Saint Boniface is probably one of the most vibrant places in Brussels. It located between the avenue Louise, porte de Namur and place du Luxembourg. It's one unique places in brussels where you can find
such a multicultural mix. It's visited by artists, bankers, eurocrats, young, older, you can hear different languages on corner. It's a mini Brussels mixture!
The perfect example of that is the fashion designer Nina Meert. One of the pioneer of the Belgian Fashion, her creations are unique and her store is a place to visit. She established her house 20 years ago, moving from the avenue Louise to heart of Saint Boniface.
If you visit Brussels you can't miss this place!
Brussels has very limited opening hours. Most city centre shops and boutiques close at 18.00 most days and even the supermarkets close at 20.00 the latest.
Normally, the shops are not open on Sundays. However, in the run up Xmas, most shops will be open on the four Sundays preceding the holidays.
We walked from Grand Place to the City 2 Shopping Mall in 30 minutes. It was an easy walk with many photo stops and just gazing at the surroundings.
On arrival at City 2 there was a modern shopping complex with department stores and most likely a hundred or more speciality shops, restaurants, cafes etc. It was similar to any other shopping centre in a modern city. We had lunch at one of the cafes and my wife purchased some cosmetics from one of the speciality shops. She said prices were much lower than at home.
The Nieuwstraat or Rue Neuve is located at the North side of the center. It stretches from the Muntplein or Place de la Monnaie till the Kruidtuinlaan or Boulevard du Jardin Botanique (metrostop Rogier plein or Place Rogier).
There are many clothing shops, boutiques and large department stores and the City 2 Mall.
In the weekend nights the street is use as a makeshift street parking for restaurant visitors.
A nice detour is the Noord Passage or Passage du Nord; a covered shopping side street.
What to buy: Everything you forgot to pack, There even is a HEMA shop!
I'ts an arcade at Grand Place that consist of shops for clothes, jewelleries, cinema, restaurants, cafes, boutiques, tarrot card reader and Haagen Daz. A very nice row.
What to buy: Clothes, Food, Entertainment, Jewels, Musics and Ice Cream.
Take a walk up or down Chaussée d'Ixelles for some good shopping. At the Porte de Namur end it starts with high street fashion and electronic chains and African shops (this is a very Congolese part of town) and gradually the shops become more individual until around and after Place Fernand Cocq (a good resting place) you find Tibetan hats, Chinese pots, Belgian cartoons and gift shops all the way down to Place Flagey.
What to buy: Almost anything you like.
What to pay: There are several bargain chains and "poundstretcher shops" around this district as well as more elegant labels.
If you are looking for some ordinary High Street shopping with brands like H&M, Zara, Etam, C&A and many others, Rue Neuve/Nieuwstraat is it. My only wonder is how there can be three perfume stores of the same chain and so on but as long as they're happy, I'm happy :))) The street ends with the famous Inno department store and the City2 shopping mall which houses two of my favourites in the form of Fnac - a French based book and media chain - and a French chain with outdoor things, maps and educational toys.
Those of you in need to spend some serious money on shopping should head for Avenue Louise and the neighbouring streets such as Toison d'Or, which is where you will find all the famous French, Italian and other designer stores and also some up and coming Belgian designers. But yes, there are also some cheaper classy shopping like Zara here. If you want to go for the whole splash-out, why not also book yourself into the very expensive but nice Hotel Conrad in the area. It's where several major world politicians have stayed so you're in great company. Personally I've only been there on charity quiz nights but they were fun.
What to buy: Oh a Gucci bag...some Aigle boots...a new evening dress, I don't know :)))
What to pay: Anything.
Just found this great website with lots of addresses of shops and restaurants : http://www.brusselscreativity.com . Depending on where you are staying, there are different areas (they call them "quartiers") to walk to, which is great because I hate driving abroad.
What to buy: Chocolates. Some chocolates. More chocolates. and a few chocolates. YUMMY
Colourful, quirky, sexy, funky and yet practical lingerie, swimming wear, nighties & pyjamas for women. It is hard to decide what to take since they have 3 floors full of different styles and colours. However, everything is on display and easily accessible, so try them on! You might get someone to help you as well alhought they are not pushing themselves to make a sale. The shop assistants may be a bit shy to speak any other languages than French to start with, but normally there is some one who can speak English. Unfortunately, their web page is only in French...
What to buy: Colourful matching lingerie
What to pay: approximately €20-40 per piece
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