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Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide

June 16, 2021
Admittedly, Belgium is not one of the more popular countries in the world. At least, in terms of tourism. Although overall, the country welcomes millions of tourists year after year, it has yet to equal the likes of France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. With that said, what has increased over the years, however, is the number of people moving to Belgium. That's because of cities like Antwerp, an emerging metropolis with a lot of potential. For now, it's known as the artistic hub of Belgium, but as more people relocate here, it will only become more important from here on in. So here's a guide to help!

Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide


Overview

With a current population of 1.048 million residents, it's not unreasonable to consider Antwerp as a major city in Belgium. In comparison, Brussels, the country's capital, only has roughly double the number with its current population of 2.096 million residents. As for the weather, Antwerp gets all four seasons. On average, the coldest is during January when the temperature gets as low as 32 °F (0 °C). Meanwhile, it's hottest during July, becoming as hot as 71 °F (22 °C). And since Antwerp is in the Flanders region, the dominant language here is Flemish. You might want to learn it in the many fine language schools here!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Getting Around

As Antwerp is a bustling metropolis, public transport here is alive and well. Originally, the city didn't have its own metro system but plans are underway to establish one but there's still no set date as to when it will be open. Nevertheless, the trams and buses here are more than enough to help you get around. There were various stops all throughout the city and you can even purchase your ticket online for less of a hassle. Now, if you have the city's famous MoBIB Card, digital transactions will go a lot smoother. Purchase one the moment you get here!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Where to Live

It's easy to think that Antwerp is one homogenous city where each and every corner looks and feels the same. In reality, however, that couldn't be farther from the truth! The neighborhoods in Antwerp are all unique. When you relocate here, it's imperative that you choose one that fits your lifestyle. Sure, how close your place is to your work and all that is important, but there's still public transport! It's still more important that you're comfortable in the place you've settled down in. Places like Deurne and Zurenborg are the quieter ones while the Het Zuid and Het Eilandje districts are all about that signature urban living!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Real Estate

It's no secret that Brussels isn't exactly an affordable city to live in, but what about Antwerp? What are the living costs here? Well, in a nutshell, it's not so far off the Belgian capital but it's also comparatively more affordable here too. Let's take rent as an example. Here in Antwerp, it's actually possible to get a great place that will go for less than €1,000.00 a month. This is practically unheard of when it comes to Europe's major cities. But in reality, the common rental fees in Antwerp range from around €500.00 to €1,500.00 per month. That's definitely not bad!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Employment

Now, let's talk about employment. You're actually pretty lucky to be relocating to Antwerp when it comes to finding a job. The city is one of the best big metropolises in Europe, especially with the thriving art and fashion scene here. It's through these that Antwerp has the potential to become a major business and financial hub, not just of Belgium, but of the entire European region! And since Belgium's job market is relatively stable right now, you can still get into the game and find the best work for you here in Antwerp.
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Education

It's already a given that Antwerp has some of the best art and fashion design schools in Belgium, but what about standard schools? If you're a parent relocating to Antwerp with your kids, will they be able to continue their studies here? Yes, of course! The city has a ton of excellent international schools that kids coming from different cities and countries can enroll in. There's the International School of Belgium, the Antwerp International School, and the Antwerp Business School, among many others. From primary school to higher education, your kids' schooling is guaranteed to continue and even thrive here!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Healthcare

How about healthcare? Will you and your family stay safe and healthy when you've relocated to Antwerp? Well, luckily, the Belgian healthcare system operates on a universal system, which means the moment you become legal residents here, you become eligible to get public health coverage. And you're gonna need that or private insurance in order to gain access to Antwerp's many prominent hospitals and clinics. Places like ZNA St. Elisabeth and Antwerp University Hospital are known to have professional staff, excellent medical care, and more. You'd do well in memorizing where they are and remembering the emergency hotline here!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Safety

It's easy to think that, since Antwerp isn't that popular a city, it's probably safer here, right? Truthfully speaking, the crime rates here are lower than those in more famous European cities, but that doesn't mean they're low. In reality, the current general crime rate of Antwerp is 39.91%, considered moderately high on the scale. And with its rate of increasing crimes at 54.80%, it's justifiable for people to worry. Nevertheless, the safety rate of walking in Antwerp is 83.07% during the day and 54.67% at night, both considered moderate to very high. So yes, overall, Antwerp is a safe enough city for new residents.
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ bert76


Taxes

Of course, there's also the issue of taxes! When you move to Antwerp and become a legal resident here, you'll automatically become a taxpayer of Belgium. And you need to know how the country's tax system works in order to properly and diligently pay your taxes. One of the most important parts to expect is paying your income taxes. Just like in other countries, the income tax rate that you'll pay here depends on how much you earn annually. And for the most part, the deadline for filing your taxes is often around June.
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Relocation Tips

Now for some final relocation tips! Even though Antwerp is slowly becoming a major international city, you'd still benefit from getting a local SIM card here. Don't worry! Many Belgian networks also operate abroad, which means you can probably still use them even when you go outside of Belgium. Still, your primary purpose of getting one is to stay connected and easy to contact regardless of where you are. Also, you might want to set up your own local bank account here too! It's to ensure you get to handle all your finances here properly and without any hassle!
Moving to Antwerp: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Moving to Antwerp is serious business. If you make even just one misstep, it can affect your whole new life here regardless of how little or simple it may be. So to ensure you don't commit any mistakes, this relocation guide can help you out!




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