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Brussels Hotels

Art Nouveau buildings, comic book art, and the world’s best beer all attract plenty of people to Brussels each year. Despite the city’s reputation for being expensive, it’s easy to find plenty of cheap hotels.

The capital of Belgium, and the European Union, Brussels is a major destination for business and leisure travellers alike. Diplomats mill around The European Parliament and NATO buildings, while tourists sample chocolate and admire the pretty buildings around the Grand Place.

The city is bilingual with 80% of the population speaking French, and the other 20% speaking the local Dutch dialect of Flemish. Every street in Brussels has two names, some of which sound completely different, so bear this in mind if you need to ask for directions.

Brussels is a massive city with a population of over one million people. There are plenty of great things to see and do, and places to discover. When you’re looking for hotels in Brussels, it’s worth considering the following neighbourhoods.

City Centre

Most of the major sights and hotels in Brussels are concentrated around the city centre, particularly around the Grand Place with its quaint buildings and delicious waffle carts. You can’t visit Brussels without stopping by the city’s most famous landmark, the Manneken Pis: a small bronze fountain shaped like a toddler. Sample the famous Belgian beer at Place St Gery, go window shopping on the elite Rue Antoine Dansaerte, or simply go snap happy in the most photogenic part of town.

Ixelles

Once a town in its own right, the pretty district of Ixelles is now one of Brussels most multi cultural neighbourhoods. It’s split in two by Avenue Louise (technically part of Brussels city), and is home to a good selection of hotels. The neighbourhood is known for its independent boutique shops, where you can pick up unique crafts. You can sample African style street food on the pedestrianised Rue Longue-Vie, relax on a sunny day in Tenbosch Park, and visit the UNESCO word heritage buildings designed by Victor Horta.

Sint-Gilles

Known for its artsy and bohemian atmosphere, Saint-Gilles is locally known as the “village in the city”. There are plenty of cultural events, with flea markets and antique fairs throughout the year. There are lots of hotels around Chaussée de Charleroi, while Parvis de St-Gilles is where you can find the epicentre of the city’s art scene. Once a year the area holds an open day for local artists, a Portuguese festival, and a wine growers festival.

Avenue Louise

There are plenty of big name hotels located along this massive chestnut lined street, which has its own colourful history. When the street was built, there was some resistance from Ixelles: which the road cuts through. During World War II the Gestapo claimed a series of buildings along the street as their headquarters, which were then attacked by a Belgian member of the British RAF. A monument to the pilot stands outside the building in question today. Nowadays the street is home to high-end boutiques, restaurants, and office blocks.

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Images by Flickr/Christian Stock