7 Best Places to Retire and Live in Belgium: 2023

Spread the love

Belgium, which has a population of little over 10 million, is well-known for its waffles, chocolate, and beer, as well as being the home of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and NATO. It is also noted for its gorgeous architecture, rich history, and numerous works of art. Although the nation is highly inhabited, it is divided into three distinct and essentially autonomous areas that speak their languages, making it a popular choice for ex-pats. This post will help you find the best place to retire in Belgium.

Why Retire and Live in Belgium?

Here’s why living in Belgium can be a great option for you:

Welcoming Atmosphere: The reputation of Belgium as a laid-back, welcoming society is outstanding. Because of the tolerance and safety of the nation, you can simply make friends and integrate as an ex-pat. Belgium is a desirable location for any foreigner due to its remarkable peace and security.

Good Quality of Life: Belgium is known to be one of the best places to live in the world. It is a developed nation with excellent infrastructure. Belgian ex-pats benefit from a high standard of living, which includes a wide range of recreational opportunities, first-rate medical services, and excellent educational systems.

Reasonable Living Costs: With a wide variety of housing options and a varied array of restaurants and bars, Belgium has a lower cost of living than its European neighbors. Belgium has a very high tax burden, but in exchange, the nation provides good public healthcare at far lower costs and free public education.

Fantastic Public Transportation: Because of Belgium’s first-rate public transportation system, getting around is a breeze. Expats will learn that they can travel almost anyplace without a car.

Location and Language: Brussels, the nation’s capital, is located in the geographic center of Belgium. Because it lies halfway between Paris, London, and Amsterdam, you can take the train in less than three hours to any of them. Since Belgium is a member of the Schengen area, no additional visa is required to travel to any other member state.

Read More:  Best Places to Retire and Live in Germany: 2023

Belgium’s northern, Dutch-speaking region is called Flanders, and its southern, French-speaking region is called Wallonia. Officially, Brussels, the nation’s capital, is multilingual. The three official languages of Belgium – are Dutch, French, and German. Nevertheless, English is also widely spoken, so foreigners should have little trouble navigating the big cities while speaking English.

The Environment: With an emphasis on protecting the environment and creating innovative and creative energy-saving methods, Belgium is regarded as one of the greenest countries in the world. It is a singular mix of sprawling metropolises, endearing hamlets, and spectacular landmarks situated close to agricultural land and forests. There is plenty to learn about this fascinating country, and Belgians take great pride in their centuries-old heritage.

The Best Places to Retire and Live in Belgium

1. Brussels: Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

brussels

This capital city is a hive of activity and diversity, with a hip downtown and calmer suburbs. Since Brussels not only serves as Belgium’s capital but also a territory with 19 municipalities, only one of which is known as the City of Brussels, the municipal organization of the city may be unclear to newcomers. It is not surprising that the latter is the largest city in the nation given that it is home to about 2.5 million people. Additionally, since almost 70% of the population is of foreign descent, it has a fairly diversified population. Additionally, the city has the highest GDP per capita, which draws highly qualified people and business owners. The Grote Markt and La Monnaie are two of the city’s most popular cultural destinations.

  • Places to Eat: Baogo, La Piola Pizza, Ballekes, Ellis Burger, Walkin’ Thai 
  • Places to Visit: Grand Place, Atomium & Mini Europe, Belgian Comic Strip Centre, Town Hall

2. Antwerp:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

antwerp

Antwerp offers a completely immersed international setting with a diverse population of nationalities, including expatriates from the United Kingdom and the United States. The city has numerous international schools as well as a huge selection of organizations and groups that speak English. It has a port in addition to having a lively and varied ambiance, and with its growing industrial growth, it also offers a wide variety of business establishments. Numerous international students have been drawn to the university’s facilities, and the city is also experiencing an increase in work prospects. As a result, it has a large selection of eateries, pubs, and nightclubs to serve the city’s expanding young adult population. While single ex-pats often live closer to the city center, where flats are more expensive, the northern half of the city is primarily residential. Berchem, Het Eilandje (a dockside neighborhood recognized as Belgium’s “hippest location”), and Sint-Andries—which has the atmosphere of a village within a city—are among places that have a more bohemian vibe. Other noteworthy areas are Den Dam, Park Spoor Noord, which has a summer terrace bar, ponds, and outdoor grills, and Zurenborg, which is on the southeast side of Antwerp and has eccentric homes, lively squares, and a diverse population. Mechelen is regarded as both a neighborhood and a tiny city in the province of Antwerp, with a population that is getting younger. The city is developing into a hub that has benefited from its diversity thanks to its low crime rate and welcoming policies.

  • Places to Eat: BelRoy’s Bijou, Bourla, De Muze, Dogma, Graanmarkt 13 
  • Places to Visit: Antwerpen-Centraal, Cathedral of Our Lady, Grote Markt, MAS – Museum aan de Stroom 
Read More:  7 Best Places to Retire and Live in The Netherlands: 2023

3. Ghent:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

ghent

Ghent is a well-known town that attracts a lot of students and is regarded as Belgium’s most picturesque city. It is a vibrant metropolis with a blend of a big city and a small town atmosphere. The city is filled with canals and riverside residences. However, Muinparkwijk, which is renowned for its inexpensive homes, is one of the most popular areas for ex-pats. Coupure includes gardens and numerous historic residences close to a lovely river. The University of Ghent is helping the city develop into a potent research hub and is attracting more and more young workers. The peaceful Visserij neighborhood in Ghent is well-known for its “bicycle first” philosophy. In addition, it features historic townhouses and quays bordered with trees, making it a nice spot to reside close to the old city center.

  • Places to Eat: Oak Restaurant, Restaurant Vrijmoed, Door 73, Keizershof, Café Parti 
  • Places to Visit: Ghent City Center, Gravensteen, Graslei and Korenlei, St. Bavo’s Cathedral 

4. Genval:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

genval

Genval is a village in the so-called “Flemish belt,” a French-speaking commune outside of the Brussels area. The village is only 20 minutes away by train from Brussels town center, making it great for commutes if you would like to live in the rural but still be close to the large city, while being on the more expensive side thanks to its five-star hotel, water sport activities, and Geneva-style waterspout.

  • Places to Eat: Feuille et Couperet, Le Chalet Du Lac, La Pate Et Ose
  • Places to Visit: Spa Cinq Mondes, Aventure Parc, European Balloon Corporation, Martin’Spa Bodywhealth 
Read More:  7 Best Places to Retire and Live in Italy: 2023

5. Liege:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

liege

The lively nightlife and several folk festivals in Liege’s city center are well-known. The biggest town in the French-speaking region is this one. Sart-Tilman, Cointe, and Embourg are all areas of the city that are home to universities, and Liege has a confusing network of “medieval” streets filled with odd stores. Expats frequently congregate around a collection of streets like Piercot, Rue du Mont St. Martin, Boulevards Frere-Orban, and Rue due Jardin Botanique. The city center itself offers a variety of apartment buildings that are a popular choice for them.

  • Places to Eat: Chez Nathalie, o de vie, Le Zocco Chico, Gusto Pasta Bar
  • Places to Visit: Montagne de Bueren, Coteaux de la Citadelle, Gare de Liege-Guillemins, La Boverie

6. Waterloo:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

Waterloo, a little hamlet on the outskirts of Brussels, has a population of roughly 20% ex-pats. Compared to the capital, it is a more affordable place to reside and has a lot of appealing amenities for families. It provides affordable homes, international schools, high street stores, and shopping centers. Six districts make up this rather tiny French-speaking municipality: Faubourg Est, Faubourg Ouest, Chenois, Mont-Saint-Jean, Joli-Bois, and the city centre.

  • Places to Eat: Ichi Sushi and Sashimi Bar, The Archduke, Skylon, Gillray’s Steakhouse 
  • Places to Visit: Huron Natural Area, Victoria Park, Waterloo Park, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory 

7. Bruges:  Best Place to Retire and Live in Belgium

bruges

Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage City, includes cobblestone streets, canals from the Middle Ages, and striking architecture. The eastern Burges neighborhoods, home to the Belfry Tower, the town hall, and several museums, are where you may enjoy the Markt as well as find more activity. Additionally, you can benefit from the numerous eateries, coffee shops, chocolate shops, and in particular, the horse-drawn carts. Choose the neighborhoods in the outer circle beyond the canal for a tranquil existence, including residential areas like Sint-Jozef, Sint-Andries, Sint-Pieters, and Sint-Michels.

  • Places to Eat:  The Republic Cafe, The Olive Tree, ‘T Bagientje 
  • Places to Visit: Historic Centre of Brugge, The Markt, Belfort, De Halve Maan Brewery

Conclusion

Belgium, a tiny country in western Europe, is an excellent destination to relocate to. With its pastoral landscapes, rich historical legacy, and good living standards, it can attract any retired person to live in its beautiful cities.