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Relocation to Brussels

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Brussels, Belgium
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Relocation to Brussels

Hi - looking for advice from Brussels inhabitants; My husband is considering relocating from the UK to a new role at a company based near Zaventem airport. I have a small child and would rather live a bit more centrally. Any advice on the best bits of Brussels to live with easy access to both Zaventem and the city centre. I'm not bothered about living within an "expat" community - I'd like to integrate as much as possible but don't want to spend a fortune on accommodation etc. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Hautrage, Belgium
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1. Re: Relocation to Brussels

Hi Jodies,

It really depends what kind of neighbourhood and what kind of housing you are looking for.

If you plan to stay inside of the Brussels-Capital region, here's a few tips...

Of course, Brussels-city itself. Most housings are appartments. Prices are getting higher but compared to London, it's a bargain! Neighbourhoods south of the Bourse are a bit dodgy BUT it's not the Bronx. The nice parts is around Le Sablon, Avenue Louise going towards Ixelles and St-Gilles.

Saint-Gilles is a neat neighbourhood. It's very multicultural, popular and a bit bohemian. The friends I have there are all in the cultral field and would not leave St-Gilles for the world.

Ixelles is a mix... it's a bit trendy (especially around the Châtelain area and also Place Flagey), quite multicultural too (the Congolese - in Matonge, close to Port de Namur) and South-Americans communities are concentrated there), it's also the commune where you have the 2 big universities of Brussels : ULB and VUB. You also have classy neibourhood such as Etang d'Ixelles with quit well-off families living there.

Uccle is expensive but you'll be able to find a house there. It's where all the "filthy rich" are supposed to live (well, in one part of Uccle) and they have 2 train stations that your husband could use to connect with a train - or a bus - to Zaventem, Watermael-Boisfort can also fit in that description,it feels a little more like the countryside, well-off population, quiet... Same can be said about Woluwé St-Lambert and Woluwé-St-Pierre, except the first is better connected top the public transportation.

Good luck!!!

Belgium
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2. Re: Relocation to Brussels

www.xpats.com has some good links and info on relocating and living as a foreigner in Brussels and Belgium.

Brussels BE...
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3. Re: Relocation to Brussels

Jodles,

I think that a lot depends also on how your husband intends to commute to work. If he prefers to go by car, then I would avoid Uccle as it is on the other side of the town. In that case Woluwe Saint Pierre or Woluwe Saint Lambert would be much better. If, in the contrary, he would move by public transport I agree that WSP is not well connected (I live there).

They both are family oriented neighbourhoods. Lots of facilities for children but not so much "life".

brussels
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4. Re: Relocation to Brussels

I live in Etterbeek which is pretty central and work near zaventem on a normal day 0700 start and 1700 finish it takes about five minutes to get here.

if you intend sending your child to an international school i would have tohgt that would be critical in deciding where to locate.

A lot of british ex pats live in moorsel and tervuren primarily because of the British school. A lot of germans round the german school in sterrebeek and wezembeek.

Mine go to schools in etterbeek so i dont have that problem but it is something to consider.

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Relocation to Brussels

Thanks for your advice - it's really useful. Things have moved on a bit and there's a chance I could be working in Rixensart when we move, so I think one of the southern Brussels communes like Auderghem (any thoughts?) or WSP/WSL might be perfect. I guess we'd both need to get to the motorway quite easily. Though I understand there's a train stopping at Watermael and Etterbeek that goes to Rixensart. I'd prefer my daughter to go to a french speaking local school. Any ideas on how easy it is to get a nursery place or childminder? Maybe I could come back and pick your brains a bit more when I know some more details...?

PS What about Shaerbeek? Lots of cheap places - does this mean I should avoid it?

Brussels BE...
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6. Re: Relocation to Brussels

I live in WSP - Stockel area - and it's very, very close to the motorway. The downside is that it is quite expensive. Kraainem, on the other hand, is less expensive and confines with Stockel. Kraainem is officially a flemish "Commune", but they have many facilities in French.

The edge of WSL is also very close to the motorway and less expensive than WSP.

None of these Communes is served by the railway, but you could choose to live close to the underground which can bring you easily to Shumann Station.

As for nursery, I don't think they should be a problem as walking around in this area you can see lots of them everywhere.

brussels
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7. Re: Relocation to Brussels

woluwe st pierre is very nice and particularly nice in the chant oiseau area i looked at a four bedroom house here that was around 500 K euros rent would be around 1700 -2300 per month.

My youngest has just started a school in the area which is french speaking and there are many of them look up the comune site and look for the list of schools to get an idea.Thee are very many private nurseries.Until recently i was paying around 380 Eur per month

But, it is normal here to start in the reception class around two and a half, so you may be looking at a school rather than a nursery.

most if not all school have a a garderie before and after school. mine starts at 7.30 until 18.30 and is very good value at around six euros a week.

rixensart is a bit of a trek out and in the flemish area. unless you particulalry want a french scholl it would probably be easier in flemish a and most flemish people speak english. All flemish people speak french the reverse is not the case.