What to bring
Remember to adapt your clothing to the Belgian climate. Since Belgium is a small country, the temperate climate is quite uniform from one part to another. Autumn is relatively mild, but rainy. Winter can be more severe, with freezing days and nights. In spring, you may be surprised by showers and sudden changes in the temperature during the day (from 10 to 28 degrees). Summers are generally mild in Belgium; however, periods of scorching weather do occur. So, naturally, an umbrella, a jacket and waterproof shoes are a must. Don’t forget your flip-flops, sunglasses and swimsuit during the spring and summer!
The Royal Meteorological Institute website can provide details about upcoming weather.
Depending on where you’re coming from, you may need one (or more) adaptor for plug sockets. This website provides valuable information about the type of plugs used in Belgium and Europe in general, among others.
Remember to check that your bank allows you to spend and withdraw money in foreign countries. Some banks also apply surcharges for these transactions.
If you want to open a bank account in Belgium, check out this page.
Note that credit cards are commonly accepted in large shops and restaurants in Belgium, but not as often in small shops. Therefore, make sure that you are able to pay with a debit card or cash. Mobile payment applications on smartphones are used more and more often.
How to travel in French-speaking Belgium?
As the Belgian public transport network is very efficient, it will certainly be your easiest option for getting around during your visit. Whether you are visiting another Belgian city for a weekend or going to class, buses, metros, trams and trains in Belgium will take you where you need to go! To this end, consider buying a MOBIB card, which you can use to top up your subscriptions and individual tickets.
STIB is responsible for trams, metros and buses in Brussels. The TEC is responsible for buses and trams in Wallonia. The SNCB manages rail transport throughout the country. The MOBIB card may contain several tickets for these different companies at the same time: perfect for travelling in total serenity!
Many cities in Belgium offer you the chance to get around using shared means of transport: electric scooters, bikes or cars. These are strong alternatives to a private car and offer smoother mobility! Bike lanes will also ensure you can get around in complete safety.
Keep in touch!
Check with your phone provider for the fees for making or receiving calls from Belgium, as well as browsing online. In some cases, it will be easier for you to buy a Belgian SIM card. This website allows you to find the most appropriate prepaid card or subscription for your needs.
Note that roaming charges have been abolished in the European Union since 2017. In other words, you do not pay additional charges when calling, texting or browsing elsewhere in Europe with a Belgian SIM card.
Some useful apps
If possible, we recommend downloading the following apps to make your visit easier:
- The STIB app (buses, trams and metros in the Brussels region)
- The TEC app (buses and trams in Wallonia)
- The SNCB app (trains throughout Belgium)
- Shared transport apps (bikes, scooters, cars)
- The Uber app. Note that Uber only serves Brussels within Belgium.
- An app for converting money and/or measurements if you are not familiar with the Euro and/or metric system.
- A translation app if French is not your native language.
If you want to drive during your visit to Belgium, the FPS Mobility website will give you all of the information you need for getting a driver’s licence.