Any questions? We love to help you! Just call us at +32 2 669 82 09

Brussels

How to deal with rain?

To answer a question with another question, isn’t this article’s topic just an absurd question? In a way, it is, because there is nothing we can do about the rain. Well, not necessarily. Go forth and explore! Whenever I speak to newly arrived expats, I always say it is essential to have the right mindset when it comes to the weather in Brussels. We typically and make the best of our day. In other words, you should just do the things you want to do and go to the places you would like to visit. Obviously, you’re not going to go to a beach when it’s only 13 degrees and pouring. But if you had in mind to go shopping in Antwerp or making a little road trip through Wallonia, I suggest not to change your plans. Of course, nice weather is, well, better (duh), but the proble...

Criminal handymen…

The subject line actually refers to a Facebook thread that I started last week about plumbers and other handyman scum who try to rip you off in any way possible. Let me explain… Our kitchen sink was clogged and no regular solution would work (plunger and special unclogging liquid), so I called a plumber. The price would be €138 all-in for 1 hour of work, including use of materials and eventually new pipes. A bit high if you’d ask me, but it was almost 18h00 and I had no time to call around. Besides this company had a nice looking website (as if that matters) and the guy sounded like a professional. Two days later two incredibly muscled plumbers arrive. They quickly come to the conclusion that my pipes were blocked (I had not yet figured that one out myself!) and they had to use...

Time to sign up

A new year has begun. It’s not only time to think about new year’s resolutions, but also about the plans for Expat Club. Our international community is growing very fast. There are more events on the calendar than ever before, including local socialising events, lectures, workshops and walks. And there are more trips to increasingly more destinations. Most important, we have also more members hosting events. If you feel like becoming part of our members team, read this article. Also our online community is growing fast and especially for this aspect of Expat Club we have big plans. Some things will change on the website and our RSVP policy. Here are a few points: Every member will need a clear picture. No distant pics, no covered faces, no cats or any other item, just a neat pi...

8 tips to find a house in Brussels

Number one worry for most inbound expats, even before packing their suitcases, concerns finding a proper house or apartment in Brussels. Where to live? What are the rental prices and conditions? How does it work with utilities? And more basic, where should I start with my search for a new home? Everyone struggles with these and several other related questions, but luckily there are many resources online to make the move into your new home town much easier. What often misses though, are the practical lessons of other expats when they first arrived, and which they had to learn the hard way. In this article you will find EIGHT important lessons to bear in mind when you start your house search. And if you have already settled down, maybe you want to share this article with people who are curre...

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...

NEWS: Opening Shopping Complex

Brussels has a new shopping center! The name of this brand-new complex is Docks Bruxsel. It’s located right on the canal in the North of the city and it boasts 110 stores that “promise a truly original urban experience combining leisure activities with shops, food, culture and entertainment.” It also has ads 8 cinema screens to our city, offers free wifi and phone recharging points, and can be used as a dedicated events venue. Docks Bruxsel is located at about 3 kilometers North from Yser. Although that would be too far too walk for most people, it’s easy to get there by bicycle. It has space for hundreds of bikes and even 40 Villos. Buses 47 and 58 stop in front of the shopping complex, while also trams 3 and 7 halt there. If you happen to come by car, no worries a...

Cycling in Brussels

The opinions about the Brussels’ level of bicycle-friendliness vary a lot.  Despite many recent improvements, such as designated bicycle lanes and the introduction of the Villo network in 2009, the city is not very bicycle friendly compared to other European cities.  In a classic short video that went viral in Brussels it is visually explained what is wrong with this city when it comes to cycling. Also, many of us have learned the hard way that what goes down, must go up. I’m talking about the “hilliness” of the city of course. Downhill is great, but plodding yourself up is less fun, especially after a day of work or a night in the bar. No wonder that the Villo-stations in the higher areas of town are often empty by the end of the morning and it’s often difficult to find ...

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...

NEWS: Too much sirens noise

Brussels is not exactly a calm city when it comes to noise made by the sirens of emergency services (policy, ambulance, fire department and energy companies). The collective “Stop Sirens” believes they are too often used unnecessarily (links to Dutch article on Bruzz.be). The Brussels government will study this problem and reports on it early 2017. What do you think about the usage of sirens by for instance the Brussels police? Are they using it too often and/or unnecessarily? Are the sirens too loud? Should there be stricter rules for emergency services? Join the conversation!

Coffee & Poetry

Join the Ex-Pat Buzz! Expat Club events are frequented by many different people. Some of them have great talents, such as our long-time supporter Sarah Strange who is an official tour guide for the City of Brussels. In her free time she loves to write poems, and how honoured we are that her latest one is about an Expat Club event… again! Brussels – Europe’s melting pot Gregarious around the clock Meet-ups, festivals for free In language terms – the place-to-be! Take Saturdays at coffee time The Ex-Pat group – a fertile vine Provides a forum for new links Connections over warming drinks! An exchange of views – a welcome chat Almost one in three is an Ex-Pat Some seeking work, some locked-indoors All week – doing E.U. chores! It’s mix and match – a chance to shine Mee...

NEWS: Brussels drops 6 spots

Within half a year after the 22 March attacks Brussels airport has lost over 10% of its passengers compared to last year. As a result it has dropped out of the list of 20th busiest European airports. Read The Bulletin article here. Have you visited the airport since? What are your experiences? Do you opt for alternative airports? Or do you even choose an alternative mode of transportation. Join the conversation here on the Expat Club website.

  • 1
  • 2