Living in Antwerp is a place where history intersects with modernity. However, if you are seriously considering moving to Antwerp, you should know some important information, such as educational opportunities for children and health services in the city.
It is a historical city and increasingly multicultural. You can hear different languages on the streets, Dutch as well as French.
Antwerp offers many opportunities for leisure activities. Modern architecture, Antwerp Zoo and many galleries for shopping.
Children can start attending kindergarten, as in Poland, from the time they are 2 and a half years old. Primary school, however, starts at the age of six. There is a choice of public and international schools.
Health care is primarily a state system, supplemented by private visits. In case of emergency, there are of course more different treatment options.
Life in Antwerp revolves around history. About a fifth of the historic city centre is a pedestrian-only zone, so you can enjoy the charms of the city without the hustle and bustle of the streets. Grote Market and Groenplaats are popular spots worth visiting.
Antwerp has a famous cultural past. The most important figures are Christophe Plantin and Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens in particular is known worldwide as an outstanding artist, but few people know that he lived in Antwerp. His works can be found in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, but also in the Cathedral of Our Lady and in the churches of Antwerp.
If you want to enjoy cultural attractions, the Vlaamse Opera House and the Bourla Theatre are the ideal art venues in the city. If architecture is more your thing, Antwerp’s buildings range from Gothic to postmodern, making Antwerp a true cultural gem.
The city’s zoo is one of the oldest in Europe. Thanks to its renovation, it is also one of the most modern on the continent. It’s the perfect place to spend time with your family and children. If you prefer something more stylish, check out the city’s fashion scene. ModeNatie is the centre of the fashion district. It is home to the Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI), the Fashion Museum (MoMu) and the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Shopping is therefore one of the favourite activities of Antwerp residents.
The largest modern shopping centre in Antwerp is the Grand Bazaar. The city has always had a tradition of open markets. Once you’ve moved and settled in, you should get out and visit the many markets that sell everything from food and flowers to exotic birds and North African delicacies.
Antwerp is also the diamond capital of the world. The industry there turned over $56 billion in 2011. Some 34,000 people are employed in the industry, and around 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and half of the world’s polished diamonds are traded in Antwerp. A square kilometre filled with about 380 workshops and some 3,500 diamond brokers, merchants and grinders stretches around the Central Station. Noteworthy are the diamonds of the well-known ‘Antwerp cut’.
If you are planning a move to Antwerp, make sure you prepare thoroughly. Check what documents you need to take care of when moving to Belgium. You should also trust a removal company to take care of the transport of your belongings during your international move.