Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Belgium International Travel Information
Traveling Through Europe: Belgium is a party to the Schengen Agreement. If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
Visit the Embassy of Belgium website for the most current visa information.
The Government of Belgium does not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free entry into Belgium. If traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials. Only direct transit through Belgium for a destination in the United States is permitted with an emergency passport. You should check entry requirements of any other country of destination to make sure the emergency passport is accepted for entry.
HIV/AIDS RESTRICITONS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Belgium.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad, including possible attacks in Europe. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, rudimentary IEDs, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 101. For all other emergencies, please dial 112. Contact the U.S. Embassy at +(32) (2) 811-4000. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
The Belgian Commission for Financial Assistance to Victims of Intentional Acts of Violence provides financial compensation, under specific circumstances, for victims of crime and for those who have suffered injuries and consequent losses caused by such incidents. The Commission also provides for dependents or immediate family members of homicide victims. For more information, contact the Commission by phone at 32-2-542-7208; 32-2-542-7218; 32-2-542-7224; 32-2-542-7229, or 32-2-542-7244; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; or visit the Ministry of Justice website (French and Dutch only).
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Belgium.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Belgium, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than in the United States.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
High-quality medical facilities and services are widely available in Belgium. The large university hospitals can handle most medical problems. Equivalents for most, but not all, U.S. medications are available through local pharmacies with a prescription from a Belgian physician. The responsiveness of emergency services is also generally excellent.
For emergency services in Belgium, dial 112.
Ambulance services are widely available.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Belgian Federal Public Health Service to ensure the medication is legal in Belgium.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Road Conditions and Safety:
Public Transportation: Brussels and most major cities of Belgium have extensive and efficient public transportation systems. Trains, buses, and ferries connect Brussels with other major cities in Belgium and with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. Traveling by train is considered to be safer than driving.
See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Belgian national authority responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Belgium’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Belgium’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Belgium should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.