Four Brussels Neighborhoods You’ll Love

Bethany Mulcahy is a student at Virginia Commonweath University. She studied abroad with ISA in Brussels, Belgium.

When you think of Brussels, you probably think of Grand Place.

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I can’t deny that Grand Place is beautiful, but it’s the biggest tourist trap of the city. If you want to get the local Belgian experience, you’ve gotta make your way through my favorite neighborhoods of Brussels.


  1. Marolles

The Marolles is an old, multicultural neighborhood in Brussels, right next to the Palace of Justine, the law courts of the city. At first it may not seem like much, but once you explore you’ll find it to be a popular and trendy area.


Why You’ll Love It: If you’re a fan of thrifting, you should spend some time in Marolles. The neighborhood is full of antique shops and it hosts a flea market everyday in the Place du Jeu de Balle. If you’re on the hunt for some vintage treasures, you’ll find plenty of jewelry, vinyl and racks of fur coats to choose from.


  1. Grand Sablon

Sablon 1Sitting in the historic upper town of Brussels, the Grand Sablon is a neighborhood full of small businesses–mainly chocolate shops and cafes, yum!

Sablon 2Why You’ll Love It: If you’re a fan of history or architecture this neighborhood is a do not miss. Here you’ll run into gothic churches that are hidden within the cobblestone streets. There’s also the Parc du Petit Sablon, which is the perfect setting for some peace and quiet.


  1. Châteain-Bailli

Chatelain1The streets of this neighborhood are always busy- it’s a hip area with plenty of local restaurants and the cutest boutiques. If you have a few hours, I highly suggest it.

Chatelain 2 Chatelain 3

Why You’ll Love It: What sets this neighborhood apart is that every Wednesday, without fail, the market in Place du Châtelain is open for business. Seriously, rain or shine (I know, because I’ve been caught in the rain there a few times myself).


  1. Flagey

Now I may be biased because I live close by, but Flagey has got to be the best neighborhood in all of Brussels. It has a large open square which hosts a farmers market every Saturday and Sunday morning, and every other day of the week you’ll find it bustling with Belgian locals playing soccer, or enjoying some frites from the best frites stand around.

flagey 3 flagey 4Why You’ll Love it: There’s a park! Which, is pretty difficult to find in a city. There are two lakes and plenty of ducks, geese and swans that take your mind away from the city, even if only for 30 minutes. On a nice day, you can grab some frites (see my post about that here!) or ice cream from the square and sit near the lake and enjoy the sunshine. Perfection!



The world awaits… discover it.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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