Lifestyle and Shopping in Brussels


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A famous Belgian chocolate shop in BrusselsA wonderfully cosmopolitan and culturally fascinating city, residents are known to enjoy a balanced, enjoyable lifestyle in Brussels. As the headquarters of organisations such as NATO and the EU, the city gives a sense of being at the centre of an integral cog in the wheel of European society.
 
While it may best be known for its cultural and architectural attractions, expats will also be able to enjoy world-class sports facilities as well as natural beauty in its outdoors attractions.
 
Many of Brussels’ wealthier residents spend a lot of time and money competing for the best buys and the latest designer goods. But even for those who aren’t worried about keeping up with their neighbours, expats will have an abundance of options when it comes to restaurants, entertainment venues and shopping in Brussels.
 

Shopping in Brussels

 
For designer clothing and boutiques, expats can peruse the aisles in the Boulevard de Waterloo area and Avenue Louise where names like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci adorn the shop windows.
 
The Rue Neuve is the longest street in Brussels and is famous for being a pedestrian-only shopping heaven. Chain stores also abound while independent stores can be found between the Grand Place and the Rue Lemonnier.
 
For everything one could need under one roof, look no further than Westland Shopping Mall – there are more than 140 stores selling everything from clothing and jewellery to books and cameras.
 
Most shops in Brussels open from 9am and close at 6pm, providing plenty of hours for consumers to shop till they drop.
 

Nightlife in Brussels

 
Brussels’ nightlife may not rival that of its European neighbours’, but it still provides a wonderful selection of pubs, overflowing with Belgium’s best beers, as well as trendy clubs, discos and live music bars.
 
Most Brussels residents prefer to head down to their local pub for a few pints of their favourite brew before heading out for dinner and a night out on the town. Happy hour is a jovial affair, especially at the Place Broucker, where these after work drinking holes abound.
 
For those in search of pulsating bass lines at high volumes, bars and clubs light up the strip on Rue du Marché au Charbon. The young, wealthy and trendy, on the other hand, prefer to be seen at clubs and bars of Upper Town in the city centre.
 

Outdoor activities and sports in Brussels

 
Expats are often surprised to find out about the abundance of green space in Brussels, which boasts parks, woodlands and sports facilities. There are several parks in the city centre, including the Botanical Garden, Royal Park and Leopold Park; but most impressive is perhaps the Sonian Forest. Known as la Forêt de Soignes in French and Zoniënwoud in Dutch, the forest can be found at the southeastern edge of the city, and extends over three Belgian Regions. The Sonian is famous for being one of the most beautiful beech forests in Europe, and is home to wild boar, bats and deer.
 
For expats who prefer their outdoor adventures a bit tamer, the south of the city has a multitude of green spaces that are popular with joggers, cyclists and picnickers.
 
Active expats will also have access to countless health clubs, gyms and sports clubs in the city. The most prominent sports venue in Brussels is undoubtedly the King Baudouin Stadium which hosts matches for national football (soccer) and rugby teams.
 
The most popular sports team in Brussels is Anderlecht, which plays football at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium to the southwest of the city centre.

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