Flanders  is the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium. It is wedged between the North Sea and the Netherlands in the North and Wallonia and France in the South. This region has an immense historical and cultural wealth which is made visible through its buildings, its works of art and its festivals. Every turn of a corner will bring you something new.
Nowadays, Flanders is one of the three federal regions of Belgium (the other two being Wallonia and Brussels). This means that it has its own government, a parliament and separate laws. Oddly enough the capital of Flanders is Brussels, lying in another federal region. But Flanders has travelled a long historic road before arriving at its present situation. For most of its history it was united with the Netherlands, which is still the closest partner. It was separated from the Netherlands and united with Wallonia as early as the 19th century, and the marriage is at times an unhappy and also disfunctional one.
Flanders has several airports:
First of all the national airport of Zaventem (close to Brussels)
The E19 goes through Flanders, also the E40 crosses the region.
By bicycle or on foot. As we are in the European Union there are no borders and you can enter. Several places have nature parks and allow you to walk in and out (often following old-smugglers routes).
All roads (highways, main roads, ...) are free in Flanders. Some tunnels can ask for a fee to pass it (fe. Liefkenshoektunnel in Antwerp) Roads are pretty good and signalisation is pretty good too. Older cities can appear to be a maze of one-way streets. Often it is better to park your car in a parking and continue on foot. Towns are not big in general.
The national train-company is called NMBS . Trains will get you to most cities.
Flanders has a vast net of special roads for bicycles. Get a map in a tourists office, because sometimes they can be hard to find. In general cycling can be very pleasant, though don't expect to find many places where you can repair your bike.
The official language of Flanders is Dutch. Belgian Dutch, the official standard variety, has some vocabulary not used in the Netherlands and a distinct, soft accent but it is still standard Dutch. In terms of native language, three dialects of Dutch are spoken depending on the province: Flemish in the west (West Flanders and East Flanders), Brabantian in the centre (Antwerp, Flemish Brabant and a significant minority in Brussels) and Limburgish in the east (Limburg). In practice, these "dialects" are as different from standard Dutch as separate languages, and are divided into several "true" dialects: in fact, (West) Flemish and Limburgish even have their own writing languages. On the other hand, nearly all Flemings with the partial exception of senior ones are capable of speaking standard Dutch, and while a tourist is not expected to speak the local language, knowing a few words or phrases in the standard language will be highly appreciated.
Nonetheless, English is widely spoken, especially in cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. Even in rural areas, most people know English at least moderately, and you should not be surprised to find a 70 year old who speaks flawless English. French is learnt in schools by everyone, but people in Flanders literally hate to speak it in general, and speaking it will most often result in severe hostility or worse, so English is a better bet.
There are many music festivals organised throughout the summer. The bigger ones happen in a small village, because there is lots of space and not many neighbours to complain about the noise.
The festivals organised in towns are often free and very nice. They stay away from commercial music and have good bands playing combined with small local bands. Flanders has some nice music bands with some internation fame(dEUS, Das Pop, Zita Swoon, Soulwax,...)
Every city, village or habited place has a cafe. You will find every style of café and if you have a problem this is the prime location to get help. Asking for a beer needs some of your attention as any café offers a broad range of beer kinds: blond pilsener, white beer, gueze, kriek, trappist/abbey style beers, amber colour. All beers are at reasonable prices from €1.3 to €3. Many cafes offer you even a wider range. Twenty and even more than 100 kinds of beer are no exception. Try them! They have all their own distinctive taste.
Flanders is very safe. You will find that people are usually very helpful. In towns, you should of course beware of usual things (pickpockets in tourist places) but outside Brussels, everything is safe.
If you visit Flanders it would be very logical to also visit the Walloons. Though there is a different mentality, you will find that they are Belgians just like the Flemish (lots of beer and good food).