Where to stay in Brussels


Brussels, the heart of Belgium, is a city of distinct neighborhoods, each bringing a unique flavor to the visitor's experience. A melting pot of cultures, languages, and epochs, it entices tourists with its grand plazas, historic landmarks, sumptuous cuisines, and vibrant street life. When planning a trip, deciding where to stay is pivotal to the kind of experience you'll have. Whether you're here for the culture, the food, the history, or to soak up the city's atmosphere, where you lay your head at night is as important as what you choose to do during the day. This guide offers an honest look at some of the most popular neighborhoods in Brussels, helping you pick the perfect spot for your city adventure.

  • City Centre

    • 📸 touristy
    • 🏛️ historical
    • 🏙️ central
    • 🕺 lively
    • 🍷 nightlife

    The City Centre is the historical heart of Brussels, complete with cobblestone streets, the grandeur of the Grand Place, and iconic attractions like Manneken Pis. It is touristy and can be crowded, with a lot of noise and activity well into the night. Accommodations range from budget hostels to luxury hotels. This area is perfect for those who want to step out directly into the hustle and bustle of the city and don't mind the commotion or the premium you might pay for the central location.

    Sablon & Marolles is located within City Centre.
  • Sablon & Marolles

    • antiques
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🥂 upscale
    • 🎭 cultural
    • 🖼️ art

    Sablon & Marolles are historical quarters known for their antique shops, art galleries, and the famous weekend antique market at Place du Grand Sablon. The area has a quaint charm, with cobblestone streets and a less frenetic pace than the City Centre. However, it might sometimes feel too quiet for those seeking nightlife in the evenings. These neighborhoods are ideal for visitors interested in culture, antiques, and a quieter, more upscale experience.

    Sablon & Marolles is a part of City Centre.
  • Avenue Louise

    • 🥂 upscale
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 💎 luxury
    • 🧘 quiet
    • gourmet

    Avenue Louise is synonymous with luxury and high-end living. This upscale area has designer boutiques, posh hotels, and gourmet restaurants. Its distance from the city center means a quieter stay, which also translates to a less energetic city buzz. It's well-suited for travelers with a penchant for shopping and those who prefer more refined surroundings. Be prepared for higher price tags, both in accommodation and shopping expenses.

  • Saint-Gilles - Sint-Gillis

    • 🎨 bohemian
    • art nouveau
    • local
    • 💅 trendy
    • weekend market

    Saint-Gilles - Sint-Gillis offers a charismatic blend of bohemian flair and art nouveau architecture, appealing to those who appreciate creativity and charm. It has a palpable local vibe, with numerous small boutiques, cafes, and a popular weekend market. Saint-Gilles can seem a bit gritty to the uninitiated, and some pockets are less gentrified. It's an excellent choice if you're looking for character, a community feel, and convenient access to the city center without being in the thick of it.

  • Eu District / Schuman

    • 💼 business
    • 🏙️ modern
    • clean
    • safe
    • sterile

    The EU District, also known as the European Quarter or Schuman area, is sleek and modern with its office buildings and impressive European institutions. It's a bit sterile after business hours and on weekends when the hustle of bureaucrats subsides. Accommodations here are generally designed for business travelers. It is a safe and clean choice but lacks the charm and vibrancy found in other parts of Brussels. Perfect for those on business or who prioritize modern amenities over cultural encounters.

  • Ixelles

    • 🌍 diverse
    • 🏘️ residential
    • 💅 trendy
    • ponds
    • 🎓 student

    Ixelles is a diverse and spacious borough that blends residential calm with pockets of lively streets such as Flagey Square, which is known for its vibrant weekend market and trendy spots for nightlife. The area boasts beautiful ponds, art deco buildings, and a mix of the student population with a cosmopolitan crowd. Some parts might be considered less central which requires a bit of travel to reach the main attractions. It's a great choice for travelers seeking a mix of relaxation and local buzz.

    Matongé is located within Ixelles.
  • Matongé

    • 🌏 multicultural
    • 🕺 lively
    • ethnic food
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 🍷 nightlife

    Matongé, nestled in Ixelles, is known for its vibrant Afro-Caribbean vibe, with many ethnic restaurants, shops, and bars. It has a dynamic, multicultural atmosphere, but some may find it too lively, especially at night. The area isn't as polished as more central parts and might not appeal to those seeking a quiet retreat or upscale accommodations. However, for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience and a taste of Brussels' diversity, Matongé is the place to be.

    Matongé is a part of Ixelles.