Brussels – A Short Guide for Muslim Travelers

Language

If you are in the Euro capital, Brussels, you would find people speak either French or Flemish. Some speaks English. Signage is often bilingual in Flemish and French. Some of the newer metro trains or trams have also English instructions. But if you are not careful, you might be lost, at least for a moment. For example, this can happen on a metro train and when you are expecting your next stop, you saw a different name appeared on display. Haha… that would be the same stop, but the name is expressed in different language. So remember both names or have a map on your hand.

Grand-Place

Place to Visit

Naturally, there’s a place in a city where people would visit just for the sight of it. In Brussels, I think that would be the Grand Place. Nice architecture painted the scenery and the colorful patches of flower in balconies add to its beauty. From there, there are many interesting place to visit, all guided by signposts showing the directions for pedestrians. There are others such as mini-Europe, Atomium and many museums, if you have the time and interests.

mannekan-pis

Mannekan Pis

Food 

Some travelers have difficulty in searching for foods. Others do not face a single bit of it. For Muslim travelers, variety of halal food outlets are available in the city, especially in the area surrounding the Lemonnier Metro Station, in the South side of the city.

A nice Teh-Tarik on the roadside

A nice Teh-Tarik on a roadside cafe

In your excursion on foot in the city, if you have reached the Mannekan Pis (The small statue of a boy urinating), then it is not too far to the area.

Stalingrad- THEY SERVE RICE!

Stalingrad- THEY SERVE RICE!

Mosque 

There are mosques in various places especially in the south side, such as the one on Lemonnier st. Most are houses converted into mosques. A larger purpose-built mosque is located near the Euro buildings. I have been there 2 years ago and what a pity, I didn’t write it down. Luckily, I could vaguely remember that it was located on the same road with the Carrefour express. So today I searched for it and Alhamdulillah, I found it without a problem.

Carrefour Express (Opposite of 11 Schuman)

Carrefour Express (Opposite of 11 Schuman)

So, if you are in the Euro buildings for meetings, walk ahead towards the large roundabout and in the opposite side of 11 Schuman place, there is Carrefour express (a grocery store). From there, follow the road away from the roundabout, and in about 2-3 minutes, you’ll see the Brussels mosque. On your way, you’ll pass the European Personnel Selection Office on your right.

So, you can offer your noon and evening prayers in the mosque during breaks. It is very convenient.

Brussel's Mosque

Brussel’s Mosque

The toilet and ablution areas are in the basement and the main prayer hall is level 2 which can be reached via an elevator.

Be Careful in Busy Areas

I asked the receptionist on the hotel counter, “is this area is considered safe?, he then told me that in general, major cities in Europe including Brussels are safe. Then we had some discussions as I told him about some incidents that I’ve heard of etc ,while waiting for him to do the check in procedure, he then said, “if you are in busy areas, such train stations, subways, etc, be a bit more careful. Take a closer look on your luggages, beware of pick pockets, etc.” So, as a rule of thumb, we need to be mindful of our belongings.

Perhaps, the Professor in Erlangen exaggerated a little bit when he said nobody in Erlangen would steal anything… It is a safe city. Haha… but the aura in Erlangen was a bit different. Much more calm than Brussels. Perhaps he was correct?…

About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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