This Is Belgium
THIS IS BELGIUM
Welcome to Belgium, welcome to Brussels. You will find that we have our own way of doing things, and to help you get integrated faster, we’ve summed up some helpful facts. You can also find more information on our STAY page.
Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. If you don’t master one of these there’s no reason to panic, most of us understand English as well.
Most supermarkets are open between 9AM and 8PM from Monday until Saturday. Doors close 5 minutes before. So be sure to get your shopping done on time. During weekends the opening hours are limited.
If you want to go shopping, note that on Sundays and Bank Holidays almost all shops are closed. On weekdays and Saturdays you can go spend your money from 10AM until 6PM/7PM.
Usually, we don’t give tips in bars or restaurants. Waiters don’t expect you to do so. However, when the service and food is excellent, we do show our gratitude with a tip.
If you use public transport follow the rules to avoid fines.
- Train: buy your ticket before entering the train
- Bus: you can purchase a ticket in advance, which is cheaper, or buy your ticket entering the bus. Never forget to punch your ticket, even if you have bought it from the driver himself.
- Metro: buy your ticket in advance.
It would benefit you to buy a ticket with numerous journeys rather than purchasing a one way ticket.
Belgium is a vibrant country, which means there is a whole lot going on everyday. Luckily, there are English ways for you to stay updated on current affairs. Additionally, Fans of Flanders will bring you in touch with the other expats in our country. Belgium is a country of surrealists, so if you have another puzzling moment on how we behave, how the system works or what our architecture looks like, just take a deep breath and go with the flow.
THIS IS BRUSSELS
Brussels is the capital of Europe, but it wasn't always. Actually, Victor Hugo was amongst the first pro-Europeans who redeemed Brussels' geographical location ideal to be the capital of Europe.
You'll encounter a strange mix of skyscrapers and small curving streets, of bourgeois and bohémien, of oui and non. It will get you lost, but it does so with everyone.
Brussels gives you what you expect from a real city: high buildings, busy traffic, an underground art scene, eccentric old ladies dressed in drag, bars on every corner, and a lot of love from the locals. Brussels is officially a bilingual city, which means that everywhere you go you'll see signs in French and in Dutch (and very often in English too). However, you'll find that most people in Brussels are native French speakers rather than Dutch speakers.
Here, in our belle Bruxelles you'll discover one of the greatest cities in Europe...!