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Laeken Brussels living question

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Dear all,
We are thinking of buying a house in laken, and have a question and the different parts of it. We like the idea of the metro but I'm concerned by older posts here saying that south/left of the park is not safe. Also, the only houses/nice apartments available this year on the tram/other side of laken have been a good distance from the de wand station (which itself is v.accessible to centre). We've driven around along the metro line 6 and it seems ok to me..in what way is it overcrowded/social problems etc? Any feedback appreciated!
J

shortof

get out of the car and walk perhaps?

Nov 17, 2016 18:30
KNerhus

We bought a house near Bockstael a few years ago and are very happy with the neighbourhood. It was important for us to be near the metro as that is our family's main means of transport and also closer to our children's school. If you live on the other side of Laeken (Pagodes/de Wand), you either need to get a bus to the metro or are dependent on the trams. That being said, I agree that the nicer houses are usually in the de Wand neighbourhood - we got very lucky in finding our perfect house nearer the metro.

This side of Laeken is economically and socially much more diverse, which is something we personally find more welcoming/interesting. The de Wand side of the commune is definitely older, whiter and richer, but after living in Uccle for many years we were quite tired of that limited demographic. We feel perfectly safe and have had no incidents apart from some bicycles being stolen out of our garage -- but that also happened in Uccle. Our children are also happy here and move about very freely.

The main shopping street is a bit run down, but has a Blokker, Di, cheap shoe shops, Brico, Carrefour Express and Delhaize, bakeries, excellent fishmongers and plenty of halal butchers. Huge Saturday market. Also, most shops stay open 7 days a week, including holidays. And while I personally don't miss the snobbishness of our old neighbourhood, I do wish a Le Pain Quotidien would open up locally!

This side of Laeken is a more economically deprived part of town but that doesn't mean you can't lead a lovely life here -- definitely out of the usual expat bubble. But you need to get out of your car and walk around to get a feel for both parts of Laeken. So many people prefer the other side (beyond the Royal Palace), and they can't all be wrong!

Nov 19, 2016 08:56
jwhyte

Thanks for the answers and info. I have done some walking too and Yes i noticed a lack of cafes around, but with a small baby i wont get out much anyway! I think we will go for it! Add to the diversity :) The next thing is to find a nice creche!!

Nov 21, 2016 11:00