Must-Know facts about Brussels, Belgium
Brussels has much more to offer than most expats can imagine. It plays host to millions of visitors each year. As a political capital of Europe, Brussels is home to EU institutions, international organizations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. The city is also the capital of Belgium, which explains the numerous museums, beautiful parks, architecture and stunning history visible in every alleyway.
Brussels Economy and Opportunities for Expats
Brussels economy is dominated by activities within the service and public service industries. The quality of life is very high, and Belgium is listed in the world’s top 20 countries in relation to life expectancy and GDP.
Although Belgium is associated with one of the highest rates of income tax, there are other factors which should be taken into account such as their health service, which is recognized as one of the best in the world.
Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium. The European Union has its main base of operation there, which makes it the de facto capital of Europe as well. It is home to many national and multinational companies, where there are over 50,000 businesses available for expats. This number is constantly increasing, along with the number of professionals making the city of Brussels their home.
With its strategic location, Brussels is in close proximity to some major European cities such as London, Paris and Amsterdam, which offers expats the opportunity for short weekend trips.
Languages in Brussels and Belgium
It is interesting how Belgians do not share one common language. There are three official languages (Dutch (57%), French (42%) and German (1%) and an official language border has been established between the regions. The majority in Brussels speak French, but all documents and public signs are usually translated in Dutch as well.
Weather and Climate
Being influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, Belgium offers a temperate climate with mild winters and often rainy summers. In Brussels, the average temperature ranges from 3.5 °C (38 °F) in January to 18.5 °C (65.5 °F) in July and August.
Brussels Card Pass
If you are planning to explore the cultural life in Brussels, then ‘Brussels Card Pass’ is definitely worth buying. For the cost of €22, you receive a free admission to over 30 museums and monuments, guided tour discounts, as well as store and bar discounts.
Belgian Chocolate and Beer
Chocolate and beer are a big thing in Belgium. Like Swiss chocolates, Belgian chocolates are rated as some of the best in the world. Chocolate making is taken very seriously by Belgians, with thousands of varieties produced by the country. Similarly, there are as many as 400 different types of Belgian beer. Normally, you will find only the most popular ones on a beer menu, unless you visit Delirium, where all varieties are served.
Must-see places in Brussels
There are a wide range of places that expats can explore while living in Brussels. Visit the link below to find the top eight must-sees in Brussels: https://www.brussels.info/living/.
Brussels is a very cosmopolitan city, in which locals are used to encountering people from many different cultures and are usually open-minded and friendly.
If you are interested in a move to Brussels or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the leadership team. Alternatively, please browse our current international tax vacancies.