You may need to brush up on your hang language skills if you intend to linger playing with the locals in Hasselt, as the locals chatter away in Dutch with a distinctive Limburgish accent. Sitting on the Demer River, Hasselt was founded in about the 7th Century and today has a population of around 71,520 people that you can chat to. Capital of the province of Limburg in Belgium, its area includes the main hub of the city plus numerous old communes, hamlets and parishes. Its ancient heart is predominantly pedestrian only, so you don't have to worry about being run over by a car when gawking around you at the number of historical buildings dotting its streets. You can take time out and perch yourself in a chair in one of the many outdoor cafes or restaurants, sipping espresso and watching the passing parade before you head off to a coworking venue to get creative.
History buffs will have oodles of wet panty moments checking out the Grand Place swamped in brasseries and taverns, plus if you wish to say a little prayer for the success of your startup there is the stunning St Quentin's Cathedral to take a detour into. Hasselt is home to the largest Japanese gardens in Europe for those with green thumbs and the Virga Jesse Basilica is one of many religious domains dominating the skyline. The town has been crowned the "most sociable city of the region of Flanders", as well as being the "Capital City of Taste".
Hasselt may not be a tech hub per se, but it does have its fair share of creative and tech savvy souls. Belgium is home to a developing startup scene with its capital Brussels becoming a booming hub for entrepreneurs. Initiatives such as Health Tech, Fintech hackathons and Startupweekend are putting the country into the global scene. Its government has stepped up by providing various innovation grants, funding for accelerators plus tax incentives and even government investments. With its highly educated population and tech savvy youth, Belgium's tech scene is optimistic about the country's prospects. Coworking venues are providing one more source in its ecosystem where innovative minds can gather in collaborative bliss.
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