Where to Stay in Brussels: 7 Best Areas & Hotels

Brussels needs no introduction as one of Europe’s most prominent cities. It is the capital of Belgium, as well as the Flemish capital, and also the home of the European Union’s parliament.

But where to stay in Brussels? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll tell you about the best areas in the city and recommend some excellent hotel options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Whether you want to be close to the main attractions, nightlife, some awesome restaurants, or looking for a little bit of luxury, read on and discover the best places to stay in Brussels.

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

Overview of Where to Stay in Brussels

Brussels is something of a sprawling city covering 32 square kilometers (12.5 square miles), but it has excellent transport links making it a piece of cake to get around. There is a subway system with four lines connecting much of the city, and buses, trams, and taxis are plentiful.

There are 19 municipalities in the Brussels-Capital region, but if you’re not sure about the best area to stay in Brussels, then worry not, as I’ve got you covered! From the vibrant city center to hip Ixelles, upmarket Sablon, or laid-back Saint Giles, there is something for everyone.

Below you’ll learn about seven of the best locations to stay in Brussels, each offering something unique, from top tourist attractions, museums, and galleries to lively markets, city parks, and stunning architecture.

AreaRecommended Hotel
City Center (first-timers, sightseeing, central location, shopping, nightlife)Hotel Hubert Grand Place
Sablon and Marolles ( museums, atmosphere, luxury stays)NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon
Ixelles (central location, architecture, nightlife)Hygge Hotel
European Quarter (history lovers, architecture)NH Brussels EU Berlaymont
Saint Giles (budget-friendly, food and drink, atmosphere)Hotel Made In Louise
Gare du Midi (transport links, central location)Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi
Saint-Josse-ten-Noode (culture, architecture)nhow Brussels Bloom

Best Areas to Stay in Brussels

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1. Brussels City Center

The city center is definitely the best area to stay in Brussels if it’s your first time here and you want to really get a feel for this charming European capital.

The center is easy to navigate on foot, and one of the best ways to start is to take a walking tour to acquaint yourself with Brussels (this 2.5-hour tour includes tasting some local treats too).

You’ll be perfectly situated to enjoy some of Brussels’ most incredible sights, like the enormous Grand Place city square, which is surrounded by gorgeous 14th and 15th-century buildings.

Look out for the impressive, gothic town hall and the equally stunning Maison du Renard Palace that looms over the square.

Be sure to pop into one of the cafes or patisseries to sample some of Belgium’s famous chocolate (trust me, it’s good), or a Belgian waffle (Maison Dandoy is one of the best places to try waffles, and they have locations across the city center).

One of the city’s most iconic symbols is the Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a small boy urinating into the fountain. During festivals, the boy is dressed in different costumes, and it’s a must-see for first-time visitors.

If you want to know where to stay in Brussels for some of the best restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can find anything from street snacks to Michelin-starred meals, then you can’t go wrong with the city center.

Belgium is also famous for its excellent beers, so be sure to stop for a pint to quench your thirst while checking out the sights. 

Pros and cons of staying in Brussels City Center


  • The most central district in Brussels
  • Lots of excellent attractions nearby
  • Some of the best shopping, nightlife, and dining options


  • Pricier than less central neighborhoods
  • Can be busy/noisy, especially at weekends

Best places to stay in Brussels City Center

Radisson Collection Grand Place Brussels
Photo credit: Radisson Collection Grand Place Brussels

LUXURY – Radisson Collection Grand Place Brussels

The newly-refurbished 5-star Radisson Collection Grand Place Brussels offers a luxurious stay in the heart of Brussels just five minutes walk from the Grand Place. Rooms feature city views and grand marble bathrooms, and there is an onsite fitness center, bar, and two restaurants.

Hotel Hubert Grand Place
Photo credit: Hotel Hubert Grand Place

MID-RANGE – Hotel Hubert Grand Place

The beautiful 4-star Hotel Hubert Grand Place is just 200 meters from the railway station and 300 meters from the Museum of the City of Brussels. Rooms come with an ensuite and specially selected toiletries, and there is a restaurant, bar and even a food truck in the lobby.

Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry
Photo credit: Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry

BUDGET – Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry

The 3-star Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry is the best place to stay in Brussels if you want to combine a fantastic location 350 meters from the Grand Place with spacious, modern and comfortable rooms, and a price that won’t break the bank.

2. Sablon & Marolles

Sablon is an upmarket area just south of the city center and home of the gothic-baroque Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon church. If you’re looking for a central location amongst the charming cobbled streets in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods, then this is definitely the best place to stay in Brussels.

The area is home to many of the city’s most prestigious chocolatiers, so if you’re a bit of a chocoholic like me, then you’ll want to stay somewhere where the wafts of rich chocolate permeate the air.

Pop into the Belgian Chocolate Makers or Pierre Marcolini for the ultimate in indulgence, or better yet, take a Belgian chocolate-making class (with tasting of course – go on, you know you want to!).

Other nearby attractions include the Parc d’Egmont with its historic buildings and statues and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, or the equally charming Place du Petit Sablon gardens.

Sablon sits adjacent to the hip Marolles suburb (also known locally as Marollen) to the west, and this is home to boutique shops, trendy bars, and some of the best techno clubs in Europe.

There are some fantastic restaurants here, including Au Stekerlapatte, Le Petite Lion pub, and the amusingly named Judgy Vegan. You’ll certainly not go hungry (or thirsty) if you choose to stay in Sablon or Marolles, and personally, these are two of my favorite areas to stay.

Pros and cons of staying in Sablon & Marolles


  • Central location with great public transport links
  • Excellent restaurants nearby
  • Quiet and upmarket area


  • One of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brussels

Best places to stay in Sablon & Marolles

The Hotel Brussels
Photo credit: The Hotel Brussels

LUXURY – The Hotel Brussels

The Hotel Brussels offers 4-star accommodation in the heart of the city and just 200 meters from the nearest metro. The hotel is set within one of the tallest buildings in Brussels and the rooms come with sweeping panoramic views of the city skyline.

NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon
Photo credit: NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon

MID-RANGE – NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon

The 4-star NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon is perfectly situated on Grand Sablon Square, close to many boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, and just 400 meters from the central station. Rooms come with free WiFi, an ensuite with complimentary toiletries, and you can tuck into an American-style breakfast each morning.

Hotel Chambord
Photo credit: Hotel Chambord

BUDGET – Hotel Chambord

Hotel Chambord is a charming 3-star art deco hotel close to all the amenities of Sablon and Marolles with lots of excellent dining options nearby. The tastefully decorated rooms come with an en-suite bathroom, free WiFi and there is onsite parking and an American-style buffet breakfast is included in the price.

3. Ixelles

Trendy Ixelles (Elsene in Flemish) is one of the best areas to stay in Brussels if you’re looking for a truly cosmopolitan and diverse area of the city that’s packed with fun things to see and do, top restaurants, and secluded city parks.

Ixelles covers quite a large area. It was once a separate municipality from Brussels but has long since been swallowed up by the ever-expanding city. It’s also not really considered a tourist area as such, so you’ll get to see an authentic side to the city with people going about their daily lives.  

This quirky neighborhood is typified by 19th-century Art Nouveau architecture. Here you’ll find the UNESCO-listed townhouses of Belgian architect Victor Horta and the Musee Horta, a museum in his former home.

The leafy streets of Ixelles are packed with exclusive restaurants and boutique shops selling everything from haute couture to antiques, second-hand books, artisanal foods, and much more. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or gift, head to Avenue Louise in the heart of Ixelles.

This suburb is also home to some beautiful parks, such as the forested Bois de la Cambre, which features beautifully decorated 19th-century buildings, a lake, an island, and plenty of space for walking and picnicking.

If you’re looking for evening entertainment, check out the Flagey Cultural Center, which hosts many events throughout the year, from classical and jazz concerts to contemporary films, plays, festivals, and more. The Art Deco Cafe Belga on the first floor is also well worth stopping by!

Pros and cons of staying in Ixelles


  • Stunning Art Nouveau architecture 
  • Excellent dining and shopping options


  • The suburb is spread out over a large area

Best places to stay in Ixelles

Le Louise Hotel Brussels - MGallery
Photo credit: Le Louise Hotel Brussels – MGallery

LUXURY – Le Louise Hotel Brussels – MGallery

If you’re looking for where to stay in Brussels for some serious pampering, then the 5-star Le Louise Hotel Brussels – MGallery is the place for you. Located just a few steps from the Avenue Louise metro stop, this palatial hotel offers elegant rooms with a nod to the Art Deco style that permeates this part of Brussels.

Hygge Hote
Photo credit: Hygge Hote

MID-RANGE – Hygge Hote

The 3-star Hygge Hotel is located in Ixelles, a short distance from Avenue Louise, with plenty of excellent bars and restaurants nearby. Rooms come with an en-suite bathroom, a desk, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a buffet breakfast is offered each morning.

Beverly Hills Hotel
Photo credit: Beverly Hills Hotel

BUDGET – Beverly Hills Hotel

Contrary to its name, the family-run Beverly Hills Hotel is definitely located in Ixelles and not LA, and is just a two-minute walk from Avenue Louise. The comfortable and modern rooms have free WiFi, a private bathroom, and a flat-screen TV.

4. European Quarter

When you see pictures of Brussels on the news with its shiny skyscrapers, large mansions, and green parks, this is the European Quarter and where many of the EU offices are located.

In years gone by, this area was considered a little plain and faceless, but city planners have set about adding a softer touch to this business district in the form of new shops, squares, and pedestrian areas.

The European Quarter is home to some of the top museums in Brussels, including the Museum of Natural Sciences (well worth a visit), the Royal Museums of Art and History, and the Military Museum.

One thing most don’t know is that it’s actually possible to sit in on certain parliamentary sessions at the EU, and if you have an interest in politics and European history, then be sure to check out the Parlamentarium, the House of European History and Experience Europe.

As you’d expect from a place that hosts world leaders and other dignitaries, there’s no shortage of fine dining establishments if you’re looking for somewhere special to dine (it’s not all Michelin stars, and there are plenty of budget-friendly options too).

If you want to escape the suits and bureaucracy for a moment, head to the beautiful Leopold Park, an oasis of tranquility hidden beneath the towering skyscrapers (look out for the 15th-century tower).

Pros and cons of staying in the European Quarter


  • Modern, clean, and safe area
  • Lots of excellent museums nearby


  • Lacks the character of older Brussels suburbs

Best places to stay in the European Quarter

Sofitel Brussels Europe
Photo credit: Sofitel Brussels Europe

LUXURY – Sofitel Brussels Europe

The 5-star Sofitel Brussels Europe is located in the heart of the European Quarter and an easy walk from some of Europe’s largest institutions (it’s also just 4 stops on the metro from the old town). The elegant rooms have a luxury rain shower, coffee maker, free WiFi, and a rooftop bar with views over Leopold Park. 

NH Brussels EU Berlaymont
Photo credit: NH Brussels EU Berlaymont

MID-RANGE – NH Brussels EU Berlaymont

The 4-star NH Brussels EU Berlaymont offers spacious and bright rooms just a 5-minute walk from the European Commission and the nearest subway stop. The designer rooms come with a private bathroom, complimentary toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, and free WiFi.

Aparthotel Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel
Photo credit: Aparthotel Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel

BUDGET – Aparthotel Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel

Aparthotel Adagio Access Bruxelles Europe Aparthotel has a range of suites in the center of Brussels’ European district that offer excellent value for money. The studios come with a seating area, a private bathroom with a bath or shower, and a small kitchenette for self-catering.

5. Saint Gilles

The residential suburb of Saint-Giles sits directly to the west of Ixelles and just to the south of the city center, so if you’re looking for where to stay in Brussels with a fantastic location close to many of the city’s top attractions, Saint-Giles is an excellent choice.

Like neighboring Ixelles, the area is famed for its Art Nouveau buildings, independent galleries, and boutique shops, though the area is a little quieter, which is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere to unwind.

There’s plenty to see and do in Saint-Giles, and one of the area’s top attractions is the Porte de Hal, a 14th-century fortified city gate with stunning views of the city from the ancient battlements.

Marvel at the gorgeous, brightly-colored houses that line the wide streets of Saint-Giles, or sip coffee and indulge in a Belgian waffle from one of the many streetside cafes that can be found in the area.

Every Sunday, there is a huge market (one of the largest in Europe in fact) at the South Railway Station, selling everything from artisan foods to local beers, plants, handicrafts, and much more.

If you’re a beer-lover, you’ll not want to miss a visit to the Cantillon Brewery (Cantillon is one of the best Belgian beers there is), where you can learn about the history and take a brewery tour.

Pros and cons of staying in Saint Gilles


  • Peaceful neighborhood but still central
  • Easy to explore on foot


  • Lacks the character of older Brussels suburbs

Best places to stay in Saint Gilles

Hotel Manos Premier
Photo credit: Hotel Manos Premier

LUXURY – Hotel Manos Premier

If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation during your stay in Brussels, then the 4-star Hotel Manos Premier is the place for you. With a central location not far from Avenue Louise, the hotel offers a spa and wellness center with a sauna, steam room, and hot tub perfect for unwinding after a day’s sightseeing.

Hotel Made In Louise
Photo credit: Hotel Made In Louise

MID-RANGE – Hotel Made In Louise

The 3-star Hotel Made In Louise is just a couple of minute’s walk from Louise metro station and close to lots of shops and restaurants. Rooms come with a private bathroom and walk-in rain shower, and some come with courtyard views.

Catalonia Brussels
Photo credit: Catalonia Brussels

BUDGET – Catalonia Brussels

The 4-star Catalonia Brussels offers unbeatable value for its exceptional service. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, and the sumptuous rooms come with wood furnishings and local artwork.

6. Gare du Midi

If you’re looking for the best location to stay in Brussels with fantastic transport links, then the area around Gare du Midi (Brussels’ main railway station) is the place to be.

If you plan on doing a few day trips to nearby towns, then Gare du Midi is an excellent option. It’s just a 54-minute train journey from here to the gorgeous city of Bruges, which is well worth a day trip and one of my favorite places in Belgium.

Gare du Midi is also a major stop on the Eurostar, so if you plan on coming from or going to the UK, this is the perfect place to stay for easy access to your train.

The area is super central, and the neighborhoods of Saint-Giles, Ixelles, Sablon, and the city center are all within easy walking distance. The Porte de Hal museum is just across the way, and there are lots of great eateries nearby.

There are some great places to eat and drink around the station, and one of the hidden gems is the Antartique seafood restaurant. Choose your own seafood from the counter and then have it cooked to order.

Do be aware that as with most areas around large train stations across Europe (Rome Termini springs to mind), Gare du Midi can feel a little seedy after dark, and it pays to stick to well-lit areas and keep an eye on your belongings.

Pros and cons of staying in Gare du Midi


  • Super central location
  • Excellent transport links


  • A little run down compared to other areas
  • Not as safe as more residential neighborhoods

Best places to stay in Gare du Midi

Pullman Brussels Centre Midi
Photo credit: Pullman Brussels Centre Midi

LUXURY – Pullman Brussels Centre Midi

The 4-star Pullman Brussels Centre Midi is located on Victor Horta Square right in front of Gare du Midi, so is the perfect place if you will be arriving or departing by train. Rooms come with a private bathroom with a rain shower and free WiFi, and the Pullman has an onsite restaurant and fitness center with a spa and sauna.

Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi
Photo credit: Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi

MID-RANGE – Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi

Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi is an elegant 4-star hotel five minutes walk from the station. The spacious and airy rooms come with an en-suite bathroom and complimentary toiletries, a seating area, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and WiFi throughout.

ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi
Photo credit: ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi

BUDGET – ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi

Ibis hotels are known for their great value for money, and the ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Gare du Midi is no exception. The 3-star hotel has a central location and offers comfortable, modern rooms. There’s an onsite bistro and a bar that specializes in Belgian beers (another reason to love this hotel).

7. Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is the smallest municipality in Brussels and is located in the northeast of the city, not far from Marolles and about a 10 to 15-minute walk from the center.

It’s one of the city’s most diverse areas but doesn’t get the same love as the more popular neighborhoods of Sablon, Marolles, and Ixelles, though you should definitely pay it a visit for its pleasant streets and city parks.

If you’re a fan of the arts and music Saint-Joose is a real treat with its Théâtre Le Public for the performing arts and the groovy Jazz Station.

Other points of interest include the Jardin Botanique de Bruxelles, where you can escape for a little slice of tranquility in the beautiful gardens that date back to the 1800s.

You’ll also find some of the most authentic buildings in this part of the city compared to the shiny offices in the European district. It’s a great place to walk and soak in the historic surroundings.

If you’re feeling peckish, be sure to stop by the Frites Van across from the baroque L’église Saint-Josse church for some proper Belgian fries (and remember, mayonnaise is the preferred condiment here and not ketchup – trust me, it’s amazing).

Pros and cons of staying in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode


  • Rich culture
  • Good transport links


  • A little far from the center
  • Underdeveloped

Best places to stay in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

DoubleTree By Hilton Brussels City
Photo credit: DoubleTree By Hilton Brussels City

LUXURY – DoubleTree By Hilton Brussels City

Double Tree is another of my go-to choices when feeling flush, and the DoubleTree By Hilton Brussels City is the perfect place to stay in Saint-Joose. This 4-star eco-hotel boasts an art deco style and rooms with parquet floors, a blackout curtain, and a smart TV. There’s also a wellness center and onsite restaurant. 

nhow Brussels Bloom
Photo credit: nhow Brussels Bloom

MID-RANGE – nhow Brussels Bloom

The 4-star nhow Brussels Bloom has beautifully decorated, spacious rooms with a minimalist feel, stylish bathrooms with walk-in showers and a workspace with ergonomic chairs, perfect for digital nomads. A buffet or full-cooked breakfast is available, and the breakfast room also has a special waffle trailer.

Hotel City Center
Photo credit: Hotel City Center

BUDGET – Hotel City Center

The 2-star Hotel City Center has a range of simple yet comfortable rooms that blend style and functionality with a great price. Rooms are fitted with hardwood parquet floors, have a private bathroom and flatscreen TV with satellite channels.

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