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European Parliament building in Brussels.
What's Brussels Like?
Brussels is a cosmopolitan player in the European Union and the capital of the international business world. Inhabitants are generally bilingual in French and Dutch, but English is widely spoken due to so many international influences. Brussels is smaller than most European capitals, holding its unique culture and traditions while accommodating foreigners and adapting to its role as the center of European politics and global business.The cobblestone streets of downtown Brussels invite visitors from all over the world. Its international environment lends a unique mixture of culture and cuisine that visitors and locals alike can appreciate and relate to. Although the international business and political world from an important part of Brussels' city culture, it never fails to provide a quaint and warm environment for its residents. The city's world-famous chocolate and beer convey the richness and vibrance of the culture they form. The city's energy is clearly displayed in many contexts, from its dedication to improving the European Union to a lively Saturday night in one of the many dance clubs around town.
Region and Population
Although Brussels holds over two million inhabitants, it maintains a more intimate feeling than many Western European capitals. Brussels is located in the middle of Belgium, less than 200 miles from Amsterdam, Paris and London. The country's three official languages are Dutch, French and German due to the countries that it borders. Belgium also borders the Atlantic Coast.
Brussels has a somewhat mild climate most of the year. Layering clothing is helpful because it rains often, making the air feel colder than it really is. Winters can bring in strong winds and summers are never very hot, but warm and comfortable.
Average monthly temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall (inches) in Brussels: