August 27-31, 2007
Banking and Currency
Office Hours, Shopping, Restaurants and Activities
Sales tax an tipping
Passport and visas
In August, the maximum temperature is 22° C (72° F) on average, minimum temperature is 12° C (54° F). Hot summer weather with temperatures above 25° (77° F) is not uncommon, but it may also cool down and rain for short periods. You are advised to bring a light raincoat. Often showers are accompanied by strong winds, making umbrellas less practical. A historical summary of the weather in Antwerp since 1996 can be found here. At the time of the conference, the sun rises just before 7am and sets around 8:30pm.
In the summer: GMT+2 (daylight savings time from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October). This is European Standard Time.
The official language of the meeting is English. In Belgium, there are three official languages: Dutch and French are the main languages (spoken in the northern and southern part of the country, respectively). German is spoken by a small segment of the population. English is widely understood and spoken, especially in a city like Antwerp.
230 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard. Note that the receptacles do not accept standard German grounded plugs without the hole for the male grounding pin.
In Belgium, mobile phones use the frequency bands GSM-900 and GSM-1800. Coverage is very good. An overview of the available networks can be found here.
Most banks are open daily from 09:00 to 16:00 except on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The Belgian unit of currency is the euro, abbreviated form EUR or €. At present, the bills in circulation are: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500. Bills of 200 and 500 Euros are exceptional, and may not be accepted in shops and restaurants. Small shops might also refuse to accept 100 Euro bills. The coins are as follows: 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 EUR and 2 EUR. International credit cards are accepted in all major hotels, restaurants and shops. Traveller cheques are no longer commonly used in Belgium. A currency converter can be found here.
Government and office hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.
Lunch is not provided in the conference center itself. However, there is a restaurant within the FCCC premises, there are several restaurants in the zoo, and many restaurants are within walking distance (5 to 10 minutes) from the conference center. This website gives a choice of many restaurants in the city. Information on nightlife, sights and activities, shopping, restaurants, tickets, events, etc. can also be found here and on the official website of Antwerp Tourism.
Fire Brigade, Medical emergency service and Police: dial 112
The conference fee does not include insurance. All participants should arrange for their own insurance. Health and accident insurance is recommended and has to be purchased in your country of origin.
Smoking is forbidden by law in public transportation, in restaurants and university buildings. Smoking is allowed in bars. Smoking is prohibited in the conference center.
Sales tax [VAT] is included in prices quoted. For non E.C. residents, tax free shopping schemes are available in many shops, which gives substantial savings to visitors.
Tipping is not required in restaurants, bars, taxis and for most other services, as service charges are normally included in the price. For exceptional services, a small tip is welcomed.
Belgium belongs to the Schengen area, which implies that a visa for Belgium will allow you to travel freely to the other Schengen countries. However, the Schengen countries have recently changed the procedures for visa applications. Residents from non-European countries are recommended to contact the local Belgian embassy or consulate as soon as possible about the procedures for acquiring a visa.
The conference organisers will be pleased to send a formal letter of invitation to authors of accepted papers requesting one. It is understood that such an invitation is intended to help potential delegates to raise funds or to obtain a visa. This does not imply a commitment from the conference organisers to provide any financial support. Letters of invitation may be requested from .