The 5 best neighbourhoods Brussels

PARVIS DE SAINT-GILLES

Metro: Porte de Hal

An authentic neighbourhood with a lively street market, a church, good corner shops and a sublime derelict cinema called Aegidius. Take a look at the faded art nouveau houses in Rue Vanderschrick and end with a coffee in Brasserie Verschueren or La Maison du Peuple.

SAINT-GÉRY

Metro: Sainte-Catherine

Place Saint-Géry used to be a quiet abandoned square with a derelict 19th century meat market. The quarter was renovated in the Nineties and is now packed with cool bars and little Asian restaurants.

MATONGÉ

Metro: Porte de Namur

The Matongé quarter, named after a district of Kinshasa, occupies a few blocks close to the Porte de Namur in Ixelles. This once bourgeois neighbourhood is now dotted with Congolese hairdressers, phone shops and bars that spill onto the streets in the summer.

FLAGEY

Bus 71 to Flagey

This large square stands on the site of a lake. It is dominated by Flagey, a vibrant arts centre in a former radio broadcasting building. The square has a large Portuguese community, while nearby Rue Malibran is a lively Moroccan street. With its mix of artists, foreigners and older Belgians, Flagey is as multicultural as it gets.

MAROLLES

Metro: Porte de Hal

The old working class district of Brussels is slowly gentrifying, but it is still an area where life is hard. You see smart antique shops and cool coffee bars on Rue Haute, but also a hospital for the poor and one of Europe’s last authentic flea markets.

part of 80 places to discover Brussels

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels