Quality of Life
The city you’ll love to live in
The population of Antwerp is on the rise: in recent years, plenty of young families have been flocking to the inner city, boosting new urban developments all over town. And they know exactly why they’re doing it: Antwerp is the region’s cultural capital, with the Sportpaleis proudly sitting in fourteenth place worldwide on the list of best selling arena venues. Nightlife is vibrant too, with plenty of theatres, more restaurants and bars than you can ever visit in your life and some stunningly brilliant museums.
On top of all this, Antwerp is a great place to raise children. Teachers and schools rank among the best in Europe and local sport clubs are open to everyone. And with every passing month, several kilometers of bike lane are added to the already bike-friendly inner streets of the city. Buying or renting a place in Antwerp is also cheaper than in most European cities.
Hip and historic
Like no other city, Antwerp combines its rich history with forward thinking. Antwerp is always one step ahead. And that's been the case for centuries: inspired thinkers like Peter Paul Rubens and printing partners Plantin and Moretus set the tone for Antwerp innovation avant la lettre. A trend that is still being felt today.
In Antwerp, culture is there for the taking. Not only because of the numerous museums, churches, theatres, cinemas and galleries. Anyone who just takes one brief look at the city will immediately see its architectural richness: legacies of the Golden 16th century, such as the Market Square, but also progressive examples of architecture, such as the Palace of Justice, deSingel or the Havenhuis.
The best day out
Tourists from around the world find their way to Antwerp, but also day-trippers from the surrounding area. After all, in Antwerp, there’s always something going on: festivals, markets, sporting events, the annual Sinksenfoor fair, the widely known Summer of Antwerp or the traditional Christmas market with an accompanying Winter Festival. And that’s not even mentioning the fail-safe formula: a day of shopping, having a drink on a terrace, tucking into an ice cream or waffle and finishing off with a lovely dinner at a restaurant.
Every 3 years, the European Commission gives Eurostat the task to question European citizens about the quality of life in the cities.
General happiness with the Antwerp citylife
92% of the interrogated people says that they are happy of very happy with life in Antwerp.
93% of the interrogated people says to be happy or very happy about healthcare, doctors, hospitals, ... in Antwerp. Antwerp ranks 4th among the 79 questioned cities.
84% of the interrogated people says to be happy or very happy about sport facilities in Antwerp. Antwerp ranks 4th among the 79 questioned cities.
87% of the interrogated people says to be happy or very happy about cultural facilities like concert halls, theaters, museums and libraries in Antwerp.
86% of the interrogated people says to be happy or very happy with schools, high schools, universities and other educational facilities in Antwerp.
On behalf of a EU survey 69% of respondents state they are happy or very happy with governmental efficiency & services. This places Antwerp in the top five of the 78 surveyed cities.
High Spending Potential
The atmosphere in Antwerp is one of enjoyment and relaxation, which attracts visitors of all ages who are quite prepared to spend their money on gourmet dining, shopping, an afternoon or a weekend of culture and fun. The quality of life is high, and this is evident to every visitor.
Throughout Belgium, the GDP per capita – and hence purchasing power – is 19% higher than the average in Europe. In the Province of Antwerp, the GDP is 38% higher, and even 45% in the District of Antwerp. And shoppers choose Antwerp as their favourite place to spend their income.(CBRE, Belgium Retail Survey)
The major international companies in and around Antwerp also attract a steady stream of international workers. Moneyed expats love all the comforts that the city offers. They also feel at home in Antwerp.
6 large parks, various green areas
100+ large events, concerts, food fairs each year
9 large shopping areas within the city
"Antwerp is a vibrant place to live and work. Its dynamic business community makes the city a true metropolis with international charisma."
(Bernard Van Milders, Chairman VOKA – Chamber of Commerce & Industry Antwerp Waasland & Vice Chairman Antwerp Headquarters)
In full development
Antwerp never stands still. New projects have recently emerged in countless places in the city or future plans are in the pipeline.
Main shopping street revival
To a huge number of visitors, the wide avenue from Central Station to the major Meir shopping axis is the entrance hall to their day in Antwerp. That deserves appropriate grandeur, which Keyserlei has restored after an extensive make-over. Now, shoppers can stroll along the widened footpath, undisturbed by traffic, or take a seat on the pavements of restaurants and cafés. On the corner with Frankrijklei, the Antwerp Tower will soon regain its former lustre: the tower will be completely refurbished and will, thus, fit into the renovation of the Opera Square.
New project in the South - green space
Open spaces in the city centre are rare. The elongated Zuiderdokken are a remnant of what used to be docks along the river Scheldt. After years of use as a plaza for events and parking, there are now plans to turn it into a green, multipurpose establishment. The car parking, which will disappear underground, will make room for meeting space and a fresh view of the shops and houses, restaurants and cafés around the square.
A stunning & hip district in the North
High-quality architecture is in the spotlight on Het Eilandje. From the new Westkaai Towers, residents have stunning views over the city, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum. And the Havenhuis of renowned architect Zaha Hadid is making its presence felt on the skyline. The Cadix district is developing rapidly and is becoming the location to watch.
New waterfront residential area
In the south of Antwerp, along the river Scheldt and near the city centre, a sustainable residential area overlooking the water is planned. Green urban living is the focus of the project. The plans show how ambitious Antwerp deals with sustainable urban development. Life is good in the district of the future, close to shops and services and with respect for the surroundings and the environment.
Creative minds in a new cultural hub
After years of renovation and development, there is now a complete housing development on the site of the former Military Hospital in Berchem, where new construction and historic architecture are juxtaposed in a green setting. The Groen Kwartier is already a place for trendsetters. The starred restaurant The Jane found a magnificent location in the old chapel, while de Stookplaats has become a vibrant hub for young artists and other creative minds.
New area near a large green belt
Now that the municipal slaughterhouse is closed in Damwijk, it's time for the site around it to be repurposed. The plans also include the surrounding docks and will turn the neighbourhood into a pleasant residential area, with space for creative economy. The project will give the whole area a new lease of life.
"Antwerp offers everything an international city should have — it is a great place where tradition and innovation go hand in hand."
Kentaro MORIKAWA, Secretary General Nippon Shokubai Europe nv
Feb 15, 2023
Six top ten spots in seven categories: the new rankings of fDi Intelligence establish Antwerp as an attractive location to invest in. For the first time, Antwerp is among the best ten cities in the ‘talent & lifestyle’ category. An additional asset to attract investors and entrepreneurs.
Nov 24, 2021
Excellent news: The Water Plan of the City of Antwerp has won the Flemish Planning Award, presented on World Town Planning Day. This award puts innovative spatial projects in the spotlight. It’s already the second time that the city of Antwerp is the winner of this award.