Belgium Brussels area for hotels for Walkers

Discussion in 'Europe' started by mrkrispy, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    not walking dead, walking beer geeks! Staying in Brussels for about a week, I know where we want to go but where do we stay?

    We will be taking trains on day trips to Bruges/Antwerp/Ghent, but walking while we are in Brussels. What area is considered best (and safest) to stay so we can easily walk to a number of BA-worthy beer bars as well as the Grand Place area? It looks like the area outside of the "ring" is a far walk to the city center. If it matters, prefer newer accommodations (i.e. private bathroom) and no hostels please.

    Thanks for the help!
    Rocket80 likes this.
  2. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,128) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Walk to Grand Place, Beer Planet, Beer Temple easily.

    Reasonably near public transit which gives easy access to Cantillon, and many other places.

    For iPhone or iPad there's a walking tour app for about $3.
  3. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Looks like a nice place. Good price.

    I see that they have in-room showers/tub, do they have in-room bathroom too? I know at this isn't always the case, but a shared bathroom is more for hostels.

    The Hotel Bloom is over a mile walk, but is close to a metro station and buses. Not sure where the buses run, but it's an easy metro ride with one transfer to most of the beery places. If you use the public transportation often, get a jump card. I think it's 10 jumps for about 12,50 euro. OP If you have questions about the transportation just ask.


    I've had good stays at the Ibis chain. No frills rooms, kinda Ikea lite. I don't have any experience w/the ones in Brussels, I stay outside Brussels in Evere.

    Depending on the time of year you can get great deals on the upper scale hotels. We stayed at the Hotel Metropole pretty cheap one time.
  4. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,128) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes, toilet/bath private.

    Food decent.
    Short beer list.
    Other places to eat nearby.

    There is an ibis just off the grand place.
  5. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    We are going in middle of May and will be using several different rails (the metro (?) inside Brussels and the trains to Bruges/Ghent/Antwerp whatever they are called). Going to try and stay in the city center since that looks easiest, Cantillon area doesn't sound that great once you leave the brewery haha.

    Thanks again for the help.
  6. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (165) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    Yes, definitely try to stay near the Grand Place area. To be honest, most of Brussels is actually pretty run down. As soon as you venture out of the tourist trap that is the Grand Palace, things start looking kind of ghetto.

    I stayed at the Metropole and it was decent. The best part is that it's right next to a subway entrance so it's very easy to get to. It's also easy walking distance to the Grand Palace.

    Cantillon is a little more of a walk, but like you said, it's not a nice area of town; better to just visit during the day than to have to walk home at night.
  7. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I stayed at The Bedford Hotel last fall, you can't beat the location. Not the greatest property, but not bad either.
    chippo33 likes this.
  8. tzolandz

    tzolandz Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Virginia

    I agree with SpaceLoaf's assessment. I stayed at the sheraton when i was there. a modest walk from the palace and bar scene but i prefer that to walking out my front door and into the soup so to speak.
    mrkrispy likes this.
  9. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I always stay here, right near Grand Place and Centraal Station
  10. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    Not to get off topic from the OP but aside from the "ghettoness" of the areas are they fairly safe to walk around solo at night? Any areas to avoid all together? I'm mostly going to be taking the train and wandering around until I can find where I'm trying to go.
    mrkrispy likes this.
  11. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I wouldn't characterize it as "kind of ghetto", and I've spent more than three months there since 1998. There are many interesting and attractive areas and neighborhoods that are far more appealing than rubbing elbows all day with the tourist hordes that flock to the Grand Place and vicinity. When I go to Brussels, I never stay near the Grand Place. There are plenty of places to stay that have convenient locations but are away from the tourist crap.
  12. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I did not find any "ghetto" areas and I wandered alot. I think a better description is "ethnic" areas. I had no problems, but sometimes when you enter these neighborhoods you are looked at as the outsider/tourist that you are.
    Tut likes this.
  13. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    That's good then, I was looking around online reading all kinds of stories about people getting robbed with guns and machetes and whatnot all the time...
  14. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I've never had any problems in all my wanderings around Brussels at all times of the day and night. While a random robbery, etc. could always occur, Brussels is much safer than any large American city. Hell, I live near Rochester, NY and that city of 250,000 people is far more dangerous to walk around at night than Brussels.
    Jnorton00 likes this.
  15. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    Good to hear.
  16. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    Rooms under $200 a night were getting hard to find so we booked the NH Atlanta. Looks like we can easily hop on the metro.
  17. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    In general the Ibis Buget are okay. They are more like Tonka Toys meets Ikea. But who spends a lot of time at the Hotel?

    Was the Ibis GP sold out? It's normally $107-140'ish

    Yes, your really close to the De Brouckere Tram, but I'm not sure if you should bother with the tram too much. The Tram entrance might be close, but sometimes and especially since De Brouckere is a connection it's not like the train platform is close to the entrance. And if you don't know which exit to take you might walk half a block towards where you were. Just a thought.
  18. jpmclaug

    jpmclaug Zealot (560) Jun 6, 2008 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I stayed at Hotel Orts with my wife in November. We really liked it. The room was clean and the bathroom was clean. The only negative was the elevator was ancient and we got stuck in it for a couple minutes the first time we were in it.
  19. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Aspirant (279) Nov 27, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    If you know you are going for sure, use Priceline. I picked up the Sheraton Brussels for under $100/night.
  20. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    Not sold out but rooms were over $200, as were the Sheraton, Hilton, and others nearby. Oh well.
  21. Vanlingleipa

    Vanlingleipa Disciple (357) May 19, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Used and for 50 euros got a great canalside room in an apt. near the train station in Mechelen, roughly equidistant between Antwerpen and Brussels. Owner was never home when I was there, but was still nice enough to drive me from Mechelen to the Brussels airport - much appreciated since I was hauling about 40 bottles.
    Tut and Brabander like this.
  22. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    i stayed at sofitel le louise for a couple days: very close to the train, both moeder lambics were walkable (about a mile each) and so was grand place and the other touristy bits. cantillon needed a metro ride. i don't regularly stay in pricey hotels, but it was worth every penny of the $140ish/night my wife and i paid; it's probably the single nicest hotel room i've ever been in.
  23. atomeyes

    atomeyes Disciple (382) Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    when in belgium and the netherlands, utilize B&Bs
  24. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    I wish Cantillon had B&B, I would love to wake up to some lambic and cheese for breakfast!
    DStoked likes this.
  25. SammyJ

    SammyJ Initiate (0) Mar 14, 2013 North Carolina

    Aris hotel is fantastically located and pretty cheap through The rooms are pretty no-frills though, but comfortable enough. It's next door the Beer Temple (which is kind of lame and expensive). Go to Délices et Caprices instead (just down the street). Trust me, you'll thank me. You can also walk to Moeder Lambic and spend an entire day sitting there getting our mind blown.
  26. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    So this time around friends recomended the Atlas Hotel. They said it was a bit dated, but in a great walking location, time will tell.
  27. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    hoping someone can help me with some local info...we will be there for Ascension Day (9 May) and Cantillon is closed. What is the Brussels area like on that day, will be still be able to go to the pubs and restaurants? Are museums closed?

    Thanks for the help
  28. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    Got the info on Ascension Day from another thread. Another quick question since we will be taking the train around Brussels as well as to Ghent/Antwerp: is there a common pass/ticket that we can use for both trains? I know of the 10 trip ticket, but not sure which trains those are good for.

  29. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Initiate (188) Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    I would go for the 10 trip ticket (if your planning to take a train a few times). You can use the 10 trip ticket for every train in Belgium. (except when you would go to Brussels Airport I believe then you need a seperate ticket)
  30. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    thanks for the help, wasn't sure if we could use that for the IC and Metro/Tram in Brussels. We will be visiting for 10 days, so that is a lot of train rides between cities and inside Brussels.

    STIB season ticket (month) 54E
    10 trip ticket 12-14E

    1 day JUMP ticket? 7E
  31. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    no one can help?
  32. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Initiate (188) Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    the train ticket you cant use for metro/tram. and a 10 trip train ticket will cost you +-60 euro I believe.
    mrkrispy likes this.
  33. ClassicBrad

    ClassicBrad Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2006 Pennsylvania

    When we stayed in Brussels for 4 days, we stayed at the Royal Windsor. It is all but connected to the Grande Place. You can walk anywhere in Brussels and you're never far from the action.
  34. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I don't think that anyone has answered your jump ticket question.

    For inside Brussels you want that ticket- the jump one. For long stays get the 10 jump ticket, I think it's 12 Euro. It can be used on all transportation. Buses, Trams, Metro, rail, etc. But no one uses the train inside the city. It's much easier to use a Tram/Metro-whatever.

    I'm not postive where you can get that ticket. I get mine in Evere out of a machine. At Centraal station you can take the "gipsy hall of fame" underground walk from the train terminal to the Metro 1/5 entrance. I'm pretty sure you can get them there.

    Look for orange boxes. Swipe it before each boarding/transfer. For instance I stay out by the airport and I want to go to Cantillion. I get on Bus that takes me into the city - swipe card. Get on Tram -swipe card before boarding. Since it's under (a hour?) it's only one jump. FWIW, twice I've have to show the ticket on a bus. If you're not legal you can get a fine.

    big map:


    you can get both maps to carry, but I use the Metro/Tram a lot.

    One thing about the underground. If it's only a few stops, walk it.


    As far as the 10 trip Belgian rail ticket- you might want to do the math. Unless you making a lot of long trips it won't pay for itself. But you also won't have to stand in lines to get a ticket.

    Looks like Brussels > Brugge is 13,80 Euro , but Gent is only 8,70 Euro. Antwerp is cheap too.

    Hope this helps. You can always BMail me.
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