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Four Belgian cities among top 100 'most attractive' in Europe
Four Belgian cities have made a list of the top 100 most attractive cities in Europe, according to a recent ranking by World's Best Cities.
While London, Paris and Amsterdam occupy the top three places, Belgium stands out with four cities in the top 100: Brussels (12th place), Ghent (47th), Antwerp (50th) and Liège (88th).
World's Best Cities analyses the performance of the 100 cities in the ranking on a number of criteria including visitor numbers, ability to attract new workers and investors. The more positive correlations there were between these factors, the more likely the city was to be ranked at the top.
“Belgium’s capital and the de facto home of the European Union is a city with plenty of surprises up its stuffy sleeve,” the ranking writes of Brussels.
“Understated Brussels is a bounty of breathtaking architecture - surely the Grand Place is one of the most beautiful squares in the world - as well as the source of ugly state-commissioned buildings (there are entire social feeds dedicated to it).”
The judges also cited investments in public places and “the locals’ enduring deadpan humour,” saying “the city never takes itself too seriously thanks to its vibrant, educated, multi-ethnic population”.
Ghent was hailed for its fine arts containing Flemish masterpieces, along with “its ability to live fearlessly in the present moment, with citizens of 160 different nationalities and 85,000 students”.
There was also praise for green initiatives, including “energy-efficient street lighting, canal cleaning visits, low-emission zones, meat-free days and fairer home-sharing platforms”.
Antwerp was described as a city with a wealth of cultural attractions, “the highlight of which is the recently renovated Royal Museum of Fine Arts”. Its picturesque houses, secret courtyards and alleyways also were noted for their beauty.
And Liège in 88th place was described as “a transport and logistics hub, which has long attracted the headquarters of international companies”.
In terms of its attractiveness, note was made of narrow streets and magnificent views afforded by its hilly landscape.
The website also highlighted “the efforts of local authorities and businesses to highlight the town's heritage through folk festivals, art shows and concerts, such as the annual electro-rock event Les Ardentes”.