Youth Hostels in Brussels

Looking for a hostel in Brussels? Look no further, all the good deals in Brussels are on Dorms.com. Like thousands of other people every month, book your hostel securely at the best price in all neighbourhoods of Brussels. On this site, you can easily find a hostel downtown, in a trendy neighbourhood; a youth hostel in the student- university district, close to bus or train stations, airports or major attractions of Brussels.

Welcome to Brussels

Steaming bowls of moules with crispy frites. Amazing beers. Grand squares and elegant parks. And yet poor old Brussels is best known as the home of the European Union. But don’t let that put you off booking a hostel here – alongside the politicians and bureaucrats you’ll find scores of backpackers exploring this buzzing, well-connected city from their hostel dorms. There are countless cheap youth hostels to base yourself in, and with most major attractions within walking distance of each other, a downtown or city centre hostel makes exploring a stukje taart (that’s a piece of cake, btw). Throw some exciting bars, great food and a lively youth culture into the mix and you can see why Brussels is a winner for hostelling groups and solo travellers alike. It has a famous statue of a tiny peeing boy, ferchrissakes. What’s not to love?  

Sundays at City Museum

The City Museum (Maison du Roi in French; Broodhuis in Flemish), on Grand Place, houses the costumes of the Manneken-Pis. Budget-conscious backpackers should aim for the first Sunday of the month, when entry is free.

Website: www.museedelavilledebruxelles.be/en/home/

Address: Grand-Place, 1000 Brussel, Belgium

District: Grand-Place

Kick back in the parks

Don’t overthink it: Brussels has some wonderful parks to stroll, lounge and picnic in. There’s the expansive Woluwepark to the east of the centre and the grand, central Jubelpark – but we love Park van Laken, with its views of the city and the Royal Palace.

Address: Park van Laken, Avenue Jules van Praet, 1020 Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium

District: Bruxelles-ville

Comic Book Route

Step out of your hostel and follow a colourful path of large-scale murals depicting popular Belgian comics: Lucky Luke, Gaston, Marsupilami, Jourdan and of course The Adventures of Tintin. You can pick up a route guide at any tourist office.

The Grand Place

Start your tour by heading out of the hostel to Brussels’ town square, the Grand Place. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the setting for regular festivals and events. Or you might just find yourself having a beer and admiring the architecture, such as the Town Hall, built in the 1400s.

Address: Grand Place 1000 Brussels, Belgium

District: Grand-Place

Mini-Europe

Backpack around Europe in an hour at this miniature park in Bruparck. It features 350 iconic buildings from 80 cities, plus a wealth of information about the European Union at the Spirit of Europe exhibition.

Website: www.minieurope.com

Address: Mini-Europe 1020 Brussels, Belgium

District: Bruxelles-ville

Parlamentarium

Impress your dorm buddies (or not) with your knowledge of European politics thanks to the Parlamentarium, the visitors’ centre of the European Parliament. It’s full of interactive exhibits and admission is free.

Website: www.europarl.eu

Address: Willy Brandt Building, Rue Wiertz 60/ Wiertzstraat 60, Brussels

District: Ixelles

Manneken-Pis

Brussels’ most photographed attraction is tiny Manneken-Pis, the naked little boy called Juliaanske. Some say he’s peeing on a bomb to save the city. He’s often dressed up in one of his 600 little costumes. Find him on the corner of rue de l’Etuve and rue Chêne, close to many of the downtown hostels.

Website: www.manneken-pis.com

Address: Manneken Pis 1000 Brussels, Belgium

District: Basse Ville

Atomium

Someone should design a hostel like this. This science attraction is housed in a 102-metre-high chrome and steel model of an atom, with exhibits in 18-metre diameter steel spheres connected by tubes. At night it is illuminated by 3,000 lights and there’s also a restaurant with panoramic views of Brussels.

Website: www.atomium.be

Address: Avenue de l'Atomium, 1020 Brussels, Belgium

District: Bruxelles-ville

Downtown area

The historical part of the city and the most touristy, this neighbourhood includes the Grand Place and Dansaert shopping areas, and is packed with cheap hostels. The LGBT area is along Rue du Marché au Charbon.

Touristy Beautiful Buildings Central

Quartier des Squares

The ‘squares district’, just north of the Europe Quarter, is a residential area characterized by art nouveau and early modernist buildings. If you’re interested in architecture, a walk around here is a must – the contrast with the glass and steel EU buildings nearby is stark.

Parks Where locals live Beautiful Houses

Ixelles

Backpacker favourite Ixelles is a big draw for young visitors, as it has a lively cultural, street scene and nightlife. Karl Marx and Alexandre Dumas are among famous writers and intellectuals who made Ixelles their home.

Walking streets Artsy Bars

Belgian National Day (July)

Brussels celebrates Belgian National Day on 21st July, with military parades, parties and festivals. Events take place at several venues, including the Grand Place, Place du Jeu de Balle and Brussels Park. On the eve of the National Holiday, head to Place Du Jeu De Balle for The People's Ball, a free evening of performances and dancing.

The Flower Carpet (August)

Every two years, a huge Flower Carpet covers the Grand Place for a few days and the city celebrates with a music and light performance and firework displays.

Website: www.flowercarpet.be

District: Grand-Place

PiKniK and Apéros Urbains parties

These two collectives run fun, welcoming parties in a different venue every few weeks – they’re like regular mini-festivals, with a backpacker-friendly vibe. Check their websites for upcoming events.

Website: http://www.pikniks.be/

Christmas markets (November – January)

Book a Brussels hostel in winter and experience the city in festive mood. The Christmas Market season brings ice skating, a huge Ferris wheel, and pop-up wooden stalls selling all manner of stocking fillers. The fun is spread all over the city, but naturally the Grand Place is the epicentre.

District: Grand-Place

Brussels Food Truck Festival (May)

Like your street food? Get yourself to the area around Place d’Albertine and Mont des Arts to sample the wares of some of the best food truck businesses from Belgium and beyond.

District: Haute Ville

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/2hPkqGsHje/

© Copy rights: monbataqueria

Brussels Summer Festival (August)

Every August, Brussels’ Royal Quarter (Place des Palais, La Madeleine and Mont des Arts) comes alive with reggae, hip-hop, folk, electro, rock and jazz performances plus cinema and theatre events for Brussels Summer Festival.

Website: www.bsf.be

District: Haute Ville

Midis-Minimes Festival (July-August)

Young talents and experienced performers take part in the Midis-Minimes Festival during July and August. Each day there is a short, 35-minute concert of well-known and less familiar works at Brussels Minimes Church and the Conservatory.

Website: www.midis-minimes.be

Address: Rue des Minimes 51, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium

District: Marolles

ProPulse Festival (February)

The ProPulse Festival has concerts and performances at different locations, including music, dance and theatre acts. Look for downtown hostels in the south of Basse-Ville to be based nearby.

Website: www.propulsefestival.be

Frit' Flagey

For fast food and some of the tastiest fries in Brussels, go to Frit' Flagey, a food stand on Place Flageyplein, 1050 Ixelles. Prices are low, but you’ll head back to the dorm stuffed.

Address: Place Eugène Flagey, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

District: Ixelles

Pho Pho

Fill up with a massive bowl of noodle soup at Pho Pho, a fast-food Vietnamese eatery. It’s small and doesn’t have masses of character, but the prices and the food more than make up for that.

Website: http://www.restaurant-vietnamien.be/

Address: Rue de la Paix 27, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

District: Ixelles

Phone: 02 511 19 23

Arcadi Café

Also near Grand Place, Arcadi Café attracts locals and backpackers for tasty, inexpensive Belgian food – think mussels, steaks and the traditional gentse stoverj stew - all served super-quick.

Address: Rue d’Arenberg 1B

District: Basse Ville

Phone: 02 511 33 43

Exki

Chain eatery Exki serves healthy and wholesome soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. You’ll find them dotted around town, but Exki Agora is handily located if you’re exploring the Royal Quarter.

Website: www.exki.be

Address: Rue du Marché aux Herbes 93, 1000 Brussels

District: Basse Ville

Phone: 02 502 82 48

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/nB3bQXM_Rz/

© Copy rights: health.hunters

Café Novo

Not far from Grand Place, Café Novo serves traditional Belgian food and lots more besides on a budget. Their farmhouse sausages with traditional stoemp will keep you going all day…

Website: http://cafenovo.be/

Address: Vieille Halle aux Blés 37 1000 Brussels

District: Basse Ville

Phone: 02 503 09 05

Moeder Lambic

Moeder Lambic sells over 40 world-class draught and many bottled beer and specialises in Lambic beer. Knowledgeable staff will advise on what to sample. Some say it’s one of the best bars in the world.

Address: Rue de Savoie 68, Brussels 1060

District: Saint-Gilles

Phone: 02 539 14 19

Potemkine

Potemkine is a cool, industrial-looking space that puts on DJ nights and small concerts, shows free movies and does a good brunch. It was once famous for the whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, now sadly removed.

Website: http://www.lepotemkine.be/

Address: Hallepoortlaan, 1060 Saint-Gillis, Belgium

District: Saint-Gilles

Phone: 02 539 38 00

Fuse

The big one – this is the biggest techno club in Brussels, drawing some top acts and a happy crowd who know and love their music. There are some cheap hostels nearby, close to Brussels-Midi.

Website: http://www.fuse.be/

Address: Rue Blaesstraat 208, 1000 Brussel, Belgium

District: Marolles

Phone: 0 2 511 97 89

Café Belga

Located in backpacker favourite Ixelles, Café Belga is one of Brussels’ best-known café-bars, with attractive, old-style décor, a nice mix of age groups and reasonable prices.

Address: Place Eugène Flagey 18, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

District: Ixelles

Phone: 02 640 35 08

Spirito

Spirito used to be a church, and now it is quite the opposite: a large nightclub with three bars and an extravagant, glammy look.

Website: www.spiritobrussels.com

Address: Rue de Stassart 18, 1050 Ixelles

District: Ixelles

Phone: 483 58 06 97

Brussels Vintage Market

This colourful, eclectic market is right in hostel-packed Basse-Ville. It takes over Halles Saint Géry on the first Sunday of every month, selling clothing, vinyl, ornaments and other collectables. Oh, and cupcakes.

Website: http://brusselsvintagemarket.be/

Address: Place Saint-Géry 1, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium

District: Basse Ville

Jeu de Balle Flea Market

Hunt for bargains at this atmospheric flea market on pretty, cobbledPlace du Jeu de Balle. Vintage electrics, old photos and paintings, clothing – it’s all here.

Address: Place du Jeu de Balle, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium

District: Marolles

Veals and Geeks

Music-mad backpackers will love rummaging through the crates at this indie record store, handily located for city centre hostels. It stocks a huge range of genres and a few collectibles too. It also organises vinyl street fairs.

Website: www.vealsandgeeks.com

Address: Rue des Grands Carmes 8a, 1000

District: Basse Ville

Brussels card

For backpackers keen to tick off all the sights, a Brussels Card (valid for 24; 48 or 72 hours) gives free access to 30 museums and discounts on attractions, tours, food, drink and shopping. Brussels Card + Sightseeing option gives all the above plus free hop-on, hop-off bus travel. www.brusselscard.be

Get on your bike

Villo! is Brussels’ bike hire system. The pricing is similar to other European systems: €1.60 will buy you a day ticket (€7.65 for a weekly ticket), then each ride is free for the first half hour, €0.50 for the second half hour and €2 per half hour after that. So if you plan your journeys, it can be a super-cheap way to get from your hostel to the sights.

Airports

Brussels Airport is the city’s main airport. To reach the city centre and its hostels, take the Airport Line train on Level 1, which stops at the three main railway stations in Brussels. Alternatively, the Airport Express bus and a number of other buses depart and arrive at the bus station at Level 0: www.b-rail.be.

Charleroi Airport is 50km away, known as Brussels South. A shuttle bus operates to Gare du Midi (www.brussels-city-shuttle.com), or you can take a bus to Charleroi-Sud station then the train to Brussels.

Rail

Many backpackers arrive at Brussels-Midi (also known as Brussels-South), which is served by international high-speed trains operated by Eurostar and Thalys, as well as national Belgian services. It’s one of three main railway stations in the city. The others are Brussels-North and Brussels-Central. All three connect with metro lines, buses and trams. www.stib.be.

Bus

Eurolines services stop at Brussels-North, which has good local transport connections – six rail lines, two tram lines and around 20 local bus lines.

The Airport Line is a public bus operating between Brussels Airport and Luxembourg. Airport Express (www.airportexpress.be) operates between Antwerp and Brussels Airport; Brussels Airport Express (www.brusselsairportexpress.be) operates between Breda, Rotterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands and Brussels Airport.

Getting around

A ‘jump’ ticket is valid for one hour from time of validation. Purchase in sets of five or 10 or buy a day ticket.
Tickets can be bought at GO machines in the metro stations. Validate tickets before travelling. Doors to metro trains and trams do not open automatically on arrival at stations/stops.

Language: Most people speak French, but Flemish (Dutch) is also spoken. Signs are in both languages.

Currency: Euro

Voltage: AV220

Timezone: Central European Time zone (CET)

Dialing code: +32 for Belgium, 02 for Brussels

Post Office:

Brussels’ main Post Office (Avenue Fonsny Office at Brussels Midi Station) is open every day, including Sundays. Avenue Fonsny 32, 1060 Saint-Gilles
02 524 43 08

Hospital:

The main A & E hospital in central Brussels is Saint-Pierre University Hospital; rue Haute, 322 - B1000 Brussels 02 535 31 11.

For non-urgent cases, go to Louise Medical Centre, Avenue Louise 284, 1050 Ville de Bruxelles, 02 534 29 99. Both have English-speaking doctors.

Pharmacy emergency number: 0900 10 500

Tourist information:

There are two tourism associations in Brussels:

Visit Brussels on Grand Place, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles, Belgium 02 513 89 40 and Tourism Flanders (Toerisme Vlaanderen) on Rue Marché aux Herbes 61 - 1000 Brussels 02 504 04 35.

Typical opening hours:

Shops are open from Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00hrs; most close on Sundays although bakeries and patisseries open on Sunday mornings.

Emergency numbers: Dial 112 for police, fire and ambulance services.

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