Facebook users help compile an insiders’ guide to Brussels
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Facebook users help compile an insiders’ guide to Brussels

The Royal Galleries in Brussels, popular with toruists and locals alike © Visit Flanders

Facebook, together with the Brussels tourist agency visit.brussels, has produced a guide to the capital made up of recommendations from locals of all nationalities who use Facebook groups.

The first Brussels Community City Guide has been printed in three languages – French and Dutch as well as English – and has a print run of 30,000 copies. It is also available online.

The guide comes in seven sections: making friends while learning a language; enjoying the city while staying active; experiencing Brussels’ food; getting around with reduced mobility; looking after the environment; culture in Brussels and volunteering.

The tips offered – for example getting set up in a language “tandem” – where Person A helps Person B learn language A and vice versa – are contributed by members of Facebook groups such as Brussels Vegans, Brussels Childbirth Trust, Yoga Brussels, Brussels Conversation Tables and many more. As with any local advice from local people, there are many surprises, even for someone who has lived in the city for years.

It’s become a reflex to find a group on Facebook covering a particular subject, and then go looking for answers to your questions,” Alexis Lebedoff, Belgium country manager for Facebook told Bruzz. That’s what’s special about this guide: it’s 100% put together by people from the various communities in Brussels, so the real locals. And it’s really accessible for everyone.”

This is the latest in a series of Facebook Community Guides, covering cities from Oslo and Saint Petersburg in the north to Seville and Lisbon in the south.

The Brussels guide is available free from visit.brussels information desks.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times