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Pros & Cons of Living in Mechelen

If you're considering a move to Mechelen, this article discusses the pros and cons of living in Mechelen.

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

Belgium, a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and delectable cuisine, is home to many beautiful cities. One such city is Mechelen, located in the province of Antwerp. With its picturesque landscapes, historic buildings, and vibrant community, Mechelen has become a popular choice for both locals and expats. But like any other city, living in Mechelen has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of living in this charming Belgian city.

Pros of Living in Mechelen

One of the biggest advantages of living in Mechelen is its rich history and culture. The city is home to numerous historic buildings and landmarks, such as the St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and the Mechelen City Hall. These structures provide a glimpse into the city’s past and offer a unique cultural experience. For history buffs, the city’s museums, including the Museum Hof van Busleyden and the Kazerne Dossin, offer a wealth of information about Mechelen’s history and heritage.

Another advantage of living in Mechelen is its strategic location. Situated between Antwerp and Brussels, Mechelen offers easy access to these major cities. This makes it an ideal place for those who work in these cities but prefer to live in a quieter, less crowded environment. The city’s well-connected public transportation system, including trains and buses, makes commuting hassle-free.

Mechelen is also known for its vibrant community. The city hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Maanrock music festival and the Mechelen Muurt art festival. These events provide opportunities for residents to socialize, enjoy local talents, and immerse themselves in the city’s culture. For those interested in volunteering, organizations like Rode Kruis Mechelen-Bonheiden and Natuurpunt Mechelen offer various opportunities to give back to the community.

Lastly, Mechelen is a family-friendly city. It boasts numerous parks and playgrounds, as well as family-oriented attractions like the Planckendael Zoo and the Technopolis science center. The city’s education system is also commendable, with a variety of schools offering quality education in both Dutch and English.

Cons of Living in Mechelen, Belgium

Despite its many advantages, living in Mechelen also has its downsides. One of the main disadvantages is the cost of living. Like many other cities in Belgium, the cost of housing, groceries, and other necessities in Mechelen can be quite high. This can be a challenge for those with a limited budget or those who are used to living in areas with a lower cost of living.

Another disadvantage is the language barrier. While English is widely spoken in tourist areas and by younger generations, Dutch is the main language in Mechelen. This can pose a challenge for expats or newcomers who do not speak Dutch. However, there are language schools available, such as the Berlitz Language Center, for those who wish to learn the language.

The weather in Mechelen can also be a downside for some. The city experiences a temperate maritime climate, which means it can be quite rainy and cloudy throughout the year. This can be a drawback for those who prefer sunny and dry climates.

Lastly, while Mechelen’s location offers easy access to major cities, it can also mean dealing with the hustle and bustle associated with city living. Traffic congestion, especially during peak hours, can be a problem. Noise pollution, particularly during events and festivals, can also be a concern for those who prefer a quieter environment.

In conclusion, living in Mechelen, Belgium, comes with its own set of pros and cons. It’s a city that offers a rich cultural experience, a vibrant community, and a strategic location. However, the cost of living, language barrier, weather, and city noise can be potential downsides. Ultimately, whether Mechelen is the right place for you depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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