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?

I have not made any friends with locals. - Apr 2024

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

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