Last updated: 15 Jul 2020

Belgium

About

Belgium is a country whose specialities include ubiquitous beers, delicate chocolates, moules frites and Belgian waffles.

Enjoy the many Brussels museums such as the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Comic Strip Museum and the Museum of the City of Brussels - Maison du Roi. Pay homage to chocolate, which is one of Belgium's best known products, with a visit to the Museum of Chocolate and Cocoa off Brussels' Grand Place, or Choco-Story in Bruges.

Don't miss the highlight of Brussels - the spectacular Gothic Grand Place. Pose for a photograph in front of the famous Manneken Pis nearby, and his less heralded sister the Janneken Pis; both statues hint at the exuberance and irreverence of the ‘Bruxellois'.

Explore Brussels further, with St Michael and St Gudule's Cathedral and the Mont des Arts park, which links the upper and lower parts of the city. And don't forget the elegant Place Royale.
Capital:  Brussels (BRU)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  Dutch, French and German. English may be spoken. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 32
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1; Apr 12, 13; May 1, 21, 31; Jun 1, Jul 21; Aug 15; Nov 1, 11; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right. For non-EU nationals an international driving licence is recommended.
Best Time to Go: March – May and September - October
Best for: Castles, The Original Spa, War Sites
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the round two-pin type
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink, but bottled water is very popular with the locals. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however they are expensive and visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Speaking the “wrong” language can cause offence – make sure that you know which language should be spoken. If in doubt, English should be spoken. 
Local Offences / Laws: All individuals are required by law to carry identification at all times. Smoking is prohibited in certain public areas. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: Although credit cards are widely accepted, if visiting a smaller village, be sure to carry cash. 
Duty Free: Belgium is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Belgium by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Restricted imports include firearms, narcotics, plants, animals and their products. Endangered species must be accompanied by a CITES permit.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Only travellers from European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway, with the exception of territories designated as red zones. More information: www.info-coronavirus.be/en/faq/ and diplomatie.belgium.be/en

RE-OPEN EU: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/BEL

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) Belgian Embassy
625 Leyds St, Muckleneuk 0002
Tel: 012 4403201 Fax: 012 4403216
The visa section at the Embassy in Pretoria has been closed.

b) Belgian Consulate of Johannesburg
3rd Floor, 158 Jan Smuts Bld, 9 Walters Ave, West Core, Rosebank, JNB 2196
PO Box 3431 Parklands 2121
Tel: (011) 912-9611 
Mon-Fri: 08.00 - 13.00 and 13.30 - 16.00
Telephone Enquiries: 08.30-12.30 and 13.30-15.30
Visa Applications: Monday till Friday 08.30 - 12.30 (by appointment)
Telephonic enquiries for visa: Monday till Friday 14.00-15.00
E-mail enquiries: Johannesburg@diplobel.fed.be
Web: www.southafrica.diplomatie.belgium.be

c) Belgian Consulate of Cape Town 
1 Thibault Square, 19th floor, Corner Long Street & Hans Strijdom Avenue, Long Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 419-4690
Telephone enquiries: 13h00 - 15h00
O/hours: Mon-Fri: 09:00-13:00
E-mail: Capetown@diplobel.fed.be
Web: www.southafrica.diplomatie.belgium.be

ALL VISA APPLICATIONS TO BE APPLIED FOR THROUGH TLSCONTACT IN CAPE TOWN OR JNB:

Cape Town TLScontact Visa Application Centre
Media Quarter, Upper Ground Floor, 2 De Smit Street, De Waterkant
Tel: 012 472 3801
Application hours: Mon-Fri 08:30-13:30 (by appointment)
Collections: Mon-Fri 08:30-16:00
E-mail: contact.cpt2be@tlscontact.com
Web: https://be.tlscontact.com/za/splash.php

JNB TLScontact  Visa Application Centre  JHB: 
2nd - 3rd Floor, 24 Central Building, Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton
Tel: 012 472 3801
E-mail: contact.jnb2be@tlscontact.com
Web: https://be.tlscontact.com/za/splash.php
Application hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-15:30 (by appointment)
Passport retrieval hours: Mon-Fri 08:30-16:00

Visa Requirements

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Visa Processing Time

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Visa Validity

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Visa Cost

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SA Representative

South African Embassy

Montoyerstraat 17-19
1000 BRUSSEL

MINISTER RAAD Manelisi Paulos GENGE
+32 2 285 44 00
+32 2 514 78 03

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio