Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

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Author:  Caroline

With 19 municipalities and a ton of attractions sprawled all across the city, the choice of where to stay in Brussels might seem impossible. This detailed guide runs you through the top 10 areas to stay in Brussels. Written by a local with a big love for her city.

Welcome to Brussels, the capital of Belgium & Europe, and the true definition of a melting pot. The city might not have the glamourous reputation of Paris or the party reputation of Amsterdam, but once you get to know her, she tends to conquer your heart in ways you never imagined.

The issue is often the “getting to know her” part. The city does not give up her secrets easily and finding hotels in Brussels can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. Let me fix that for you! In this guide I have poured all my local knowledge of the city, providing you with a detailed view of the top places to stay in Brussels, what there is to do in each area and who it is best suited for.


Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.


Where to Stay in Brussels: Quick Overview

Short on time and looking for a quick summary of this lengthy article? Well, here you have it! This matrix tells you exactly which areas to stay in Brussels, who & what the neighborhood is best suited for and gives you one recommended hotel.

Tip: Click on the name of the area (e.g. historical center, ixelles,…) to jump to the relevant section in this article covering that area in depth.

Visiting Brussels in Winter? Read up on how to explore the Brussels Christmas Market like a local.

AREABEST FORRECOMMENDED HOTEL
HISTORICAL CENTER
First-time visitorsWarwick Hotel Grand Place
IXELLES
FoodiesMoxy Brussel Centre
SAINT GILLES
Families with kidsMade in Louise Boutique Hotel
SAINT GERY
Night out in BrusselsMy Stay Brussels – Saint Géry
SAINT CATHERINE
Pub Crawls & ShoppingJuliana Hotel Brussels
FONTAINAS
Most Gay-FriendlyArt de Sejours B&B
MAROLLES
Culture & MarketsB&B Maison Haute
EUROPEAN QUARTER
Safety & Tranquil Night SleepRadisson RED Hotel
UCCLE
Art Nouveau LoversLa Maison Chantecler
SABLON
Brunch & Chocolate9Hotel Sablon

Top Recommended Hotel in Brussels to Stay

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Views over the Grand Place
from the Warwick Hotel

RECOMMENDED: Warwick Hotel Grand Place

The Warwick Hotel has the best location smack in the center of town, 3 min walk from both the Grand Place and the Central Station. Plus the views from their rooftop over the Grand Place are unbeatable.

Beautiful Places in Belgium - Brussels

10 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Brussels

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

1. Historical Centre: Best neighborhood in Brussels for first-time visitors

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

What better way to experience Brussels than to stay right in the historical heart of the city, especially if this is your first time visiting! Just beyond The Grand Place (the large central plaza in Brussels) you will find the historical center of the city.

Whether you’re a history buff or just want to be engulfed by the romantic atmosphere of winding streets and Gothic steeples, the historic center is an awe-inspiring location to stay. Bask in the sun with an espresso in terraced cafes, roam through the array of museums, and immerse yourself in European culture in this authentic environment. 

Where to stay in Brussels
Areas to stay in Brussels

What to see in the Historical Center of Brussels & reasons to stay there

Must see in the Historical Center of Brussels: If you’re staying in the Historical Center, it’s almost impossible not to stumble upon The Grand Place, one of Brussels’s top tourist attractions. This must-see square hosts some of the most impressive architecture in Brussels and serves as a recognizable central landmark.

Depending on what sparks your interest the most, there are dozens of museums to explore in this area. There is the Beer Museum, The Illusion Museum, The KBR Local History Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, and everything in between.

The Royal Palace of Brussels is nearby and is an impressive sight to see. You will certainly not fall short of things to see and museums to experience in this historical district.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Cirio, La Brouette, Toone theater
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Manneken Pis Café (first floor), Le Conteur, Aux Armes de Bruxelles

Why stay in the Historical Center: Staying in the historical center means you will be close to all the main tourist attractions in Brussels. It also means you are close to public transportation (should you want to take a day trip) and surrounded by plenty of bars & restaurants at your doorstep.


HOTELS IN THE HISTORICAL CENTER OF BRUSSELS

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Le Vaudeville, image courtesy of Booking.com

ICONIC LOCATION: Bed & Breakfast Vaudeville

Set in a beautiful 19th-century Galerie de La Reine, a comfortable 5-minute stroll from the Grand Place of Brussels. This top-rated B&B is a true unique find in Brussels. Guests particularly love the central location and the peace and quiet in the tastefully decorated rooms.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Warwick Brussels Grand Place, image courtesy of Booking.com

LUXURY CHOICE: 5-star Warwick Brussels – Grand Place

The Warwick Brussels (Grand Place) is the perfect hotel in Brussels for travelers looking for 5-star service, an unbeatable location and a spectacular rooftop bar where live music can be enjoyed overlooking the Grand Place. The hotel is equipped with a fitness center and sauna.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

2. Ixelles (Elsene): Best place in Brussels to stay for foodies

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Want a taste of local flare while still being close to Brussel’s main attractions? Ixelles, Brussels offers ideal proximity to the tourist center, excellent transportation links, and most of all, reasonably priced local food at beautiful cafes and restaurants. Ixelles is filled with quaint squares, local hot spots, and some of the best hidden gems in Brussels. 

What to see in Ixelles and what reason to stay?

Must see and do in Ixelles: Be sure not to miss Place Fernand Coq, a small square lined with pubs, a wine bar, and cosy restaurants that are popular amongst the locals. If you’re in Ixelles on a Wednesday, make your way to Chatelain Square, where you’ll find a lively farmers market by day and buzzing after-work watering hole by night.

Aside from the lively social scene in Ixelles, you can find brand-name shops, iconic buildings, and green space perfect for a slower pace of travel and embracing the local culture. Try strolling along Chaussée d’Ixelles for a high street shopping experience, without having to get in the crowds and queues of Rue Neuve!

Whether shopping is high on your priority list or not, no trip to Ixelles is complete without a visit to the Flagey Building; a radio and television broadcasting studio turned trendy theatre and culture venue. The Flagey Building is also home to a few trendy bars including the famous Cafe Belga, the place to see and be seen.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Chez Frans, Café Belga, L’impasse, Café Tulipant
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Filema, Educazione Napoletana

Why is Ixelles the best place to stay in Brussels? This area of Brussels is a favorite amongst ex-pats, who have flocked to Ixelles for work or love and simply stayed. Ixelles is filled with restaurants serving cuisines from pretty much every corner of the globe. The plentiful bars serve Belgian beers alongside Aperol Spritz and other popular international drinks.


HOTELS IN IXELLES (ELSENE)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Hygge Hotel, image courtesy of Booking.com

COZY DESIGN: Hygge Hotel

The 3-star Hygge Hotel is a wonderfully cozy spot to relax in after a day in Brussel. It comes with a beautiful terrace and garden in the heart of Brussels. The great breakfast selection and vicinity to plenty of bars & restaurants are a favorite amongst guests. Parking is available upon request.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Le Berger Hotel, image courtesy of Booking.com

ART DECO HEAVEN: Le Berger Hotel

This little quirky boutique hotel is decorated in a Historical Art Deco style. Located a mere 800 meters from the Petit Sablon (did someone say antique shopping?!). Aside from all the modern amenities, the hotel has the additional trump card of a wonderful outside pool (great for a hot summer day).

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Moxy Brussels image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: MOXY BRUSSELS CENTRE

The Moxy brand is an established hotel chain located in all the trendy cities across the globe. Known for their service, very cool interior and excellent choice of location. Additional services include 24 hour reception, gym and a fully stocked bar!

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

3. Saint-Gilles (Sint-Gillis): The best area to stay in Brussels with kids

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Looking for a quiet and safe neighborhood to stay in Brussels with a family? Saint Gilles is a great place to stay for travelers with kids. This municipality is located comfortably next to Ixelles and the Brussels city center yet offers a quieter option to the bustling center or vibrant Ixelles. Saint Gilles offers parks, theatres, and more…unusual things to do in Brussels that the kids will be talking about for years to come.

What to see in Saint-Gilles and reason to stay?

Must see and do in Saint Gilles: No stay in Saint Gilles is complete without a visit to the Fantastic Museum, or Musée d’Art Fantastique. This museum is unlike any other history museum, but instead is home to spooky and unusual items that are bound to boggle your mind and leave your kids curious.

Take the family for a stroll through Parc Pierre Paulus to see the ducks and geese and have a picnic. The kids will also love the small playground here. In Saint Gilles, you’ll also find several boutique local theatres, such as the CreaNova theatre near Parc Pierre Paulus, that put on theatrical performances for audiences of all ages. Check their programming to find out what’s coming up and what’s suitable for you and your family. 

Are the kids a little older? Why not take them to my favorite museum in Brussels: The Victor Horta Museum. Here you will find the atelier and home of the famous Art Nouveau architect, Victor Horta. The museum is rather small, so make sure to book your tickets online before visiting.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Tricoterie, La Porteuse d’Eau, Café Maison du People
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Tero, Ci Piace

Why consider Saint Gilles as one of the neighborhoods in Brussel to stay? Centrally located, yet far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of the Historical Center to get a good night’s sleep. The area has undergone a veritable make-over the last few years, gentrification set in and it soon became the hotspot for families with kids to move in.


WHERE TO STAY IN SAINT-GILLES (SINT-GILLIS)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Vintage Hotel Brussels, image courtesy of Booking.com

VALUE FOR MONEY: Vintage Hotel Brussels

Something a little different! The Vintage hotel has a unique 70s-style decoration from top to bottom. The only thing vintage is the furniture though, the rest of the amenities are 21st-century high-tech with flat-screen tvs and iHome docking stations.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Savoie apartment, image courtesy of Booking.com

SELF-CATERED APPARTMENT: Savoie

Spacious fully equipped apartments in the heart of Saint Gilles. Great option for digital nomads or those traveling in larger groups. Various-sized apartments are available, ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Made in Louise image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: MADE IN LOUISE

The 3-star Made in Louise hotel is a great value-for-money option near swanky Avenue Louise. Features a 24-hour desk, a fully stocked bar, and rooms with a wonderful rain shower. A cozy atmosphere and helpful staff are what guests love most about this boutique hotel.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

4. Saint-Gery (Sint Goriksplein): The best area in Brussels to stay for partying

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

If premium location and buzzing nightlife are guiding your decision on where to stay in Brussels, then Saint Gery is the place for you. Saint Gery is located right in the bustling heart of Brussels in great proximity to the historical center and a plethora of museums.

This vibrant district is known for its high street shopping, bars, and nightclubs, performing arts venues, fine dining, and grand plazas, making this one of the best places to stay in Brussels. Saint Gery may not be the quietest neighborhood in the city but you will certainly never run out of things to do!

What to see in Saint-Gery and reason to stay?

Must see and do in Saint Gery: In Saint Gery, you will find some of the best bars in Brussels. You will find a new brewpub or cocktail bar every few meters in this part of town! Be sure not to miss “Halles Saint Gery”. This multipurpose public gathering space was once a gothic church, turned meat market, and up until the new millennium laid derelict.

There is a venue/bar for everyone in this district of town. Whether you’re looking for a lively sports bar, a rock and roll venue, karaoke rooms, or Salsa clubs, you will find it in Saint Gery. Snag a spot on the terrace of the Zebra bar, dance the night away at Café Central, or get a cocktail at Mapa Mundo. L’Archiduc and Bonnefoi are some of the best places in Brussels to party until the sun comes up (do not go before 03:00 AM or sober).

Not far from these bustling bar streets you will find the stock exchange of Brussel (La Bourse) and the Grand Place Brussels; the main plaza square of Brussels hosting the Town Hall, the City Museum, and a display of ornate buildings dating back to the 14th century.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Zebra, Mappa Mundo, Café Central, 58 Rooftop, L’Archiduc
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Bia Mara, Le Conteur

Why stay in Brussels in Saint-Gery? Saint-Gery is within walking distance from the main tourist attractions and the main areas to go out in Brussels. The plentiful bars around Halles Saint Gery are a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The neighborhood is very alive and kicking!


ACCOMMODATIONS IN SAINT-GERY (SINT-GORIKSPLEIN)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Logement dans le coeur de Bruxelles, image courtesy of Booking.com

VALUE FOR MONEY: Logement dans le coeur de Bruxelles

No-nonsense studio apartment located right off Saint-Gery. The studio is fully equipped (including a washing machine). Guests particularly like the location, the cleanliness, and the decor of the studio apartment.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Brussels Marriott Grand Place, image courtesy of Booking.com

LUXURY STAY: Brussels Marriott Grand Place

Despite the name, the 5-star Marriott hotel is actually not located on the Grand Place but rather near Saint Géry. Hotel facilities include a 24-hour reception, gym and on-site parking. Guests particularly like the impeccable service and the location.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
My Stay Brussels image courtesy Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: MY STAY BRUSSELS – SAINT GERY


Boutique apartment located in the heart of Saint Gery. Stumble into your plush bed after a night of bar hopping in the neighborhood. Guests love the modern decor, great location and strong wifi.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

5. Dansaert / Saint Catherine: The best place to stay in Brussels to go on a pub crawl

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Dansaert is the perfect place to stay in Brussels if you’re looking for a central location that isn’t too busy yet still offers a great social scene. The district of Dansaert is located next to Saint Gery and meets the Canal de Bruxelles. This is known to be one of the trendiest areas in town, offering exotic restaurants, great seafood, and popular bars.

What to see in Dansaert/Saint Catherine and reason to stay?

Things to do and see in Dansaert and Saint Catherine: You can find all kinds of cozy bars and pubs that are a great alternative to some of the busier nightclubs of Saint Gery. For a true local experience try grabbing a beer at Bar des Amis or Monk bar, one of the few bars also serving the world-famous Westvleteren Trappist beer.

Opposite these famous bars lies the Mer du Nord, the perfect spot to indulge in a glass of cold cava and shrimp croquettes on a sunny day. Those looking for a night out might want to head over to Madame Moustache. A local club decorated to look like a former circus.

Both the Dansaert Straat and Rue the Flandre offer some prime shopping. Upscale shops stand shoulder to shoulder with second-hand stores selling everything from turn of the century clothing to haute couture straight off the runway.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Nightshop, Bar des Amis, Chicago Café
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Noordzee, Nona, De Markten, Gaston

Why stay in Dansaert/ Saint Catherine neighborhood? In general, this district is very easygoing and has more of a relaxed vibe to it, making it an ideal place to stay in Brussels if you want to be close to the center but in more of a laid-back environment. 


WHERE TO STAY IN DANSAERT/SAINT CATHERINE (SINT CATHERINE)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
B’Kanal, image courtesy of Booking.com

LOCALLY RUN: B&B B’Kanal

The wonderful locally run B&B B’Kanal is located in the Danseart neighborhood of Brussels. Hosted by a local artist who renovated his old studio and turned it into a tranquil – and very well-designed – oasis in the heart of the city.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Citadines Sainte Catherine, image courtesy of Booking.com

VALUE FOR MONEY: Citadines Sainte Catherine

The Aparthotel Citadines Sainte Catherine is a great value-for-money option in the hip neighborhood of Sainte Catherine. On-site parking (option to charge electric cars is available), the great location and optional breakfast are a favorite amongst guests.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Juliana Hotel Brussels image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: JULIANA HOTEL BRUSSELS

The Juliana Hotel in Brussels is a 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Brussels. A sauna, hammam, fitness center, private parking and indoor pool, coupled with impeccable design make the Juliana one-of-a-kind stay in the city.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

6. Fontainas Neighborhood: The most gay-friendly area to stay in Brussels

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Stay in this micro-neighborhood and you’ll be welcomed by pride flags, colorful bars, and smiling faces. Brussels is one of the leading gay-friendly cities in Europe and Fontainas is the beating heart of it.

Some of the largest gay dance parties on the continent can be found in this neighborhood, as well as other gay events every night of the week. Visit here during Pride, in May, to see Saint Jacques in its prime. Complete with a vibrant parade, musical acts, displays from LGBTQ+ organizations, food markets, craft markets, and more, you won’t be disappointed!

What to see in the Fontainas Neighborhood and reason to stay?

The central location of Fontainas makes this one of the premium places to stay to explore the rest of the city by day and party at some of the top gay clubs in Europe by night. Check out some of the best gay bars in Saint Jacques such as Le Baroque, Le Belgica, and L’Homo Erectus. 

Other famous local watering holes are the famous Moeder Lambic or Les Cercles des voyageurs bar.  Whether you’re in Fontainas for the party scene or just want a fun vibrant neighborhood with a premium location to go exploring, this spot has it all! And don’t forget to go see the Manneken Pis while you’re here, one of the most famous fountains in Brussels, and you’ll see why when you spot it!

COOL BARS | Moeder Lambic, Les Cercles des voyageurs, Aux Vieux Saint Antoine, Poechenellekelder
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Manneken Pis Café

Why is the Fontainas neighborhood a good area to stay in Brussels? This is an ideal location if you are planning to hit the late-night clubs here and don’t want to be too far from your accommodation! The neighborhood is very safe and has the country’s best gay clubs and bars.


HOTELS IN THE FONTAINAS AREA

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Grand Place Apartment image courtesy of Booking.com

BEST VIEWS: Grand Place Apartment

A charming apartment right in the heart of Fontainas on the Kolenmarkt/ Marché au Charbon. The apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen and a little terrace. Guest particularly like the (very) central location and the spectacular view.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Guesthouse Bxlroom, image courtesy of Booking.com

VALUE FOR MONEY: Guesthouse Bxlroom

A little locally run Guesthouse in the middle of Brussels. Guests particularly like the location, the inner courtyard & garden as well as the tranquility of the rooms. Cool fact: The guesthouse used to be a medal-making workshop!

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Art de Sejours B&B image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: ART DE SEJOURS B&B

The number one B&B in the area. This 4-star B&B is set in a beautiful historical 19th-century townhouse right off the Grand Place. Guests particularly like the super central location, the tasteful decoration, and the hospitable hosts.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

7. Sablon (Zavel): The best place to stay in Brussels for shopping and Sunday brunch

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

If you would prefer to leave the city map in the hotel room, and take your credit card out for a spin at some of the most upscale shops and antique dealers in Europe, then Sablon Brussels is for you.

Whether you want to buy a shiny new pair of Christian Louboutins or traipse through an antique market, Sablon has traditionally always been THE place for upscale shopping in Brussels and remains so to this day. 

What to see in the Sablon area and reason to stay?

Nowadays, Sablon is also a great place to find a quality Sunday brunch. There are dozens of possibilities of where to go for your late morning meal. Have a boozy brunch with the locals at Chez Richard, try Café des Minimes if you are looking for a trendy spot, or Creme Brussels if fluffy pancakes and takeaway coffee is more your scene.

Sablon is also a great spot for touring some of the more opulent sites of Brussels, such as the Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium which hosts works dating back to the 15th century. You will also find top-quality dining establishments in Sablon with mostly, heavily French-influenced restaurants. But there are a few prime Belgian, Italian, and Spanish fusion eateries in the area as well such as Senza Nome a one-star Michelin Italian restaurant.

Last but certainly not least, be prepared to find some of the best Belgian chocolate in this neighborhood. Pierre Marcolini is one of the most popular chocolate shops so be sure to pop in and indulge. No trip to Belgium is complete without true authentic Belgian chocolate.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Chez Richard, Vertigo, FORST, Cafes des Minimes
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Toukoul, Crème, Lil Bao, Liu Lin, Les Petit Oignons

Why is Sablon one of the best locations to stay in Brussels? Centrally located in one of the safest neighborhoods in Brussels, the Sablon has an almost village-like feel to it. A very upscale village that is! If luxury and shopping are what strike your fancy the Sablon is the place for you.


HOTELS IN THE SABLON (ZAVEL)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Les Chambres de Martin, image courtesy of Booking.com

MOST AUTHENTIC: Guesthouse Les Chambres de Martin

Top-rated guesthouse located 100 m from Notre-Dame du Sablon. Guests particularly love the historical character of the hotel, the unbeatable views over the Sablon and the location. Hotel is fully self-catered with a secure entry code, no reception desk on site.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
NH Collection Sablon, image courtesy of Booking.com

MOST SUSTAINABLE: NH Collection

The NH Collection Sablon Brussels is the top-rated 4-star hotel located in the heart of the Sablon. The impeccable service, 24-hour reception and rooms with a view of the Palais de Justice are worth the extra penny!

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
9Hotel Sablon image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: 9HOTEL SABLON

The 9Hotel Sablon is located a mere 5-minute walk away from the Grand Place and offers guests an oasis of tranquility right in the heart of Brussels. The hotel features a well-being space with a whirlpool and Finnish sauna.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

8. Marolles (Marollen): The most cultural neighborhood in Brussels

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Looking to get a bit off the tourist path and enjoy the trendy alternative side of Brussels? Marolles is the best neighborhood to stay in if you are looking for alternative culture and some international flair! One of the oldest neighborhoods in Brussels and virtually the only area to catch a snippet of the true Brussels dialect.

This up-and-coming district is the perfect place to find a flea market, mosey through an indie record shop, and pop into a trendy pub or techno club by night. You will also come across trendy wine bars, art cafes, African cuisine, and everything in between! This corner of central Brussels offers endless options when looking for flavors of home or flavors of different countries.

What to see in the Marolles neighborhood and reason to stay?

When staying in Marolles, you can also find plenty of options for second-hand shops to do some international thrift shopping in, Rue Haute, Rue des Tanneurs, and Rue Blaes have plenty of stores to peruse! This is a great option for shopping and traveling sustainably in Brussels, and you will have unique pieces to take home that can’t be bought anywhere else!

Sunday morning kick yourself out of bed early to explore the Flea Market on Place Jeu de Balle, after which you can treat yourself to brunch in L’Aubette or Atelier en Ville (de Marolles Branche on Rue Haute). 

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Kafei, Mazette, L’Eau Chaude
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | L’Aubette, Judgy Vegan, Pois Chiche

Why choose your accommodations in Brussels in the Marolles Neighborhood?
The Marolles neighborhood is as authentic as it gets. It is a bit more adventurous than let’s say Ixelles or the European Quarter but it has a lot more culture. Mingle with locals who have been living here for generations and go second-hand furniture shopping.


HOTELS IN THE MAROLLES (MAROLLEN)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi, image courtesy of Booking.com

MOST CONVENIENT: B&B Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi

Conveniently located right next to the Gare du Midi train station from which high-speed trains to Paris, Amsterdam and London leave daily. Perfect for travelers coming in or traveling out of Brussels via train.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Airbnb with a view, image courtesy of Airbnb

LOCALLY RUN: Airbnb with a view

Located in the heart of the Marolles neighborhood in Brussels, this Airbnb has views over the Palais de Justice (Courthouse). Top rated on Airbnb and a great alternative to the (mostly) mediocre hotels in the neighborhood.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
B&B La Maison Haute image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: B&B La Maison Haute

The number one B&B in the area. What sets this 3-star B&B apart is the soulful decoration, the comfortable beds, the location amidst antique shops and art galleries as well as the option for a gluten-free breakfast menu.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

9. European Quarter: The safest neighborhood in Brussels

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Experience the European Capital in this parliamentary neighborhood. But don’t be fooled into thinking the capital of Europe might be a little more corporate or mundane. This area is full of trendy bars, beautifully landscaped parks, and national museums and exhibits.

The European District (or Leopold Quarter) is the safest place in Brussels if you’re looking for a comfortable area to rest your head at night and feel secure (although it’s always best to be aware of your surroundings in any major city!).

Things to do in Brussels when it rains - European Parliament

What to see in the European Quarter neighborhood and reason to stay?

Observe the impressive European Parliament buildings and explore the Parlamentarium- the EU Parliament visitor center and museum that offers incredible insight into the functioning of European politics and European political history.

Behind the parliament buildings, you will find Parc Leopold, which are beautifully constructed gardens hosting a medieval tower, a library, and plenty of walking paths. Not far away, experience the Museum of Natural Sciences where the dinosaurs of Brussels live…or don’t live. This museum houses dozens of permanent dinosaur skeletal displays, as well as some touring displays such as the T-Rex.

Place Jourdan has the most famous fries in Brussels. Head over to the middle of the square to the frietkot called Maison Antoine and get your fill of Belgian fries. One simply cannot leave Belgium without tasting this local delicacy.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Café Belge, 13 Degrés, Grand Central, Bouche, L’Or, Kosmos
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | La Pizza e Bella

Why choose to stay in Brussels in the European Quarter? A little further away from the main tourist attractions in Brussels ensures this neighborhood is quieter and void of pesky tourist traps. The area is super safe to walk around (both day and night) and home to the coolest museum in Brussels, the Natural History Museum.


WHERE TO STAY IN THE EUROPEAN QUARTER

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
B&B Place Jourdan, image courtesy of Booking.com

LOCALLY RUN: B&B Place Jourdan

A locally run small boutique B&B near Place Jourdan. Within walking distance of the European Institutions, the culinary Walhalla Ixelles and the main tourist attractions of Brussels. Guests particularly like the breakfast, location and strong wifi.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Thon Hotel EU, image courtesy of Booking.com

BUSINESS TRAVEL: Thon Hotel EU

The Thon Hotel chain is synonymous with luxury and business travel. If you are in Brussels on business and need to be in the vicinity of the EU institutions the Thon Hotel is a great place to stay. Facilities include a gym and on-site brasserie restaurant.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Radisson RED image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: RADISSON RED BRUSSELS

A unique experience where art, fashion and music are combined with a luxury hotel experience. The hotel hosts live music, exhibitions and DJ happenings in the shared spaces. Guest can enjoy the on-site sauna and fitness center and get advice from a virtual concierge through the “RED App”.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

10. Uccle (Ukkel): The best area to stay in Brussels for art nouveau lovers

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Get off the beaten path in Uccle and experience one of the oldest living districts of Brussels. Uccle is known for its green space, archaic buildings, and its unique art nouveau atmosphere. Uccle may not be the most central location to stay, but if you want a local experience and particularly love art nouveau architecture, then you will appreciate booking your stay in this neighborhood!

What to see in the Uccle neighborhood and reason to stay?

Wander through the streets of Uccle and the unique atmosphere of this architecture will surround you. This affluent area is filled with cafes, houses, and mansions designed in this unique style from the late 1800s.

Uccle is also home to one of Brussels’ oldest pubs (Au Vieux Spijtigen Duvel) and is still welcoming thirsty voyagers to this day. If you’re invested in the history around this area, you can also pay a visit to the Nekkersgatmolen & Crockaertmolen historical mills which are the last remaining mills in the region. The mills play host to an array of private and public events, so be sure to check the schedule on their website as they might be hosting an armory workshop, an archery workshop, or even training duels.

And what better way to enjoy the Belgian capital and European capital than to experience some aspects of European history first-hand.

COOL BARS IN THE AREA | Les Brasseries Georges, Osteria Romana, Aux Vieux Spijtigen Duivel
DELICIOUS RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA | Chalet Robinson, Le Kiosk, Tortue, Seven Brussels

Why is Uccle a great place to stay in Brussels? The streets of Uccle are lined with incredible Art Nouveau buildings. It feels like an open-air museum at times! The neighborhood is considerably less expensive to stay for visitors and a lot quieter. It is a bit further removed from the center of Brussels compared to the other areas described but thanks to a good connection with public transportation that should not pose a problem.


WHERE TO STAY IN UCCLE (UKKEL)

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
Maison Montana, image courtesy of Booking.com

UNIQUE STAY: Maison Montana

Located in the verdant neighborhood of Uccle a comfortable 500 meters from Bois de la Cambre. This locally run B&B is a favorite with guests looking for a tranquil stay in a unique villa. Guest can enjoy a fully equipped kitchen, on-site parking and a delicious breakfast.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations
La Maison Chantecler image courtesy of Booking.com

RECOMMENDED: Guesthouse La Maison Chantecler

Located 3 km outside the busy center of Brussels in a historical villa. Guests at La Maison Chantecler can enjoy a seasonal outdoor pool & sun terrace, play table tennis and enjoy the hammam. The sumptuous breakfast is a favorite amongst the many (many!) guests.

Map of Best Areas to Stay in Brussels

Get an idea of all the areas you can stay in Brussels and their proximity to the main tourist attractions. Click on the interactive Google map to zoom in and out of the map.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

Good to Know Before Booking a Hotel in Brussels

LANGUAGE SPOKEN: One of the charming oddities of Belgium is the fact it has three national languages (French, Dutch and German). Within Brussels, each location – be it the name of a street, a square or a building, will have both a French and a Dutch name. These can sometimes vary significantly from each other. The Main Square in Brussels goes by the name Grand Place (French) or Grote Markt (Dutch).

EUROPEAN CAPITAL: If your stay in Brussels coincides with a NATO or EU summit, prices of hotels can skyrocket. It also means that certain sections of the city might be cordoned off.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Do not hesitate to book a hotel in Brussels that is outside of the Historical Center. The city is very well connected by a system of trams, metro and (night)busses. Metro and trams run from 5:30 am to midnight; night busses from 12.30 am to 03.00 am. After hours there is the possibility to make use of the ridesharing apps Uber and Bolt. Download transportation maps.

19 NEIGHBORHOODS: The city of Brussels is made up of 19 different communes (neighborhoods), each have a different postal code and name. The Historical Center of Brussels has postal code 1000 and is called “Brussel”. I live in 1050, in a neighborhood called “Ixelles (FR) or Elsene (NL). While it has a different name, it is still part of Brussels.

Areas in Brussels to Avoid Staying

Brussels in general is a very safe city. Unlike many other capital cities, you can walk around at night without being overly worried. As a woman, who often walks home alone, I have never felt unsafe. There are however a couple of neighborhoods that are more run down and better avoided when looking into booking a hotel.

SINT JANS MOLENBEEK/MOLENBEEK SAINT JEAN: A multicultural neighborhood that in recent years has just started attracting artists and hip museums. The area just next to the canal is perfectly safe, though personally, I would really not recommend booking accommodation here.

TRAIN STATIONS: Train stations are usually slightly dodgy and it is not different for the Brussels North and Brussels Midi (South) stations. Brussels North has the Red Light District right behind it and Brussels Midi is a popular gathering place for vagrants. While it might seem convenient to book a hotel near Brussel Midi, especially if you are coming in with the high-speed train from Amsterdam/London/Paris, I wouldn’t. As a local, I try to avoid Brussels Midi after dark.

ANNEESENS/LEMONIER METRO STOP: While the central location and budget accommodations in this part of Brussels might entice you, I would recommend avoiding booking a stay here. The area is pretty run down and petty crime is known to occur here.

FAQ on Where to Stay in Brussels

Best place to stay in Brussels for first-time visitors?

If it is your first time visiting Brussels and you want to be close to the main tourist attractions, I would highly recommend you stay in the Historical Center or the Fontainas neighborhood. Hotels here are within walking distance from the Grand Place & Manneken Pis and there are plenty of bars around to try a good old Belgian beer.

Which neighborhood to stay in Brussels with kids?

If you are looking for a slightly quieter neighborhood for the kids, then consider choosing Saint Gilles. This commune is very well connected to the city center by tram and has plenty of local eateries and stores around, without the chaos typically found in the Historical Center.

Where to stay in Brussels city center?

The beauty of Brussels is how small the city center is. Depending on what vibe you are after, you can choose from Sablon (upscale & quiet), Historical Center (close to the main monuments but expensive), Saint Gery & Fontainas (great for nightlife) or in and around Saint Catherine.

If however you are looking to get a more authentic feel, consider looking into booking a stay in the Marolles. The oldest neighborhood in Brussels, slightly more run down than the abovementioned but with a lot more charm. It is my favorite area in Brussels.

Where to stay in Brussels for one night?

If you are staying in Brussels for only one night and want to be able to see a little of the city, then consider booking a hotel in the Sablon area. It is safe, centrally located, and wonderfully quiet at night.

Option B: If you want a hotel with the very best views Warwick Hotel Grand Place

What is the best area to stay in Brussels for sightseeing?

The beauty of Brussels is its small scale and how well-connected it truly is. Therefore, you can easily choose between Historical Center, Fontainas, Saint Gery or Saint Catherine if you want to go sightseeing. These neighborhoods are all within walking distance from the Grand Place.

Where to stay in Brussels for nightlife ?

If you are looking to spend a night on the town then the neighborhood of Saint Gery or Saint Catherine are where you want to book your accommodations. Both are within walking distance from a smattering of bars frequently visited by locals.

Alternatively, if you do not mind being a little further away from the city center, the area of Châtelain in Ixelles has a very prolific bar scene. Here you will typically find the Eurocrats and other expats enjoying a night on the town.

Chateau de la Hulpe Brussels
Chateau de la Hulpe on the outskirts of Brussels

To Conclude on Best Hotels to Stay in Brussels

My recommended area to stay in Brussels is either the Historical Center or Ixelles. The Historical Center is undeniably beautiful, a true old European city filled with gabled houses connected through a maze of cobblestone alleys. Staying in the Historical Center gives you maximum exposure to the beauty of Brussels.

But, the Historical Center is equally rife with tourist traps and can be very noisy. The Ixelles neighborhood has some of the city’s best bars & restaurants (the best pizza in Brussels can be found here!) and is close to the Bois de la Cambre park. This neighborhood of Brussels is popular amongst ex-pats and locals alike.

Where to stay in Brussels: The 10 Best Areas + Hotel Recommendations

MORE TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR VISITING BELGIUM

Brussels: Explore the hidden gems of Brussels
Brussels: How to spend the perfect day in Brussels
Brussels: The best brunch places in Brussels
Brussels: 10 Mouthwatering vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Brussels
Antwerp: An awesome weekend in Antwerp
Charleroi: Explore Charleroi for a day
Belgium: 16 Romantic castle hotels to stay in Belgium

Best Hotels to Stay in Brussels: Save It
Where to stay in Brussels
Where to stay in Brussels

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Caroline Muller

Thanks for dropping in! My name is Caroline, and I am a full-time writer & photographer. With this blog, I hope to harness the power of travel to do good in the world. Think connecting with local cultures, sustainable tourism, and in-depth guides to known and lesser-known adventures. Adventure awaits!

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