Waterloo, Belgium

Living in Waterloo

Iyna Bort Caruso

Waterloo is a small Belgium town with worldwide name recognition. It is where Napoleon Bonaparte went down in defeat at the hands of allied troops under the command of the Duke of Wellington in 1815.  More than 200 years later, people continue to come to Waterloo to pay their respects at museums, memorials and historic sites.

An easy commute to Brussels, Waterloo is a classic suburb only about nine miles south of the capital, making it an attractive option for those who covet more land, attractive property values and a quieter vibe. And yet Waterloo still has enough shops, restaurants and nightlife to keep residents engaged. For golfers, the Royal Waterloo Golf Club features three courses, two 18-hole and one 9-hole, and is a stop on a number of tournament circuits.

The municipality has a sizeable ex-pat population of French, Italians, British, Scandinavians and Americans, most of whom work for multinational companies and government organizations in Brussels. Waterloo’s well-regarded international schools are a factor in drawing them here, and some of the community’s most prestigious sections, like the Faubourg Square area, are located near the schools.

Waterloo is set in the wealthy Walloon region of Belgium, the southern, French-speaking section of the country. The many castles and well-preserved medieval structures give this part of the country a fairytale feel. Music, dance, festivals and colorful Christmas markets satisfy cultural appetites. Hiking, biking, fishing, Nordic walking and jogging are popular pursuits in the countryside and particularly on the network of trails in the Sonian Forest or Foret de Soignes. The forest, with its centuries-old beech and oak trees, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Waterloo’s perimeter.