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.
- 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 can speak it. The main language, however is Limburgish. Commonly seen as a Dutch dialect, this regional language has acquired recognition as a language of its own. However, Dutch and Limburgish are closely related and largely mutually intelligible. Also widely spoken are English and to a lesser extent German. Despite being in Belgium, French is unpopular; the region was once a Flemish Nationalist stronghold, and people there still hold grudges against Walloons.
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.