- Visitor info
- Working and living
- Did you know
The small nation of Belgium might leave you surprised by its rich and gorgeous heritage. It boasts a number of fascinatingly historic cities packed with medieval and Art Noveau architecture and famous for long traditions in arts, fashion and fine dining.
There are two main airports, both in Brussels. Brussels Airport (BRU) is the main airport and then there is Brussels South Charleroi, 50km south of Brussles, and used by budget airlines such as Ryanair. Brussels receives flights from most European cities as wells as from the U.S. and the Middle East.
There are direct trains between Brussels and many major European cities such as Luxembourg, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon, Frankfurt, Basel and London. If you are getting the Eurostar from the U.K. you will have to go through French Passport Control before you board the train in London, rather than when you arrive in Belgium.
Eurolines operate between Belgium and most major European cities.
Ferries run between Hull in the U.K. and Zeebrugge in Belgium. It can cost up to €500 for a return trip with a car.
Getting from the airport
Trains run from Brussels airport to the centre. It takes around 2o minutes and costs around €8.
Taxis are located on front of the arrivals hall and usually cost around €45 to the city centre. Licensed taxis have a blue and yellow emblem. Make sure to use these.
Bus company de Lijn operates between the airport and Brussels North on lines 272 and 471. Costs around €3.
From Brussels South Charleroi you can get a coach for around €28 return. THe ticket desk is just outside the terminal.
Belgium is a relatively safe country with little crime perpetuated on tourists.
You must carry your passport on you at all times by law. Take care with it.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid here for citizens of E.U. member states. This will cover you in the case of an emergency but remember that you should still have health insurance as the EHIC will not cover everything.
The emergency number is 112.
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
Unless you are a citizen of the E.U. or Switzerland, you will need a work permit to commence work in Belgium. There are three types of work permit:
Type A: valid for all salaried professionals and all employers for an unlimited period.
Type B: valid for one employer for one year.
Type C: valid for all salaried professionals and all employers. This must be renewed each year.
If you wish to be self employed you must hold a professional card, which authorises you to exercise your profession.
Social Security entitlements will depend on agreements between your country and Belgium.
All people who have settled in Belgium must pay income tax. If you haven’t there is a non-resident’s tax to be paid.
The effective tax rate in Belgium comes to over 50%, one of the highest in Europe.
Visit www.belgium.be/en/work for more information.
If you are a citizen of an E. U. country (except Croatia) or Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, you will not need a visa. You will however have to register at the local town hall. Everyone else will need a Belgian visa.
Brussels sprouts have been grown here for over 400 years.
Voting is compulsory.
Belgium is the world’s largest diamond trading centre.
There are more castles per square kilometre in Belgium than in any other country.
More chocolate is sold in Brussels Airport than anywhere in the world.
French Fries actually originated in Belgium.
It's illegal to camp rough so get a guide from any tourist office to the campsites.
When eating out, it's cheaper to go away from the main squares.
The waffles are lovely.
Mussels and chips is the national dish.
Belgium has a population of nearly 11 million. People speak Dutch and French here. It borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
They say Belgian Food is as good as French and as generous as German.
Belgium has many types of beers, the most famous being Lambie beers which are specific to Belgium. Visit the Brussels Gueuze Museum and Cantillon Brewery to see how beer is brewed and get a taste too.
Belgium is world famous for its chocolates. There are 2000 chocolate shops in Belgium. Be sure to taste some of the Pralines.