This page will be the starting point for the discovery of the enormous diversity of Brussels neighbourhoods.
As from June 2017, several Do-it-yourself-walks will be at your disposal to help you diving into the various Brussels neighbourhoods and to enjoy them to your heart's delight.
Attention will be paid to the district specific ambience, insights into the neighbourhood policies, some heritage and history, culinary and lifestyle top addresses, certain habits of residents, anecdotes, urban legends...
In the meantime, here is a short description of each and one of them:
The Sablon and the Marolles
The Sablon and the Marolles appear to be two extremes: on the one hand a chic and affluent neighbourhood, and on the other a working class neighbourhood, authentic and a little rough around the edges. Yet both imperceptibly overlap and influence each other.
Saint-Gilles has always been known as the home of the Brussels sprout. However, that doesn’t mean that the vegetable’s characteristic smell fills the Saint-Gilles air. Saint-Gilles in one of the region’s most attractive municipalities. It’s a neighbourhood of contrast where smart and working-class areas, inhabitants of various origins, trendy cafés and artist communities mix seamlessly.
Vieux-Molenbeek (Molenbeek’s Old Town) is located very close to the centre of Brussels. 100 years ago, industry flourished in the neighbourhood, but then the neighbourhood experienced a period of rapid decline. Having said that, things are slowly starting to change for the better.
Ixelles ponds, Flagey, Malibran
The route that goes from the Ixelles ponds to rue Malibran via place Flagey takes walkers through what look like whole other worlds. It’s not far, but there are notable differences between each neighbourhood.
Although few Africans actually live in Matongé, next to the Porte de Namur, there’s no other place in Brussels where you will come across such a huge concentration of African activities. Brussels’ African diaspora comes here to look and be seen.
Jette deserves its place amongst Brussels’ little secrets. The municipality attracts a young and diverse population looking for a good quality of life in the city. They want a pleasant setting, schools and jobs nearby, and a bit of greenery.
Auderghem is a haven for expats who are looking for a bit of nature. A walk through Auderghem takes you back to a time of cloisters and abbeys, old villages and laundries in their hundreds.
Saint-Josse and its squares
Though small, Saint-Josse is incredibly diverse. 153 nationalities and 60 dialects can be found in the municipality. The European Institutions are just a stone’s throw away.
Place Colignon, Louis Bertrand and Josaphat
The centre of Schaerbeek stands out thanks to the grandeur of its urban landscapes, its splendid Neo and Art Nouveau-style buildings and the wonderful Josaphat Park.
Uccle is often referred to as a French enclave. It is indeed a favourite spot for our neighbours from over the border to lay their hats. Maybe it’s the subtle blend of the city and the countryside that makes the municipality so attractive.
The Bailli and Châtelain neighbourhood
Nowhere in Brussels will you find as many expats from the pre-2004 enlargement countries of the EU than in the Châtelain neighbourhood. The heritage is fantastic, and the area is bursting with restaurants and cafés. There is a large concentration of small, yet delightful shops that sell the most incredibly diverse range of products. There is also an abundance of art galleries in the area.
Tour & Taxis and Laeken
The development of the enormous site at Tour & Taxis by the port serves up some wonderful possibilities for the area. It also offers a brand new link between the city centre and the Royal suburb of Laeken.
The centre of Anderlecht
What began life in the middle ages as a collegiate church on top of a hillock, grew during the 19th century into a dynamic industrial town. Today Anderlecht is a captivating Brussels municipality with a lot to offer if you’re looking for culture and gastronomy.
Cureghem is Anderlecht’s hidden gem. It used to be an industrial district sandwiched between Gare du Midi - Zuidstation (Brussels South Station) and the city’s canal. Today, countless cultural initiatives are blossoming in the area and aim, along with the ambitious Cureghem abattoir masterplan, to put the neighbourhood on the map as culinary centre of Brussels.
The European Quarter
Brussel has plans to create for vulnerable road users (cyclists, pedestrians,etc.) an attractive route from the city centre to the European quarter and on to Cinquantenaire park. However, even today before the project has been completed it is well worth travelling along the route. It takes you through a whole number of unexpected spots.