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Pros & Cons of Living in Bruges

Planning a potential move to Bruges? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Bruges home.
|-Pros & Cons of Living in Bruges

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

Bruges, a city in Belgium, is a place that is often overlooked by many when considering a place to live. However, this city has a lot to offer, from its rich history and culture to its beautiful architecture and landscapes. But like any other place, living in Bruges has its pros and cons. This article will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of living in this charming city.

Pros of Living in Bruges

One of the biggest advantages of living in Bruges is its rich history and culture. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why. The city’s medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and picturesque canals make it feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower with 366 steps leading to breathtaking views of the city, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a 12th-century chapel that houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood, are just two examples of the city’s historical treasures.

Another advantage of living in Bruges is its size. Despite being a city, Bruges has a small-town feel. The city center is compact and walkable, making it easy to get around. This also means that everything you need, from grocery stores to restaurants to schools, is within walking distance. For example, the local market, Markt, is a great place to buy fresh produce, while the numerous cafes and restaurants around the city offer a wide variety of dining options.

Bruges also has a strong sense of community. The city’s residents are known for their friendliness and hospitality, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the community. For instance, the Bruges Volunteer Center is always looking for volunteers to help with various projects and events. Additionally, the city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Bruges Beer Festival and the Bruges Christmas Market, which bring the community together and offer fun activities for all ages.

Lastly, Bruges is a great place for nature lovers. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including the North Sea coast and the Flemish countryside. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and bird watching. For example, the Zwin Nature Park, located just outside the city, is a popular spot for bird watching and nature walks.

Cons of Living in Bruges, Belgium

Despite its many advantages, living in Bruges also has its downsides. One of the biggest disadvantages is the cost of living. While it’s not the most expensive city in Belgium, the cost of living in Bruges is higher than the national average. This is particularly true when it comes to housing. The city’s popularity as a tourist destination has driven up property prices, making it difficult for some people to afford a home in the city.

Another downside of living in Bruges is the weather. Like much of Belgium, Bruges has a maritime temperate climate, which means it has mild summers and cool winters. However, the city is known for its rainy weather. It rains on average 200 days a year in Bruges, which can be a downside for those who prefer a sunnier climate.

While Bruges’s small size is an advantage in many ways, it can also be a disadvantage. The city’s compact size means that it can feel crowded, especially during the tourist season. The city’s narrow streets and small public spaces can quickly become congested with tourists, making it difficult to get around. This can be particularly frustrating for residents who are trying to go about their daily lives.

Lastly, while Bruges has a strong sense of community, it can also be difficult for newcomers to integrate. The city’s residents are known for their close-knit community, and it can take time for newcomers to feel accepted. This can be particularly challenging for those who don’t speak Dutch, as the language is widely spoken in the city. However, there are language courses available, such as those offered by the Bruges Language Center, to help newcomers learn the language and integrate into the community.

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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