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The ‘capital’ of the European Union is much more than the Atomium and the Manneken-Pis statue. And has its very own way of doing things. Book a flight to Brussels and...

Mix in the crown at Grand’Place
The splendor goes from gothic to baroque and makes it one of Europe’s most beautiful squares. As well as Saints-Michel-et-Gudule cathedral, which took no less than 300 years to build. But Brussels is also art nouveau (Comic Strip Centre) and art deco, of which the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is an example.

Become friends with Tin Tin
From traditional waffles to french fries, chocolat truffles to belgian beer. There’s the typical Brussels to taste and the artistic heritage to discover. The Museum of Fine Arts is an example and includes a section devoted to Magritte, a great name of surrealist painting. And to end up with a smile, why not spend the afternoon at the Hergé Museum?

Culture and Business

On a business trip, knowing the culture and customs of the country you are visiting can have a big impact on the success of your business.

Before leaving

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.

Climate

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.

Time zone

GMT + 1

Geography and Politics

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.

Tips and Payment

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.

Language and expressions to memorize

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. 

What to do

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.

What not to do

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.

What to wear

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.

First contact

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.