10 Safest Cities in Belgium

Updated On October 10, 2023

Located on the coast of the North Sea, Belgium is often considered the cultural and commercial hub of Europe.

Travelers flock to this picturesque country for its rich history, medieval architecture, and modern shopping.

The country also produces some of the best chocolate and waffles you will ever eat.

With a population of just over 11.5 million, Belgium is considered one of the safest European countries for travel.

Women and members of the LGBTQ community can safely travel here alone, without the worry of being harassed or attacked. 

When planning a trip or relocating out of the country, safety is always a top concern.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 safest cities in Belgium and what each has to offer. 

Ghent, Belgium
Ghent, Belgium

1. Ghent

With a 2022 crime index of 26.51, the northwest Belgian city of Ghent makes the top of our list of safest cities in Belgium.

Known for being a cultural hub, this beautiful university city is teeming with life.

In many circles, Ghent has been dubbed the “Medieval Manhattan.”

Travelers can safely explore the row of guildhalls along the river and the medieval architecture scattered throughout the town. Nearly 30% of Ghent’s 264,000 residents are University students.

As a result, the city has all of the amenities of a big city, without sacrificing that small village vibe that makes many feel safe and secure. 

Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp, Belgium

2. Antwerp

Next on our list is Antwerp, the second most populated city in Belgium.

Most famous for its vintage shopping and Diamond District, Antwerp is the multicultural hub of Belgium.

The city has a reputation for being a laid-back, peaceful place where residents and tourists can safely explore day or night.

With a crime index of 40.01 in 2022, travelers can feel safe walking the city alone day or night.

While it’s considered safe to walk alone at night,

Antwerp locals recommend exercising caution when exploring Central Station and the red-light district of Leguit.

Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium

3. Brussels

As the capital of Belgium, Brussels is a vibrant and culturally diverse city.

Whether you’re looking to experience Belgium’s nightlife or immerse yourself in Belgian history, Brussels has something for everyone.

Since over 70% of Brussels’ 2.5 million residents are of foreign origin, travelers looking for the most English-speaking city in Belgium need look no further.   

Most of the reported crimes in Brussels are nonviolent crimes, like pickpocketing.

The city ranks 9 out of 10 on the safety scale for LGBTQ travelers. 

Brussels is broken up into 19 different municipalities. Some regions are considered safer than others.

The safest municipalities are Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Ixelles, and Uccle.

While still considered very safe, travelers should remain vigilant when exploring Molenbeek and Gare du Midi.

4. Liège 

Situated on the Meuse River lies the French-speaking city of Liège.

As a cultural and commercial mecca, Liège offers the perfect mix of modern and medieval architecture.

Travelers can explore the historical landmarks by day and enjoy Liège’s vibrant nightlife by night.

Like the rest of Belgium, Liège is a safe city to roam, whether you’re alone or with your family.

Despite its high safety rating, there are sections of the city you should avoid at night.

Locals recommend avoiding the Sainte Marguerite neighborhood and its surrounding area after dark.

If you choose to explore the nightlife in Carré, keep your valuables close.  

Genval, Belgium
Genval, Belgium


5. Genval

Less than an hour’s drive and a 20-minute train ride from Brussels is the French-speaking community of Genval.

This charming community is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Belgium’s big cities. 

Relax and read a book under the sun by Genval Lake, then unwind with a delicious meal at one of Genval’s five-star restaurants and luxury hotels.

Wherever you go in this picturesque town, you can rest easy knowing your family is safe.   

Waterloo, Belgium
Waterloo, Belgium

6. Waterloo

Just a 30-minute drive from Brussels lies the historic town of Waterloo.

Most known as the site where Emperor Napoleon I was defeated in 1815, Waterloo is an important part of Belgian history. 

Like much of the world, Waterloo has seen an increase in crime over the last three years.

Despite this increase, the city has a safety index of 70.29 and a crime index of 29.71.

Travelers can safely explore the municipality’s historic sites, including the Memorial 1815, without worrying about becoming a victim of crime.

The region is tolerant of all visitors, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, or religion.

Brugge, Belgium
Brugge, Belgium

7. Brugge

Next on our list is Bruges, Belgium’s 6th-largest city.

Once one of the world’s primary commercial cities, this port city has a long and storied history.

Brugge’s highlights include Belfry Tower, the Church of Our Lady, and the Belfry of Bruges.

As you wander the cobblestone streets and marvel at the medieval canals, it will become clear why this historic town is a UNESCO World Heritage city

With a crime index of 25.53, Brugge is considered one of the safest cities in the country.

While the locals still recommend protecting your valuables and locking your doors, the threat of violent crime, petty theft, and harassment is very low. 

Tervuren, Belgium
Tervuren, Belgium

8. Tervuren

Just 20 minutes from the capital city of Brussels like the small town of Tervuren.

With a population of just over 25,000, this quaint town’s first documented history is from 1213 AD. 

Tervuren is a Dutch-speaking municipality and a popular destination for ex-pats considering relocating to the area.

The city’s main attractions are the Royal Museum of Central Africa and Tervuren Park, where visitors can soak up the sun among the park’s many French gardens, ponds, and magnificent oak trees.  

Rixensart, Belgium
Rixensart, Belgium

9. Rixensart

Just outside of Brussels, in the Flemish belt, is the small municipality of Rixensart.

This beautiful city is most famous for being the home to the Royale Union Rixensart Oise football club.

However, it has much more to offer.

With a low crime rate and high safety rating, Rixensart is a popular relocation spot for ex-pats.

Despite having two train stations and a football team, Rixensart is a safe and quiet place to visit.

The best part – you’re just a 20-minute train ride from Belgium’s capital city of Brussels.  

Leuven, Belgium
Leuven, Belgium

10. Leuven

Leuven, or Louvain, is the capital city of the province of Flemish Brabant.

Its population of just over 100,000 people is spread out across five sub-municipalities. 

As the home of KU Leuven, the country’s biggest university, Leuven is lively and culturally diverse.

While there, travelers can take in the sights, enjoy a sporting event, or attend a music concert.

The city is also home to Anheuser-Busch InBev headquarters, which offers tours daily.     

Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, you can enjoy your visit to Louvain without worrying about being harassed or victimized.

The city is tolerant of all travelers, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Belgium

Belgium is a favored travel destination for Europeans due to its safe conditions and railway travel options.

As with any foreign travel, tourists should exercise caution, particularly when traveling alone or after dark.  

  1. Keep valuables close and hidden – While Belgium is a very safe travel destination, travelers are encouraged to keep their money and valuables hidden. This is particularly true when in train stations, airports, and large crowds. 
  2. Exercise caution when handling money – Never count your money out in the open or when purchasing a memento from a market. Be extra vigilant when taking money out of an ATM, particularly after dark. 
  3. Check the U.S. Department of State’s website for travel advisories – Despite Belgium’s high safety rating, it’s important to understand that there’s much volatility in the world today. Check the Travel section of the DOS’s website before and during your trip and keep abreast of any important local news stories. The Belgian Crisis Centre is also a great resource for checking the country’s current terrorism threat levels. You can even sign up to receive threat alerts on your phone.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Belgium’s “priority to the right” road law – If you plan to rent a car and explore the country without a guide, study Belgium’s road laws. One law that many foreigners are unaware of is the “priority to the right” law, where drivers approaching from the right at an intersection have the right of way. 
  5. Purchase travel insurance – Belgium requires all visitors to carry travel insurance. The minimum coverage requirement is 30,000 euros and must remain active throughout your time in the Schengen States territory. You will need to show proof of coverage upon entering the country.

Belgium Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Belgium Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do They Speak English in Belgium?

Out of 112 countries, Belgium ranks 6th for its proficiency in English.

Approximately 55% of Belgians speak the language.

Is Belgium Friendly to Foreigners?

Belgium is known for its friendly and helpful citizens.

Most are very easygoing and anxious to share their culture and country with travelers.

Is the Tap Water in Belgium Safe for Drinking?

The water in Belgium is very strictly controlled to ensure the safety of its citizens and travelers.

Any water that’s considered unsafe to drink will be labeled with a “prohibited” sign.

6 Comments on 10 Safest Cities in Belgium

  1. a
    alfredo says:

    Belgium is a safe and culturally diverse country with a rich history, making it a popular destination for travelers. However, it is important to exercise caution and keep valuables hidden while exploring. It is also recommended to check for any travel advisories and familiarize yourself with local laws before visiting.

  2. S
    Sandra Bridges says:

    Living in Antwerp, I can attest to its safety. It’s a bustling city with so much to offer, and knowing it’s among the safest in Belgium gives me peace of mind.

  3. M
    Margaret Seymour says:

    I’m not surprised to see Brussels included, especially considering the efforts made to enhance security in recent years.

  4. A
    Abraham Phelps says:

    As someone planning a solo trip to Belgium, this list is incredibly helpful.

  5. J
    Jared Patel says:

    Interesting to see Leuven on this list! It’s such a vibrant city with a rich history, and it’s reassuring to know it’s considered safe too.

  6. V
    Vicky Bridges says:

    Great list! I’ve visited a couple of these cities and always felt safe wandering around, especially in Bruges and Ghent.

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