The People

Brussels is a cosmopolitan city that the locals are accustomed to meet people from many different cultures and generally are open-minded and friendly. Belgians are funny people, kind and hip with a great sense of humor.

In Brussels, the most common language is French. This is spoken in most service establishments such as restaurants, supermarkets, shops and airports,etc. English is also widely accepted and many waiters do not mind talking in French and English depending on the guest’s native language. Business is usually conducted in English.

The population of 951,580 numbers in Brussels, most of them speak French. While the Walloons in the south are French-speaking peoples, while the northern Flemish peoples speak Dutch.

Most of the inhabitants of Brussels are Roman Catholics, however, there is also an active Jewish community, and Turkish migrant workers, who are Muslim, are also an important community.

Remember that Brussels is a bi-cultural and bilingual society. French business culture tends to be a little more formal, openness and informality are most prized among the Dutch-speakers.

The Belgians in Brussels love the visual arts and performing arts. The National Orchestra and National Opera are internationally renowned and the city is home to more than 30 independent theaters.

In addition, the urban landscape of Brussels is an artwork itself. Alternative rock music seems to have caught the heat among the city young people. Brussels the ‘media rivals Paris’, as the most uninhibited. It would not be surprising to see a posted ads next to the tallest building in town with a woman shows with her completely.

Greetings and Small Talk
When greeting someone hello or goodbye, usually a kiss on the cheek is normal. If you know a person from Belgium for the first time it is unusual to talk about “what you do for a living.” However, since many Belgians working in International Environments, do not be surprised if they ask you. Other issues are about to minimize the politics, language and bad reviews about Belgium.

On the Street
Things you can see in the streets, which are perfectly normal are standing on one side of the escalator, dogs, kissing and cars cutting in front of pedestrians in crosswalks.  Other ways to stand out are the dogs, which is a common sight everywhere and is not illegal to bring them into restaurants, cafes and public transport. Public displays of affection such as kissing in public is also quite normal, just try not to look!

And finally, if you are crossing a pedestrian make eye contact and wave politely to the driver to cross with care. Many drivers are in a hurry and will not stop if they think there is a chance to beat you through the crossing.

In general, the Belgians love to have a fun and tend to do so often and publicly. They do however, have a refined sense of appropriate public behavior that seems to be self-regulation. This results in the police kept a fairly low profile, except disorderly conduct and being too drunk. As a rule, enjoy yourself, but do it with a sense of self-control, discretion and respect. It is also important to remember that by law everyone is required to carry identification always.