General Information

Conference Venue

Square Brussels Meeting Centre
Rue Mont des Arts, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
square-brussels.com

About Brussels

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and lies in the Brussels-Capital region between Flanders and Wallonia. Brussels is most famous as the administrative capital of Europe, home to the EU Parliament, EU Commission and NATO. Not only does the city hold historical significance, but with over 180 nationalities it is arguably the most diverse city in Europe. It boasts several UNESCO World Heritage sites including Grand Place and Stoclet Palace; visitors are also invited to try the local produce, such as Trappist beer and haute confectionery.

Language
The official language of the Conference is English, however, Brussel’s is legally bilingual between Dutch and French. Most public signs and residents also speak English.

Time Zone
Belgium follows Central European Time (CET) which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Weather
Brussels’ average temperature between in June is 13-18 °C, 55-64 °F. Medium weight clothing is recommended plus rainwear.

Electricity
Belgium, like most other European countries, has 220-volt AC, 50Hz current and uses two-pin continental plugs.

Useful links
visit.brussels
brussels.be
tripadvisor.com/Brussels
brussels.info
lonelyplanet.com/Brussels

Public Transport

Metro
The STIB-MVIB operates within the Brussels-Capital area, serving Metro, Tram and some bus routes. There are 4 Metro Lines, 2 pre-Metro lines, 15 tram lines and 50 bus routes.

Single trip ticket
A single ticket costs €2.10. These can be purchased at a BOOTIK, Go Easy, KIOSK or GO Vending Machine, or at all train stations. For a return journey of €4.20, the return must be made 24 hours from the validation of the first journey. 24/48/72-hour tickets are available, and there is a bus service connecting Brussels Airport to the city centre.
Find more information about tickets and prices at stib-mivb.be.

Trains
From Brussels Airport, there is a train station below the terminal connecting you to Gare Central, in 30 minutes. From Gare Central one can find Metro lines 1 and 6, as well as major tram and bus links. It is a short walk to The Square from here. Costs for a single journey are €8.70 for an adult standard ticket. Tickets and timetables are found at belgianrail.be.
From Charleroi Airport, you can take any train to the Charleroi-South Station, before taking the bus directly to Brussel South Charleroi Airport. This journey takes around 90 minutes, and costs €31.60 for a single adult standard fare. More information available here.

Buses
Buses in Brussels generally run from 5:30 to 24:00 throughout the week. On weekends, expect buses to start around 6:00 until 24:00. On Friday and Saturday night, ‘Noctis’ buses start from after midnight until approximately 2:30. There are 11 night bus routes in Brussels, each one arriving and departing from Gare Central.
From Brussels Airport, Monday to Friday 8 pm, the Airport Line is operated as an express service with number 12 and serves the major stops. On weekdays after 8 pm, and weekends, the Airport Line is operated as a regular service with number 21, serving all stops. Tickets are €4.50 for a single fare purchased prior to the journey. From Luxembourg, Bus 38 towards Gare Central will take you to The Square Meeting Centre.
From Charleroi Airport, there is a shuttle service operating every day from to Gare du Midi in Brussels. The first departure is from 3:30 and services run every 30 minutes. Tickets are €28 return, details to be found here.

Car Rental
Brussels offers many well-known international car rental companies. Rental cars can be found in the arrivals gate at Brussels Airport; there are also a few car rental desks at Charleroi.

Taxis
Taxis can be found permanently outside the arrivals hall at Brussels Airport. The fare to the city centre is usually around €50. From Charleroi, the fare is priced higher at approximately €120, however, pre-booked private taxis are available for a reduced rate. See the website here.

Practical Information

Currency
The currency in Belgium is the Euro (€). If you are carrying more than €10,000, when travelling to or out of Belgium, you have to declare it to customs.
Most places will not accept US Dollars. It is advised to have these converted at the airport or at one of several currency exchanges.
Banks – Most banks are open from 09:00 to 16:00/16:30 Mondays to Fridays, and a few are open on Saturdays. Many smaller branches close for an hour at lunch time (usually 13:00 to 14:00. Some banks also offer late night hours on Thursday’s until 18:00. There are numerous cash machines throughout the city and many bureaux de change are open during weekends.
ATMs/Cash Machines – Most banks have ATMs that are open 24 hours. All major cards are accepted and it is a convenient way of withdrawing Euros on a credit or debit card.
Credit Cards – Major credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, stores, cafes and restaurants. Some places might charge a fee when accepting foreign credit cards as payment. Make sure to carry ID on you at all times, you may also need it when withdrawing money. Signatures may be required for larger sums.

Taxes
Belgian prices include 21 percent Value Added Tax (VAT). It is refundable to non-EU residents who are travelling to an EU destination, provided you adhere to the VAT refund policies. Tax-free shopping is possible in some major shops and department stores in Brussels.

Emergency phone number
Police, Fire and Ambulance number: 112

Health & Safety
Although Brussels is in general a safe city to visit, there are of course some exceptions and so it is always best to take certain precautions.
Around Grand Place and the city centre, you should pay extra attention to pickpockets. Many tourists are present around Mannekin Pis heading out towards Parc de Bruxelles, and it is advised to take caution especially at night. Areas such as Molenbeek and Schaarbeek carry a greater risk of crime. In addition, the roads are generally narrow with much traffic so take care when crossing the streets.
Visiting Brussels as a citizen of an EU country, you are covered by public health insurance within the limits agreed upon between your own country and the Belgian authorities. Visitors from outside the EU are not covered by Belgian healthcare and should, therefore, arrive prepared with the appropriate insurance.

Insurance / Liability
SLAS is insured only to meet claims arising from incidents caused by the organisers and their equipment. Participants, exhibitors and visitors are strongly recommended to be properly insured against accidents they may suffer when travelling and during the Conference.