Money, currency and change

Belgian currency:

As in most European countries, the currency of Belgium is the Euro (symbolised as EUR or €). Other currencies are normally not accepted, so be sure to change dollars, etc. at one of the many currency exchange offices located throughout the city. Many shops and restaurants in Brussels accept credit cards, but not all. It is, therefore, recommended that you either ask before you order or ensure you have enough in cash to cover the bill. Most shops and restaurants do not accept €200 or €500 notes.

Tax -free shopping

Non-EU residents are eligible to get back the Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases in the European Union. In the Belgium VAT is 21% and the minimum spend is €125. To claim a refund, visit Customs before leaving the EU to get a stamp. You can either send the stamped receipt back to the store for a full VAT refund or make use of the following services:

  • Shop only at retailers affiliated with Global Blue. Ask for a tax-free cheque and then reclaim the VAT at their desk at the airport and Brussels-South station. Visit for more information.
  • Shop wherever you like, save your purchase receipt and then reclaim the VAT online or at the VAT free services desks at Brussels Zaventem Airport.

At restaurants

  • Service is always included. 
  • It is however customary to tip in restaurants or bars. 
  • As a general rule, tipping between 5 and 10% is acceptable. But, again, this is not mandatory.