Ideal place to live ? Mechelen / Brussels / Antwerp ?

Hi ,

I have been offered a job in Mechelen and i will be joining in January '18.I am married and my wife is gonna deliver our first baby in December '17.I need some help in deciding where to settle down in Belgium , given the fact that my work place is Mechelen.


I had visited brussels earlier this year and i know for a fact that it hosts an international lifestyle, of which i am not a big fan. Also , i believe for starters i could manage to deal with the government offices(Marie)  in English.This is the only reason i would prefer brussels.
How about commuting to Mechelen (work) from Brussels ?
Is the housing more expensive that Antwerp and Mechelen ? I am looking for a 1 bedroom apt .Please advice


I have not been to Antwerp but i imgaine it would be more or less like Brugges.I may also be wrong , please correct me if so.

How about commuting to Mechelen (work) from Antwerp ?
What is the price range i can expect for a 1 bedroom apt here?
Can i manage with English ?
How about the healthcare given the fact that it is not quite a city type.


I read about it online and believe that its a very small touristy place.I am more inclined towards moving to Mechelen beacuse i think there will be less polution compared to Antwerp and Brussels.Please correct me otherwise.

Is it safe to live here ?
How is the healthcare in Mechelen ?
Do i need to deal in French or Dutch with local shops and government offices ?
Is the housing cheaper here ?

Thanks in advance !!

I am staying with family in the Mechelen area (Muizen) right now.  I love the area. It seems very safe and the people are friendly. I believe it is quite a bit cheaper than where we are moving to in Brussels. We currently commute from here to Brussels and I would not recommend doing that long term. The local shops and government are in Dutch (it's in the Flanders region). Mechelen is going through a big renovation right now and it's really starting to look very nice.

Thank you angelathegreat ! Your information is very helpful.

Could you please advice how is the child care in Mechelen.I will be moving with a new born so i am a little worried about the hospital facilities.

Also , please advice how is the social life there.My wife is not going to start working sooner and hence she would look forward to some activities or networking.

Thanks in advance !

Health care is one offtops land in the world

I really am not sure about childcare, we have just left our son with family. There are a ton of activities and great restaurants. They seem to have free events going on every weekend. I went to the big, free, concert Maanrock this summer. They also brought in a bunch of sand for an event for the kids and had the main square all set up where the kids could play and do activities. There is a zoo. There is a lot of shopping and everyone at town hall was very nice and helpful during the registration process.
Here is a website-

Thank you so much angelathegreat !! Those were some helpful facts !! As i had lived in France i could manage with some French.Just want to know if Antwerp is a French speaking area.I heard that French is very prevalent in Brussels..

Antwerp is also in Flanders so it's Dutch speaking.

Hi Harish,

Congratulations on your new job.

As your work location is in Mechelen, it is best to stay in Mechelen.
Travelling from Mechelen to Brussels/Antwerp by train takes 20 to 30 minutes. And the transportation allowance varies from employer to employer. Check with your employer if you can avail transportation allowance.

Mechelen is a small town and there are many Indian expats living here.Rent for 1 bed room appartment varies from 600 to 800 euros. You can visit this link to have a look at appartments for rent … /Mechelen.

Regarding the language, Dutch is the primary language but most officials and sales persons in shops can communicate in English. So you need not to worry about language.

Let me know if you need more details.


Hi Saithez thanks for your reply ! I heard that many single expats live in Mechelen as it is well suited for easy commutes to work.Any indian expat you know of , who lives with a family in Mechelen ?As i will have to move with a new born i am concerned about hospitals in a close proximity !

I'd say go for Mechelen. There is a small but growing anglophone centered community there.

You won't have too many problems comminicating in English there.

Dutch is reasonably easy to learn for anglophones. There are 2 Hindi speakers in my Dutch A2 class, they are picking up Dutch just fine, due to having English as a 2nd language.

The sports facilities in Mechelen are great. There are 2 provincial domains, de Nekkar and Hofstade, lake parks with playgrounds. Loads for children there.

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