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Where to stay in Brussels – a neighborhood guide

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Brussels, the largest urban area in Belgium, plays host to international politics with principal EU offices and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, meaning plenty of business visitors come to the capital. The tourism industry is booming with other European travelers too. Visitors come from all over wanting to see the quintessential European city and sample delicious delicacies such as Belgian chocolates, beer and of course, the fries.

Philippe Maters

My Destination local expert on

Brussels

City Center

 

The quaint city center’s ornate history is made up of eccentric guild houses, the Town Hall that stands mightily proud and the number one attraction, the Grand Place. The center spirals out into lanes hiding shops, restaurants and cafes. To the east is the Gothic Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula. To the north west you’ll find a great source of tasty restaurants serving platters of freshly caught seafood on Place Saint Catherine and boutique shops.

 

Hotels here range from the simple and affordable 3 star to the top end 5 star luxury options, all right in the middle of the city. Many are boutique hotels but there are some B&B’s and short terms rentals available too.

 

European Quarter

 

European politics is debated behind the arching European Union Commission and EU Council in this area full of towering steel skyscrapers. The Brussels Park and Cinquantenaire Park are an escape from the urban hustle and bustle, marvel at the flowers and the triumphal arch. To get to the European Quarter, jump on the sleek metro to Trone and Schuman stations.

 

This municipality is east of the city center and hosts the most exclusive hotels seen in Brussels, mainly aimed at business travelers wanting to be conveniently near to meetings. There are also guesthouses for leisure travelers on a budget too.

 

Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

 

A hubbub of multicultural activity thrives in this municipality, located north east of the city centre. It dishes up delicious treats from kebabs to curries around the world. This chilled out district is close to Brussels Nord train station and has a large population considering its small size. Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is home to lavish gardens that showcase elegant exhibitions, plays and concerts particularly at Le Botanique.

 

Choose from a range of hotels and hostels in this area, perfect for a wide range of budgets. Many are very close to the Nord train station, making them really convenient places to stay if you’re on the move.

 

Ixelles

 

To the south of the city center is the area of Ixelles, which has been the cultural center of the city since the 19th century. The area is all full of youth as there are two universities here; a French speaking one and a Flemish speaking one, making it vibrant and busy.

 

Here you’ll find serviced apartments, ideal for longer stays or with groups for short and long term stays. The area mainly has 2 to 4 star hotels with a few B&B’s too.

 

Saint Gilles

 

The area of Saint Gilles is situated to the south of the city center and to the west of Ixelles. It was once a pilgrimage area, but now it is a melting pot of European culture. Don’t miss out of the daily market at Van Meenen Square here.

 

Accommodation in the Saint-Gilles area is varied and you’ll find a range of B&B’s and mid-range hotels still well within distance of all the major attractions of the city center.