Where To Live In Brussels?
January 12, 2011 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Which areas in and around Brussels (in Belgium) would you recommend to live for a couple thinking of moving there for a year or so?
posted by Quillcards to Travel & Transportation around Brussels, Belgium (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bruges is very nice. Might be a bit too far though. But it is very nice.
posted by dougrayrankin at 11:42 AM on January 12, 2011

Ixelles in Brussels is very nice. Close to the Avenue Louise, the Bois de la Cambre, and assorted other attractions, plus centrally located on transit to the city center and the European District. Pricey, though.
posted by proj at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2011

Do you guys speak any French or Flemish? What's your budget and what are you looking for?

The area west of Anspach around Dansaertstraat has been really done over in the past ten years or so, I used to live there about seven years ago and now it's pretty snazzy and central - though it's still Brussels so the overwhelming smell of urine and shouting at night time is a thing... Just try not to speak too much French... The Flemish government has been putting a lot of money into the region and incentivizing Flemings to move there to keep their hold on the region.

Saint Josse isn't the nicest place in the world but it's still quite central and there are amazing apartments to be had for around 600€. Though be warned the locals might occasionally through things at you at night and will have the very occasional shoot out.

The area around Brussels south station is apparently undergoing an overhaul at the moment.

Ixelles is nice central and pricey, Etterbeek is a little bit further out of the way and more residential and isn't a bad overall place to live.

Though if you don't have to move Brussels or aren't working at any of the institutions don't...
posted by metsauce at 1:07 PM on January 12, 2011

Response by poster: @ Metsauce - thank you for the run down. Our budget would be say a max of 1,000€ but then we don't know what the other costs are (like Council tax, rates, water rates) that could dig into that.

I speak passable French and can handle Dutch (I mean Flemish) - my wife knows no Dutch (I mean Flemish) and no, we don't have to live in Brussels.

It just seemed at first sight like a place that had big apartments (80+ sq metres) at reasonable rents so we could enjoy the Continent.

But we are not limited to Brussels or indeed Belgium.

I can widen our search to anywhere that gives us culture and access to the rest of Europe.
posted by Quillcards at 3:50 PM on January 12, 2011


Brussels is good if you intend to a do lot of travelling. The best thing about living in Belgium is how easy it is to get out and go elsewhere.

If what you want is an affordable 80+ square meter flat on the continent with loads of everything to do in the city you're living in you might want to look at Berlin. You'll also find the Germans much friendlier.

If you want to poke around online for flats immoweb.be is a good place to start and you can use the page in English though details of listings will probably be in other languages.
posted by metsauce at 5:55 PM on January 12, 2011

Response by poster: @ Metsauce

Germany is out - keep 'em coming though -
posted by Quillcards at 8:18 AM on January 13, 2011

I've got friends that live in Antwerp and commute to Brussels. Well, outside of Antwerp. IT's cheap and they like it.
posted by gonzo_ID at 8:26 AM on January 13, 2011

Just seconding that immoweb.be is the appartment/house hunting site for Belgium.

Would you prefer living in a large city or a smaller one? Or in the countryside?
posted by lioness at 1:07 PM on January 13, 2011

Response by poster: @ lioness - the optimum would be a city of around half a million to a million that has more culture than it has a right to have for its size, if you see what I mean. Washington DC would be a good example of that - though of course it is not in Europe.

It should have interesting architecture and easy access to some nice countryside - rolling hills type countryside rather than flat as a pancake.

And with a culture that is not pub/bar oriented.
posted by Quillcards at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2011

Response by poster: Any more suggestions?
posted by Quillcards at 10:35 AM on January 17, 2011

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