Brussels - Post Report Question and Answers

What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Overall, it's a great place to live. Full of smart European technocrats, great bakeries, nice parks...what's not to love? - Feb 2023

Transportation, beer, chocolate, waffles and biking. - Jan 2022

It is easy to live here and it is easy to travel all over from here. - Oct 2021

Central ocation in Europe. - Sep 2020

Centrality in Europe. - Sep 2020

The beautiful green spaces. Brussels has tons of big, gorgeous parks and best of all, the Sonian Forest - a huge, ancient forest within the city limits. Get out on your bike and explore the many paved and dirt paths in the forest. Go to the Red Cloister, a lovely park and former medieval cloister that now has farm animals, ponds, playgrounds, a cafe, and artists' workshops. If you are into art and culture, you'll be in heaven here. Get the Museum Pass for 59 euros, which provides free admission to 50+ museums in Belgium for a year. If you have kids, go to Walibi, Belgium's biggest theme park, only 15 minutes outside the city (there is an indoor water park there, too). Explore the stunning castles that dot the Belgian landscape. If you are into WWI and WWII history, visit Flanders fields and Bastogne to learn about the sacrifices made by the U.S. and Allied troops. There is so much to see and do here, you won't have time to do it all. - Mar 2020

Traveling is very easy. The waffles and chocolate. - Feb 2019

Brussels is a small town compared to, say Paris, or even Antwerp. But you have most of the advantages of those more cosmopolitan places with few of the concomitant headaches. There is bad traffic here, but nothing like Paris' horrendous traffic. Brussels has friendly people, good food, and all the amenities, and it's fairly easy to get around. Housing is good, and you can find what you need on the local economy, for the most part. Its great location means it's possible to see places. - Feb 2019

Easy to get around. Centrally located. - May 2018

Safe, never too hot or too cold (but often too rainy!), easy to get around and easy to get out of when you want to explore Europe. - Jan 2018

EVERYTHING!! - Dec 2016

Great launching place for exploring Europe. Lots of local culture and green spaces (a forest just a ten minute walk from our house) etc. - Aug 2014

There are so many it's difficult to remember all of them. First of all, location. Belgium is centrally located, so it's easy to travel to so many countries throughout western and eastern Europe. And there are always cheap airfares to countries farther afield, so travel opportunities out of the region abound. BUT Belgium itself is full of historical sites as well as hiking/boating/biking opportunities. You could easily spend all your weekends exploring Belgian cities (at least I could) with it's cathedrals, castles, museums and old ruins. I just found out that there are TONS of music festivals held all over the country with top artists playing (very much wish I'd found out about that before my college student got here). Then there are festivals, cultural events, art exhibits, concerts, ballets, plays, operas, tours, clubs of all kinds, sporting events - you name it. The food is excellent, especially the chocolate, the pastries, the beer, and the waffles. For those of us who are part of the Tri-mission there is also the US military base with a PX and a full commissary (just like a US grocery store but cheaper!) about an hour's drive away (I've spent more time in traffic in half the countries I've lived in). This totally helps with the cost of food on the local economy. - Jul 2014

Great food, easy to get around, most people in the city speak English, good travel opportunities within Europe. - Apr 2014

Easy connections to other parts of Europe. You can get to London, Paris or Frankfurt quickly by air or high speed rail. Direct air connections to other parts of Europe are abound. - Jan 2014

Amazing travel. - Jan 2014

Touring is the #1 advantage. Being in the heart of Western Europe, you can travel easily, although not inexpensively. We went to 13 countries in 2 years! Weather was the biggest disadvantage for me. If you do not like rain and grey skies, do not go. As a Westerner, I found the weather very depressing. Of course, the chocolate makes up for it at first (and the beer if you are a beer drinker), but the bad weather is a constant topic of conversation and a real bummer. - Oct 2012

The cost of housing is so much lower than in most capitals in Western Europe. You can get amazing art-deco apartments in the centre, or houses further out. You are so close to so many great cities/regions... Cologne, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Normandy are all within a few hours. Lots of great, cheap (subsidized) culture (theater, art, opera, dance). - May 2012

Touring the neighboring countries:Drive times include Cologne at 1 3/4 hrs., Amsterdam 2 1/4, Wurzburg 5 1/2, Austrian border 7 hrs., Luxembourg 2 1/4, Paris 3 hrs., the Champagne region 3 hrs., Dusseldorf 1 3/4 hrs...Trains are also easy with constant specials running to all Europe destinations. The food is surprisingly good here, albeit expensive. The outdoor markets (a different area of the city each day) have top-quality fruits and vegetables of higher quality than the U.S.Same for cheeses, cold cuts and desserts. - Jan 2012

Excellent food, chocolate, beer; high end culture, central location to most of Central/Western Europe - Nov 2011

If you're coming from West Africa or a war zone, Brussels will seem great by comparison. But if you've ever lived in a major Western European capital such as London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, etc., you'll find that Brussels has very little of the charm or the cultural opportunities that those cities have. In fact, Brussels itself is BORING, BORING, BORING.After a few months you'll have seen everything there is to see. But the big advantage of living here is that you easily travel to more interesting places. Paris is one hour and twenty minutes away by train. Amsterdam is about 2 hours by train or car. There is the Eurostar high speed train to London. If you crave sunshine, and after a couple of months here you will, Brussels Airlines and Easy Jet both offer several flights per day to Nice and other sunny spots at very good prices. - Aug 2011

You will LOVE living in Brussels. There is so much to see and do. There are festivals galore in the city and all around Belgium that every weekend there is something culturally interesting to do. But one amazing advantage to living in Brussels is that it is only 1hr 15min to Paris by TGV, 2hrs to London, and 2hrs 15min to Amsterdam. Then there is Bruge, Ghent, Amsterdam, and Namur to visit in Belgium. You will never be bored here. Ever. And then there is the food. Belgium is known for its chocolate, frittes (fries), waffles, and beer as well as other culinary delights. In Brussels alone there are over 1,000 artisan chocolate stores. In every supermarket is an entire aisle filled with all sorts of different chocolate. And In Belgium there are over 300 different beers. You will eat and drink very well while here. As the editor of the Brussels Weekly, the embassy news weekly, I can say without any reservations that if you come to Brussels you will LOVE it. Families will love all the great activities. Singletons will love that this is the expat center of Europe filled with tens of thousands of young expats. Gays will love it as the community here is well developed with an amazingly fun gay pride day (and I'm not gay). There is literally something for everyone here. AND MORE. - Jul 2011

Close to the UK, and the food/restaurant scene is great! - Jun 2011

great travel opportunities throughout Europe - and great public transportation within the city - Jun 2011

It's comfy and a place to chill for a while. - Jun 2010

Close to Western Europe, easy to travel to France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, etc. Culture abounds here, and within a short drive/train ride. - Jun 2010

In the heart of Western Europe - close to Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, London. - Mar 2010

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