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“Hipsters, Art Nouvelle, Best Beer and Multiculturalism”
Review of St. Gilles

Ranked #147 of 400 things to do in Brussels
Attraction details
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
149 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Hipsters, Art Nouvelle, Best Beer and Multiculturalism”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

I have been living in St.Gilles for about 3 months, and at first, it is such a strange mix-match, it can be difficult to understand, but the more time I spend here, the more I like it.

Hipsters: You have to love to hate the art crowd. With their skinny jeans and big-framed glasses, and hip bars. They have apparently been infiltrating this area for the past few years, lofting down to the Parvis St.Gilles weekend market, and drinking good beer at artsy pop up bars. I like them and their scarves.

Art Nouvelle: The architecture here is ever so slightly short of amazing. There are these old buildings that at first glance are run down and a bit dirty, but as you look closer- they have such magnificent detail to them, they can be breathtaking. Most the the apartments have high ceilings, and intricate details that would be easy to bypass if you didn't know this was the homeplace of Victor Horta- one of the figureheads of Art Nouvelle. Pay attention to the details here.

Best Beer: I have never been somewhere that literally has a pub on every corner. On the corner I live (Rue Du Parc et Rue du Bosnie) there are literally about 6 pubs in a 2minute walk radius. I am surprised i am not drunk all of the time, at 2euros a bottle. That being said, there is the Moeder Lambric here, which is world renowned for its amazing selection and vibe. Can't be beat.

Multiculturalism: I think this was the part that first threw me off about this area when I got here. There are a lot of cultures in this small area. However, it is many cultures- unlike some areas which are predominately one culture, there are many cultures living simultaneously here. Its a bit fantastic once you get used to it- Portugese bakery, Spanish wine, Turkish olives, and Belgian farmers market, all within a few blocks.

I think there are parts that are a bit dirty, and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming- but come for the weekend market, walk to the Town Hall and enjoy a beer at Moefer Lambric, walk to Loiuse and take in the view from the monument, explore the many nooks and crannies, this place has a lot to offer.

Visited February 2013
21 Thank Esthersnippe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
79 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Not a place where you feel comfortable... Insecurity, tags, squats. Another example of the multiculturality in Brussel.

7 Thank nofx134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Brussels Main Art Nouveau District”
Reviewed May 24, 2010

This area with many art nouveau buildings makes a nice difference to the sometimes crowded old city centre part of Brussels.

There, you will find the georgeous art nouveau Horta House (Musée Horta) to be visited or Hotel Tassel which is the second of the four Horta buildings inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list and usually cannot be visited. The Contretype Museum of Photography is located in another art nouveau building named Hotel Hannon (not designed by Horta but with a quite nice staircase, though not at all comparable to the impressive Horta House) Try to grab a leaflet from the Brussels tourist office with an art nouveau walking tour of St. Gilles or consult your Brussels guide book to be able to find all the little nice details on different buildings.

If you would like to get more details on art nouveau, you might want to join one of the Art Nouveau tours by foot or by coach of the non-profit organisation ARAU (www.arau.org).

There are also some nice restaurants and unusual shops in the St. Gilles area, e.g. a tea-room with avinatge atmosphere and a large range of all kinds of teas, a shop selling furniture made from old cars and gasoline station equipment and the like. For the very sensitive travellers: The area is also a little more edgy than the touristy city heart of Brussels and not as posh as Sablon area. So, not everything is nicely polished up...

St. Gilles can be reached by tram. If you have a car with you and you are visiting on a Sunday, it might be more comfortable to go by car as parking is usually not an issue on Sundays.

11 Thank ArchitectTour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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