Best Place to Stay in Brussels by Areas and Hotels
If you’re wondering where to stay in Brussels, or where is the best area to stay in Brussels, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will give an insight into the best places to stay in Brussels for first time visitors, couples, families, backpackers, all budget travelers; read on as I show you the best of Brussels.
Brussels is one of the best cities in the European continent for travellers. Home to world-famous chocolate, incredible architecture, and vast history, this capital city has been a pillar of European culture for centuries.
Over 18 million tourists visited Belgium’s capital in 2019, making it one the world’s most visited cities. Popular attractions in Brussels include The Grand Palace, Historic Centre of Brugge, the many gothic buildings.
Brussels has a population of around 1.2 million; it isn’t one of Europe’s biggest cities. It has numerous areas to stay in, and I will discuss the best ones throughout the article.
Tips for choosing Best Places to Stay in Brussels
If you’re visiting Brussels, it’s essential to choose the correct area to stay in that suits your requirements and taste. Brussels is a city with perfect locations for nightlife, food, LGBT communities and history enthusiasts.
It’s a great idea to look at booking.com and check which areas are the best for your budget requirements, that is the first course of action.
And then you can look at the best locations for what you enjoy. Are you travelling to Brussels to party? Or do you want to spend the week eating Belgian chocolate? I don’t blame you. These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you choose where to stay in Brussels.
Here is a quick outline of some of the best places to stay in Brussels.
- Saint Gery – Great for bars, restaurants, and shopping.
- City Centre – Is fantastic for gothic architecture, local cuisine, and markets.
- European Quarter – Is a green, modern, and spacious part of the city. Perfect for those that love an international vibe.
- Avenue Louise – The best spot for luxury accommodation and high-end shopping.
These are just a few examples of places to stay in Brussels.
Where to Stay in Brussels – 6 Best Areas to Stay in Brussels
There are many fantastic areas in Brussels; in this section, I will outline my top 6 places to stay in the city. And I will name the benefits of staying in each area.
Where to Stay in Brussels – 6 Best Areas to Stay in Brussels
- The City Centre (Brussels Centrum): Best Area for First Time Travelers
- Ixelles – Best Area for Shopping & Multicultural Vibe
- The European Quarter – Best Area for History Buffs
- Sablon – Best Area for Quiet Holiday
- Saint Gilles – Best Area for Foodies
- Avenue Louise – Best Area for Shopping
- Saint Josse-Ten-Noode – Best Area for Shopping
Where to Stay in Brussels Map
To see more detail, go to google map;
1. The City Centre (Brussels Centrum): Best Area for First Time Travelers
If you want to be in the centre of Brussels, you should stay in the city centre. It offers an excellent location, is home to the best attractions, and historic buildings in the entire city.
Visitors will enjoy a range of attractions in the city centre from the Brussels Stock Exchange, the Grand Place, to the fantastic bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Visitors of all different ages, interests, and cultures will love the city centre. It has a wide range of perfect accommodation for any budget and is a generally brilliant spot to stay.
Best Places to See in Brussels Centrum
The Grand Place
The Grand Place is one of the most popular attractions in the entire city, if not the most popular.
The architect first built the structure in 1452. And the square surrounding the grand place is stunning; it has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since the 90s.
The Manneken-pis is one of the best symbols of the city. Initially built in the 15th century, the Manneken-Pis is a pillar of the city’s history.
The statue emboldens the great humour of Brussels.
Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium
The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is one of Belgium’s best museums. It’s home to 20,000 artworks that include a variety of art from around Europe.
If you love art and history, then you should visit this art museum.
2. Ixelles – Best Area for Shopping & Multicultural Vibe
If you want to stay in an international neighbourhood with an incredible array of accommodation, then Ixelles is for you. You can find everything from luxury accommodation to budget backpacker hostels.
The area’s general trend is more expensive apartments and luxury hotels, but cheap airBnBs are easy to find.
It’s home to a significant number of cafes, restaurants, and bars. The neighbourhood is only a short walk from other famous places in Brussels such as the City Centre or Avenue Louise. Furthermore, visitors enjoy everything from the historic buildings to the great parks, shopping, and multicultural vibe.
Best Places to See in Ixelles.
The Tenbosch Park
Brussels can get hot in the summer months, and there is no better spot to relax during the summer than Tenbosch Park. Situated next to beautiful lakes, houses, and trees, you will find the perfect relaxing Place.
It’s a popular swimming spot during the summer, and many people will use the cold lake as a refreshing swim. And it’s right next to Avenue Louise so that you can enjoy the shops then relax in the summer sunshine.
The Flagey Building
The architects constructed this building in the 1930s to be a radio broadcasting complex. And ever since, it has been a famous studio with some of the worlds best recordings.
In today’s era, the building is home to cinematek, a great spot to catch a variety of modern and classic films. It is a child-friendly spot with numerous kids workshops available.
The Chatelin Square is a beautiful square that is between Saint Giles and Avenue Louise. It’s home to a variety of outstanding bars and restaurants, and many are upscale.
Visitors will enjoy the incredible markets in the area, including the Farmers Market, where you will be able to buy lots of local wine and beer.
3. The European Quarter – Best Area for History Buffs
Brussels is home to a global centre of world politics. If you’re in the European Quarter, you can experience the home of the European Union.
However, this part of Brussels is not only home to the European Union; it’s home to an array of fantastic things. One of the best things to do is explore the extraordinary green spaces, museums, and architecture.
You can find a variety of accommodation options in the European Quarter. The majority of the accommodation is apartments and high-end hotels. However, it’s possible to find many youth hostels, guest inns, and many airBnBs that are reasonably priced.
Best places to visit in the European Quarter.
If you’re in the European Quarter, you should check out the European parliament. You can visit the parliament and do a guided tour of the vicinity, and there are tours in 24 different languages.
The guides will give an extensive overview of what happens in parliament. They will show you the building’s history and how it became a global beacon of democracy.
Visit the Musée Wiertz
Antoine Wiertz is one of the most popular painters in Belgian history. He is famous for his artwork during the romantic movement in the 1800s. And this museum is an excellent place to appreciate his work.
The museum has a massive collection of his work, which has been inside this museum since 1868.
If you’re looking for a great place to relax in the sun, then the Cinquantenaire Park is a superb option. It is home to an array of landscaped gardens. Guests will enjoy the Triumphal Arch, which is an emblem of the history of Brussels.
Another option is the Leopold park, full of hills and ponds that offer a genuinely fantastic outdoor oasis.
4. Sablon – Best Area for Quiet Holiday
If you want to stay in a quieter area, but one that’s still very close to the city centre then you’ll enjoy Sablon. Although more relaxed than the city centre, this part of Brussels has a vibrant feel to it.
Visitors will enjoy the numerous fantastic bars, restaurants, and chocolate shops. There are many landmarks in this area too, with some great spots for tourists to see.
Best places to visit in Sablon
The Gothic Notre-Dame du Sablon Church
Europe has a lot of incredible gothic architecture, and Brussels is home to some of its finest. If you love gothic architecture, you should check out the beautiful Gothic Church Notre Dame du Sablon, it is a stunning building.
The architects first constructed the building during the fifteenth century. And ever since, it has been a landmark of Brussels. The church has many highlights, but one of the main highlights is the wooden pulpit made in 1697.
The Magritte Museum is an excellent option for those who want to see some historic Belgian artwork. It’s home to an array of artwork from the great René Magritte.
Inside the museum, visitors will see over 230 works of art. You will witness the paintings, sculptures, advertising work, music, photo, and films of René Magritte; it’s a must-see.
The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum is a fantastic introduction to the history of the Jewish Religion. Visitors will love the exhibits that portray the Jewish religion’s birth, symbols and objects related to the Jewish faith, and the variety of artwork linked to the religion.
The museum aims to provide guests with an open-minded insight into the history, religion, and culture of a belief that has played a leading role in Belgian history.
5. Saint Gilles – Best Area for Foodies
If you want a quiet neighbourhood that is still in a superb location, this is a great option. Saint Gilles is home to an array of museums, art galleries, and markets.
Visitors will love the quiet residential streets and marvel in some of the gorgeous architecture of the area. The area has a fantastic multicultural cuisine and a considerable number of restaurants. Furthermore, you will find an array of accommodation from budget to high-end.
Best places to visit in Saint Gilles
The massive Midi Market is the largest in the city of Brussels. And not only that, it’s the 3rd biggest in Europe. So I’m sure you can imagine the incredible array of things to see and do here.
Visitors will enjoy the vast number of international market stalls that offer guests a variety of colours, smells, cheeses, chocolate, olives, and a general feel of the European continent. Brussels is a hub of Europe, and this market shows that.
Art Nouveau architecture and Indie art galleries
Visitors will enjoy the numerous art galleries in the area, which show the Art Nouveau style of art, which was immensely popular between 1890 and 1910.
During this period, the art style is on architecture, interior design, jewellery, and glass. And there isn’t a better area in the city than Saint Gilles. It’s one of the best places in Europe to witness this kind of art.
The Horta Museum
The Horta Museum is a museum dedicated to the life of Victor Horta. And the creators built the building between 1898 and 1901, ever since it has been a staple of the city’s artwork.
Visitors will love the beautiful interior made from stained glass, mosaics, and beautiful wall decorations. There is even a research centre inside the building entirely dedicated to Art Nouveau.
6. Avenue Louise – Best Area for Shopping
Are you someone who loves to go shopping? If so, you will love Avenue Louise. It’s a trendy spot with locals and tourists. It’s primarily known as the shopping hub of Brussels. The street is around 2km long, but there are numerous opportunities to empty your wallet.
The road is one of the most luxurious in the world and is a staple of luxury shopping. It’s also next to great attractions like the King’s Garden and Phoenix 44.
Visitors will enjoy everything from the upscale boutique shops to the luxury restaurants. You can find many luxury hotels in this part of the city, but some budget options nearby are a short walk away.
The street has a long history that dates back until the 1800s when the builders built the street. One of the darkest moments in the street’s history was World War 2 when Nazi Germany occupied the street. The Nazis used the street as the headquarters of their security operations. However, after World War 2 it returned to the vibrant street it is today.
Best places to visit near Avenue Louise
Place du Chatelain
The Place du Chatelain is very close to Avenue Louise and one of the most famous squares in the city. The square is home to numerous flower shops, cafes, and a lovely outdoor marketplace.
The artisan market in Place du Chatelain is a good spot for a foodie. You will enjoy some delicious local cuisine, wine, and many other delights. Furthermore, it’s one of the best markets in the city.
One of the most iconic buildings in the city is the Louise Tower. This 85-metre tall building peers over Brussels skyline and offers some of Brussels’ best modern architecture.
The Louise Tower is home to offices and hotels. It’s the stand out modern building in the area.
7. Saint Josse-Ten-Noode – Best Area for Shopping
If you want to experience a great residential area in Brussels, which is multicultural and vibrant, visit Saint Josse-Ten-Noode. This area is home to many fun things, including gardens, museums, and historical buildings.
The area is the most densely populated in Brussels. However, it is the most deprived area too. But it is home to some of the best shops in the area. Despite being rough around the edges, there is some cool stuff to see here.
Best places to visit in Saint Josse-Ten-Noode.
One of the best places to visit in Brussels is Le Botanique. This garden was the first botanic garden in Brussels. First built in the 1800s, it has since been a popular place for locals to visit and relax.
Visitors will enjoy the art centre inside the Botanique, which showcases a wide range of fine arts, concerts, and contemporary arts.
The Charlier museum in Brussels is a fantastic spot to go if you wish to check out local art. After being bought by art collector Henri Van Custem, the building was remodelled and made into a museum in 1925. And ever since opening in 1928, the museum has been a pillar of the local art scene.
Visitors will enjoy a wide range of art that includes furniture and art objects from different eras. Some of the exhibits date back to the 19th century.
- Where To Stay In Brussels For First Time Visitors?
- Where To Stay In Brussels For Two Nights?
- Where To Stay In Brussels For One Night?
- Where To Stay In Brussels For A Weekend?
- Where To Stay In Brussels City Centre?
- Where To Stay In Brussels As A Tourist?
- Where To Stay In Brussels With Family?
- Where To Stay In Brussels Near Train Station?
- Where To Stay In Brussels For Nightlife?
- Where To Stay In Brussels For Christmas Market?
- Where To Stay In Brussels On A Budget?
- Where To Stay In Brussels Gay?
- How To Get Around Brussels?
- How Many Days In Brussels Is Enough?
- When Is The Best Time To Visit Brussel?
Where To Stay In Brussels For First Time Visitors?
I think the best place to stay in Brussels for a first-time visitor is the city centre. If you stay in the city centre, you will be near many of the best attractions.
And the city centre is superbly connected to other areas in the city through the brilliant tram and public transport centre that runs throughout the centre.
If you’re looking for a place that allows you to dive straight into the city’s best attractions, then head here.
Where To Stay In Brussels For Two Nights?
If you’re in Brussels for two nights, then you should stay somewhere that is central. I think the best spot to visit would be Ixelles. From this part of the city, you will be able to get around quickly and visit numerous cafes and restaurants in the area.
It’s also home to some fantastic attractions such as Chatelain Square and Tenbosch Park. You could spend a day relaxing and walking around this part of the city, and another day exploring the great neighbourhoods that are nearby.
Where To Stay In Brussels For One Night?
If you’re only in Brussels for one night, then you should stay in Brussels City Centre. One night isn’t enough to correctly see the city, but if you need to see some of the best attractions, stay in the city centre.
Furthermore, the city centre is well-connected to the airport, which means you can quickly get to and from the city. And the public transport is excellent for seeing other fun parts of Brussels, so if you’re in a rush, this is your best place.
Where To Stay In Brussels For A Weekend?
Many people like to visit Brussels for a weekend trip, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s perfect for a weekend escape. If you’re coming for a weekend trip, then you should stay somewhere central.
You have many options which include the city centre, Ixelles, or Saint Gilles. The best spot for a weekend trip is Brussels City Centre because it’s the city’s hub and the home of the best attractions. And because it’s so well-connected by public transport, you can get to other areas in the city with ease.
Where To Stay In Brussels City Centre?
There are some superb spots to stay in Brussels city centre. Here are some great hotels to stay in.
Warwick Brussels – Grand Place
The Warwick Brussels – Grand Place is an awesome spot to stay if you’re looking for luxury in the city centre. This hotel has a wide range of facilities including a restaurant, bar, fitness centre,
And a fantastic rooftop area to relax in the summer and check out the city views.
NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon
The NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon is a superb hotel if you’re looking for a high-rated stay in the city centre. The hotel is located perfectly next to the train station, and has an array of facilities which include room service, a gym, 24-hour reception, and a full American breakfast every morning.
Where To Stay In Brussels As A Tourist?
It depends on what you want to see in the city the most. I think the best place to stay in Brussels as a tourist is in Ixelles. The area has the best range of accommodation in the city and caters for all types of budgets from low end to high end.
And the area is exceptionally multicultural. You will find an array of culture from all around Europe, and it’s home to some of the best gothic architecture in the city. Furthermore, you can quickly get to other parts of the city from here. It’s walking distance to many great spots.
Where To Stay In Brussels With Family?
Brussels is generally a very family-friendly city. But the most family-friendly area has to be Ixelles. That is because of the fantastic outdoor things to do and see in the area. One of the most popular parks for children is Tenbosch Park, and this park has ample space to let the children run around.
But there are other great things to do with the family, such as feeding the ducks at Étangs d’Ixelles, which are lakes full of hungry ducks. And the area has so many restaurants, markets, and places that are great for the family.
Where To Stay In Brussels Near Train Station?
There are numerous fantastic spots to stay that are close to the train station. But the best area to stay if you want to be near the train station is the Brussels City Centre. It is very close to Brussels Central Station, which connects the city to the rest of Europe.
However, numerous spots around the city are well-connected to the train station. The city has an excellent public transport system, so getting in and out the city is never an issue.
Where To Stay In Brussels For Nightlife?
The nightlife in Brussels isn’t as big as in some European cities like Amsterdam or Budapest. However, there is a great nightlife scene in Saint Gery. This area is the best spot to see the nightlife of the city.
You can find everything from high-end nightclubs to budget bars. Everyone from luxury travellers to backpackers on small budgets can enjoy the nightlife in this area. Some popular bars include the Gecko Cocktail Bar and La Machine. You will find great live entertainment here on some nights.
Where To Stay In Brussels For Christmas Market?
One of the most popular attractions for tourists in Brussels is the world-famous Christmas markets. Visitors splash pictures of the Christmas markets worldwide, and they remain some of the most popular in Europe.
The best spot to visit the Christmas markets has to be Brussels City Centre. The markets are in the centre of the city, and if you are here, you’ll only be a short walk away from the markets. The central train station is 5 minutes from the Christmas Markets, so it’s possible to stay anywhere in the city and quickly get to them.
Where To Stay In Brussels On A Budget?
The best place to stay if you’re on a budget would be Saint Gilles. Although the area is generally highly residential, it remains one of Brussels’ most popular places for visitors. Therefore, it has a wide range of accommodation, which includes budget hotels and hostels.
One of the most popular places to stay in Brussels is boutique hotels. And many former townhouses in Saint Giles have been renovated as boutique hotels, and better still, they are incredibly budget-friendly.
Where To Stay In Brussels Gay?
Brussels is a very liberal and open city, and much like other European cities like Amsterdam, London, and Paris, it welcomes the LGBT community with open arms. It does have a small gay district inside the city centre.
The gay community tends to congregate around the Saint Jacques neighbourhood in the city centre and next to the Grand Place. The LGBT community tends to enjoy the various pride and gay events in the city centre. So the best place to stay in for the gay community is the city centre.
How To Get Around Brussels?
The best thing about public transport in Brussels is the unified ticketing system which means you can use the same tickets for the different modes of transportation in Brussels.
There are a variety of ways to buy public transport tickets which include
These are ticket offices which are in the biggest metro stations. You can buy tickets and ask for advice on the best ways to get around the city here. With Brussels being such a tourist hotspot, they get asked a lot.
Newspaper shops and supermarkets
Similar to many capital cities, newspaper shops and shops do well public transport tickets.
You can find go machines at every metro station and bus stop. They are an easy way of getting tickets without the need to communicate with others.
Brussels has a world-class metro system which is excellent for travellers. It includes four metro lines that run straight through the city centre.
The metro doesn’t run 24 hours per day, but it does run every three minutes during peak hours.
The city has an excellent bus system that covers all the main areas in Brussels. It is important to remember that the buses are not as frequent as the metro, but they are a terrific way of getting around.
The Brussels tram is an excellent way of getting around. They run directly through the city centre and take you to all the city’s main attractions.
Brussels has a great train system which connects the city to everywhere in Europe. It is an excellent choice if you want to get around Belgium, or to other EU nations.
How Many Days In Brussels Is Enough?
Brussels is not the biggest city in Europe. And I wouldn’t class it as a big capital city, or a megacity at all. However, there is a fair amount of things to see and do in the city. I would suggest that a reasonable amount of time to spend in Brussels is 3/4 days.
It’s common for people to spend only one or two days in Brussels on a European trip. And I think that’s understandable if you’re visiting cities like London and Paris, which require a large number of days. But I still think Brussels needs at least three days to see the city.
One of the best things about Brussels is close to other cities in Europe. It’s possible to get to other cities in Europe like Amsterdam and Paris with absolute ease, by using public transport such as trains or buses.
Therefore, you could spend a week in Brussels and include some day trips to neighbouring capital cities and day trips to other popular tourist hotspots in Belgium. So, in summary, don’t spend 1/2 days here. It would be best if you looked to spend three days minimum here, and maybe a week to give yourself time to make day trips.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Brussel?
The best time to visit Brussels depends on why you want to visit the city. Many travellers will visit over Christmas time because they have the Christmas markets and the city looks beautiful around the winter months.
However, the city does get cold during the winter. Therefore, many travellers will visit during the summer months where temperatures are enjoyable. It rarely gets hot in the summer, and Brussels averages around 23 degrees celsius during the summer.
I believe the best time to visit the city is at Christmas time. Brussels has a fantastic vibrant feeling, and you may experience snow in the city. And better still, you can enjoy your time in the Christmas markets.
Best Things To Do And See In Brussels?
During this article, I have listed numerous fantastic things to do in each area of the city. Now I am going to list the top spots that I believe you should visit.
The European Parliament is a great spot to visit if you want to appreciate the city’s political significance.
If you see the European Parliament, you will get a superb guided tour which will enlighten you on the history of Europe and why it’s become what it is today.
The Grand Place
The best attraction in the city, the Grand Place is a must-see. If you want to appreciate the city’s incredible architecture, then make sure you walk around this stunning spot.
You will get photo opportunities, and many guided tours will detail the history and significance of the most famous landmark in the city.
The Manneken Pis
There isn’t a better way to appreciate Brussels’ history, humour, and culture, than seeing the Manneken Pis. The iconic statue of the young boy urinating has become a symbol of the city.
Locals will sometimes dress the boy in clothes. It’s challenging to find alone, but a guided tour will always take you there.
Notre Dame Du Sablon
No trip Belgium’s capital city is complete without appreciating the incredible gothic architecture of the city. And there isn’t a better place to witness it than the Notre Dame Du Sablon.
This excellent Gothic building is one of the best examples of gothic architecture in the city and a must-see if you’re a tourist.
Best Places To Eat In Brussels?
Brussels is home to delicious food, and I’m sure you have heard of the fantastic Belgian chocolate? But this isn’t the only great food in the city. There is a wide variety of cuisine worldwide; after all, Brussels is one of the most multicultural cities in Europe.
Perhaps the most popular place to eat in Brussels is the Midi Market. It is home to cuisine from all around the world, and some of the best local treats.
Another great spot is the Place du Grab Sablon. This market is the best spot in the city to grab some of the world-famous Belgian chocolate.
And if you want to eat some of the city’s most delightful food on a budget, then head to the Place du Jeu da Balle, which is a budget foodies paradise. The locals recommend that you get there early, as that’s when some of the best food is there.
And finally, if you want to try some of the cities’ best organic food, visit Marché Bio des Tanneurs. This market is hugely popular with the locals and has a vast array of organic food that will delight any health enthusiast.
- How Much Does a Trip to Europe Cost?
- How to Spend 10 Days in Europe
- How to Plan Your First European Vacation – A Step by Step Guide
Brussels is one of the best cities in Europe for a quick weekend break. If you visit Brussels, you will enjoy the incredible markets, gothic architecture, and delicious cuisine. And the fact that the city is so small means you can see much of the city quickly.
In my opinion, the best areas to stay are either the city centre or in Ixelles. If you’re staying in either of these spots, you will be next to the best attractions, food, and architecture that the city has to offer. And you will be connected to public transport.
Brussels is one of the most historical, multicultural, and influential cities in the 21st century. I hope this article has helped you decide on the best places to stay.