Bubbling districts in Brussels

The Sablon, a green village downtown

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The Sablon is definitely one of the most attractive areas in the heart of Brussels, renowned for its more than a hundred antique shops and exotic art galleries, an open air antique market during the weekends, renowned restaurants, trendy cafés and chocolate shops.

A magnificent gothic church, “Our Lady of the Sablon” commonly called the “Sablon church” stands in the middle of two squares separated by the “Rue de la Régence” where the Museum of Ancient Arts, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Great Synagogue are located. The church contains many treasures and also two monumental baroque chapels by the Princes of Thurn und Taxis. It is renowned for its stained glass windows. Paul Claudel, once ambassador in Brussels, used to pray there every day.

Uphill, the charming garden of the “Petit Sablon” surrounded by a wrought-iron fence decorated with some 48 little statues representing medieval guilds. In the centre, above a melodious fountain stands the statue of the Counts of Egmont and Hornes both beheaded in the 16th century.

Downhill, the square of the Grand Sablon, planted with trees and surrounded by antique shops, chocolate manufacturers, renowned restaurants and trendy cafés. Terraces offer a charming view on both the monumental fountain offered by Lord Thomas Bruce who was ex-iled in Brussels and on the church. You feel like you are in the middle of a village.

 

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The bubbling Flagey area

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Place Flagey, a place not to be missed, in the municipality of Ixelles, where life is in full swing. You must take a walk there and then return to fall under its charm.
L’Eglise Sainte Croix (the Sainte Croix church) and the weekend market gives an impression of a quiet place.
To sit and have a drink inside as well as outside the Belga café, housed in the old radio building, today a hyper dynamic cultural centre, is a must.
From there, you have before you the magnificent ponds and also, when the weather is good, many fountains which spring from the ground and where children happily splash.
And above all, don’t forget the “fritkot”..(a place where you can buy French fries)..
The neighbouring streets will delight your taste buds and the workshop of the artist, a famous international painter, Isabelle de Borchgrave, Avenue de la Couronne, is highly recommended along the way.

The trendies Louise and Toison d'Or areas

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From Avenue Louise to Boulevard de Waterloo, passing by Avenue de la Toison d’Or

The magnificent avenue which goes from Bois de la Cambre to the Place Stéphanie brings numerous delux « tendance » boutiques together with an upmarket atmosphere and different styles.(don’t miss the facades of the Solvay Hotel, in the Horta style, and Hotel Max Halet, in the art nouveau style). Before reaching Boulevard de Waterloo, also very elegant, pass by the very enjoyable Toison d’Or with its galleries, cinemas, and its many more accessible boutiques.  If you want to leave the “upper part of town”, the rue de Namur will lead you to  “downtown”. Through the very beautiful arcade, you will discover the magnificent place Royale.

 

The Marolles : the whole Brussels

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If you are tempted by a shopping or cultural outing, or gastronomy in the unconventional quarter of Brussels « Les Marolles », we are giving you a preview below.  Don’t miss a visit to one of the most prestigious Brussels’ shops AU BON REPOS, it’s the best starting point.

The quarter called « Les Marolles » is very popular and is typically Brussels’.  For a long time it housed a disadvantaged and diverse population. Today, it is still the case; in this area there is still a particularly friendly atmosphere.

You’ll find in the course of your walks, breweries, restaurants and many art galleries and also eight mural frescos of comic strips.

In the beautiful church of Notre-Dame de la Chapelle which dates from the 13th century, you can admire the tomb of Pierre Bruegel the Elder. Website
The Brigittines chapel, cultural centre, will certainly interest you with one of their many artistic projects.
Website

Rue Blaes and Rue Haute and their antique and vintage shops, are the nerve centre of the Marolles. They are surrounded by social housing of the “cité Hellemans”, a perfect example of the Art Nouveau style and still intact.

The daily flea market in Place du Jeu de Balle is a real cave of Alibaba, where one can still negotiate the prices, to the hall of Pin Pon (old fire station) which is nearby, and is very pleasant to have a drink there and visit the galleries.

A little further on, you will find the bio market of the Atelier des Tanneurs, the station of la Chapelle which, for a while, welcomed the “Recyclart” association, the Brussels baths which house a swimming pool open for everyone and still today provides public showers.

To return to the centre of the city, a glass elevator takes you immediately to la Place Poelaert where one finds the Palais de Justice.

Lots of things to discover…
 
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The youth of Parvis Saint Gilles

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One will not get bored at the Parvis Saint Gilles which has recently become entirely pedestrianised.  The life of this 

neighbourhood is organised around this charming place. There is something for everyone. Terraces, trendy unmissable cafés, the market, one of the oldest in the capital.  The bohemians, the real “Brusseleirs” meet there.  A very festive place, animated by a young and diverse population. It’s not to be missed in Brussels.  The adjacent streets, like the Avenue Jean Volder and its ramifications offer you amazing surprises. Take a look at the facades..

 

 

Matonge

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Matonge in Ixelles, is one of the few streets in Brussels with permanent streams of traffic. It’s the first step to Africa with African grocery shops, hairdressers, jewellers, fashion shops, handycrafts but also quite trendy restaurants. At the weekend, it is always full.

The Place du Châtelain

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Is where you go to see and be seen. It’s a trendy little village enclave in the heart of Brussels. Located between the Chaussée de Charleroi and the Chaussée de Waterloo and Avenue Louise, this fashionable spot has masses of bars and restaurants. On Wednesdays, from 2 pm to 8 pm, there is a fruit and vegetable market. There is nothing more cool than to go for a drink here. Outside, of course.

www.chatelain.be

Rue Neuve, the most frequented commercial thoroughfare in Belgium

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Rue Neuve is the most frequented commercial thoroughfare in the country with an average of 44000 persons passing it each day.. Rue Neuve houses the biggest international brands.  There is something for all and for all budgets, the Commercial Centre City 2 groups together all the shops where you will find everything you need.
Since October 2018 , it is in the process of redesign.
The work will last no more than two years.
But we are assured that the work will not affect the pedestrians and clients.
The lateral streets will also be redeveloped.
The work will be carried out in the spirit of continuity with the close historic centre.
Rest areas and a carefully designed lighting system will accentuate the feeling of security.
The work will be carried out in different phases.
It was about time !
Brussels, is gradually changing.



Dansaert made in fashion

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Dansaert made in Fashion

The rue Antoine Dansaert, previously obscure, was redeveloped with large avenues, bourgeois houses, private hotels and elegant appartment buildings. The Dansaert neighbourhood has thus evolved quite differently.

Today, Dansaert is a hyper-trendy and dynamic place where artistic creation is in full swing.  Stylists, designers, jewellers, milliners get together in this quarter to offer you unique items of high quality.   La Maison Internationale des littératures in Brussels, multilingual center, organises many events, meetings and workshops.

 

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