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Arts & Culture

Monet’s Magical Gardens

There are few places in France as magical as Giverny, a quaint village that lies just 80 km from Paris. Claude Monet, the father of Impressionism, discovered this gateway to Normandy as he glanced out of a train window back in 1883. On 26 May, Expat Club travellers got a chance to discover it, too. It was an early start for the weary travellers as we headed down the highway from Brussels. Sitting on our comfortable and roomy luxury coach, we got inspired for the visit with a 90-minute documentary about Monet that showcased his life through letters he wrote. Soon, the rolling green hills of the French countryside greeted us as we neared Giverny.  By lunchtime, we had arrived! We walked down stone streets, past charming slate-roof buildings and homes, to LesNymphéas, French for the water lil...

Expat Club Christmas Trips

In 2016 we organises for the 4th year trips to some of the best Christmas markets that we can reach in a day. We started in 2013 with fantastic trips to Düsseldorf and Paris. In 2014 we added Cologne and Lille. Last year (2015) we skipped Lille, but added Monschau, Canterbury and Aachen. This we year are proud to present Lille again on our calendar and add four new destinations: Maastricht, Trier, Valkenburg and even a weekend trip to Strasbourg. All our trips are carried out with 4* coaches with more leg space than the usual Belgian buses. All coaches have reclining comfort seats with footrests, an on-board toilet, air-conditioning and several flatscreens. We normally gather at Place Schuman, and depending on the destination we may also stop elsewhere in town (e.g. Louise, Midi and Yser) ...

Cycling in Brussels: Great Routes

Discovering Brussels by bike can be done in several ways.  For those already commuting on two wheels, or using it regularly for getting around town, it may be a good idea to simply take a little D-tour and to drive 15-30 additional minutes on unknown roads.  Spice up your commute and padel a few additional streets! Of course you can also go to an unknown neighbourhood on a Saturday morning and discover yourself what it has to offer. At Expat Club we know why Brussels is such a fantastic city (it has something to do with surprisingly little corners…).  But wouldn’t it be much easier to follow some predefined routes? Other people already did the work for you, so there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Here are a few great ideas to spend a free day. Although I have mostly biked myself...

City of museums

Brussels may not be the largest European capital, but culturally it has relatively a lot to offer. The Wikipedia list of museums in our town shows no less than 83 of them! How many have you been to yet? I personally still have some “been there, done that” to do, although I know that visiting museums is more than crossing them of your list. Each of them has its own history, its own purpose and has a special story to tell. They are part of the city, and discovering these places should therefore be one of your priorities for integrating into Brussels. To give you some ideas, here is a top-10 list of the definite must-sees (in random order). 1. Autoworld This museum is a true Valhalla for car lovers. Not less than 250 vehicles from all around the world are on display, spanning over one century...

We know Brussels

When I first arrived in Brussels in March 2010 to look for a house for me and my wife I explored the city like a first-time tourist in Paris. I must have walked a thousand miles and seen almost everything. I wanted to live close to Place Châtelain. Several friends told me that was a nice place and I had actually been there once before for some. So I put my car’s GPS literally on that square in Ixelles and drove and walked around to look for the black/orange “A LOUER” signs on the houses. Probably the farthest I went from Châtelain must have been 2km or so, not more than 5-6 minutes on my GPS. Have a look at the map of the area that I probably “covered” those days by car and foot. In fact, I had seen major parts of Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Brussels, Etterbeek and Uccle. Actually I had e...

New Audio System

Expat Club is Brussels’ premier international community because we care about the quality of our events. For almost all museum or company visits and daytrips we hire professional and official tour guides. Our members have said time and time again that they appreciate learning more about the places we visit, instead of just walking through an exhibition or city on their own. In fact, such guided tours embody our philosophy that creating new relationships requires going through a shared experience. And what is better than to learn from an expert while having a good time with other international minds? However, we also regularly receive feedback that the guides were hard to understand due to the background noise. Walking behind and standing around one guide with 20 people obviously mean...

Bouillon’s medieval castle

In July last year Expat Club visited the magnificent Bouillon castle, where history goes back over 1.000 years. Also in 2014 we will go to this beautiful part of the country. Not only will we visit the castle and the town of Bouillon, often called the pearl of the Semois valley, but we are also going to have a relaxing kayaking trip on the Semois river itself. Take a look around! After visiting the castle, we board our 1 or 2-persons kayaks and drift down the calm Semois that is surrounded by the green hills of the Ardennes. Upon arrival a cold drink or some good food is awaiting you! Another great day with Expat Club.