Caught between the European buildings, the Place Flagey, the Cinquantenaire and the Chasse sector, the Jourdan district is brimming with a particular energy… Sometimes serious and busy, with the rhythm of the European civil servants, the square also has a more festive and relaxed look. In the neighbouring Leopold Park, pushchairs are overtaken by joggers, while executives in ties look on. Thanks to a successful renovation, Place Jourdan, which bears the name of a famous Brussels philanthropist, is naturally the commercial and recreational centre of the district. With its terraces, it abounds in shops, bars and restaurants. Not forgetting the luxurious Sofitel and its top-of-the-range restaurant The 1040. On Sunday mornings, the square hangs with its market and its colourful and gourmet stalls.
Jourdan invariably conjures up images of the European quarter, the Schuman roundabout and its institutions, so many expats have taken over the place. However, the square has never renounced its precious Brussels heritage, thanks in part to its very local « institutions ». First and foremost, the emblematic Maison Antoine. The « best chip shop in the country », founded in 1948 by a couple of fairground workers, has been enthroned in the centre of Jourdan for three generations. Its international reputation has been built on traditional, thick fries and a double cooking process, which gives them a crispy exterior and a soft interior. Not to be missed! Another good brusseleir is one of the city’s Schievelavabo restaurants, with its gourmet and cheap brasserie cuisine. Finally, Jourdan would not be Jourdan without Au Vatel, the bakery, created in 1969 and well known by night owls.
The slightest ray of sunshine invites the inhabitants of the district to take possession of the surrounding parks. The closest, cosy and elegant park is without a doubt the Léopold Park. Along the Chaussée d’Etterbeek, this former zoo, designed by the visionary Ernest Solvay, is home to the beautiful Maelbeek pond and the superb Solvay Library. A place steeped in history, the park will delight nature lovers, who can then continue their walk to the Museum of Natural Sciences, with its impressive gallery of dinosaurs. More famous and larger, the Cinquantenaire Park is also worth a visit, whether for a family picnic, a visit to the many museums or simply a stroll under its giant arcades. Intimate and little known, the Jean-Félix Hap park is the little gem of the Jourdan district. Two hectares of gardens, perfect for escaping the frenzy of the city.
With larger than ever terraces, the Place Jourdan, now semi-pedestrianised, is the place to be to enjoy the pleasures of the mouth, in a cool, trendy, but not heady atmosphere. An ideal place to meet up with friends or colleagues, with an extremely varied offer of restaurants and bars. From the Asian Takumi, Menma, PokéBar and Tai Hon, to the Italian Eccetera and Prego, and the more traditional Stirwen and Brasserie Signature. When it comes to drinks, the Pepete & Ronron wine bar takes the cake, but Jourdan offers a vast choice, between the Autobus, Café Félix and Escale! The icing on the cake is that Etterbeek hosts various popular festivals, such as the famous Kriek Frites Party, the Medieval Market at the Cinquantenaire, numerous fairs and, once every two years, Munich’s Oktoberfest takes over the square for a few days.
Thanks to the numerous bus lines (27, 34, 36, 59, 60, 61, 80, 543), the 81 tram and the Thieffry, Schuman, Mérode or even Trône metro stations, the square is very well served. Not to mention the proximity of the Brussels-Luxembourg and Brussels-Schuman railway stations. As for the car, you should take note of the dates of European summits, as the area is then blocked off.
Schools and Universities
There are many schools in the vicinity of the square, including international institutions. From the Institut de l’Enfant-Jésus to the Institut Saint-Joseph, via the Brussels International Catholic School (BICS), the Lycée Émile Jacqmain and the Claire Joie municipal school.
Sports and extracurricular activities
From the Etterbeek Sport complex to the facilities of the RRC Etterbeek football club, via the Karys Dance Center, the L’Espadon swimming pool, the Cercle Européen des Sports & Arts Martiaux, the Basic-fit Jourdan or the JIMS Fitness Jourdan.
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Here the hub of a busy Brussels square, there the bustle of a café waiter... then a few steps away, the calm of the pond path, the sound of birds, the laughter of students. You are in Ixelles and more specifically Place Flagey, one of the trendiest and most sought-after neighbourhoods in Brussels.
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