Last updated on Jul 10, 2023
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Ghent, Belgium. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.
What do I need to know before moving to Ghent?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Ghent, they said:
"Ghent is a city in Belgium that is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture. Before moving to Ghent, expats should be aware of several important factors. Firstly, the official language in Ghent is Dutch, but English is widely spoken, especially among the younger population and in the business sector. However, learning some basic Dutch phrases can be beneficial for daily life and integration. The cost of living in Ghent is relatively high, with housing being the most significant expense. It's important to budget accordingly and consider the cost of utilities, groceries, and transportation as well. Public transportation in Ghent is reliable and efficient, with a network of trams and buses covering the city. Cycling is also a popular mode of transportation, and the city is very bike-friendly with numerous bike lanes and parking facilities. Ghent has a temperate maritime climate, with mild summers and cool winters. Rain is common throughout the year, so it's advisable to always carry an umbrella. The city is known for its high quality of life, with excellent healthcare and education systems. However, it's important to understand the Belgian healthcare system and ensure you have the necessary health insurance coverage. Ghent has a vibrant food scene, with a mix of traditional Belgian cuisine and international food. The city is also known for its beer, with many local breweries offering a wide variety of Belgian beers. The city is very safe, but like any other city, it's important to take basic precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Finally, Belgians are known for their directness and can sometimes come across as reserved. However, they are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners, and there are many expat communities and resources available in Ghent," explained one expat living in Ghent, Belgium.
How do I find a place to live in Ghent?
About the Author
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.
- Expat Guide to Ghent
- Insider's Guide to Health Care in Ghent
- Cost of Living in Ghent
- Healthcare & Health Insurance in Belgium
- Best Places to Live in Belgium
- Real Estate in Belgium
- Pros & Cons of Living in Belgium
- Driving in Brussels
- Pros and Cons of Living in Belgium 2023
- 2023 Guide to Moving to Belgium