Brussels, capital of the kingdom of Belgium is also the ‘capital’ of Europe. Like Europe in miniature, is one way to think of it. A very cosmopolitan city, Brussels welcomes people from all over the continent—some who stay, others who simply come here for meetings. But all who come find it a very welcoming city. Perhaps that’s because it retains its ‘village’ districts, despite its importance as an international center. The contrasting districts of the city provide for different experiences for the visitor and those who live here. There are definitely places where ex-pats gather, but with such variety in its neighborhoods it’s worth exploring the different architecture and the spirit of its places. The city’s international role means you’ll hear a dozen different languages on any street corner. French and Flemish are the official languages, although the majority of inhabitants of the city speak French. English speakers are unlikely to find life difficult, as it is widely spoken as a second language, but it’s sure to help you get to know people if you learn some French. Although it’s an international city, Brussels doesn’t feel quite as busy as some other European capitals, which can make for a more relaxed lifestyle. Its climate is similarly temperate. Warm but not hot summers, cool but not cold winters, are the usual pattern, making Brussels a city that is pleasant to be in, and to walk around in. And while you’re walking, you’ll constantly encounter the city’s great quality: dining. The food scene here is as eclectic as the population or the architecture. It makes living a real pleasure.