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Living in Brussels, Belgium:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

13 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Brussels, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 13 people living in Brussels what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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13 comments on “Brussels”

Try to learn French before you come, be prepared for paperwork to take a long time and break out your umbrella. It rains a lot here and there are many activities to do indoors. Once the sun is shining, you will fight for a place “a la terrace”.

Sloane, says: 2024

Brussels is truly the heart of Europe. Very centralized and for a capital city, it is not too big and quite cheap. There is a plethora of things to do. A huge amount of the population of Brussels are foreign nationals.

It is very well connected and relatively expensive.

The city of Brussels is very well known for its multicultural side, where French and Dutch are spoken. As there is a lot of diversity, it is a very welcoming and friendly city. People get along well and love to discover new people and cultures from all over the world.

Frederick, says: 2020

Brussels is strange. However, it’s an endearing strangeness. Apart from the charm in its mix of architectural styles, its true appeal is in the diversity of people who live here. In one day, you can have a morning coffee with an Italian, lunch with a Brit and dinner with a Russian, before moving onto a cultural event.

It rains a lot (there is, on average, only two sunny days a month). During the end of work hours, people don’t drive the nicest and often go faster and drive meaner than usual. The city is very green and it has lots of parks, trees and is an overall environnement focused city!

Someone moving to Brussels should know before that Belgian weather is cloudy and rainy, with dark and cold winters. If the person in question is used to good weather, he or she will probably feel disappointed in Belgium. That being said, Brussels is just a few hours from other great locations, such as Paris, London or Amsterdam. Beer and chocolate are also great in here, and the city is a very cosmopolitan place.

There are a lot of expatriates living in Brussels. This fact makes it a welcoming city because one does not feel like a stranger there. If you are a coffee lover, this city is not for you; it is very difficult to find good coffee in Brussels. However, it is the ideal place for chocolate lovers!

Lesley, says: 2020

Despite Brussels being the bureaucratic heart of Europe, home to the primary institutions of the European Union, administration in the city is notoriously arduous and complex. This is not helped by that everything is conducted in both French and Flemish. After one gets past the initial requirements for registering to live in Brussels, it is a wonderful city with many exciting facets to discover.

Frederick, says: 2020

Brussels is a political and economic capital of the European Union, thus a highly multicultural and multilingual city: there are more than 50 nationalities. The locals are friendly, educated and can speak several languages, including English, French, Dutch and German. The climate is very mild, without drastic shifts throughout the year.

Brussels, although a medium-sized city offers a cosmopolitan environment where people from all over the world live in harmony. Brussels is home to major european institutions and NATO and is often called the political capital of the European Union. Besides the multicultural environment the city has a lot to offer. Beer is the prefered drink and around 300 different brands are available.

It’s useful to be able to speak English, French, and Dutch. This is because the country is multilingual, and Brussels is essentially the capital of Europe so there are a lot of English speaking people there. Otherwise, I recommend owning a bike because the closer you get to the center, the more traffic there is.

Nicolas, says: 2020

French is the official language in Brussels. However, most people in Brussels understand English or Flemish. Additionally, Brussels has an old city center with a big square and traditional town hall. The city center is usually crowded with tourists and locals, especially during the weekends and holidays. Expect to see a little bit of everything and anything around Brussels.

Nathalie, says: 2020

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