Make sure you have your citizen’s card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, arrange your visa or other required documentation well in advance.
Belgium has a temperate climate with mild summers and moderate winters, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. In Brussels, the average temperature in summer is 18ºC and in the winter 3ºC.
GMT + 1
Belgium is located in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and is the place where it is based. It has a prime minister who is the head of government, a national parliament and a king who is the head of state.
Most businesses accept credit cards, but it is always useful to have cash with you. Belgium is part of the Eurozone, so the currency used will be the Euro (EUR). It is not customary to leave a tip since the bill in restaurants already contains a service charge.
Belgium has 3 official languages: Dutch, French and German. Dutch is spoken in the north, by more than 60% of the Belgian population. French is spoken in the south, by about 39% of the population and German by less than 1%. In Dutch, "Hallo" = hi; "Alstublieft" = please; "Dank je/u zeer" = thank you very much.
Try to be punctual. Punctuality is seen as important in Belgium, although it is not as demanding as in countries like Germany. The French-speaking culture tends to be more formal, whereas Dutch speakers are more appreciative of those who are direct and informal.
Do not assume all Belgians are the same. Although it is a small country, Belgium has many different cultures and languages, and it is important to be aware of this when visiting any part of the country.
Usually, it is not necessary to wear a full suit, a shirt and jacket is sufficient, but if in doubt go for a more formal style. In the case of younger technology companies, you can wear more casual clothes.
When meeting someone for the first time, greet him or her with a handshake. It is considered normal to give 3 kisses on the face to friends. If you are invited to someone's house, bring a box of (Belgian) chocolates and bouquet of flowers to show your appreciation. Take enough business cards for your meetings, they are always welcome.