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.

Notre Dame Du Sablon Brussels
One of Europe’s most beautiful cities awaits!

Where to Stay in Brussels

Looking for somewhere fabulous for the Brussels leg of your Belgium trip? We’ve listed our top picks for the best places to stay in Brussels below!

Best Airbnb in Brussels: Maison Marguerite Brussels Centrum

This sleek and modern Airbnb is the best in Brussels! Not only does it have an ideal central location, but the home is simply stunning. Large enough to accommodate 13 guests, the townhouse is an early-1900’s maison de maître that has been updated with all modern amenities.

Enjoy the spacious rooms, indoor fireplace, terrace, and massive kitchen all white being mere steps away from Brussels City Centre. The family rooms are perfect for big groups, and the home is well within walking distance from Central Station.

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 spacious rooms and common areas– including a bar, terrace, and games room– you’re sure to meet some like-minded travellers. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and Wifi available, and the centrally located hostel is a short walk from top tourist 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. It’s one of the highest-rated Brussels hotels Each elegant room in this modern hotel 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 and a fitness center. It sits right on the corner of the Grand Place, and is within walking distance of 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. Brussels is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture, and there are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in town as well. This is a safe city great 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. It’s also where you’ll find some of Brussels best hostels! 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 still within walking distance of top Brussels 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. It’s a great place to base yourself for a weekend in Brussels.

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.

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.

The City Centre has several main areas to consider, but major tourist attractions typically include The Grand Place.

City Centre, Brussels
City Centre Neighborhood

Best Airbnb in City Center: Maison Marguerite Brussels Centrum

This Airbnb is undoubtedly the best in Brussels City Center. Aside from being near all tourist attractions, the home is simply stunning. Large enough to accommodate 13 guests, the space is an early-1900’s maison de maître that has been updated with all modern amenities.

Enjoy the spacious rooms, indoor fireplace, terrace, and massive kitchen all white being mere steps away from Brussels City Centre. The family rooms are perfect for big groups, and the home is well within walking distance from Central Station.

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, all while being right in the middle of an epic capital city.

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

  • Sample delicious Belgian cuisine
  • 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.
  • Try your hand at chocolate making
  • 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.
  • Go on a Belgian Beer tour
  • 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.
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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.

You can also check out the nearby Historic Grand Sablon Square in the Sablon neighborhood, and the famous Avenue Louise for all the shopping you could imagine and more.

The Marolles Brussels
Photo: Trougnouf (WikiCommons)

Best Airbnb in the Marolles: Charming Bright Studio

This stunning Marolles Airbnb is located in a historic area of Brussels, and features bright, spacious rooms and artistic decor. You’ll be close to all major attractions, including Brussels City Centre and places like the Royal Palace.

The host has glowing reviews and provides guests with a personalized guidebook on visiting Brussels. Relax after a day of exploring in the clean and comfortable bedroom, which even features a hand-painted mural.

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. But if you want to, the interesting European Quarter is a short ride away.

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 close by, 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.
  • See the Marolles by cycle
  • 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
Photo: Ben2 (WikiCommons)

Best Airbnb in Saint Gery: Colorful Saint Gery Apartment

This bright 4th floor apartment is located right in the Saint Gery section of Brussels City Centre, meaning all the top tourist attractions, fine dining, and chocolate shops. A metro station is nearby which makes even more of the city accessible.

The space is clean, modern and features a sunny living room with a Netflix-compatible TV. You’ll also have a comfy double bed, a well-designed kitchen, and two large windows overlooking Downtown Brussels!

Best Hotel in Saint Gery: Atlas Hotel Brussels

Atlas Hotel Brussels

5 minutes from the Saint-Gery Square, this boutique hotel is just over the border in the bustling Dansaert area. Rooms come with minibars, free wifi 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.
  • Take in some history with a walking tour
  • 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.
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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 that should definitely be on your Brussels itinerary!

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

Best Airbnb in St. Gilles: Incredible Duplex

There’s no doubt that this stunning St. Gilles Duplex is one of the best places to stay in Brussels! The lofted design is second to none, and features a 40 square meter courtyard that would be seriously hard to find elsewhere!

The apartment is located in a lovely, safe neighborhood with public transportation just minutes away. The hosts are friendly and responsive and plenty of bars and restaurants are within walking distance!

Best Hotel in Saint Gilles: Hotel Manos Premier

Manos Premier is the best hotel option in Saint Gilles. The lowkey boutique-style accommodation is right near the famous Avenue Louise, and provides all the charm of a Brussels apartment!

The best features of this hotel is its spa center, which offers a sauna, steam bath, hot tub and fitness area. There’s also a large terrace and an onsite restaurant and bar!

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
Ixelles vibes.
Photo: Olea (WikiCommons)

Best Airbnb in Ixelles: Chic Surya Loft

Not only is this one of the best Airbnbs in Brussels, but it might even be one of the best in all of Belgium! The incredibly unique design combine modern amenities with splashes of color, and overall has a very “zen” feel.

Located in the Ixelles neighborhood, the space is close to public transit and is perfect for everything from a romantic couples getaway to a family group trip!

Best Hotel in Ixelles: Jardin Secret

Brussels accommodation doesn’t get much better than Jardin Secret! The garden themed hotel features a heated swimming pool, and also has an on-site restaurant and bar!

The beds are comfy, and the hotel is located on a quiet and peaceful Ixelles street. Not far from public transit, restaurants and shops, this hotel is a true hidden-find for your Brussels trip!

Top Things to do in Ixelles

  • Enjoy nature at 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 Wednesdays.
  • 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.

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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 Brussels’ 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 an iconic (and private) Airbnb stay, Maison Marguerite Brussels Centrum is the best in town!

Royal Palace of Brussels

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected]r.com to find out how.

Last Updated October 2022 by Samantha Shea


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