Belgium Information Guide


  Belgium – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

Articles - Belgium

When you’re thinking of living abroad, especially for the first time, it’s good to be able to hear from people who have already made the move. Today we’re looking at blogs from expats who live in Belgium; here are our recommended reads for anyone who’s thinking about moving there.

Belgium or Bust

A Navy wife and mother living in Mons, Zosia’s blog provides an insight into what it’s like to be a parent in a new country. Her ‘Must See Destinations in Europe’ section is a great resource if you’re new to the area and want to see as much as you can. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the recipe section for tips on healthy and delicious cooking.   more ...

  5 Great Restaurants For Expats In Brussels

Articles - Belgium

The Belgian capital of Brussels offers rich culinary fare through its many Michelin-starred restaurants that can be found in almost every part of the city. In fact, Brussels stands proudly alongside Paris, New York and Honk Kong as one of the finest cities for eating. Here are five great restaurants in Brussels that will allow expats to indulge in an exciting gastronomical experience.

Comme Chez Soi

Christened by its founder, George Cuvelier, in 1926, to mean ‘like home’, the restaurant has remained in the family through the years. Today, a passionate chef, Lionel Rigolet, has the reins.   more ...

  Self-Employment in Belgium: Know the Rules

Bruges, Belgium
Articles - Belgium

If you’re moving to a new country for the sake of a lifestyle change rather than because your employer is sending you elsewhere, self-employment can be one of the best ways to ensure you still make enough to pay the mortgage whilst maintaining a level of control over what you’re doing and when. A huge number of expats choose this route, and there are countless websites devoted to helping people who want to live a freelance life. The benefits are obvious: getting up when you want to, dictating your own working hours, choosing which clients you can work with and perhaps pursuing something that has always been a dream job but never felt within reach. It’s not an easy route, though, and with more and more people wanting the flexibility to choose their own working lifestyles, competition is hotter than ever.

Beyond the usual difficulties, of course, there is also the added issue of trying to work out how to go self-employed in a new country. Many places have different tax laws for people who work for themselves, and as anyone who has done it in their home country will know, this can be confusing even when you speak the language and understand the culture.   more ...

  Working for the EU in Brussels

Articles - Belgium

Although the European Union has not formally declared a capital city, the degree to which "Brussels" has become shorthand for "EU" should tell us much of what we need to know about the city's relation to that expanding federation of states. The history of Brussels' assent to this lofty position is a long and convoluted one, stretching back to the post-World War II Brussels Treaty / mutual defense pledge signed by the Benelux nations, the U.K. and France. In the 1950s, when Luxembourg remained the seat of the nascent EU, the Common Assembly (now the European Parliament) still convened in Strasbourg. Indeed, much jousting back and forth between Strasbourg and Brussels occurred in the 1960s before the 1965 Merger Treaty combined the European Economic Community and two other energy-related governing bodies into one union.

Today, the city of Brussels owes much of its economic success to its hosting of the EU facilities, as well as its indisputably international character: almost half of all Brussels residents hail from other EU member states outside of Belgium, due to either employment with the EU proper or with the numerous businesses and services that profit from its presence. Plenty of staff must be on hand for the international schools that serve the needs of EU functionaries' children, while business hotels are similarly busy.   more ...

  The Best Areas in Brussels for Expat Professionals

Articles - Belgium

Today Brussels is best known as being the seat of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as being one of the more notable polyglot cities within Europe (both large French-speaking and Flemish-speaking communities are resident there.) It is unfair, though, to see Brussels as simply being reserved for the affairs of the EU management. The city has over a millennium of history having little or nothing to do with this modern venture, and has undergone numerous transfers of power and innumerable changes to its basic character.

It is one of the most influential cities in the world to be officially bilingual, and even though knowing what language to be fluent in at what time may be a challenge for newcomers, the city still has many attractive features distinct to itself. Whether one wants to be treated regularly to authentic Belgian delicacies (e.g. waffles, chocolates, and Lambic beer), or to be in the company of architecture from nearly every era of human endeavor, there is much more to recommend Brussels as a place of residency than its position in the EU technocracy.   more ...


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