Being an expat and moving temporarily to Ghent, doesn't mean you have to stop practicing your favourite sports. Do you like swimming, but as you just moved to Ghent, you don't know where to go to do a couple of lanes after or before work? Please find below the Ghent Swimming pools, located close to the furnished apartments in the Advas recidencies in Ghent.
The Strop swimming pool is the nearest one to the apartments located in residency Advas (furnished apartments) and is the best one to go in the mornings. It is a litle bit hidden in the Strop District but with the help of google maps, very easy to find. There is enough parking space foreseen for visitors. The price is €6,50 for non-residents and €2,5 for residents. Always check opening hours, as they can differ during school vacation periods.
This one is located close to the Watersportbaan and the recreation field Blaarmeersen. Therefore it is ideal for people who want to combine a run and swim. It is aslo the favourite for Ghent students, as the university facilities are closeby. The pool has a 25m lane and is located next to a lot of student facilities. Ideal for people who want to combine a swim and run and like drinking a beer afterwards in the swimming pool cafeteria.
3. Van Eyck
Van Eyck swimming pool is located at the other side of the city centre, close to the Zuid. It is usually quite crowded, but worthwile going when going later in the evening. The swimming pool is on most days open until 10h30 PM.
Rooigem is a swimming pool, located at +/-4 km from the Advas residencies. It has 25m lanes and some facilities for children. No parking facilities are foreseen, so sometimes it can be difficult to go there with the car.
5. S+R Rozenbroeken
Last but not least, this swimming pool is the farest away (Sint-Amandsberg) but worth wile if you are sporty and want to use the 50m lane. It has a recreational swimming pool for children and there is a wellness for after your work-out. There are parking facilities foreseen in front of the building.
6. Outdoor exercise at the Blaarmeersen
In the summer months it is definitely worth while to replace the indoor exercise with outdoor swimming in the Blaarmeersen lake. The recreation domain is very crowded when the wheater is nice and it is over 25°C, but worth definitely worth while swimming during the evenings and when a even with less good weather, you will spot determined swimmers in the lake.
As we often receive questions from expats with respect to the health insurance in Belgium, we would like to refer to the following article, which gives a great view on how to conclude a health insurance, which company to choose and especially what should be covered with it...
Public transport in Belgium is excellent within and between the bigger cities. However, journeys to the suburbs and smaller towns are more easily accomplished by car. Having your own vehicle can save a lot of time on some commutes and allows for greater exploration of Belgium’s less accessible regions.Since both the new and second-hand car markets in Belgium are well-regulated, and prices are competitive with neighbouring countries, buying a car here can be a worthy investment.
Buying a new car
New cars are sold at dealerships across the country, and pretty much every globally recognised brand can be found. For reviews, check out Auto Magazine (in French and Dutch).
Don't hesitate to negotiate, whether getting them to shave something off the sticker price or to throw in an option for free. Make sure that any price you hear includes VAT (TVA / BTW), the 21% tax the dealer pays to the government.
Once the decision is taken, the dealership will create an order form (le bon de commande / bestelbon) for your new vehicle. This should include:
If you have the European-norm number plate on your current car, you can keep the same number plate. Then you pay €26.
An interesting note: According to Belgian law, if you sign an order for a new car at the Auto Salon or other auto market outside of the dealership, you have 14 days to change your mind, with no repercussions. At the dealership, however, you'll have to pay a fee if you change your mind. They vary, so check with the dealership in question.
Buying a second-hand car
There are many used car dealerships in Belgium. Among the largest are D’Ieteren, Cegeac, Cardoen and NNC.
Even if you entered a dealership that sells news and used the purpose of buying used, it's sometimes worth considering a new car. Sometimes overstock means that a new car will cost the same - or even less - than the sticker price of a used car on the lot.
Just don't forget that all the options of a new car (including the colour) cost more, so take your time to consider the full and actual price of any car at the dealership that catches your eye.
In the case of second-hand cars, sellers, whether professional or private, must also provide a certificate proving that the vehicle has undergone a technical examination (controle technique / autokeuring) within the last two months.
The buyer receives, together with the certificate, a report on the condition of the second-hand car (rapport d’occasion / gelijkvormigheidsattest), which provides full details of the results of the technical examination and detail of any faults with the vehicle.
The seller is also obliged to provide a Car Pass (this is the same in all the languages), which confirms the number of kilometres a car has travelled. Buyers are advised by Car Pass to check that the certificate matches the odometer.
Finally, the seller must provide an invoice and the pink form, as with a new car.
Private buying and selling of cars is extremely common in Belgium. All of these websites are dedicated to buying and selling used cars:
It is also worth considering buying an eco-friendly model or electric vehicle since there are many deductions available, including a substantial cut on the road tax (taxe de circulation / Verkeersbelasting). Vendors are also obliged to cut the price on low-emission models by as much as 15%.
If in doubt that all the paperwork is in order, check the Belgian government's website on the buying and selling of new and used cars.
Before you buy, it’s worth considering whether your employer will offer you a company car. This is common practice in Belgium, and the European Commission estimates that only 30% of journeys made with company cars are for professional purposes.