Welcome to Brussels
Pioneering laws on marriage and adoption for homosexuals have made Brussels one of Europe’s most gay-friendly capitals.
The gay scene here is true to Brussels: discreet, varied, welcoming. The whole region is cosmopolitan, free and easy and tolerant, likes to party and speak every language. It’s a city on a human scale, for walking around, making it easier to meet people. Brussels is famous for surrealism, museums and exhibitions, culture in all its guises and colourful events.
Brussels consists of ’quartiers’ or districts with different personalities, split into two main parts, the upper and lower part of town.
Lower part: near Grand’Place, quartier Saint Jacques with rue du Marché au Charbon is now the heart of gay life. Nearby quartier Dansaert is the fashion and design area, with well-known and up-and-coming designer boutiques. Sablon and Grand Place offer places to look around, have a drink on a café terrace, visit an art gallery or antiques shop. Rue Blaes and rue Haute from Sablon lead to the old working-class Marolles district, for bargain-hunting at the morning flea market or just strolling around.
The upper part, beyond the boulevards of ’la Petite Ceinture’, begins with boulevard de Waterloo and avenue Louise: famous shops and luxury-name stores in abundance. Further along, Matongué, the exhilarating and exotic African district, with Saint Boniface where life’s good among its cosy restaurants and cool shops.
South of avenue Louise, the hip quartier Châtelain lets its hair down on Wednesdays with markets and bars packed until late. This ’bobo’ district has great places to go, fashionable galleries and shops and is an essential part of la dolce vita in Brussels. Behind it, close to our beloved la Cambre woods, quartier Brugman is famous for expats and posh but desirable places to go. Multifaceted Brussels welcomes you with open arms. We hope your stay is memorable so you’ll come back and party here ’til dawn or just enjoy Brussels’ art de vivre.
• St Jacques and Grand Place: shops, bars and restaurants
• Rue du Marché-au Charbon: bars, restaurants, shops
Trendy quartier St Boniface
Very ’village-y’ places du Châtelain and Brugmann
Traditional working-class Marolles district
Chic and high-society: place du Grand Sablon
Cool and lively: St-Géry café terraces
Hip and musical: place Flagey concert halls and packed bars
Exotic, working-class: Matongué with Saint Boniface and its trendy places
Dansaert: fashion boutiques, designers’ studios
Louise: international label shops, up-market boutiques and luxury-name stores