General information


Language

Dutch, French, German

Currency

Euro (€)

Money

You can change cash at Banks in Brussels and there are several ATM machines in Brussels. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are all widely accepted in Brussels for most things including Shopping, restaurants and Hotel bills.

Tipping

Tipping is not common in Belgium. Restaurant, taxi and hairdresser bills include the service charge. If you felt the service was particularly pleasing you may leave €1-2 on the table at the end of your meal to show appreciation. Places where you should tip are in toilets that are serviced by attendants – you will normally see a table with a saucer where you can leave the tip, which is about €0.50 cents.

Tome Zone

Belgium is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1). Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Belgium, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour;  2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).

Central European Time (CET)

Central European Standard Time = GMT+1
Central European Summer Time = GMT+2

In the year 2018 the Daylight Saving Time starts 25th March and ends 28th October.

For the current time info please click HERE.

Climate

September brings shorter days with only 5 hours of sunshine to enjoy on average. Additionally, it’ll rain for half the month and the lowest temperature is 10 °C, while the highest is 20 °C.

Expect rainfall to be similar to London and Amsterdam where overcast skies are typical for most of the year. When the sun is out, Brussels has a very blue sky and it is a magnificent city to explore by foot.

Rains are usually forecasted quite well by the Brussels news but even if there is no forecast of rain still be prepared with an umbrella for late-afternoon downpour.

Smoking

There are no restrictions on smoking in the street or in OPEN public places. However, you may not smoke in any ENCLOSED public place, including shopping malls, metro stations, cinemas and theatres, restaurants and cafés (unless in a dedicated smoking room).

Telephone Codes

All Belgian telephone numbers dialed within Belgium must use the leading ‘0’ trunk code. The numbers are six to seven digits long

From outside Belgium, a caller would dial their international call prefix (typically 00 in Europe and 011 in North America), followed by 32 (the country code for Belgium), then the area code, which is 2 for Brussels. Finally, the local number is added, minus the trunk code ‘0’

Shopping

Most Brussels people will shop on Saturdays because many shops are closed on Sundays. On Sundays the shops near the Grand Place are generally open and so are some of the Brussels markets.

Belgium’s busiest shopping street with an average of 43,000 visitors every day is Rue Neuve, a pedestrian-only shopping avenue in the center of Brussels. It is home to many international brands – H&M, Mango, Primark and Benetton among them.

For more info and recommendations, please click HERE or HERE.

VAX (Tax)

Value added tax of 21% is added on to the price of all consumer goods and services. When leaving Belgium, tourists from outside the EU can apply for a tax refund on goods bought. In Belgium, the minimum purchase to qualify for a refund is €50, spent in one store.

For more detailed information please click HERE.

Safety

Brussels is like any other big city and basic common sense rules apply. As a precaution against petty theft it is good to avoid carrying money, bank/credit cards and your passport in the same bag or pocket. Making a photocopy of your passport and itinerary is also a good practice.

The centre of Brussels is however very safe and you should not encounter any problems.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency you can contact Fire service and Medical service by dialling 100 and Police service by 101. The number 112 can be dialled to reach all emergency services – medical, fire and police – from anywhere in Europe.

Visa Requirements

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need only present a valid passport or national identity card.

All other citizens need to present a passport (sometimes biometric passport is required) or other accepted travel document that is valid for the total duration of their planned stay in Belgium. Most do not need a visa as long as they are staying in the Schengen Area as a whole for less than 90 days in a 180 day period.

To make your trip as comfortable as possible, please check the requirements for traveling from your country to Belgium beforehand.

You can find some guidelines HERE.

Driving

Traffic travels on the right and streetcars always have the right of way. Many Belgian roads have heavily travelled bike lanes, so be careful.

To rent a car in Belgium, you must be at least 21 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. Seatbelts are mandatory. Child seats are mandatory for children up to age 3 and children must be at least age 12 to sit in the front seat.

 

Health

No vaccinations are required for visiting Belgium.
When travelling to Belgium, make sure you know what emergency healthcare you are entitled to, what medicines you can bring into the country, what to do in an emergency, and what travel insurance you will need.

An individual travel and health insurance is recommended.

Electricity & Conversions

In Belgium the power sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Belgium.