A Sunday in the Dansaert – Sainte Catherine neighbourhood

27 January 2022
The Anspach monument in Brussels at the end of the Brandhout- and Baksteenkaai with the Saint-Catherine church in the background, (c) Jean-Paul Rémy, visit.brussels
The Anspach monument in Brussels at the end of the Brandhout- and Baksteenkaai with the Saint-Catherine church in the background, (c) Jean-Paul Rémy, visit.brussels

Spend a Sunday in the Dansaert – Sainte Catherine neighbourhood, one of Brussels’ most dynamic neighbourhoods. Located very close to the Grand-Place, the neighbourhood is a lively district that hosts many designer stores. Discover the area through its cultural activities, including a café in a typical Brussels bar and end your day with a jazz concert. 

9:00 – A Brussels wake up

The neighbourhood is full of small local taverns and Sunday mornings are the perfect time to discover the atmosphere. To enjoy the first rays of sunshine, sit on the terrace of Au Laboureur cafe or go to Mok Café to enjoy a coffee in a Scandinavian setting. Based on the Slow Coffee culture, Mok is a traditional coffee roaster that selects its coffees from all over the world. 

From 10:30 – Take in some culture at CENTRALE for Contemporary Art

Sundays are synonymous with culture and the Dansaert - Sainte Catherine neighbourhood is the perfect place to soak it up. Located on Place Sainte-Catherine, the CENTRALE for Contemporary Art is one of the best contemporary art spots in Brussels. Discover one of its trendy and avant-garde exhibitions on the visual arts. 

12:00 – Sunday brunch at Chicago Cafe

Sunday is brunch day, so make your way to Chicago Café. This modern canteen is a fixture in the Sainte Catherine neighbourhood. You can have a Mexican, English or completely vegan brunch. Be sure to leave some room for a slice of their home-made cakes. 

14:00 - Sunbathe with a view

Stop just a stone's throw from the Marché aux Poissons (fish market) and discover the Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage. Less well known, but nevertheless magnificent with its 17th century Baroque style, it is well worth a visit. The small bench right in front is perfect to enjoy both the sun and a beautiful view of the church. 

15:00 – A nice walk through the neighbourhood streets

Leave the church by the rue du Béguinage and head towards La Tour Noire via Rue de Laeken. Take a couple of unique selfies at one of the last remnants of the Brussels walls. There are small alleys and cul-de-sacs that weave their way between the streets and houses. 

16:00 – A little afternoon treat

Brunch is already a distant memory. It's high time for a little sweet break at Gaston, an ice cream parlour located in front of the Anspach fountain. Everything is homemade on-site and the flavours are prepared according to the seasons. Sit comfortably on the terrace to enjoy your ice cream by the water's edge. 

17:30 – Time for an aperitif

Only a few steps away is your next stop Au Bassin where you can enjoy an aperitif. This trendy bar is the perfect spot to play a board game with a Belgian beer. For lovers of good cocktails, go to Marcelle on place du samedi. And for a more kids friendly corner (with a playground and a terrace), go to the café De Markten.

19:00 – A great spot for dinner

Time to enjoy some Belgian specialities in a typical restaurant in the centre of Brussels. Monk offers four types of spaghetti and a few varieties of cheese. Comfort food tastes even better with a Belgian beer. If you don't fancy pasta, go to Le Pré Salé, a Brussels restaurant where you will find typical dishes such as mussels or a Flemish stew with chips. Looking for a quick bite? Get yourself some chips at Chouke

21:30 – A night of jazz

Did you know that the saxophone was invented by a Belgian? No wonder Brussels is known for its jazz bars. So, visit Roskam, which attracts a majority of Dutch-speaking punters. Order a small “pintje” beer and develop your foreign language skills. Open until 2am, this bar is located on Rue de Flandre. 

An added bonus in the neighbourhood: Brussels’ most popular fish bar

The North Sea might not reach as far as Brussels, but its seafood certainly does! Noordzee - Mer du Nord is one of the best fishmongers in the capital, and one of the hottest aperitif spots on place Sainte-Catherine. The keywords here are fresh fish, white wine and delicious homemade shrimp croquettes.