Facts & Tips

Language

The official languages in Belgium are: French and Flemish. Language is such an important part of the political and cultural infrastructure that the country created an official language border between the north and south and also a third region which is Brussels. In Brussels people mostly speak French but it is officially bilingual so all public signage and documents are in both languages. English is also widely spoken.

Time zone

Brussels is on Central European Time (CET). In November the time is GMT + 1, six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard time (PST).

Currency

The currency in Belgium is the Euro.
Euros bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 euro bills.
Euro coins come in denominations of 1-cent, 2-cents,5-cents, 10-cents, 20-cents, 50-cents, 1-euro and 2-euro coins.
The value of the Euro generally fluctuates in the course of a normal trading day. It's best to check the exchange rate before leaving home and learn how to calculate the value of 1 euro to your local currency.

Foreign Currency Exchange

You may exchange your money for the Euro at most Brussels banks or Foreign Exchange Bureaus. Look for signs that say Bureau De Change, Geld Wechseln or Cambio. You may be able to exchange your money at the Brussels airport, but exchange rates may not be the best. You should consider purchasing the Euro currency at a more favorable exchange rate before you arrive in Brussels.

Many foreign exchange offices open on Sundays. There are numerous foreign exchange offices around the Grand Place in Brussels.

Tipping

Restaurant and taxi bills generally include the service charge. You are still welcome to leave a 5%-10% tip (or round up your bill) for good service.
Suggested tip for porters is 1 Euro per bag, for coatroom attendants 1.25 to 2.50 Euro per coat, for bathroom attendants 0.25 to 0.50 Euro.

Business hours

General business hours in Brussels are Monday-Friday, 09:00am-05:00pm

  • Shops: Generally Monday-Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm. Stores are closed on Sundays, except in Brussels at the Gallerie St. Hubert and gift shops near the Grand Place
  • Banks: Generally Monday-Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm (Some banks close for lunch between 1:00pm and 2:00pm)
  • Post Offices: Generally Monday-Friday from 9:00am - 12:00pm and 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Restaurants: Generally open between 12noon - 2pm/3pm; and 7pm - 10pm/11pm
Weather

Average high temperature in November is 8°C (46°F)
Average low temperature in November is 3°C (37°F)
November tends to be a rainy month so be sure to carry an umbrella.

 
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