Dansaert and Sainte-Catherine: trendy, lively neighbourhoods

28 February 2022

Two neighbourhoods sit side by side in the heart of Brussels, yet they have two different atmospheres! 

Dansaert is the hip part of town in the city centre. Trendy and stylish with a real buzz; everyone’s talking about it. It’s comparable to Oberkampf in Paris, Berlin’s Kreuzberg District, or Shoreditch in London. On the Sainte-Catherine side, you can sample mussels, seafood, and fish in some of the best restaurants in Brussels. And for lovers of local Brussels cuisine, there’s Rue de Flandre.

Come and explore these two neighbourhoods! 

Heritage walk in Sainte-Catherine

Sainte-Catherine is the place to go for trendy shops, restaurants, and great nightlife! But its historical and architectural heritage is another excellent reason to visit this neighbourhood. 

Start your walk at the Centrale for Contemporary Art, one of the best contemporary art venues in Brussels. Then, walk through the door of No. 46 Rue de Flandre and discover La Bellone, a magnificent 17th century manor house, reminiscent of Brussels’s famous Grand-Place.

Next, head to the Belgian Museum of Freemasonry, before finishing your visit at the Halles Saint-Géry. This former indoor market now holds exhibitions on the city, as well as playing host to the locals who come to share a game of chess over a glass of beer or wine. 

Shop for the latest trends in the Dansaert District

Creative and extravagant, Brussels is very eclectic when it comes to fashion. Whatever your budget or style, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Dansaert’s trendy shops. Start by strolling down Rue Dansaert, and step inside Stijl or Icon, just two of the area’s many fashion boutiques.

For vintage enthusiasts and fans of slow fashion, there’s bargain hunting to be done at Foxhole and Think Twice. If it’s ethical shopping you’re after, try Vêtu homme or femmes for upcycled products.

Shrimp croquettes or sausage and stoemp?

Shrimp croquettes or sausage and stoemp? It’s a difficult choice! To enjoy the best mussels, seafood, or fish, go to Place Sainte-Catherine or Le Vismet. Start at the Mer du Nord fish bar for a breath of fresh, sea air around a high table, a glass of white wine, and delicious home-made shrimp croquettes.

If you love organic food, you should go to Les Filles, which has a menu offering delicious home-made recipes. And for families, Chicago Café has opened a trattoria in Rue de Flanders.

One beer at a time!

A visit to Brussels would not be complete without enjoying a good beer in a typical Brussels bar. Walvis, which is on the canal, is probably the coolest bar in the area. The Brussels Beer Project brewery opens its doors on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, offering its numerous beers in a huge range of styles.

For an authentic Brussels beer experience, wander through the Rue de Flandre and Rue Sainte-Catherine. The warm and relaxed Roskam is popular for its Sunday night jazz concerts. Danringam, Au Laboureur and Bar des Amis are three top spots that are popular with locals. And for families, don’t miss Chicago Coffee or Café De Markten

Party atmosphere

If you’re looking to party, join the cosmopolitan vibe of the countless bars with DJs entertaining a particularly international crowd. At Café Central, the atmosphere is incredibly cool, with DJ sets that raise the roof, and mini electro rock concerts. If you want to party like you’re in Japan, go to Kumiko, a Japanese canteen and cocktail bar with a Brussels touch!

Not ready to finish the party? Then end your night at Bonnefooi, with its famous DJ sets that delight Brussels’s night owls! 

Getting there

  • Metro: line 1 - stops Sainte-Catherine, Comte de Flandre 
  • Tram: 51, 3, 4 - stops IJzer, Bourse
  • Bus: 33, 86, 48, 95