- Download our Moving to Brussels Guide (PDF)
Expats moving to Brussels will likely have questions about life in the city. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about life in the Belgian capital.
Do I need to learn a language before I move to Brussels?
Brussels is bilingual, with most citizens speaking French. English is widely spoken, so learning a language in the centre of Brussels is unnecessary. However, speaking a local language is an excellent way to gain favour with locals.
What is the weather like in Brussels?
Brussels has a maritime temperate climate, characterised by warm summers and mild winters. The city has a high average annual rainfall, and visitors can expect a shower at any time of the year. Snow is possible but not frequent in winter.
Are weekend getaways from Brussels possible?
The historic tourist city of Bruges is extremely close by, which makes for an incredible getaway. Alternatively, with plenty of options for easy transport access, neighbouring European countries such as Germany, France and Switzerland are right on Belgium's doorstep.
How safe is Brussels?
Like any large city, Brussels has areas of higher and lower crime. However, the city is generally safe for expats and tourists alike. Common-sense precautions such as not displaying valuable items and being aware of one's surroundings, especially late at night, should be sufficient for most. Brussels has an efficient police force and emergency services.
What are the customs and local etiquette in Brussels?
Brussels is a cosmopolitan city with a mix of cultures and customs. However, there are certain etiquette norms to keep in mind. Punctuality is valued in Belgian culture, and it's considered polite to bring a gift when invited to someone's home. Belgians also tend to be quite private, so avoiding overly personal questions until a relationship has been established can be a good approach. It's also good to know that both French and Dutch are official languages, and attempts to speak either are usually appreciated.
What are the options for gyms and fitness clubs in Brussels?
Brussels offers a variety of fitness facilities to suit different preferences and budgets. From large, multi-purpose gyms with state-of-the-art equipment to boutique fitness studios offering classes like yoga, Pilates, and spin, there is something for everyone. Many gyms offer flexible membership options, including short-term and pay-as-you-go plans, which can be convenient for expats. Public parks such as Parc du Cinquantenaire also provide a great outdoor space for running and other exercises.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.