Brussels (French: Bruxelles, Dutch: Brussel), officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union (EU).
Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne to a sizeable city, with a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million, both of them the largest in Belgium. It comprises 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels.
Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a major center for international politics. Hosting most of the EU institutions, the secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become the multilingual home for numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.
Brussels is known for its local waffle, its chocolate, its French fries (frites) and its numerous kinds of beers.
Based on personal experience, many individuals come to Brussels on a fixed-term contract and end up staying there or close to Brussels for several decades, due to its food, standards of living and general feel.
For an account of an expat who has recently moved to Brussels, you can read Melissa Krenz’s blog on life in Brussels.