The most convenient location for visitors to Brussels is near the Grand' Place, on the side near Gare centrale, and after that, on the side near Bourse/De Brouckère which is connected by metro to Gare du Midi and Gare du Nord (and walkable from Gare centrale, at least without luggage). The next most convenient location is probably around (Place) Louise, near the metro station of that name, which is connected to Gare du Midi: most hotels in that area are in St. Gilles. If by "Ixelles" you mean further down Avenue Louise (/Ch. de Charleroi), you would probably be spending a lot of time travelling up and down on trams as the area is not well-served by the metro. But all depends on what exactly you want to do.
I have listed hotels in Gare centrale area dozens of times in response to other questions: basically look for anything with "Grand Place" in the title or possibly (although at least one hotel in Ch. de Charleroi uses this incorrectly) the word "central": e.g. Hotel Centrale. As you have not indicated budget or any other selection criteria that could be used to advise you, I suggest you look under "Brussels Hotels" on the left of this page, in particular for addresses in postcode 1000 - although this is much wider than the GP area as such. You can order the list by price or by rating by TA members.
You can also select what sights in Brussels might appeal to your personal tastes by looking under "Things to Do", also on the left-hand side of this page (or for that matter by googling brussels sightseeing). With the possible exception of the Grand' Place, there's nothing you HAVE to do, it's entirely up to you.
Hi qaminari, thank you for the info. My budget would be around 175-200E per night. Something that is close to great waffles and of course chocolate!!!
I'm a 51 year old woman who just spent 9 nights in the Ixelles area - Ch. de Charleroi off Ave Louise. Its a lovely area with nice restaurants, shops etc. The Louise Metro is a short walk away. If you're willing to use the Metro it's a nice neighbourhood and you could walk to the centre easily enough but if not and you want to be in the thick of things then go for something more central
Last October we stayed at this hotel:
Hotel Carrefour de l’Europe
Rue du Marché aux Herbes, 110 Grasmarkt
1000 Brussels – Belgium
Phone: 011 32 2 504 94 00 Fax:011 32 2 504 95 00
It is a very short walk from the Central train station, maybe two blocks and about a block from Grand Place. Very safe area for walking, even at night and there are many shops and restaurants nearby.
Have a great trip!
@Alto3 - so the constant (day and night, you said) police sirens you complained about during your stay in this area didn't put you off it!
Re hotel mentioned by Jennifer F - for the sake of clarity, this is the Best Western Premium Carrefour [de l'Europe], which is the 4th hotel from Gare centrale in a row that starts with the Méridien (and continues with the Novotel "Off Grand' Place and Ibis "Off Grand' Place").
qaminari, what are your suggestions re hotel?
qaminari - yes it was the Best Western Premium Carrefour de l'Europe on a tiny little square one block walk away from Grand Place. I cannot comment on the other hotels that may have been in the area, since I honestly did not pay a bit of attention to them. Sorry.
qaminari - I just confirmed via google maps streetview - yes the Best Western Premium Carrefour de l'Europe sits between the Hotel Ibis and Novotel.
No not at all. We had a suite at the top of the building with a beautiful rooftop terrace and we were high enough not to be disturbed by the noise. I would definitely return.
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