ATMs -- The easiest and cheapest way to get cash overseas is through an ATM—the Cirrus and Plus networks span the globe. Although some debit and credit cards can be used overseas without incurring charges, most banks charge a fee for international withdrawals—check with your bank before you leave home, and find out your daily limit. There are ATMs all over Brussels, and most are open 24/7, although you’ll want to be a bit cautious about withdrawing cash in quiet areas outside the main tourist areas after dark.
Business Hours -- Stores open Monday to Saturday from 9 or 10am to 6pm. On Friday evening, many center-city stores stay open until 8 or 9pm. Most stores close on Sunday, except the tourist-orientated ones around the Grand-Place. The majority of museums open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am until 5pm, and most close on Monday, which is the day to head out of town, perhaps to Bruges, Ghent, or Antwerp.
Doctors & Dentists -- For doctors, call Médi Garde (tel 02/479-1818) or SOS Médecins (tel 02/513-0202) and ask for an English-speaking doctor. For emergency dental care, call tel 02/426-1026.
Emergencies -- Dial tel 112 for police, ambulance, paramedics, and the fire department. This is a nationwide toll-free call from landline, mobile, or pay phone. For routine police matters, go to Brussels Central Police Station, rue du Marché au Charbon 30 (tel 02/279-7711; Métro: Bourse), just off the Grand-Place. Some Brussels police officers have a poorly developed sense of public service, and a surly and unconcerned attitude to visitors’ problems is not uncommon, even at this office where tourists in difficulty often end up. Many officers do, however, speak at least some English.
Internet Access -- Most hotels in Brussels offer free internet access as part of the room price, although perversely some more expensive ones still charge extra. Some areas in central Brussels provide free access to Wi-Fi hotspots; the Urbizone network is available in train stations, stores, hotels, bars, and restaurants in the postal code 1000 district.
Pharmacies -- In Belgium, a pharmacy is called either an apotheek or a pharmacie and sells both prescription and nonprescription medicines. Regular hours are Monday to Saturday from around 9am to 6pm. A centrally located pharmacy is Grande Pharmacie De Brouckère, Passage du Nord 10 (tel 02/218-0575). Pharmacies post details of nearby all-night and Sunday pharmacies on their doors, or you can call tel 09/001-0500 to find out the nearest 24-hour pharmacy. Alternatively, go to the website www.servicedegarde.be and type in your area code to find the nearest 24-hour pharmacy; the site is in French and Dutch but it is very easy to navigate.
Post Office -- The national mail company is known as bpost (tel 02/201-2345; www.depostlaposte.be); most post offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. The office at Bruxelles de Brouckère, boulevard Anspach 1, is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 6pm. The office at the Gare du Midi, avenue Fonsny 48a, is open 24 hours a day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.