Belgium is a small country on the western side of Europe. But about 1.4 million people that live in Belgium today are not native-born, and we can understand why. Despite being known for many tourist visits, living in Belgium can be challenging for someone who doesn’t know anything about the cost of living, culture, and lifestyle.
If you are living in Belgium or planning to move there, then this article is for you. Here are some tips to help you find your way around Belgium.
Belgium has a lot of public transport options. So, even if you don’t have a car or are not planning to get one, you won’t need to worry about moving around.
There are four public transport operators available; the public train, bus, trams and the metro trains. However, all payments are made using the MoBIB card (Mobility in Belgium card). The cards can be gotten online or at stations, and it works with subscriptions (monthly/annually).
Whereas public trains are best for long-distance movements, it’s better to use the buses when going on short distance errands. However, keep in mind that buses in Belgium do have closing times, so make sure you check the timetable so that you don’t miss the last bus home.
One tip that you mustn’t forget when moving around is knowing the names of your destination in French, Dutch and German. To be safer, make sure to own two or three travel guide maps for the first few months of your stay there.
Finding a hotel in Belgium isn’t difficult, but if you are looking for a more permanent residence, it’s a different ball game entirely. First, you would have to decide what your priority is with regards to proximity.
Would you rather live close to the street or close to beautiful tourist locations, or close to food and drink joints? This would determine where you begin your search for a home.
Secondly, you have to decide whether or not you prefer to buy a house or rent an apartment, keeping in mind your budget. You must also choose whether or not you would want the Wi-Fi feature in your home. This means you can’t be looking for an apartment in the rural streets of Belgium since there is no Wi-Fi connection in those parts of the country.
Once you have considered all these options, you can let your real estate agent know your decision. With the information, the real estate agent can help you find an apartment to your taste and within your budget.
Belgium has three official languages, French, Dutch and German. If you were a visitor, you could speak English, as many Belgians understand the international language.
However, if you wish to stay a bit longer than a few months, you may have to learn one of the three official languages for easier communication and simple things like asking for extra sauce when you order your spaghetti.
In addition, don’t be shocked when your new Belgian friend kisses you two or three times on the cheek. This is a common way of greeting in Belgium.
Don’t also hesitate to enjoy Belgian delicacies such as the famous spaghetti, waffles, hamburgers and tasty beer. But don’t be deceived; not all cafes mean a coffee shop. You might be shocked to see customers enjoying glasses of beer.
Finally, you might want to consider joining a walking tour so that you can familiarize yourself with places, routes and people during your first few months of arrival. This would help you settle in a lot easier.
To open a bank account, you have to be a registered resident of the UK. If you haven’t registered or don’t know how you can learn how to become a permanent resident of Belgium. Having a bank account would assist in managing bills, sending money abroad, everyday spending and mortgage or rent payments.
You can open a basic current account, a current premium account, a bundled/package account, a saving account or an offshore account, depending on which suits your financial plans.
The major banks in Belgium are Argenta, BNP Paribas Fortis Bank, AXA Bank, KBC, and many others. Euro is the currency spent in Belgium, which is close to the value of the US Dollar, which means you have little to no problem with exchange rates.
Settling in a new country can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the culture. Nevertheless, these tips would help you navigate your way around and guarantee that your stay in Belgium will be stress-free.