Brussels: General Information

With its special status as the headquarters city of the European Union, Brussels presents a study in contrasts. Soaring glass and steel skyscrapers housing the EU’s massive administration and government operations contrast with jewel-box 19th-century mansions and the quirky charm of the city’s medieval quarter. French and Flemish languages blend—or collide—all over the city. Great wealth is not far from real poverty.

Yet there are delights common to all who live, work or visit here. The central Grand Place might well be called the most beautiful square in Europe, and it’s the social center of the city with its many bars and restaurants. Parks, museums and galleries are in generous supply and are some of the best in Europe. The excellence of Belgian food is noted throughout the world and goes far beyond the admittedly exquisite chocolate for which the nation is famous.

The following rates give you an idea of the currency conversion between the euro and major currencies. Please check online before traveling for the latest rates.

1.00 EURO = 1.09 USD
1.00 EURO = 0.76 GBP

All major credit cards are accepted at the Hotel Metropole and at most retail outlets in the city.

Brussels operates on Central European Time (CET), which is GMT + 1.


Daytime temperatures for mid-September in Brussels should average 15 C/59 F, falling to around 11 C/51 F at night. There could be up to five hours of sunshine a day, but rain is also likely, and umbrellas and raincoats are vital equipment!


Electrical supply in Belgium runs at 220–240 volts. The main socket type is the “Type E” French style “Schuko” socket. For most European and other travelers, an international travel plug adapter will enable you to plug in your appliances.

For American/Canadian and some South American appliances, running on 110–120 volts, you will need a plug adapter and a step-down transformer. For appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons and irons, you need to check the information on the appliance to ensure that it is designed for high voltage supply.


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