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Pros & Cons of Living in Antwerp

If you're considering a move to Antwerp, this article discusses the pros and cons of living in Antwerp.
|-Pros & Cons of Living in Antwerp

Thinking about moving to Antwerp? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Antwerp.

Antwerp’s second-largest city, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan hub that has long attracted expats from around the world. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-class diamond industry, Antwerp offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication. But like any city, living in Antwerp comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of making Antwerp your home.

Pros of Living in Antwerp, Belgium

One of the biggest advantages of living in Antwerp is its rich cultural scene. The city is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, for instance, houses a vast collection of works by Flemish masters like Rubens and Van Dyck. The Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest and most respected zoos in the world, is another cultural highlight.

Antwerp is also a city of great architectural beauty. From the stunning Cathedral of Our Lady to the modernist buildings of the Zuid district, the city offers a feast for the eyes at every turn. The city’s architecture is a testament to its rich history, with buildings dating back to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque period.

Another major advantage of living in Antwerp is its excellent public transportation system. The city’s tram and bus network is extensive and reliable, making it easy to get around without a car. Antwerp also has a well-developed bicycle infrastructure, with numerous bike lanes and bike-sharing programs like Velo Antwerpen.

Antwerp is also known for its high quality of life. The city offers a wide range of amenities, from excellent healthcare facilities to top-notch schools. The University of Antwerp, for instance, is one of the top universities in Belgium and offers a wide range of programs in English.

Finally, Antwerp is a food lover’s paradise. The city is famous for its Belgian waffles, chocolates, and beers, but it also offers a wide range of international cuisines. From Michelin-starred restaurants like The Jane to cozy cafes and street food stalls, there’s something for every palate in Antwerp.

Cons of Living in Antwerp, Belgium

Despite its many advantages, living in Antwerp also comes with its share of challenges. One of the biggest disadvantages is the high cost of living. While not as expensive as Brussels, Antwerp is still one of the pricier cities in Belgium. Rent, in particular, can be quite high, especially in the city center.

Another downside of living in Antwerp is the weather. Like much of Belgium, Antwerp has a maritime temperate climate, which means it can be quite rainy and grey, especially in the winter months. While the city does have its share of sunny days, they can be few and far between.

While Antwerp’s public transportation system is generally excellent, it can also be quite crowded, especially during peak hours. Delays and cancellations are not uncommon, which can make commuting a frustrating experience.

Another potential downside of living in Antwerp is the language barrier. While many people in Antwerp speak English, Dutch is the official language and is widely spoken. If you don’t speak Dutch, you may find it difficult to navigate certain aspects of life in Antwerp, from dealing with bureaucracy to finding a job.

Finally, while Antwerp is generally a safe city, it does have its share of crime. Like any large city, Antwerp has areas that are best avoided, especially at night. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety.

In conclusion, Antwerp is a city of contrasts, offering a rich cultural scene, stunning architecture, and a high quality of life, but also high living costs, unpredictable weather, and potential language barriers. Whether the pros outweigh the cons will depend on your personal circumstances and priorities. But one thing is certain: living in Antwerp is never boring.

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.

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