Shopping in Brussels can almost be termed a sport, as a lot of the wealthy residents spend an awful lot of their time and money competing with each other for the best buys and designer goods. Fashion-conscious visitors should head down to the Boulevard de Waterloo area, Avenue Louise, where all the designer shops and boutiques can be found. Here, travellers can expect to see names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, Chanel and Bvlgari, to name a few. Speciality shops can be found in Rue Haute and Rue Blaes.
The Rue Neuve is the main pedestrian shopping street in Brussels. Shoppers who venture that way will find mostly international chain stores, while more original independent stores are located between the Grand Place and the Rue Lemonnier. The Westland Shopping Mall boasts around 140 shops and has all the usual big department stores and trendy stores, great for clothing, jewellery, books and more.
Most shops close at approximately 6pm during the week and at 7pm or 8pm on weekends. The sales tax is 21 percent and can be refunded to non-EU citizens by any of the shops affiliated to Global Refund Belgium. Shops that participate will issue a global refund cheque, which can be stamped at customs and cashed upon leaving the country.
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