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Events Guide Brussels
Brussels has layers of personality. It’s historical but undeniably hip; it is a centre of bureaucracy, yet full of quirkiness. And of course, it’s a city of many languages and cultures! Here are two quick reasons why your next corporate event should be in Brussels: 1. Its MICE industry is ranked first in Europe, and second worldwide. 2. In light of COVID-19, visit.brussels launched a €2 million fund to stimulate national and international event organisers to host their upcoming events in Brussels.
Why Brussels?Ready for some more reasons? In terms of the big-hitting cities, Brussels is a cheap place to Work, Play and Stay. As well as being competitively priced, you should take their expertise in beer and chocolate well into account! And don’t be deceived by its size. It may not be as big as Paris or London, but it packs a punch. Home to the European Union, the city needs to be on its toes to accommodate the continent’s parliament. Plus, architecture geeks are spoilt. Brussels is the capital of Art Nouveau and hosts beautiful examples of classical French architecture, subtle gothic flavours, and seriously daring modern buildings.
What type of events?First things first, you’re the boss. We’re just here to help. Our team has scoured the whole city to find the best venues in town. Brussels has layers, and you’re about to see them.
Meeting rooms start at as little as €30 an hour. You can check the hundreds of venues we have here. Have the most relaxed and pleasant meeting of your life in this meeting room in a garden.
Conference venues start at €60 per hour. We have venues that can hold up to 1000 guests. We love this quintessential courtyard that represents what Brussels is all about.
Private dining also starts at €30 per hour. From cosy and intimate, to big catered events, you won’t go hungry in Brussels. How about a vintage style tavern? And while you’re here, take a look at some upcoming catering trends for inspiration! After a successful event, you deserve an Afterwork. Check out this historical brewery that is perfect for celebrating in! Fancy a good ol’ pita? Check out Barouche in either Brussels or Ghent!
Public transport optionsGetting to and from the airport is easy. Catch the train for just €8.60 one-way. The bus is cheaper still. You can get the 12 or 21 bus for €4.50 if you buy in advance, and €6 if you buy your ticket on the vehicle. You can save even more by buying ten tickets for €32. The STIB operates most of the public transport in Brussels. You can purchase tickets with contactless payment or cash at most stations. If you have time, try and buy your tickets before you board. A single bought in advance is €2.10. The price jumps up to €2.50 once onboard. A 1-day card costs €7.50 and gives you unlimited rides on all STIB buses, metro and trams. The metro is the quickest way to get about. From central Brussels, you can get to the European district in 7 mins, Parc du Cinquantenaire in 9 mins, Woluwe Shopping Center in 15 mins and Forêt de Soignes in just 19 mins. The canal’s Waterbus is an extension of the public transport. Commute between Brussels, Van Praet and Vilvoorde stress-free! Bikes are welcome on board. And speaking of bikes, Brussels is a great place to cycle. For fun, or to commute. But don’t worry, you don’t have to bring your own. Villo! bikes are available to rent for €7 per hour or €15 per day. Don’t fancy tackling the hills? Rent an electric bike. Billy Bikes are shared electric bikes you can pick up and drop off anywhere in Brussels. No docking stations. No keys. All you need is a smartphone!
Where to host your event?Ixelles oozes character. Home to two universities, this young and trendy neighbourhood is a favourite for those who want to see all aspects of Brussels. From old European architecture to modernisation and globalisation, this artsy quartier has it all. Schaerbeek is a diverse meeting ground for 140 different nationalities. It can be fast and busy, but you can easily escape down quiet alleys full of stunning Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture. Etterbeek’s attractive streets are lined with early 20th-century townhouses. It’s the base for many European institutions and has fantastic public transport facilities. There are plenty of cultural venues to be found too. You won’t get bored with the likes of l’Espace Senghor, Théâtre St-Michel, Théâtre Yvan Baudouin-Lesly Bunton, and l’Espace Entrée Libre. Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is a melting pot of different cultures. Packed with a variety of great parks and restaurants, it’s just a 15 min walk from the centre. For those looking for an atypical area in the heart of Brussels, Saint Josse-ten-Noode is worth checking out. Saint Gilles is a great place to kill time. From the top end, with its grand Art Nouveau houses, down to the earthy Gare du Midi, Saint-Gilles is crammed with quirky restaurants, shops, and buzzing nightlife. Relax at the beautiful art deco Victor Boin swimming pool or the Turkish baths. Then get lost exploring the numerous theatres, cinemas, and galleries. Brussels is our home town, so, we know it well. Get in touch with us to find out how we can make the city work for you!
FAQ for Event Venues in Brussels
The possibilities are endless. But basically; “whatever you want, as long as you respect the rules” (safety standards, noise pollution, social distancing, etc.). If you’re not sure, it’s best to align with your location expert. They can provide you with the answers and solutions when hunting for the right location, e.g. permits, licenses, etc.
Usually, yes. Most venues (especially the larger ones) tend to have standard AV equipment available. It can come at an extra cost, but this may also be cheaper than using a third-party service provider.
For catering, it’s common to source an external provider. However, the venue will likely have a list of preferred vendors. We recommend choosing a caterer from this list to avoid corkage fees or unpleasant surprises on the day.
The cost depends on the selected venue and market conditions. In general, dry hire can be around 30% cheaper than wet hire (incl. catering). However, booking a dry hire venue and then sourcing external service providers (for extras such as AV installation, catering, etc.) can result in a total budget that's 15-20% higher than a wet hire venue. We've seen a +50% premium for the same services!