality and efficient highway system, too. Buses can fill in the spots where trains don't go, and sometimes buses are a cheaper alternative to trains or flights between cities as well. The most popular airport connections are found in Madrid and Barcelona.
Is it easy to travel around Spain?
Both Belgium and Spain can feel quite modern and comfortable as they both have an established tourist infrastructure.
People often come to Belgium because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Modern European comforts and luxuries are found everywhere here, so whether you're traveling to the cities or the countryside, you can expect modern conveniences. The larger cities have the most variation in price ranges for accommodations and restaurants, but at any price range you can expect modern facilities and quality service. Transportation is efficient and safe, and a large network of infrastructure for both locals and tourists alike can be found everywhere. The food is also excellent, clean, and safe no matter where you visit in Belgium. So, whether your a family looking for comfortable places for the kids, a couple on a romantic break, or a younger backpacker on a tight budget, everyone can expect to travel around efficiently and in comfort.
Spain is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. Luxury beach vacations and historical attractions in famous cities usually come to mind when people think of Spain. Rightly so, because this country is modern and offers a wide array of comfortable modes of travel and vacationing. It's easy to find budget-friendly accommodation, but even at the lowest prices, guests can still expect to find modern and comfortable amenities. The roads, trains, and public transit are also clean, safe, and can get visitors anywhere. The tourist infrastructure here is extensive, and anyone can travel comfortably here no matter their budget or price range.
Spain generally has a more touristy vibe than Belgium.
Plenty of tourists come to Spain every year, as it's a popular destination. While Madrid and Barcelona are the most popular cities to visit, the beach resort areas in Andalucía and Valencia can also get touristy, especially in the busy summer months. Additionally, other cities such as Toledo, the towns in Catalonia, Granada, and Seville attract many visitors. The summer months are the most busy, and you can expect larger crowds in these destinations as well as at major tourist sites. In some places, entrance queues for museums or attractions can get quite long. The most popular places to visit in Madrid include the Prado museum, the Royal Palace, the Crystal Palace in Retiro park, and sometimes the football museum at the Real Madrid football stadium. In Barcelona, you can expect crowds at the Sagrada Família cathedral, Park Güell, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at night when it's lit up, and in the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Despite the crowds, it's never too chaotic or unmanageable, and Spain is absolutely worth the trip in any case.
Palma de Mallorca:
Santiago de Compostela:
Belgium is fairly touristy, with a decent number of visitors coming each year. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, and Liege are the most popular destinations for visitors. They each see fairly large numbers of travelers, especially in the summer months. However, the cities themselves are large enough so that any particular area isn't overcrowded and the cities are easily manageable. Bruges is an especially popular place to visit, as this smaller city offers many attractions, so it can feel much more touristy than other places. Also, specific areas of each city are popular, such as the Castle of Counts in Ghent which sometimes has a long queue to enter. Other popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Belfry in Ghent, Bouillon Castle, and Waterloo. It's common to experience crowds at these locations and other popular spots, but again, it's usually manageable.
In either Belgium or Spain, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Spain than Belgium because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Belgium, and 7-21 days is enough time in Spain.
Families should spend more time in Spain than Belgium. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Spain, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Spain than Belgium. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Spain that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Spain than Belgium if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Spain.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Belgium. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.
In Spain, you'll find theater, adventure travel, and national parks. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Belgium is a fun place to experience. In Belgium, many people enjoy the shopping, museums, and theater that this destination offers. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.
Spain is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, five days is probably not enough for all of it. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
In Belgium, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and history and culture that this diverse destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
You'll find museums, theater, and history and culture around the historic destination of Belgium. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that two weeks is more than enough time to see everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Spain has to offer.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Belgium is €142, while the average daily cost in Spain is €150. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belgium and Spain in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Belgium or Spain? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
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Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Belgium:
Also for Belgium, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:
Also for Spain, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both Spain and Belgium change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Belgium:
For Belgium, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Spain, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
For Spain, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Belgium, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Belgium.
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Spain's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Spain, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Belgium from other travelers:
Also in Belgium, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:
When comparing the travel costs between Belgium and Spain, we can see that Spain is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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