Hotels neighborhood belgium brussels Belgium > Brussels Region > Brussels

Where To Stay In Brussels, Belgium: A Neighborhood Guide

Hannah
Updated Aug 13, 2018

Often overlooked, Brussels, Belgium is a traveler’s paradise. From its vibrant food culture to its diversity as the crossroads of Europe, Brussels has plenty to offer travelers and expats alike, and its various neighborhoods showcase its diversity and prominence as the capital of the European Union. Though not a large city, like Paris or London, the many neighborhoods of Brussels, Belgium are communities within their own that bring something different to the city. Whether you’re thinking about visiting Brussels as a tourist or a potential expat to the city, you’ll have a variety diverse neighborhoods to choose from. From the elite Brussels neighborhoods that are home to politicians and European businessmen to the trendy, urban and gentrifying parts of the city — there’s a neighborhood in Brussels for everyone. If you’re looking for where to stay in Brussels, read on to learn about seven of the best neighborhoods near public transportation, shops, parks and restaurants.

1. Les Marolles

Les Marolles
Source: Wikimedia

If you’re a typical tourist visiting Brussels, you will not want to stay in Les Marolles. If you’re a traveler who is less interested in seeing how the European elite live and more interested in exploring the city like a local, you should consider Les Marolles. This residential neighborhood has a lot to offer travelers looking to live like locals. This diverse neighborhood is a mix of French and Flemish, but has welcomed many waves of immigrants, including those from Spain, North Africa, Turkey and Syria. In addition to its diversity, the neighborhood is famous for its daily Vieux Marché, or flea market, at the place Jeu de Balle, where clothes, antiques and more are sold. A neighborhood rapidly undergoing gentrification, this once working class neighborhood is now sprawling with cafés, markets, bars and restaurants for travelers to explore.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Les Marolles:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

2. Sablon

Grand Sablon
Source: Wikimedia

In a rapidly modernizing city, Sablon is a neighborhood that still holds onto traditional medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets. Visitors come to Sablon for its quaint antiques, stunning gothic buildings and delicious Belgian chocolate shops. Every weekend, the plaza of Grand Sablon transforms into a market that features a display of antique vendors and booksellers who are willing to take you up on a bargain. For those looking to view Gothic churches, the Eglise Notre-Dame du Sablon has free entry, and is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the country. No trip to Brussels, or Sablon is complete without experiencing a taste of Belgian chocolate, from popular and delicious brands like Marcolini, Leonidas, Neuhaus and of course, Godiva.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Sablon:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

3. Saint Gilles

Saint Gilles Town Hall
Source: Wikimedia

Saint Gilles may not be so well known to tourists, but it is definitely a Belgian favorite amongst the city’s population of young people. This trendy, multicultural, bohemian neighborhood of Brussels boasts an eclectic vibe and a laid-back relaxed atmosphere. Recently, Saint-Gilles has emerged as a cultural hotspot, attracting artists, writers, musicians and anyone with an interest in art and culture. The area frequently hosts festivals and events for creatives in the area to showcase their talent. At night, this neighborhood is more quiet than those found in Saint Gery or downtown, which also means it’s cheaper, has less crowds and generally a more laid-back atmosphere.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Saint Gilles:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

4. Avenue Louise

Avenue Louise

For those looking for a more upscale experience from Brussels, Avenue Louise is sure to delight with some of the ritziest fine dining and shopping options in Europe. This neighborhood offers visitors a modern, luxurious view of Brussels. The avenue is a runway of prestigious, high-end international brands like Versace and Chanel, as well as awe-inspiring Art Nouveau buildings that are home to respected diplomats and wealthy businesses. Here, travelers can sightsee, window shop and enjoy luxury at the capital of the European Union.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Avenue Louise:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

5. Ixelles

Ixelles
Source: Wikimedia

An artsy neighborhood as well as the home of two universities, this young and trendy neighborhood is a favorite for tourists, backpackers and Belgians alike. It is undoubtedly one of Brussel’s most interesting and diverse neighborhoods, attracting artists, writers, intellectuals as well as a vibrant café scene and nightlife. For those who want to see all aspects of Brussels, from its old European architecture to its modernization, globalization and gentrification, Ixelles has a piece of it all. Ixelles has plenty to attract any type of traveler. Nature lovers rejoice at parks, like The Tenbosch Park, while shopping enthusiasts will love strolling through the stores of Chaussée d’Ixelles — not to mention the incredible food and beer scene the neighborhood has. A local favorite and a must-try in Ixelles, Place Fernand Cocq has not only delicious food, but also great cocktails and a dance floor on the weekends.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Ixelles:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

6. Saint Gery

Saint Gery, Brussels

A lively neighborhood bursting with bars, restaurants, boutiques and music, this is the perfect neighborhood for the traveler looking to be in the heart of modern Belgian culture. The neighborhood has transformed from a ghost town a few hundred years ago, into Brussels’ most notable dining and drinking districts. On summer nights, Belgians and visitors alike gather on the sidewalk terraces and enjoy live music, food and balmy weather.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Saint Gery:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

7. Saint Josse-ten-Noode

Saint Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels
Source: Wikimedia

As the capital of the European Union, Brussels is undoubtedly one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Europe, and nowhere else is this as prominent as in Saint Josse-ten-Noode. This diverse neighborhood is a haven for expats with its blend of different cultures along with its variety of parks and restaurants. Located only a 10 to 15 minute walk outside of downtown Brussels, the location of the neighborhood could not be more perfect for travelers looking to get a feel for the how the real people of Brussels, the Bruxellois, live. This area is well underway in revitalizing and attracting even more visitors-turned-residents to the city. Saint Josse-ten-Noode has the highest population density in the city of Brussels, as well as the lowest average age, and its likely due to its lower-than-average rental prices and inexpensive stores and restaurants compared to the rest of Brussels. For those looking for an atypical neighborhood in the heart of Brussels, Saint Josse-ten-Noode is worth checking out.


For more options, check out this list of the best hotels in Saint Josse-ten-Noode:

See our full list of recommended hotels in Brussels and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Brussels

Ready to take a trip down?

Inspired to plan a trip to Brussels yet? Whichever neighborhood you choose, be sure to visit other neighborhoods on this list, as Brussels’ neighborhoods are unique enough to give a different experience at each street corner. Soon enough, you’ll be traveling through Brussels like a Bruxellois!

This article was originally published on Apr 18, 2017

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Avenue louise

A story teller, jet setter, and self-proclaimed media maven -- Hannah is always planning her next adventure, as well as her next professional endeavor. Her affinity for wandering the world and...Read more

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Good things are meant to be shared!