My family and I traveled to Brussels for the first time in March 2014. Coming from Germany where we lived at the time it was a 3 hour drive. Being so close I assumed they spoke the same language, German. Obviously I didn’t very much research before we left. Crossing the border between Germany and Belgium we immediately noticed the signs were in French.
This was one of my lasting impressions of Brussels, the mixture of languages. At our hotel most people spoke English, Dutch, French and German. That is amazing to me as an American who barely learned Spanish as a child let alone knowing 4 languages at once. This mixture of languages was apparent in the street signs, the people, the shops and restaurants. It shows that people here are flexible and open to compromise.
Design take away: Brussels, like all of Europe that I have seen, is a mixture of old and new. The art and architecture to me has a rough earthy feel.
UX take away: Be flexible, adapt to the needs of your users.