Where to stay in Brussels? Let’s check some of the best areas in the Belgian capital, including the Grand Place and the European District of Brussels
This post explores the best places to stay in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, feature a cost of travel analysis of this Western European metropolis.
Brussels is the capital of Europe and an amazing multicultural city you should look forward to discovering. If taking a trip there in the near future is in your plans, then this guide is the perfect thing for you. Finding a great place to stay in the area that will best suit your adventures is one of the keys to a successful trip anywhere.
Brussels is famous for its food, its beer and its numerous museums. It is always a delight to wander in its streets and appreciate the murals scattered everywhere around the main square. You can stumble onto an Art Deco house as well, signature of the city.
Tourism in Brussels
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the biggest city of the country, with more than 1 million inhabitants. While strictly speaking, the town of Brussels is only a small portion of the larger Brussels-capital region, the latter is commonly referred to as Brussels in common language.
Brussels is also the capital of the European Union, as it hosts a large majority of its institutions, including the European Commission and the European Parliament. Other international organisations such as NATO have set up their headquarters in Brussels.
As a consequence, Brussels is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city, attracting citizens of Europe and beyond for a holiday or to settle down for good. Affordable prices combined with high living standards also contribute to the power of attraction of the capital.
For visitors, Brussels also has a lot to offer. It is famous among other things for its plethora of museums. They include the Belgian Comic Strip Center, the Magritte Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum or the Museum of Natural Sciences. The city also gained recognition as a foodie must-see, with specialties like Belgian fries, chocolate, waffles and beer.
Best Places to Stay in Brussels
The capital of Belgium offers an array of places to stay, from budget hostels to luxury palaces. Every one can find something to suit their taste and their budget in the capital of Europe! For tourism purposes, the best choice is to stay within the border of Brussels city. As it covers a rather small area, you will always be close to the sights and action, and almost everything will be accessible within walking distance. If you are getting a little tired though, Brussels offers an extensive and efficient network of buses, trams and subway.
Around the Grand Place
The Grand Place, or main square in English, is the incontestable center of the action and probably the best place to stay in Brussels. There you can find a lot of good restaurants, bars, and sights. The latter include the Mannenken Pis, the famous little peeing statue, and its less famous female counterpart the Janneke Pis. The Mont des Arts offers a view point on the city, and the Place Royale, is the center point of the museum area. The old town is also located in this neighbourhood.
If you are into nightlife, you will also have a large choice of drinking spots and nightclubs in this area. The Delirium Café, for example, is just a stone throw away from the Grand Place (facing the Janneke Pis). It has a choice of over 2,000 beers from Belgium and the world. If you are in for a beer tasting, you might want to spend a few hours there!
You can then go back to your hotel by foot or, if you are too tired, with a short taxi ride. Taxis in Brussels are relatively affordable, especially if you travel with other people.
The European quarter (or European District) is a bit farther away from the main historic sights of the city. Still, it is the perfect spot for business travellers and tourists to stay in Brussels.
Of course, you will be very close to all the European Institutions, some of which you can visit. We highly recommend that. There you can find great hotels at attractive rates, especially during the weekends or the summer holidays of July and August, when there is not much going on in all the business offices.
The area is also close to the Parc du Cinquantenaire, where you can find many music performances during the summer. The park is as well a perfect spot for a picnic on a sunny day, or to share a Belgian beer with friends during a warm summer evening.
Last but not least, the European neighbourhood connects very well to the rest of the city thanks to a dense network of buses, trams, subway and trains.
Budget Accommodation in Brussels – €
Chez toi in Bruxelles – a charming hostel in the Koekelberg district of Brussels, with easy metro access.
Hotel La Vieille Lanterne – a budget hotel in one of the best places to stay in Brussels, close to the Manneken Pis and the Grand Place.
Reasonably Priced Accommodation in Brussels – €€
Hotel La Legende – an affordable hotel in one of the best areas to stay in Brussels, close to the Manneken Pis.
Hotel Agora Brussels Grand Place – a reasonably priced wonderful hotel close to the Grand Place in Brussels.
Luxurious Hotels in Brussels – €€€
Stanhope Hotel – a great luxurious hotel in the European Quarter.
Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo – an excellent hotel in a traditional area of Brussels, close the Grand Place.
Cost of Travel in Brussels
Compared to other big Western Europe capitals, Brussels remains very affordable for the traveler. Many of the main sights, excluding museums, are free, making the city a great choice for budget travellers.
In terms of hotels, all prices are available, from cheap hostels (around 20€ for a night) to more luxurious hotels. Food and beer are also very cheap compared to Paris or London.
Overall, a budget of 100€ per person for a weekend break in the Belgian capital is enough, including accommodation and food. To use public transportation, you will have to purchase a MOBIB card for a one-time fee of 5€, which you can top-up as you go. Day tickets are available for 7.5€ and a single journey, valid for one hour, costs 2.1€.
Brussels is well connected by trains and flights to the rest of Europe and the world. Low-cost flights from airlines such as Easy Jet, Ryanair or Wizz Air leave from the Brussels Charleroi airport, located further away from the city but linked by bus, train and shuttle.
Best Months to Visit Brussels
It is best to visit the Belgian capital during summer, as the weather will be warmer and sunnier. Belgium can be quite rainy so do not expect a tropical holiday. However, the months of June, July, August and September are usually drier and sunnier than the rest of the year.
The Belgian national day is celebrated on July 2. Make that your date if you want to spot the king parading in the streets of Brussels.