Highlights, tips and info to live authentic going out experiences in Brussels
What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in Brussels?
The European Parliament, business, economy but also delicious chocolate, tasteful blonde Weiss beer, cheese and also some art and architecture. This is Brussels, the Belgian capital, a city visited by many. If you are one of these people, you’ll be happy to know that the city has a lot to offer, and not only opera, orchestra or cinema, but also a vibrant nightlife. Usually, Belgian clubbers like to go out around two nights a week, mostly during the weekend. After work, they like to start their evening with an “apéro”, which you’ll see can be quite filling, with the food and the beer. Usually they go to a bar, a pub or an open-air space, if the weather allows it, around 5 pm and have dinner around 8 pm, or even earlier. The bars then start getting crowded around 9:30 pm and close around midnight, when people move to clubs. These get crowded early, around 00:30 am, and are open until 7 am. But there are also other habits in town: the Wednesdays at Place Chatelain, surrounded by cafés, bars and food stalls which close at 7:30 pm but keep serving drinks until 9 pm; the Thursday afterwork drinks, mostly frequented by the European Union employees, who network also on the dance floor; the Friday night drink called “De Stad Apéros Urbain”, always in a different outdoor spot of the city which, especially during summer, goes from 5 pm to midnight. You won’t have to pay any entry fees, so it’s a must! The good thing here in Brussels is that there are no maximum opening hours or alcohol sale restrictions in clubs, so you’ll be able to get your booze at any time. But be careful when drinking on the road, especially out of clubs, you might get into the radar of the police if you behave badly. As in any other place, making too much noise or getting too drunk is not at all advisable.
Which are Brussels' best neighborhoods to go out?
Even though in Europe there are others cities which are better known for nightlife and music, Brussels’ scene has grown a lot in the last years. Restaurants, pubs and bars are all around the town, and there are many places where to start your night. The best clubs of Brussels are located in different areas of the city, but not particularly in the center. To reach some venues you might also need a taxi, but don’t worry, it’s totally worth it. A good way to meet new people is by joining a Brussels pub crawl. You’ll visit places in a group, so you won’t have to go around the busy city alone. But most importantly, you’ll get free entrance to venues and free shots, so be sure you don’t miss it! Online you can find various websites where you can book the one which you find more suitable to your desires. Especially recommendable for shy people! Belgians, more in general, like to chill at lounge bars a lot, enjoying their time with friends. In summer, one of the most frequented places of the city is the Louise area, along Toison d’Or, where you’ll find a lot of tables around which people drink and chat till midnight. Some of the most famous bars of the city are PP Café, where if it’s the right day you can also enjoy live concerts and DJ sets, The Flat, the recreation of a normal flat where the served drinks change price during the evening, and Pure Bar, with its exotic feeling, shishas and oxygen for the adventurous. If adventure is what you’re looking for, then the Red-light district will probably satisfy your curiosity. Be careful though, you better keep an eye on your pockets. In terms of clubs, you can choose to go to Red Line, in in the middle of a forest where hip hop and commercial hits set the pace, or enjoy the monthly theme parties at Mirano Continental, near Madou metro. If you are more for electronic music, then you can’t miss Fuse, the club where Amelie Lens started her career. With its Labyrinth nights, it is one of the most known clubs over Europe and in the techno scene. Although, if you’re more into deep house music, then Bazaar is your place.
How expensive is to go out in Brussels?
Brussels is not one of the cheapest cities of Europe, on the contrary, it can be quite expensive. Going out for dinner can easily cost around 40€, although, there are also other options for tighter budgets. In some places you can taste a dish of moules frites (mussels and fries) for an average price between 18€ and 25€, or a traditional dinner in a less touristy part of the city between 12€ and 18€. If you want to drink, a beer will cost you between 2€ and 4,50€, a glass of wine comfortably sitting in a lounge bar costs around 5€, while a bottle of wine from the grocery store around 7€. Cocktails are more or less the same price, they may start at 4€ and reach 12€, in the fanciest places. If you want to go clubbing, the entrance to the club usually starts from 10€ and some also include two drinks with the entry fee. The tickets usually don’t exceed 25€, and it’s only if there’s a special guest. Note that moving around Brussels might be expensive, but with the Brussels Card you have unlimited transportation and the entrance to multiple sights for 24, 36 or 72 hours and the price, depending on the ticket, is between 22€ and 35€. If you want to spend less, an unlimited 24 hours but ticket will cost you 7,50€ while a 10 JUMP fares ticket will cost you 14€. Otherwise, you can rent a bike starting from less than 2€ per day.
What's the dress code in Brussels?
In Brussels, as in most of the European big cities, dress code will mainly depend on the places you pick for going out. If you’d like to enjoy elegant and fancy clubs then boys will have to wear a shirt and elegant shoes, while girls a nice dress and heels. If you prefer underground venues, you can go dressed as you prefer.