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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Ghent 2024
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Ghent, Belgium


7 Tips for Living in Ghent

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Advice for people moving to Ghent or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Ghent or thinking about moving there.

As an expat or digital nomad, living in a new city can be an exciting adventure filled with new experiences and opportunities. Ghent, is a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities that make it an ideal destination for those looking to live abroad. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in Ghent.

1. Learn the Local Language

While English is widely spoken in Ghent, learning the local language, Dutch, can greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks like shopping and dining out easier, but it will also open up opportunities for deeper connections with locals. There are numerous language schools in Ghent, such as the University Language Centre, where you can take Dutch classes.

2. Explore the City's Neighborhoods

Ghent is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The historic city center, known as the Graslei, is a must-visit with its stunning medieval architecture and picturesque canals. For a more modern vibe, head to the Arts Quarter, where you'll find a vibrant arts scene and trendy boutiques. The South district is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces, making it a great place for those who enjoy outdoor activities.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Belgium is known for its delicious food, and Ghent is no exception. Be sure to try local specialties like waterzooi (a creamy chicken or fish stew), stoverij (a hearty beef stew), and of course, Belgian waffles and chocolates. Some of the best restaurants in Ghent include 't Klaverblad, which serves traditional Belgian cuisine, and De Superette, known for its artisanal breads and pastries.

4. Take Advantage of the City's Bike-Friendly Nature

Ghent is a very bike-friendly city, with numerous bike lanes and rental shops. Cycling is not only a great way to get around the city, but it's also a fun way to explore and see the sights. Plus, it's a great way to stay active and healthy!

5. Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture

One of the best ways to truly experience Ghent is to immerse yourself in the local culture. Attend local events and festivals, visit museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Design Museum, and take the time to learn about the city's rich history. You'll gain a deeper appreciation for Ghent and feel more connected to your new home.

6. Make Use of Public Transportation

While Ghent is a very walkable and bike-friendly city, it also has an excellent public transportation system. The city's trams and buses are reliable and affordable, making it easy to get around. Plus, using public transportation is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the city's sustainability efforts.

7. Get Involved in the Community

Finally, getting involved in the local community can greatly enhance your experience in Ghent. Whether it's joining a local club or organization, volunteering, or simply making an effort to meet your neighbors, being active in the community can help you feel more at home and connected. Plus, it's a great way to make new friends and build a support network in your new city.

In conclusion, living in Ghent as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By taking the time to learn the language, explore the city, enjoy the local cuisine, and get involved in the community, you'll be able to make the most of your time in this beautiful Belgian city.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Belgium. If you're moving to Belgium, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Belgium.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Belgium. If you're moving to Belgium, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Belgium.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Ghent, Belgium

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SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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