• Brussels-Capital Region
  • Région de Bruxelles-Capitale  (French)
  • Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest  (Dutch)
A collage with several views of Brussels, Top: View of the Northern Quarter business district, 2nd left: Floral carpet event in the Grand Place, 2nd right: Brussels Town Hall and Mont des Arts area, 3rd: Cinquantenaire Park, 4th left: Manneken Pis, 4th middle: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, 4th right: Congress Column, Bottom: Royal Palace of Brussels
A collage with several views of Brussels, Top: View of the Northern Quarter business district, 2nd left: Floral carpet event in the Grand Place, 2nd right: Brussels Town Hall and Mont des Arts area, 3rd: Cinquantenaire Park, 4th left: Manneken Pis, 4th middle: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, 4th right: Congress Column, Bottom: Royal Palace of Brussels
Capital of Europe,[1] Comic City[2]
Brussels is located in Belgium
Location of Brussels in Belgium
Brussels is located in Europe
Brussels (Europe)
Coordinates: 50°51′N 4°21′E / 50°51′N 4°21′E / 50.850; 4.350
Settledc. 580
Region18 June 1989
 • ExecutiveGovernment of the Brussels-Capital Region
 • Governing parties (2014–19)PS, FDF, cdH; Open Vld, sp.a, CD&V
 • Minister-PresidentRudi Vervoort (PS)
 • LegislatureParliament of the Brussels-Capital Region
 • SpeakerCharles Picqué (PS)
 • Region/City161.38 km2 (62.2 sq mi)
13 m (43 ft)
 (1 January 2017)[3]
 • Region/City1,191,604
 • Density7,384/km2 (19,124/sq mi)
 • Metro
Demonym(s)fr Bruxellois(e), nl Brusselaar/Brusselse
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166
Postal code(s)
Area code(s)02
GDP (nominal)[4]2017
 - Total$92 billion
 - Per capita$77,000
HDI (2017)0.945[5]
very high ·

Brussels (French: Bruxelles [bʁysɛl] (About this soundlisten); Dutch: Brussel [ˈbrʏsəl] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Brussels-Capital Region[6][7] (French: Région de Bruxelles-Capitale;[a] Dutch: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest),[b] is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium.[8] The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium[9] and the Flemish Community,[10] but is separate from the Flemish Region (in which it forms an enclave) and the Walloon Region.[11][12] Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita.[13] It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium.[14][15][16] It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.[17]

Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.[18] Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg)[19][20][c] and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions.[21][22] The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussels.[23][24] As the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city.[25] Brussels is a hub for rail, road and air traffic,[26] sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe".[27] The Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the largest and busiest in the country.[28][29]

Historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century.[30] The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch,[31][32] even though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it.[33][34] Brussels is also increasingly becoming multilingual. English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages.[33][35]

Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy,[36] as well as its historical and architectural landmarks; some of them are registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.[37] Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Atomium, and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History. Because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is also hailed as a capital of the comic strip.[2][38]



The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" (bruoc / broek) and "home" (sella / zele / sel) or "home in the marsh".[39] Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695,[40] when it was still a hamlet. The names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are also of Dutch origin, except for Evere, which is Celtic.


In French, Bruxelles is pronounced [bʁysɛl] (the x is pronounced s/, like in English, and the final s is silent) and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced [ˈbrʏsəl]. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French as Bruxellois and in Dutch as Brusselaars. In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleers or Brusseleirs.

Originally, the written x noted the group s/. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k eventually disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained. The pronunciation s/ in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations [bʁyksɛl] and [bʁyksɛlwa] (for bruxellois) are often heard, but are rather rare in Belgium.

Other Languages
Acèh: Brussèl
адыгабзэ: Брюссел
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܒܪܘܟܣܠ
تۆرکجه: بروکسل
Bân-lâm-gú: Brussels
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Брусэльскі сталічны рэгіён
Bikol Central: Brussels
български: Брюксел
буряад: Брюссель
dansk: Bruxelles
فارسی: بروکسل
Fiji Hindi: Brussels
Gaeilge: An Bhruiséil
Gaelg: Yn Vrussyl
Gagauz: Brüksel
ગુજરાતી: બ્રસેલ્સ
한국어: 브뤼셀
हिन्दी: ब्रुसेल्स
Ilokano: Bruselas
Bahasa Indonesia: Brussel
interlingua: Brussel
kaszëbsczi: Bruksela
Kiswahili: Brussels
Lingua Franca Nova: Bruxelles
la .lojban.: brusel.
Luganda: Brussels
македонски: Брисел
മലയാളം: ബ്രസൽസ്
مصرى: بروكسيل
مازِرونی: بروکسل
монгол: Брюссель
नेपाल भाषा: ब्रसेल्स
Nordfriisk: Regiuun Brüssel
Norfuk / Pitkern: Brussels
norsk: Brussel
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ବୃସେଲ୍ସ
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Brussel Poytaxt Regioni
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਬਰੂਸਲ
پښتو: بروکسل
português: Bruxelas
Scots: Brussels
Simple English: Brussels-Capital Region
slovenščina: Bruselj
کوردی: بروکسێل
српски / srpski: Бриселски регион
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Regija glavnoga grada Bruxellesa
suomi: Bryssel
اردو: برسلز
Tiếng Việt: Bruxelles
Winaray: Bruselas
ייִדיש: בריסל ראיאן
Yorùbá: Brussels