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Help with choosing area of Brussels

(60 Posts)
bludot Mon 19-Aug-13 10:23:04

Hi everyone,
We'll be moving to Brussels this October with our son who's 14 months. We'll probably be there for two years, so we're thinking that schools won't be a massive problem as he likely won't start anything before leaving. However, we're having a hard time choosing where in the city to live. Ideally we would like somewhere we could find a lot of English speaking expat families with kids of the same age and also a location where we can walk to a lot of amenities; park, shopping etc.

We were looking at Ixelles or Etterbeck. Are these places good given our requirements? I have also looked at Boitsfort and Watermaal, but I was worried we would need to ride the tram for 40 minutes whenever we want to go shopping/meet people/to the park, since we don't have a car.

If anyone living in these areas could give me any ideas at all, that would be really great.


Longtime Mon 09-Sep-13 20:59:57

Not much in it, area-wise I wouldn't say but agree with Portofino for the public transport (and the shopping centre).

Portofino Thu 05-Sep-13 08:48:49

I would go for Roodebeek over Tomberg probably if you want to use public transport. The bus goes from there to the Tram Museum, where you could walk to Parc Parmentier or catch a tram - the 39 tram takes you all the way the BCT place in Wezembeek Oppem too. Driving there would be simple enough from either. Tomberg has the town hall and the swimming pool, Roodebeek has the shopping centre.

dotty35 Wed 04-Sep-13 22:18:19

Hi there all! I too am moving to brussels in october. Can't decide between an apartment near tomberg metro or roodebeek metro. 4 year old daughter going to roots and wings in parc parmentier and me, 2 year old and baby plan to do bct activities. Those of you in the know, is there much between these two areas? Is it easy to drive between either of these apartments and parc parmentier? Generally is it easy to go about in a car ie to imagine centre for bct activities. I do aim to use public transport but the car might be easier for the school fun given my circumstances. I would really appreciate your thoughts. X

MomOfABeast Tue 03-Sep-13 15:32:08

thanks guys! Have messages portofino RE the facebook group smile

Portofino Sat 31-Aug-13 20:08:41

Even I am going to move there. As soon as I have convinced Dh. He still is in denial and wants a house.

Longtime Sat 31-Aug-13 17:29:31

Well done MomOfABeast for getting a place in Stockel. I'm sure you will love it. Even though it is further away from town than Ixelles, it is actually easier to get into town because of the direct metro line. And it's a happening little place, ask all the Stockel ladies! Yes, I second what Portofino said, if you want to join our facebook page, let one of us know as all the Stockel mums are on there. It's a secret group so invite only and no-one can see it outside of the group.

Portofino Sat 31-Aug-13 08:50:56

Excellent news. Please send me a PM if you want to join our Belgian MNetter FB group. We go out and everything.

runningmad Sat 31-Aug-13 08:02:13

glad to hear you found something

MomOfABeast Fri 30-Aug-13 13:07:37

Hi guys, this is bludot's wife. Just thought I'd update in case anyone's interested. My husband was back in Brussels this week and we now have a flat in Stockel! It's a pretty small flat but it does have a little garden and it's really central!

This thread basically totally changed our minds, we were dead set on Ixelles before - thinking it would be easier to get about, more to do, more expat families etc but Stockel actually makes so much more sense for us in pretty much every way! Ixelles would have been a nightmare commute and more busy and loud than we were really looking for.

My husband really like the look of Stockel (and apparently so does everyone else in Brussels - I can't believe how fast the apartments there get snapped up!) so we're excited for the move now!

So anyway Thank-you SO MUCH for all of your help - I'm so glad my husband started this thread!

runningmad Fri 23-Aug-13 15:06:04

don't forget Kraainem! 1950 but only near to the bus stope and Stockel metro which is 100m away from the Kraainem border. The Av Baron d'Huart apartment is Kraainem, a few houses along is WSP.

So in total there are 3 Stockel (that are in WSP and Kraainem) - addresses Av Baron d'Huart, Av de Hinnisdeal and Rue de l'Eglise apartments, 1 Joséphine-Charlotte at Rue Francois Gay (that is in WSP) and 1 Schuman (which is in 1000 Bruxelles) but the Schuman one has no address on it.

Portofino Fri 23-Aug-13 14:38:21

Lois, I sent you a PM - check your inbox.

bludot Fri 23-Aug-13 14:11:30

Wow, thanks again everyone for all the links. We definitely have a much clearer idea of where to go; basically WSL and WSP. The flat near Montgomery that runningmad posted looks great too. I have some appointments to see some of these early next week so hopefully that trip will be a bit more successful!

LoisPuddingLane Fri 23-Aug-13 10:18:30

Portofino, I cannot send you a message on here for some reason, but I'd like to join the Benelux Mumsnetters facebook group.

runningmad Fri 23-Aug-13 08:52:59

This one could possibly be near Schuman station, but no address, 800 euro a month, 100 euro provisions for utilities, it's a duplex so bedrooms above living and kitchen.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 20:47:01

Here is one which is still in WSP but it's near to Montgomery or Joséphine-Charlotte metros, so 2/3 metro stops to Schuman for the train. No good for TEC bus though. Rue Francois Gay, 209, WSP. 800 euro, 75m2, provision of 120 euro for water and heating, it's a private advert direct with landlord. for me, it would be a bit far from metro, about 700m away, adds on probably 20 mins on to train journey minimum. Still cannot beat the 40 minutes from Stockel times. But this is a cheaper apartment. Area is as quiet as you get near to the action of the city.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 20:11:06

Here is one on Av de Hinnisdael 33, WSP, almost opposite Stockel metro and also about 200m from the TEC bus stop. 950 euro including charges, no note about utilities. Says is 92m2 so bit bigger than others.

It's as busy here as the one at 925 euro on rue de l'Eglise around the corner which has 150 euro charges including hot water and heating, would want the utilities removed from charges just to compare against the apartment above, because it's listed as 80m2.

I hope you're doing a google maps of these apartments.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 19:50:04

Sadly this one is not Stockel, it's listed in another advert as Av Thilemans 111, which is not near a metro or the TEC bus stop, the apartment the OP found and posted 1km from Roodebeek is nearer. Pity, it looks nice.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 19:43:31

I wish it were a legal requirement but it isn't at all for transport help,

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 19:06:49

Bottom right even!

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 19:05:44

Plus we have a private FB page for Benelux Mnetters if you or your wife want to join in. We organise meet ups with/without kids and it is a great place to get info/help. if you send me or Running a PM - see bottom left under our posts - we can add you.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 22-Aug-13 18:58:17

I thought it was a legal requirement.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 18:54:25

Definitely worth checking re. Travel. I get free travel to work. At my company you get a train, Tec, De Lijn, or STIB pass according to where you live. At DH's firm they pay according to distance away.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 18:52:29

It's entirely up to the employer, can be zero, or 150 euro a year or 90%

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 18:48:33

Don't forget this one at 930 euro with charges (+ what looks like 180 withheld against utility bills) which is 100m from the TEC CBis bus stop and 300m from the centre of Stockel, is 15 minutes from 4 different local schools where you're early enough arriving you'll get into all of them if you apply on time so you get to choose between them. I'd still have preferred the one up for 850 on Francois Peeters, maybe you could get this one down a bit to under 900? Try Francois Peeters again just in case a rental has fallen through.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 22-Aug-13 18:46:41

I just want to add in a bit about travel costs - I think this is standard for everyone (but maybe not EP or commission?) - I get a lot of my travel costs back from my employer. It depends on the distance you travel - I travel about 50km to work and get nearly 70% of my travel costs refunded to me. And my travel costs are the same as they were in London - just travelling from Zone 3 to Zone 1 in London.

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