Moving to Brussels - neighbourhood and school help needed!

(13 Posts)
OffToBrussels Sun 07-May-17 01:21:08


My DH, DS (currently 18 months) and I will be moving to Brussels for 3 years this autumn.

DH will be working near the Schuman metro. I will work for myself at home.

We'll be gone by the time he starts school at 5. But the plan is to put him in a private nursery (unless state is an option?) once we arrive, then transfer him into the maternelle (?) when he turns 2.5.

We're living in London so are well aware of the chicken/egg situation with schools, catchment areas etc. We wouldn't want to find a great house/neighbourhood, only to move in and discover all the schools are full and we can't access any.

We will have help picking houses but would like to be as informed as possible going into the process.

Any advice on neighbourhoods that offer:

House with garden (3 beds, could probably stretch to 1.9k)
Decent public transport (I don't drive)
Local shops etc (so not too suburban)
A good chance of getting into a French speaking maternelle
A local crèche for before he's 2.5

Any suggestions gratefully received

OP’s posts: |
catmack16 Sun 07-May-17 21:34:10

Woluwe St Pierre especially near Stockel metro, Auderghem near Beaulieu, Demey and Herrman Debroux metro stops. The line/s (same line but splits) from these areas goes to Schuman so straightforward for work and these areas should meet most of your other criteria but there are others with far greater expertise especially on schools.

OffToBrussels Sun 07-May-17 22:24:27

That is really helpful, thank you. I am coming to this with no experience (of either Brussels or school for children) so all advice very much welcomed. I don't even know if we'll be too late to apply for a naternelle space once we know where we'll be living (which probably won't be until September - he turns
2.5 in may 2018)

OP’s posts: |
Slurrycart Tue 09-May-17 16:11:51

Purely going on the residential areas and where I would move to now if I was starting again with small children and a dh working in the Schuman area, I think there are lots of nice areas (as suggested above) you could consider as follows:

Around the Merode district (with access to Cinquantenaire Park) v convenient for your dh's job (he could probably walk!) but quite busy/lots of traffic, good choice of nurseries and schools.

The area around Georges Henri/av des Cerisiers/Gribaumont metro (Woluwe St Lambert) etc (with access to Parc Georges Henri). Ditto nurseries (not sure about schools but some on here will!). Grown to like this area more and more. Good public transport.

And I quite like Chant d'Oiseau (access to Woluwe Park) not many shops but all you need, and not so good for public transport (no metro) lovely leafy area and good schools but not so good if you don't drive.

Don't expect houses to be as well appointed as they are in London.

Have a look on for renting possibilities.

Slurrycart Tue 09-May-17 16:14:54

Btw, if you are interested, I can pm you about a good bilingual school with maternelle.

Slurrycart Tue 09-May-17 16:22:19

Have a look at this thread too as some (not all) of the information is relevant to you.

You might find the radius map 2km from Montgomery roundabout helpful.

Slurrycart Tue 09-May-17 16:30:10

Sorry - duh - brain dead this afternoon

Forgot to provide link


and even a few good snippets



OffToBrussels Tue 09-May-17 19:38:08

I'll get researching all these suggestions. Thank you so much.

OP’s posts: |
exetterbeek Tue 09-May-17 20:12:48

Hi offtobrussels. There are loads of brussels based mumsnetters, moving to Brussels a few years ago is how I first came across mumsnet as there are so many threads come up in a google search!

Hopefully shortly an admin will add you to the private fb group as someone's posted a link to this thread on there.

I recognise your post from one of the other brussels fb forums in the last few days but didn't get a chance to respond.

We lived in Etterbeek and absolutely loved it. We were the far side of the commune from the EU and for us it was the perfect combination of fairly quiet residential area with great transport links and access to aprks and shops/facilities.

exetterbeek Tue 09-May-17 20:19:53

Posted too soon...

Anywhere close to Merode and Cinquantenaire will be great or also up the metro lines towards Stockel or Hermann-Debroux as others have advised is great for working in Schuman and being able to access work quickly without needing a car as traffic and parking can be a problem.

One of my friends mentioned her rented place in Etterbeek that they are leaving in your fb post, it's a lovely house, in a great location for your requirements, if the dates work you should look into it.

We used the private bilingual maternelle in that commune for a year and were very happy. Pm me if you want more details.

Brussels is a fantastic place to live with kids, there's always something interesting going on and so much green space for a city. We've left now and miss it so much. Good luck!

OffToBrussels Wed 10-May-17 03:50:53

More really great suggestions. Would love to join that group.

OP’s posts: |
OffToBrussels Wed 10-May-17 03:52:09

And it's really nice to hear that other people have enjoyed living there.

OP’s posts: |
Longtime Fri 19-May-17 22:12:37

Have pm'd you

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