Brussels - Post Report Question and Answers

Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

If you can do it, learn French or Dutch so you (and/or your kids) can join dance, music, sports, workout groups through your local commune, which are super cheap and will get you into the local scene - beyond your own nationality's circle and/or english-speaking expat groups. - Feb 2023

We found it easy, though not so much with neighbors. They were pleasant, but more "nods on the street" rather than conversations and invitations. - Jan 2022

So so. The Belgians aren't the warmest group of people. We made some acquaintances in our neighborhood, but almost all were expats from other places. I could see how you might have an issue here as an African-American. They have a history with the Congo that they don't readily acknowledge, and there is an incredibly racist Christmas "tradition" called black Pete. They will defend it as being not racist in a way that I could never understand and quite frankly found disgusting. We once walked into a supermarket where a bunch of kids were dancing around in black face as this "character." - Oct 2021

Locals are friendly and polite. - Sep 2020

I think it is harder to meet locals here than in others posts. - Sep 2020

I would say no. It seems like most people keep to themselves but that's just the culture. It's easy to make friends with other expats. - Mar 2020

No. Very closed off and not an overly friendly city. - Feb 2019

Belgians are less reserved than their French cousins, so yes, I would say it's easier to make friends here. I don't believe there are any overt prejudices, but Belgium DOES have a pretty sad colonialist history that they are still trying to come to grips with. - Feb 2019

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More