Chatelain: one of Brussels’ Hidden Gems
While most tourists to Brussels stick to the shops around the Grand Place, it’s worth seeking out some of the neighborhoods just outside the center to get a slice of local life. I loved the elegant, leafy Chatelain neighborhood, located in the Ixelles district (you can take public transport here, but it’s easier to take a quick cab ride). We wrote about visiting Chatelain’s incredible market in our last post, an absolute must-visit. But make sure to leave some time to visit the rest of the Chatelain neighborhood– a hidden gem with a village-like feel, and completely unknown to most tourists.
The Chatelain neighborhood is well-known by locals– it’s one of the nicest (and wealthiest) neighborhoods in all of Brussels. But you won’t find international designers here (head over to nearby Louise Avenue if that’s your interest)– instead you’ll find independent boutiques, fantastic design shops, sidewalk cafes and even discount designer shoes. Even if you’re not a shopper, you’ll enjoy strolling Chatelain’s quaint cobblestone streets and checking out the interesting architecture (I spotted some gorgeous art noveau buildings).
We walked the streets of Chatelain after exploring the Wednesday market. While we didn’t have a chance to hit every shop, we did some ample window shopping and spotted some great finds.
Lulu: A Sweet Shop with an Adorable Mascot
Lulu’s colorful window displays lured me in. The delightful owners were happy to show me which pieces were from “only in Belgium” designers. If you’re lucky, the shop’s adorable mascot, Lulu might be on hand to assist with your purchases.
Discount Designer Shoes at DeGrif
The shop attendent at DeGrif apologized for their no-photo policy, so I was only able to take photos of the window displays here. But I did browse the shop and the discounts are legit– I found Christian LaCroix and other high end designer shoes for half-off. You’ll find DeGrif’s children’s shoe outlet right next door.
I wish I had more time to shop in Chatelain as there were so many cute shops that looked worth checking out. While you don’t really need a list of stores (just stroll down the streets) here are some other shops to look out for in the Chatelain neighborhood:
Irsi, 15 Rue Bailli, famous chocolate shop with its orginal 20’s decor.
Mon Amour— Sweet gift shop. 36, Rue du Page.
Zao, 96, Rue du Bailli Housewares and gift items.
Boucle d’or 12, Rue du Tabellion. Cute children’s clothing shop.
Les Precieuses 20 Place Brugmann. Indie jewelry
Cachemire, Coton et Sole 53, Rue Franz Merjay Luxe fabrics
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[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Souvenir Finder Shopping Tip Sheet
What to buy: indie fashion, discount designer shoes, gifts, and home goods.
Where to get it: Stroll the streets of the Chatelain neighborhood (try Rue du Page and Bailli)
What to Know: Even though this is a well-heeled neighborhood, the residents and shop owners here are incredibly welcoming and friendly
Where to Stay: I loved my stay a the luxurious Stanhope hotel– the Stanhope’s excellent concierge tipped me off to this fantastic neighborhood[/box]
Have you been to Brussels’ Chatelain neighborhood? What are your favorite shops?