The best places to go shopping in Brussels come in a wide variety, making the Belgian capital a great hunting ground for almost any budget. While the wealthy flock to the beautiful-but-expensive boutiques of Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo, those on a tighter budget will find the city’s antique and flea markets just as rewarding.

    Various covered malls are spread across the city centre – some are modern shopping centres, others historic arcades. Brussels also boasts diverse neighbourhoods known for their one-off boutiques and exciting and innovative designers. This guide shows you where to shop in Brussels and all the cool items they have to offer.


    Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries

    Heritage arcades in the heart of the Belgian capital

    The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries are inscribed on UNESCO’s tentative list as part of Brussels’ cultural heritage. They were designed and built in 1846-7 by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer and comprise 2 main sections: the King’s gallery and the Queen’s gallery. There’s also a smaller side gallery called the Prince’s gallery.

    Ornate storefronts flank a central space beneath an arched glazed roof that floods the arcade with light. It’s a magnificent place to come and shop, or simply wander through and admire the splendid architecture.

    Location: Galerie du Roi 5, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Phone: +32 (0)2 545 09 90


    Avenue Louise

    A prestigious street known for high-end brands

    Avenue Louise is to Brussels as 5th Avenue is to New York or the Champs Elysées is to Paris. This high-end street is known for its upscale boutiques. This is the place to come if you wish to browse the collections of Max Mara, Lacoste, Montblanc and Michael Kors.

    If you don’t have the budget to join them, there’s no harm in indulging in a spot of people watching, or sipping a coffee in a local cafe and imagining what it might be like to splash the cash without a second thought.

    Location: Av. Louise, Brussels, Belgium


    photo by Aktron (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Passage du Nord

    A historic shopping arcade designed by Henri Rieck

    The Passage du Nord is a 19th-century covered arcade between Rue Neuve and Boulevard Adolphe Max in Brussels. It’s one of the oldest and most luxurious shopping arcades in the city. Featuring a glazed roof and Baroque statues, it’s as remarkable for its architecture as it is for its retail appeal.

    Nineteen stores can claim this prestigious address as their own, and those who have the means can shop along the Passage for upmarket designer brands such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Versace.

    Location: Rue Neuve 40, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +32 (0)2 218 50 68


    photo by Johan Bakker (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Quartier Saint-Jacques

    A neighbourhood that’s known for designers and fashion boutiques

    Quartier Saint Jacques is a lively and dynamic district in Brussels, in which you’ll encounter an eclectic range of stores. This central neighbourhood is located between Sablon, Saint-Géry and Dansaert. The villagey vibe extends to its independent retailers who sell everything from cheese to screen prints.

    Among the many highlights in Quartier Saint Jacques is a shop that’s been selling honey since 1897, a 200-year-old cutlery store that counts the Belgian Royal family among its clients, and a talented milliner who supplies hats for the film industry.

    Location: Sint Jacobs/Saint Jacques, 1000 Brussels, Belgium


    Boulevard de Waterloo

    Upscale shopping with luxury retailers

    Boulevard de Waterloo is an upscale shopping strip in Brussels that extends from Porte Louise to the Porte de Namur. Together with Avenue Louise, it has a reputation for retail quality, though that naturally comes with a hefty price tag.

    If anything, Boulevard de Waterloo is an upmarket shopping street that’s even more impressive than its neighbouring streets. It boasts stores such as Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Gucci, Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani and other similarly aspirational brands. Window shopping along this tree-lined avenue is a pleasure, and it costs nothing to dream.

    Location: Boulevard de Waterloo, 1000 Brussels, Belgium


    Rue Antoine Dansaert

    A shopping street for fashion

    Rue Antoine Dansaert and the district which surrounds it are known for bold, contemporary fashion. Alongside established brands, you’ll find up-and-coming designers who are just starting to market their collections.

    Shop at the likes of Essentiel Antwerp, Stijl, Filippa K or Cotélac to put together a unique look. Call in at Boutique Paul Marius for a handbag and Hatshoe for a pair of shoes to complete your outfit. Even window-shopping in this creative neighbourhood is a pleasure.

    Location: Rue Antoine Dansaert, 1000 Brussels, Belgium


    photo by Michielverbeek (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Docks Bruxsel

    Brussels’ canalside mall and leisure destination

    Docks Bruxsel turns shopping into a unique urban experience, marrying retail with leisure, food, culture and entertainment. This canalside development is located in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood, in the north of Brussels. Alongside 80 or so retail boutiques that include household names such as Superdry, Zara, Rituals and Swarovski, there’s an 8-screen cinema and multiple restaurants.

    Services such as personal shoppers, free Wi-Fi and smartphone-charging points also encourage visitors to spend more time here than perhaps they would in a traditional high street. Further expansion with a Legoland Discovery Centre pleases the family crowd.

    Location: Bd Lambermont 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +32 (0)2 218 00 00


    photo by Horst J. Meuter (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    Brussels’ most famous chocolatier

    Leonidas is a chocolatier in Brussels that has been trading for 4 generations. Since 1913, chocolates have been made with fresh and natural ingredients such as 100% pure cocoa butter. Now a global brand known for its signature royal blue and cream packaging, there are numerous branches across Belgium.

    This one on Rue de L'Etuve in Brussels will appeal to chocolate lovers as it’s just up the street from Choco-Story. There, visitors can learn about the process of making chocolate and watch a demonstration.

    Location: Rue de l'Etuve 27, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm


    Antiekmarkt van de Zavel

    A weekend antique market in the Sablon district

    Antiekmarkt van de Zavel (known to French speakers as Marché des Antiquaires du Sablon) has been a go-to for antiques in Brussels since the 1960s. This established antique market boasts a large collection of dealers who gather at weekends to offload their vintage gear.

    The dealers sell a wide range of antiques and collectables including art, silverware, furniture, glassware, Chinese porcelain and other ceramics. Many pieces have an interesting backstory which the dealers will be only too happy to share with any prospective buyer who shows an interest.

    Location: Pl. du Grand Sablon, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm (closed Monday–Friday)

    Phone: +32 (0)475 44 36 19


    Place du Jeu de Balle flea market

    A flea market dating back to the 19th century

    Place du Jeu de Balle (also known as Vlooienmarkt Vossenplein) plays host to a daily flea market in Brussels. Located in the heart of the Marolles neighbourhood, it’s one of the most important markets in the city for secondhand goods.

    Casual visitors and serious collectors alike know that the best bargains are to be found early on in the day. Scour the stalls for vintage clothing, preloved furniture, old photos and all sorts of other finds, before retreating to one of the many nearby cafes to inspect your purchases.  

    Location: Pl. du Jeu de Balle, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm

    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

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