Limburg is one of the five provinces of Flanders (Belgium). There is also a province called Limburg in The Netherlands. It is the easternmost province of Flanders. The province boasts an interesting mining history, forests and historic towns. The area is mainly visited by tourists from Belgium or its neighbouring countries.
- 1 Hasselt — administrative center for the province and main place of interest for international visitors.
- 2 Beringen — — former important coal-mining city in Limburg, with a large industrial heritage.
- 3 Diepenbeek
- 4 Genk — former mining town that today offers visitors a gentle mix of industrial heritage and natural sights, including the Bokrijk Open-Air Museum.
- 5 Halen
- 6 Maasmechelen
- 7 Sint-Truiden — the centre of the Haspengouw region, which is renowned for its pears, apples and sweet cherries.
- 8 Tongeren — one of the oldest towns in Belgium, dating back to Roman times.
- 9 Voeren
Whereas much of Flanders is built-up, cosmopolitan, and frenetic, the Belgian Limburg is more rural and down-to-earth.
The official language, as in all of Flanders, is Dutch, and most people speak it. The main local language of the province is Limburgish which, like Dutch, is part of the Low Frankish language group and is recognised as an endogenous regional language. Another traditional language, Brabantian, is locally used in the nearby regions of Lommel and Tessenderlo.
English, often learned as a second language at school, is also widely understood especially by younger generations. French, which is spoken in two municipalities, Voeren and Herstappe in the south of the province is often intelligible south of a line from Gingelom to Riemst.
Besides a few specific neighborhoods in the larger towns like Genk and Tongeren, the Limburg province is very safe, and tourists do not have to worry.