With its elegant setting on the Place du Grand Sablon, this jewelry store sells shiny and expensive objects old and new. Some of the beautiful wares on offer are more than a century old.
Considered Belgium's top contemporary jewelry designer, Christa Reniers has been producing sleek, beautifully simple creations in the centre of the city since 1992. Most of her collection is sterling silver or 18 carat gold, crafted into organic designs. But you already can tell from the minimalist nature of the store's decor that the prices could well make you weep.
In the capital of the land of comic books, Brüsel is widely considered to be the best comic bookstore. Contains a wide range of titles in several languages, including many in English, and also stocks some rarities and sought-after collector's items.
This shop is a destination for beer connoisseurs traveling in Brussels. Visitors award consistently high marks for the broad selection – over 400 Belgian beers – and the helpful husband-wife owners. Beer Mania is the small "pub" counter in the back of the store where you can sample many in-stock brews before you buy. The owners are also happy to provide guidance on the proper type of glass to serve beer in, especially since more than 100 officially sanctioned shapes and sizes are available.
This square takes its name from "sable," the French word for "sand." Years ago, the area was a nondescript, sandy lowland on the way to Brussels proper. Today, the square is filled with art galleries, boutiques and upscale cafes; it's also the epicenter of Brussels' antiques trade. In fact, historic homes surrounding the square have been converted into high-end antique shops, and a well-known antiques market is held on the square each weekend.
This flea market has been in operation since 1640, and it's been open daily since 1919. The working-class district of Marolles is a pleasant morning destination. Grab a cup of coffee and a waffle, and watch the locals rushing off to work. Then, stroll among the stalls, perusing a wide variety of antiques, old postcards, retro clothing, and household items.
Brussels largest and most colorful outdoor market appears most mornings on the open spaces around Brussels South/Midi railway station. You can buy anything from food and flowers to bathroom accessories here, but the emphasis is on the city's ethnic communities, many of whom live locally. Turkish, North African and Middle-Eastern stalls are most in evidence.
The largest indoor shopping mall in Brussels houses over 100 retail outlets, from familiar high street brands and the FNAC department store to designer labels.
It makes sense that the fashionable enclave of Ixelles is home to shopping hotspot Avenue Louise. Inno, the city's most well-rounded department store, offers everything from clothing to housewares and has a branch here; however, upscale boutiques are more common. Bonpoint is a local favorite for children's clothes, while Natan provides duds for their mommies. Though a toy store, Serneel's often captivates adults as well as children. To sample Belgian fashion, try Oliver Strelli, a local talent many compare to Armani, or the Shine department store, which exclusively stocks Belgian designers. The area is also home to several excellent bookstores and galleries, not to mention numerous cafes. Hours and credit card acceptance vary by store.
Rue Neuve is a long pedestrianized street just north of Grand Place. For the local Bruxellois it represents the heart of the city's shopping, with an eclectic range of retail outlets from department stores to candy stores. If you can't find it along here, it probably isn't worth having.