FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Belgium > Brussels

Brussels Weather

17°C

Local time Brussels

Currency

Shopping in Brussels

Shopping in Brussels runs the whole gamut from high-end boutiques to markets.

Key areas

A classic Brussels souvenir is chocolate. Fresh creamy pralines are for sale at Wittamer, Place du Grand Sablon. Another name to look out for is the top-quality Neuhaus, with several branches including one at Grand-Place 27.

Belgian biscuits are another gift guaranteed to bring a guilty smile to the receiver. Dandoy, Rue Charles Buis 14, produce melt-in-your-mouth macaroons and the Brussels speciality speculoos - a gingerbread biscuit with a crunch. Beermania, Chaussée de Wavre 174-176, stocks over 400 types of Belgian beer and glasses to suit.

Designer clothes shops and upmarket high-street stores are clustered around the smart avenue Louise and avenue de la Toison d'Or. Key shopping stops on avenue Louise include Caroline Biss, one of several fashion boutiques at number 21, for down-to-earth daywear in muted tones, and Les Enfants d'Edouard, at number 175, for vintage finds.

Children and adults' tastes alike are met at the many comic book shops in Brussels. Among these is centrally located La Boutique Tintin, Rue de la Colline 13. Brussels lace is for sale at Rubbrecht, Grand-Place 23, or at the city's largest lace maker, Manufacture Belge de Dentelle, Galerie de la Reine 6. Most of the souvenir lace shops around Grand-Place are less authentic.

Markets

Every day is market day in Brussels. Among the best is the flower market, Tuesday to Sunday at Grand-Place, also the site of the Sunday morning bird market. Antiques are sold at the market on Place du Grand Sablon, Saturday and Sunday morning, while the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle, in the Marolles district, is open every morning.

Shopping centres

Chain stores dominate along the Rue Neuve, but more interesting fare can be found in the area between the Rue de Midi and the Grand-Place. A highlight is Les Galeries Royales St Hubert, a cool and elegant arcade dating from the 1840s, which is now home to many designer shops.

Opening hours

Standard shopping hours in Brussels are 1000-1800/1900 but the Grand-Place area stays open until approximately 2000. Most shops are closed on Sundays, except for a handful of markets and those stores around Grand-Place.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs to look out for include chocolate (pralines and truffles are the most popular), biscuits, beer (look out for Leffe, Chimay, all brands of kriek, and Duvel), lacework and Tintin memorabilia.

Tax information

Sales tax in Brussels is 21% and can be refunded to non-EU citizens by any of the shops affiliated to Global Refund. Participating shops will issue a global refund cheque, which should be stamped at customs.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

NH Stephanie

With crisply decorated, modern rooms, this hotel is excellent value for money for those who don't mind staying a little over 1km (0.6 miles) outside of the city centre. A good breakfast is included and the superior rooms feature thoughtful extras such as free, Wi-Fi, coffee making machines and a choice of pillows.

Mozart

This 50-room hotel occupies a 17th-century building in a lively area just off the Grand-Place, amid a plethora of bars and small eating places. For a budget option with simple rooms and facilities, its lobby is surprisingly grandiose, elaborately decked out in marble, patterned tiles and baroque furniture. There's more cheerfully florid décor in the small courtyard garden.

The Dominican

Part of the Carlton hotel group, The Dominican is the place to come if you want to be pampered while on a break in Brussels. It takes its name from the Dominican abbey which was originally built on this site in the 1400s. Its design is first rate, taking on the hushed feel of the abbey’s cloisters. Rooms are huge, the beds vast and the breakfast top notch.

Hotel Metropole Brussels

The 19th-century Hotel Metropole, with its grand art nouveau interior, is the first choice for those wishing to combine a lust for nostalgia with a need for modern comfort. A stone's throw from the Grand-Place, this palatial hotel offers a truly grand entrance hall and an Italian baroque style restaurant, L'Alban Chambon. There are 283 comfortable rooms and 15 suites, many decorated with drapes, swags and chandeliers.

Hotel Amigo Brussels

Although within short walking distance of the bustling Grand-Place, the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is a haven of calm and comfort. The building served as a prison in the 16th century and opened as a luxury hotel in 1957. Furnished with rich tapestries and antiques, it offers a friendly welcome and has a restaurant and cocktail bar, meeting rooms and a banqueting suite. The décor of the 176 rooms and suites blends contemporary elegance with dashes of colour and humour - Hergé characters and Magritte graphics appear here and there.