Although Brussels is commonly seen as a stopover destination, the city is a great addition to any European travel itinerary. From delicious waffles to the European Parliament, Brussels has so much to offer any traveler interested in culture, architecture, food, and everything in between.

With so much to do and so many areas to choose from, deciding where to stay in Brussels can be tricky.

To help you out, we’ve created this guide to show you our top picks for the best neighborhoods in Brussels. We’ve also included the best activities in each area, so you can get a good idea of what to expect on your trip.

Where to Stay in Brussels

Looking for a specific place to stay? We’ve listed our top picks for the best places to stay in Brussels below!

Best Airbnb in Brussels: Cosy @ St Gilles

Cosy at St Gilles

You’ll feel right at home in this modern apartment. Situated in a 19th century house in St Gilles, the flat sleeps two guests, is pet-friendly and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. The main shopping district and restaurants are closeby, and the central location means you’ll be close to all the cultural attractions this artsy district has to offer.

Best Hostel in Brussels: Meininger Brussels City Center

Meininger Brussels City Center

Set in an old brewery, this comic-themed hostel is undoubtedly one of the coolest in Brussels. With plenty of social spaces including a bar, terrace and games room, you’re sure to meet some like-minded travelers. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and Wifi available, and the hostel is a short walk from local attractions.

Best Hotel in Brussels: Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

Treat yourself to a stay at the five-star Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo, and you’re sure to be pleased. Each elegant room has a private bathroom with luxurious touches, a sitting area with a flat-screen TV, minibar, and a desk.

Onsite facilities include a high-class restaurant, gym, and business centre. It sits right on the corner of the Grand Place, and is within walking distance to a number of attractions.

Brussels Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN ATHENS
City Centre, Brussels
FIRST TIME IN ATHENS

City Centre

Brussels’ City Centre is a magnet for tourists, with dazzling architecture, interesting attractions, and a good choice of places to eat, drink, shop, and sleep.

ON A BUDGET
The Marolles Brussels
ON A BUDGET

The Marolles

The Marolles is one of the best neighbourhoods in Brussels for people looking for budget accommodation. Soak up the local vibe and discover the working class side of the Belgian capital.

NIGHTLIFE
Saint Gery Brussels
NIGHTLIFE

Saint Gery

Saint Gery was previously an island in the River Senne. There’s no water crossing needed today, though; the river was covered up and Saint Gery joined with the rest of the city.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Saint Gilles Brussels
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Saint Gilles

Our choice for the coolest place to stay in Brussels, Saint Gilles is a youthful, bohemian, trendy, multicultural, and lively part of the city.

FOR FAMILIES
Ixelles Brussels
FOR FAMILIES

Ixelles

Ixelles is an arty and trendy neighbourhood with a good selection of shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. Lakes, parks, and forests are within easy reach and the area is well connected by public transport.

Brussels may be a fairly small city compared to other Western European capitals, but the diverse neighbourhoods have their own distinct atmosphere and character. This is a great city for walking, and you can travel from one side of the city to the other on foot in around an hour.

The medieval City Centre is often high on the list of places for first-time visitors. Famous for its large square surrounded by ornate buildings, the nearby streets are home to cafes, small shops, and restaurants. With so much to do, it’s the best place to stay to get to know the area.

If you’re traveling on a budget, Marolles offers a number of accommodation options that are all within walking distance of local attractions.

Trendy Ixelles is our top pick for families, and is also loved by fashionistas and shopaholics. Designer stores line the bustling Avenue Louise, and hosts with many up-market restaurants and bars at night.

Eclectic, hip, and funky, Saint Gilles is one of Brussels’ coolest neighbourhoods. It has plentiful art- and culture-focused spaces and events, varied eateries, and a relaxed ambience.

If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Brussels for nightlife, Saint Gery is ideal. The vibrant neighbourhood has many bars, restaurants, and cafes, and it’s one of the city’s best places to find live music.

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5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Brussels

The varied neighbourhoods in Brussels add plenty of flavour and life to the city, and it’s well worth taking the time to travel around the city to discover its many faces.

1. City Centre Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brussels for the First Time

Brussels’ City Centre is a magnet for visitors, with dazzling architecture, interesting attractions, and a good choice of places to eat, drink, and shop. The convenience and popularity make it our choice for the best neighbourhood in Brussels for first-timers.

City Centre, Brussels
City Centre Neighborhood

Best Airbnb in City Center: Grand Place Apartments 8

Grand Place Apartments 8

With space for four people, this Airbnb in Brussels City Center is the perfect base for your trip. You’ll get stunning views of the city and Town Hall, and the Grand Place is just 30 meters away. With a full kitchen, wifi and a lift, the apartment is very accessible and has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay.

Best Hostel in City Centre: Meininger Brussels City Center

Meininger Brussels City Center

The comic book theme throughout this hostel makes this one of the quirkiest places to stay in the city centre. There are en-suite mixed dorms for six and ten and everyone can start each day full of energy with the buffet breakfast (extra charge).

There’s an onsite bar for mingling and chilling and other facilities include a kitchen, games room, and tour desk. Wi-Fi is free and you can rent a bike to explore. The Grand Place is just 15 minutes away by foot.

Best Hotel in City Centre: Hotel des Galeries

Hotel des Galeries

Soak up great city views from the roof terrace, order something tasty from the onsite restaurant, and stay right in the action above some of Europe’s most stylish shopping arcades.

All rooms are en-suite and come with a TV, kettle, coffee machine and free Wi-Fi.

Top Things to do in the City Centre

  • Marvel at the gleaming guild hall buildings that surround the Grand Place (make sure to return in the evening when the buildings are beautifully illuminated).
  • Discover public art in the small streets and alleyways around the center.
  • Learn more about the city’s past and see an array of historic exhibits at Brussels City Museum, housed within the elegant King’s House.
  • Check out one of Europe’s rudest statues, the iconic Manneken Pis, and find his newer, female partner in crime, Jeanneke Pis.
  • Sample delicious Belgian cuisine along Rue des Bouchers, a road that was historically home to many butchers’ shops.
  • Admire the stunning building of the Brussels Stock Exchange.
  • Watch an opera at the high-class Royal Theatre of the Mint.
  • Window shop at the luxurious and lavish Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert; you’ll find chocolatiers, antique vendors, and boutiques that sell high-end and one-of-a-kind fashions.
  • Get in touch with your inner child at the Belgian Comic Strip Center.

2. The Marolles Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brussels on a Budget

The Marolles is one of the best neighbourhoods for accommodation if you have to watch your budget in Brussels. Soak up the local vibe and discover the working class side of the Belgian capital.

An up-and-coming area, The Marolles is undergoing gentrification, bringing cool eateries, stores, and attractions to the area. Sleep for cheap in The Marolles while still being within easy reach of Brussels’ main tourist destinations.

The Marolles Brussels
source: Trougnouf (Wikicommons)

Best Airbnb in the Marolles: Charming Downtown BD Theme Apartment

Charming Downtown BD Theme Apartment

This flat is one of the coolest places to stay in Brussels if you want a good location at an affordable rate. Sleeping two guests, the apartment is newly renovated and includes a full kitchen and bathroom. There’s a cafe on the ground floor of the building, and the accommodation is in walking distance to the city’s main attractions.

Best Hostel in Marolles: HI Hostel Brueggel Brussels

HI Hostel Brueggel Brussels

Like all great things, this hostel comes complete with a bar, disco, and free breakfast. You can opt to stay in male or female-only dorms, however private rooms with ensuites are also available. You’ll be a short walk away from Brussels Park and a number of museums, so you won’t have to spend any money on public transport.

Best Guesthouse in the Marolles: Miroir27

Miroir27

This budget-friendly guesthouse in Brussels offers double and family rooms with terraces and private balconies. Free wifi and a shared kitchen are also available, and rooms are fitted with microwaves, kettles, and fridges. Attractions like Mont des Arts and Notre-Dame du Sablon are closeby, and restaurants are a short walk away.

Top Things to do in the Marolles, Brussels

  • Hunt for bargains at the flea market of Vieux Marché, held every day at Jeu de Balle Place.
  • Watch the world go by from a charming café while relaxing with a drink and snack.
  • Sink your teeth into global cuisine, including Syrian, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish, French, and Flemish, a result of the multicultural population that calls this neighbourhood home.
  • Visit one of the oldest churches in Brussels, Notre-Dame de la Chapelle, to admire its striking façade and interiors.
  • Admire the impressive and imposing Palace of Justice.
  • Shop for fresh produce at the organic market at Atelier des Tanneurs.
  • Watch the sun go down from the large Poelaert Square.
  • Wander down the longest street in Brussels: Rue Haute.
  • Enjoy a contemporary show at the renovated chapel of Les Brigittines.
  • Step back in time at Porte de Hal, a fairytale-like gate that was once part of the city’s fortifications and is now home to a museum.

3. Saint Gery Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brussels for Nightlife

Saint Gery was previously an island in the River Senne. There’s no water crossing needed today, though; the river was covered up and Saint Gery joined with the rest of the city.

Its former separation meant that it was a pretty quiet place in times gone by, but it has transformed over the years to become one of the hottest nightlife destinations in Brussels. If you want to experience one of Europe’s best party cities, Saint Gery is the best place to do so.

The pavement cafes and bars are especially popular in the warmer months, though you’ll find a great range of places to eat, drink, and have fun here at any time of the year.

Saint Gery Brussels
source: Ben2 (Wikicommons)

Best Airbnb in Saint Gery: Cosy red-brick studio in the heart of Brussels

Cosy red brick studio in the heart of Brussels

This studio-loft for two is in the heart of Brussels. There’s a small kitchen area, Google Chromecast (for Netflix) and balconettes overlooking the streets below. The best bars, restaurants and things to do in Brussels are all within walking distance, so you won’t miss out on any of the action.

Another Airbnb in in Saint Gery: Aparthotelsaint Gery

Aparthotelsaint Gery

This Airbnb is in a convenient location for exploring Brussels on foot. It’s got space for up to three travelers and has a kitchenette, with two large supermarkets close-by. The apartment is very close to bars and restaurants, so expect to hear some noise in the evenings. Bear in mind that towels aren’t provided here, so do bring your own!

Best Hotel in Saint Gery: Atlas Hotel Brussels

Atlas Hotel Brussels

5 minutes from the Saint-Gery Square, this hotel is just over the border in the bustling Dansaert area. Rooms come with minibars, free wifi access and comfy beds, perfect for relaxing after a long day – or night – out. A buffet breakfast is also available each morning.

Top Things to do in Saint Gery

  • Experience the local music scene at one of the live music venues.
  • Stroll along Anspach Boulevard to see how Belgian’s rich upper class lived in the past.
  • Have a feast in the diverse restaurants, with food from across the world served in beautiful settings.
  • See the modern statue of Zinneke Pis, a urinating dog to complete the peeing team along with Manneken Pis and Jeanneke Pis.
  • Admire the handsome Renaissance-style building of Halles Saint Gery, an old covered market that has been repurposed to include a café-bar and club.
  • Admire the historic fountain inside Halles Saint Gery, built on the spot where a church once stood.
  • Put your glad rags on for a night on the tiles in one of Saint Gery’s trendy bars, and spend an evening (or several!) hopping from one stylish nightspot to another.
  • Appreciate modern art at Chartreux Center of Contemporary Art.
  • Visit Sainte Catherine Cathedral.
  • While there are no hostels in Saint Gery, there are several hotels and Airbnbs that put you right in the heart of the action.

4. Saint Gilles – The Coolest Place to Stay in Brussels

Our choice for the coolest place to stay in Brussels, Saint Gilles is a bohemian, multicultural, and lively part of the city.

It attracts creative and artistic souls including painters, poets, actors, and writers. Not as loud at night as other areas in Brussels, Saint Gilles is more about the laid-back daytime fun than nighttime revelry.

Saint Gilles Brussels
source: Sergey Dzyuba (Shutterstock.com)

Best Airbnb in St Gilles: Cosy @ St Gilles

Cosy at St Gilles

You’ll feel right at home in this modern apartment. Situated in a 19th century house in St Gilles, the flat sleeps two guests, is pet-friendly and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. The main shopping district and restaurants are closeby, and the central location means you’ll be close to all the cultural attractions this artsy district has to offer.

Best Hostel in Saint Gilles: Hotel De Fierlant

Hotel De Fierlant

Although all rooms here are private with en-suite bathrooms, it’s still a great place for travelling couples, solos, and groups of friends to meet other people and have a sociable stay.

There’s a bar and terrace where you can chat and you can start your day with a natter over the free buffet breakfast. Laundry facilities and luggage storage are available and Wi-Fi is free.

Best Hotel in Saint Gilles: Hotel Catalonia Brussels

Hotel Catalonia Brussels

In a calm part of the city, Hotel Catalonia Brussels has various double, twin, and triple rooms, all with a private bathroom, TV, Wi-Fi, and fridge. The hotel has a restaurant, fitness centre, tour desk, and meeting rooms.

Top Things to do in Saint Gilles

  • Be inspired at the Art Nouveau Horta Museum.
  • Take a peek inside Horta pre-metro station to see architectural pieces signed by famous architects.
  • Enjoy fresh air and greenery at Parc de Forest.
  • Spot interesting street art by BONOM, the Belgian Banksy.
  • Head to the colourful fruit and veg market at Gare du Midi each Sunday.
  • Purchase vintage fashions and unusual apparel in St Gilles’ many unique boutiques.
  • Get in touch with nature at Parc Pierre Paulus, a former private garden and a peaceful haven away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
  • Admire the historic jail; as unusual as it may seem as an attraction, the jail is a Gothic Revival gem.

5. Ixelles Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Brussels for Families

Ixelles is trendy neighbourhood with a good selection of shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. Lakes, parks, and forests are within easy reach, and the area is well connected by public transport. It’s a safe area of Brussels, and our winner when it comes to the best neighbourhood for families.

Ixelles Brussels
source: Olea (Wikicommons)

Best Airbnb in Ixelles: Nice duplex Louise

Nice duplex Louise

Sleeping six guests, this Airbnb in Ixelles is ideal for families. The duplex has two bedrooms, a sofa bed, a balcony and an American kitchen. Located in the south of Ixelles, shops, restaurants and attractions including the Avenue Louise are all within walking distance. There are also a number of public transport options on the doorstep for traveling further afield.

Best Hostel in Ixelles: Le Beau Site

Le Beau Site

Located just off the popular Avenue Louise, this hostel in Brussels has private double and twin rooms, each with a private bathroom, TV, fridge, and free internet access.

Tuck into the free breakfast buffet each morning and enjoy facilities like luggage storage, a tour desk, and parking. Cots are available for those travelling with little ones.

Best Apartment in Ixelles: Cosy Terrace Residence

Cosy Terrace Residence

This private apartment in Ixelles is suitable for a family or group of up to 5 people, and comes equipped with a full kitchen and bathroom. It’s spacious and brightly decorated, and comes with a decked balcony where you can enjoy dinner on warm evenings. Top attractions are all within easy walking distance, so you can properly get to know the area without having to pay travel fares.

Top Things to do in Ixelles

  • Enjoy nature and let kids run and play at The Tenbosch Park.
  • Watch a movie in The Flagey building, also known as the paquebot jaune (yellow boat).
  • Feed the ducks at the lakes of Étangs d’Ixelles.
  • Stroll through the farmers’ market at Chatelain Square on Wednesday’s.
  • Admire art at the Musée d’Ixelles.
  • See the house where Audrey Hepburn was born.
  • Feel a sense of serenity at the glorious building and gardens of Abbaye de la Cambre.
  • Wander through Matongé, the Congolese quarter.
  • Pick up designer goods in Ixelles’ many high-class stores on Chaussée d’Ixelles.

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Brussels

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Brussels and where to stay.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Brussels

Brussels – the European Union’s Capital – is a great city to explore. Even if it’s only for a weekend, there are plenty of things to discover here.

Admire Brussel’s architecture, enjoy its famous chocolate, waffles, and beer, and experience diverse neighborhoods. It really is a must-visit if you’re traveling in Belgium.

If you’re still unsure, you can’t go wrong with Meininger Brussels City Centre thanks to its central location. For something more upmarket, Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is close to everything and boasts some great amenities.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

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Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

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