Best Areas to Stay in Brussels, Belgium

Belgium, Brussels, Europe  /   /  By bestdistricts

Where to stay in Brussels – A guide to the European capital

Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium.

With a population of almost three million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, Brussels has held the position of unofficial capital of Europe since the 1950s, when most of the institutions of the incipient Union were established there.

The Belgian capital is a city with a long history that goes back a thousand years. Many medieval monuments such as the Grand-Place, one of the most beautiful Gothic squares in the world, talk about its importance as one of the most important cultural centers in Europe.

Among its most important tourist attractions are several museums such as the Magritte Museum, the Royal Museums, the Museum of Musical Instruments or the Belgian Center for Comics.

As the capital of the EU, the European Quarter of Brussels is home to a large number of relevant buildings of governmental institutions such as the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Permanent Commission of the EU.

The outskirts of Brussels house the spectacular and futuristic Atomium.

Getting around Brussels is not complicated, thanks to its extensive metro, tram and bus system. For visits to other cities within Belgium or the neighboring Netherlands, France or Germany, Brussels has an excellent network of short, medium and long distance railways.

When we talk about the best areas to stay in Brussels, surely the city center is the most recommended area thanks to the proximity of the tourist attractions of Brussels and the possibility of moving on foot or by metro. See hotels in central Brussels.

This is a guide with the best areas to stay in Brussels, Belgium.

The best areas to stay in Brussels

Our favorite area: Old Town & Grand Place / Grote Markt

The Grand Place (Grote Markt in Flemish) is undoubtedly the most beautiful place in Brussels.

The Grand Place is a collection of Gothic buildings typical of northern European architecture. It houses the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) and its 96-meter tower, visible from many points of the historic center of the city. Also on the Grand Place you can find the King’s House and many other buildings topped in gold, such as the home of the Dukes of Brabant, the King of Spain and the ancient headquarters of many of the most powerful guilds of medieval Brussels.

Not far from the Grand-Place you can find the royal galleries Saint-Hubert, a covered market with a large glass roof built at the beginning of the 20th century. This elegant shopping center houses many stores, including chocolate shops, designer clothing boutiques and souvenir shops.

Other attractions in the area include the Royal Museums, the Magritte Museum, several typical chocolate houses and the famous Manneken Pis.

The historical center of Brussels stands out for its beauty, its many museums and for being an extremely easy area to move around on foot.

The historic center, particularly in the vicinity of the Grand-Place, is the best area to stay in Brussels. To move to other corners of the city, the Bourse metro station (lines 3 and 4) is particularly useful.

Grand-Place - Where to stay in Brussels

Grand-Place – Where to stay in Brussels

Best areas to stay in Brussels - Old Town & Grand Place

Best areas to stay in Brussels – Old Town & Grand Place

Accommodation in Old Town - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Old Town – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a great area to stay in Brussels:

  • It’s the heart of the city
  • Nightlife
  • World-class museums
  • Gothic buildings
  • Best area for tourists
  • Grand-Place / Grote Markt
  • Easy to walk around
  • Chocolate houses and boutiques
  • Saint-Hubert Galleries

Accommodation in this area

Recommended

Aris Hotel

The Aris Hotel is ideally located in the center of Brussels. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, less than 100 meters from the Grand Place, and only 300 meters from Brussels Central Station.

from €129
Budget

Abberdeen Hotel

This hotel is located in the center of Brussels, about 5 minutes’ walk from the Grand Place of Brussels and 50 meters from Rue Neuve, which is 200 meters from the Grand Place. The property offers functional rooms and free Wi-Fi in public areas.

from €55
Luxurious

Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

The 5-star Hotel Amigo offers elegant rooms with design details in a corner of the Grand Place. It combines modern facilities such as a gym and an award-winning restaurant with its picturesque and historic location.

from €399

 

 

 

Ixelles (Elsene)

Ixelles (Elsene in Flemish) is the center of cultural life in the city of Brussels.

Ixelles is a district of contrasts located in the southeast of Brussels, in the central area of the city.

Although the most central area of ​​Ixelles is less than 20 minutes on foot from the Grand-Place, it is officially a separate entity from Brussels. The city of Ixelles begins near the commercial arteries of Porte de Namur and extends southeast towards the wooded areas of the Abbey of Cambre.

It is the student neighborhood par excellence of Brussels. It hosts the Free University of Brussels, which brings together students, artists and intellectuals. Audrey Hepburn, Karl Marx and General Boulanger all lived in Ixelles.

Ixelles is a town full of history that brings together very different neighborhoods. With its numerous theaters and cinemas, it is the best place for nightlife in Brussels and the cultural center of the city. The district of Porte de Namur and the luxurious Golden Fleece, with its great boutiques and luxury shops, can be considered as the second center of Brussels.

This neighborhood has the Porte de Namur metro station. On the borders of Ixelles, you can reach the Louise and Throne stations, which are also in the “Petite Ceinture” (small belt) of the Brussels metro.

Recommended area to stay in Brussels - Ixelles - Elsene

Recommended area to stay in Brussels – Ixelles – Elsene

Accommodation in Ixelles - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Ixelles – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a great area to stay in Brussels:

  • Very central
  • Coonected by metro
  • Best area for nightlife
  • Great shopping
  • Easy to walk around
  • Good for business travelers

Accommodation in this area

Recommended

Hygge Hotel

Offering a garden, Hygge Hotel is located in Brussels. The establishment also has a terrace and is within walking distance of the Egmont Palace, the Magritte Museum and the Film Museum. The property is located in the Elsene / Ixelles district, a 14-minute walk from Avenue Louise.

from €79
Budget

Hotel Le Berger

Le Berger is centrally located and combines an Art Deco era with modern facilities such as free Wi-Fi. It offers an Italian restaurant and a bar, and is 300 meters from Porte de Namur Metro Station, located in the center of Brussels.

from €69
Luxurious

Hotel Le Châtelain

This 5-star luxury hotel is located 50 meters from the commercial area of Avenue Louise and offers a quiet courtyard garden and a shaded terrace decorated with vines. Hotel Le Châtelain has a modern fitness center on the top floor, a sauna and a 24-hour reception.

from €181

 

 

 

European Quarter (Quartier Européen / Europese Wijk)

The European Quarter of Brussels, formerly called Quartier Léopold is located east of the Old Town of the city and is bounded by Place du Luxembourg, place Jourdan, rond-point Schuman and Place Jean Rey.

It is one of the most elegant and modern districts of the Belgian capital. It houses lively squares, original shops, ample green spaces, museums and, as it name suggests, an interesting collection of buildings, headquarters to several European institutions.

The European Quarter of Brussels is home to different architectural gems. Several art deco and art nouveau details can be admired in the squares, buildings such as the house Saint-Cyr, the house Cauchie, or the gigantic buildings of the on Cinquantenaire Park are some of the highlights of the European Quarter.

Leopold Park houses a unique architectural heritage, including the magnificent Solvay Library and the Eastman Building, home of the European History Museum. Nearby you can find the Berlaymont building, the European building and the Residence Palace, all in art deco.

The Quartier Européen is connected by various metro stops (Maelbeek, Schuman, Arts Loi) and a train station (Bruxelles Luxembourg).

Its large green spaces, the presence of the European Union headquarters and the architectural richness of the district make the Quartier Européen one of the best areas to stay in Brussels.

Accommodation in European Quarter - Brussels

Accommodation in European Quarter – Brussels

Accommodation in el European Quarter - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in el European Quarter – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a great area to stay in Brussels:

  • Quite central
  • Connected by metro
  • European Institutions
  • Green spaces
  • Easy to walk around
  • Best area for business travelers

Accommodation in this area

Recommended

NH Brussels EU Berlaymont

NH Brussels EU Berlaymont is a 5-minute walk from the European Commission and offers design accommodation with spacious bathrooms. Rooms at the NH Brussels EU Berlaymont have individually controlled air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and a free bottle of water. There is also free WiFi.

from €129
Budget

Chelton Hotel

Chelton Hotel is just 400 meters from Schuman Metro Station and just a 5-minute walk from the European Commission headquarters. It has a 24-hour reception and free Wi-Fi in all areas.

from €79
Luxurious

Sofitel Brussels Europe

A 15-minute subway ride from historic Grand Place, Sofitel Brussels Europe offers elegant accommodation, free Wi-Fi and an excellent restaurant with views of Brussels. The rooms have elegant interiors and are equipped with an LCD TV, free Wi-Fi, an espresso machine or tea and coffee making facilities and a luxurious bathroom.

from €169

 

 

 

Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis

Saint-Gilles is one of the 19 communes that make up Brussels and is located in the south-center of the capital.

Saint-Gilles became from a mainly working-class districts to being one of the most coveted districts in Brussels.

The neighborhoods of Saint-Gilles are either elegant or working-class depending on their location. The proximity of Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo represent the fancier part of the district, while the area around the Gare du Midi is a bit rougher and with a high concentration of foreign communities.

The district of Saint-Gilles is appreciated by young people who seek to feed their social and cultural life. Saint-Gilles esplanade and its cafes and bars are always full. A few steps away is the Jacques Franck cultural center. The area around the Maison Communale, full of charm, has many restaurants. Avenue Louise and its shops are not far away.

Saint-Gilles is the hipster district of the city and an excellent area to stay in Brussels for young travelers. This commune also concentrates a good part of the budget accommodation in the Belgian capital.

Saint-Gilles - Best districts to stay in Brussels

Saint-Gilles – Best districts to stay in Brussels

Accommodation in Saint-Gilles - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Saint-Gilles – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a great area to stay in Brussels:

  • Relatively central
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Alternative vibe
  • Great nightlife
  • Great for young travelers
  • World food

Accommodation in this area

Recommended

Park Inn Brussels Midi

The Park Inn Brussels Midi offers modern rooms, a fitness center and an RBG grill bar. It is also ideally located opposite the Brussels South train station, just 200 meters from the terminals of the Eurostar and Thalys high-speed trains.

from €89
Budget

Catalonia Brussels

Catalonia Brussels is located in the famous Art Nouveau district and offers rooms with satellite TV and air conditioning. It also houses an international à la carte restaurant, a café with a furnished terrace and a bar. Free WiFi is available.

from €54
Luxurious

Hotel Manos Premier

This luxurious establishment is a well-kept secret, located very close to the lively Avenue Louise. It offers the character and charm of a private house in Brussels. The Manos Premier Hotel has a wellness center with sauna, steam bath and hot tub, as well as a free gym.

from €169

 

 

 

Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

Molenbeek is a commune west of the center of the city.

Molenbeek is one of the traditionally proletarian neighborhoods of Brussels, it has been the home of immigrants throughout the centuries.

Known by locals as Molen, this neighborhood is located next to the Brussels Canal. Along the canal, on the Molenbeek side, you can see colorful windmills that rotate in the breeze. Molenbeek, comes from a combination of Flemish words, and can be translated into English as “stream mills”.

Like Saint-Gilles, Molenbeek is a neighborhood in constant transformation. Young, alternative and with a distintive ethnic character, this neighborhood is quickly being gentrified.

Molenbeek houses the recently inaugurated MIMA Museum. Founded in April 2016 next to the Brussels Canal, the mission of MIMA is to be the museum that defines contemporary art. MIMA presents the most significant art of its time and explores a history of culture 2.0.

Molenbeek also offers a wide range of flavors of the world: restaurants, snacks, tea rooms, cafes, cakes.

Despite its reputation as a tough neighborhood, Molenbeek offers visitors a look at the hipster movement in Brussels.

Molenbeek - St Jean - Best districts to stay in Brussels

Molenbeek – St Jean – Best districts to stay in Brussels

Accommodation in Molenbeek - St Jean - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Molenbeek – St Jean – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why is this a great area to stay in Brussels:

  • Cheap hotels
  • Hipster area of Brussels
  • MIMA Museum

Accommodation in this area

Recommended

MEININGER Hotel Brussels City Center

The design hotel Meininger occupies an old factory on the banks of the Charleroi-Brussels canal, 1.5 km from the Grand Place. The property offers free Wi-Fi access and a 24-hour reception desk.

from €59
Budget

Generation Europe Youth Hostel

Generation Europe Youth Hostel is located in Brussels, less than a 20-minute walk from the Grand-Place central square and the Manneken Pis statue. The property offers free Wi-Fi, a buffet restaurant, a bar, a garden terrace and a free evening entertainment program.

from €39
Luxurious

Abxpress

Abxpress offers accommodation with free Wi-Fi. The two-bedroom apartment is equipped with a living room with a flat-screen TV and a fully equipped kitchen. Private parking available in the apartment.

from €75

 

 

 

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