Monetary unit in Belgium is the EURO (equal to 100 cents). In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, as well as coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.
Banks usually are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 – 9.30 to 16.00 – 17.00 and until 18.00 in the evening once a week (each bank has its day) with an hour for lunch break. Many currency exchange offices are open until 21.00 – 22.00, as well as on weekends.
You can exchange money at any bank, hotel, airport or train station (there is additional tax, rate is less profitable at night), as well as in the private exchange offices (less advantageous rate and commission above).
The most favorable exchange rate in offices of large banks and post offices (at the official exchange rate and the lowest fees are charged).
Widespread are payments using credit cards. ATMs (“Geldautomats”), which in most cases are located in separate booths, are commonly used to withdraw funds from banking cards.
VAT and TAX-FREE
VAT varies from 6% on food, 21% in restaurants and up to 33% – on luxury goods (always included in the price). VAT refund is available when purchasing a retail system “TAX FREE” on the amount exceeding EUR 200. When a foreign buyers make a purchase using a credit card, they pay VAT and sign two receipts for the amount of tax that must be presented to customs when leaving Belgium or the last visited country of the European Union. The receipt should be sent to the store within three months, otherwise the amount of tax will be charged to buyer’s credit card.