Saturday, May 15, 2021

Money & Shopping in Belgium

EuropeBelgiumMoney & Shopping in Belgium

Currency

Belgium uses the euro. It is one of the many European countries that use this common currency. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender in all countries.

One euro is divided into 100 cents.

The official symbol of the euro is € and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

  • Banknotes: The euro banknotes have the same design in all countries.
  • Standard coins: All euro area countries issue coins that have a distinctive national design on one side and a common standard design on the other. The coins can be used in any euro area country, regardless of the design used (e.g. a one-euro coin from Finland can be used in Portugal).
  • Commemorative €2 coins: These differ from normal €2 coins only in their “national” side and circulate freely as legal tender. Each country can produce a certain amount of these coins as part of its normal coin production, and sometimes “European” 2-euro coins are produced to commemorate specific events (e.g. anniversaries of important treaties).
  • Other commemorative coins: Commemorative coins with other amounts (e.g. ten euros or more) are much rarer, have very special designs and often contain significant amounts of gold, silver or platinum. Although they are technically legal tender at face value, their material or collector’s value is usually much higher and therefore you are unlikely to find them in circulation.

Tipping

In Belgium, tipping is not obligatory as service charges are always included. Nevertheless, people often tip as a sign of appreciation. This is usually done by paying with banknotes whose total value is slightly higher than the price of the meal and telling the waiter/waitress that he/she can keep the change.

What to buy?

  • Belgian chocolate: A long tradition has given Belgian chocolate a superior refining process that is recognised worldwide.
  • Shoelaces in Bruges
  • Designer fashion in Antwerp
  • Jewellery in one of the many jewellery shops in Antwerp
  • Beer
  • Belgian comics and related merchandising, especially in Brussels
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