Bruges is in the west of Belgium, in Flanders, around 8 miles/13km from the coast. On the Markt square in the centre of the city can be found the belfry, with great views over the historic city centre. The city-center Markt features horse-drawn carriage rides and 17th-century houses converted into restaurants and cafes, as well as the 13th-century belfry with its 47-bell carillon and 83m tower with panoramic views.
Another historic square, Burg, is a short walk from the Markt. Its port, Zeebrugge, is an important center for fishing and European trade.
The Minnewater lake to the south of the city centre is linked to picturesque canals. On the nearby coast is Ostend. Around 24 miles/40km further inland from Bruges is Ghent.
Moving to Bruges
Moving to this beautiful Belgian city required planning to ensure a stress free relocation.
First you need to be able to communicate if you want to live there. Dutch is the majority language in Belgium, being spoken natively by three-fifths of the population. It is one of the three national languages of Belgium, together with French and German, and is the only official language of the Flemish Region. All Dutch dialect groups spoken in Belgium are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands as well. East Flemish forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish.
As the preceeding paragraph partially revealed, Belgium is quite complicated for such a small country. As speculated in The Guardian, one could imagine the country’s famous painter René Magritte having said: “Ceci n’est pas une nation“, and he wouldn’t have been far off.
Depending on where are you moving from, the moving process could be much easier. If you are moving from The Netherlands, it will be much easier for you to feel Bruges as home. If you are moving from other parts of Europe, you should first spend some time there before making your final decision. Check out the Belgisch chamber of movers when you are looking for removals.
Belgium, with a marginal tax rate that goes as high as 54%, ranks number one among OECD countries for highest tax rates. It charges a social security rate of 13% for employees and 35% for employers, municipal taxes of up to 11% and capital gains tax of up to 33%. The country has the highest tax and social security burden in the world; single taxpayers take home less than 45% of their actual income, while those in the higher income brackets take home less than 40%. (source).
On the other side, thanks to their social security system, the country ranks among the highest in the world in measures of wellbeing, says the OECD’s Better Life Index.