You enjoy crowds just as much as peace and quiet and you are not frightened by coaches full of tourists. You dream of spontaneous Saturday evenings, and chillout Sundays. Well then, Brussels City is perfect for you.
Well alright, “sprawling” is not a very nice way to put it. And yet! If you just think of the old city, Brussels Centre is truly a vast municipality spread over almost the entire length of the capital, and it has a few districts with very different atmospheres. Here is a brief tour:
The favourite attraction for tourists thirsty for beer, chocolate and the famous little naked boy! The Grand-Place (the most beautiful in the world, no less), the Manneken Pis statue, Galerie Saint-Hubert, the big-name museums… They are all gathered here. If you like to brush shoulders with the crowds on the special “diagonal” cobblestones while savouring the monuments and lovely smells wafting from the tourist food stalls, you have come to the right place.
To the far north is the majestic part of the city. The Palace, the Atomium (our very own Eiffel Tower), the Stade Roi Baudouin, the Royal Greenhouses, etc. Extremely vast and residential, this part of the municipality is not all that lively (rather like our monarchy… oopsy!).
On Boulevard Anspach, you will come across anything and everything. It is akin to the epicentre of the city and was pedestrianised a few years ago, leading directly from the Gare du Nord to the Gare du Midi. Snack bars, on-the-go restaurants, record shops, fast food... The LGBTQ district is located around Place Saint-Géry, which has bar upon bar with enormous terraces.
With the Rue de Flandre, this district brings together the crème de la crème when it comes to fashion and design. Highly frequented by Dutch speakers, Dansaert is a very very cool area. Just beyond it you will find a nice square with a large fountain. Famous for its seafood restaurants, Place Sainte-Catherine undergoes a transformation at night and welcomes groups of young people enjoying some pre-party drinks by the water’s edge. Atmosphere guaranteed.
A major shopping location for the big chain stores, Rue Neuve and its City 2 shopping centre really attract a lot of people. You will find everything you are looking for in the midst of the crowds. The shopping street leads you to the Nord district, close to the station of the same name. There, the office buildings reach to the sky and new tower blocks of modern apartments are attracting an increasing number of young professionals.
Welcome to the “high town”, as we say here. Chic and trendy, this district has a large number of high-end antique dealerships, art galleries and fine chocolate shops. The view over all of Brussels from Place Poelart is well worth a look. Giant open air events are often held there in front of the famous Palais de Justice, which is serving a life sentence of renovation works (it’s a bit of a running gag). There, you take the outdoor public elevator which will take you a few metres lower, right into Les Marolles.
The district of Marolles resembles a village, with its steep alleys. It is here that you will find the true Brussels spirit, with a rich social diversity and everything you need for a relaxing day out. Deco boutiques, second-hand stores, fast food outlets and small restaurants… But what has made it famous is its flea market at Le Jeu de Balle, which covers the square with “brols” of all kinds.
Located in the east, the squares quarter is deserving of its name. A large number of verdant squares make life here peaceful, just a stone's throw away from the European institutions. Square Ambiorix, Square Marguerite, Square Marie-Louise... so many places that can boast beautiful Brussels houses, grouped around a park or lake. It is in this strategically located sector that you can find our IKOAB housing units.
Where are our homes