One of the most progressive and liberal cities in Europe, Gay Brussels is a leading gay city with a rich history, thriving nightlife and delicious cuisine.
In a city where 30% of its residents are foreigners and it seems at times everyone is in some way involved in the EU or politics, it should come as no surprise people here have to find a way to let off major steam. The result? An extensive gay village, packed bars, gay events every night of the week and not to mention the absolutely legendary La Demence monthly gay dance parties!
If you want a bit more that the diverse gay nightlife Brussels gay scene also offers up a variety of cultural events, the biggest of which are the annual Belgian Lesbian and Gay Pride in May and then the Brussels Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in January, and plenty of smaller events throughout the year you can find out about by picking up a copy of the popular gay magazines Bruce and Tribu when you arrive. Throw into the mix a distinctly French vibe, plenty of traditional museums, historic buildings, the Grand-Place and daily flower market (between March and October) and you begin to understand why so many gays are flocking to Brussels – whether it’s for a night, a week or to live full-time. Gay travellers can feel at easy in this liberal society and free to express themselves in any way they want!
Gay Brussels Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Brussels Belgium 2018
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Brussels
Obviously being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer travellers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Brussels during the day! Brussels is a very safe city but still, all travellers should take caution in less-developed areas with valuables. Gay travellers in Brussels do not need to take any extra precautions in terms of public displays of affection in this very tolerant and progressive city and gay travellers will have no issues exploring this beautiful and diverse city.
- Manneken Pis – Is any trip to Brussels really complete without swinging by this iconic 17th-century fountain of a small ball pissing. Yes, you probably know his clothes are changed almost daily, but did you know there is a secret Jeanneke Pis (girl pissing) to be found nearby!
- Historic Old Town and Grand Palace – While Brussels is jam-packed with historic buildings, you can’t help by visit this huge city square dating back to the 14th century. Home to many of the annual events in Belgium including the famous Christmas Markets.
- Atomium – Built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair this ridiculously oversized monument to progress now houses a museum and viewing platform (not that you really need to do more than just see it from outside).
- Cinquanternaire – A beautiful 19th-century park fuelled with art and military museums and a popular place for locals to relax in the summer.
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium – It wouldn’t be a European Capital without an insane amount of rare art, and here in this mega-complex of museums, you can find over 20,000 works including paintings, sculptures and drawings…At least enough to fill up a day, if not more!
- Maison Arc-en-Ciel / The Rainbow House – The biggest organizer of Brussels’ LGBT+ activities with events such as movie nights, interesting debates, lectures and art exhibitions. A great community with regular mixers held at their bar – there is no better place to start when looking for tips on Gay Brussels when you arrive.
- Belgium Waffles – An attraction in their own right as far as I ‘m concerned. Every local will have their own opinion on the best flavors and places to go – but everyone can agree the waffles found in Belgium are the best in the world. If you need more encouragement, here is a complete guide to the best waffles in Brussels!
Naturally, a city the size of Brussels has plenty more to explore!
We recommend getting a full guidebook if you are staying for more than a night or two. It probably won’t have any information on Gay Brussels – that’s what we are here for – but it will have useful tips and an exhaustive list of the best attractions across Belgium to assist you on your fabulous adventure!
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Brussels Belgium
As a world leader in LGBT tourism, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Brussels can be considered gay-friendly – after all being a gay-friendly it not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly and open service and welcoming everyone with open arms! Having said that, everyone likes to be surrounded by people with common interests, and as such a there a few well-known hotels in Brussels that are known hot spots for gay travelers to stay! The best locations for gay travelers is the Brussels Gay Village / Saint Jacques neighborhood in the city center near the Grand Palace
– close to all the attractions by day and night.
The following gay-friendly hotels in Brussels are only the most popular with gay travelers but there are hundreds of other hotels in Brussels
if you don’t find quite what you are looking for. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Brussels as something for everyone!
Brussels is a big city, and with many locations worth visiting. Don’t be afraid to explore outside your neighbourhood – either with the effective metro or bus system or using a ride-sharing app (which is cheaper than taxis, safer and you can preset your destination so nothing gets lost in translation!)
- Train Hostel ☆ – For the gay with a slight train obsession (there are quite a few right?), how about sleeping a night in an authentic and renovated train carriage the roof-top of the Brussels Train Museum. An utterly unique stay, LGBT-friendly and with both dorm and private options.
- Residence Les Ecrins ☆☆ – A low-key gay-popular hotel in Brussels centre with spacious rooms and walking distance to most attractions by day or night. One of the cheapest hotels in Brussels centre without comprising on cleanliness.
- Heart of Brussels B&B ☆☆ – A comfortable gay owned B&B in the historic centre with three small guest rooms. Close to all the action.
- Aloft Brussels ☆☆☆ – Contemporary hotel with minimalist rooms and a distinctly high-tech feel. Buzzing bar and DJ fill of suits so that action comes to you!
- 9Hotel Central ☆☆☆ – Stylish, industrial-chic with exposed bricks and a central location, the 9Hotel Central is a gay-popular hotel in Brussels with plenty of discounts in the weekend.
- Hotel Agora Brussels Grand Place ☆☆☆ – The top rated 3 star hotel in Brussels, this non-discriminating hotel offers modern rooms, vaulted ceilings in a historic building and a three-minute walk to the Grand Palace Square.
- Boutique Hotel Saint-Géry ☆☆☆ – A contemporary hotel housed in a 19th-century manor house with modern design, unique rooms and plenty of art. Great vibes and attracts an interesting crowd of guests.
- Hilton Brussels Grand Place ☆☆☆☆ – A sophisticated international chain hotel known to court the Pink Dollar. No surprises here with a reputation for quality, the on-site cocktail lounge is also a great place to meet and socialise.
- Marriott Hotel Grand Place ☆☆☆☆ – Well known for its #LoveTravels campaign, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender customers will feel welcomed at this swanky central city hotel with upscale rooms, city views and authentic Belgium hospitality.
- The Dominican ☆☆☆☆ – A gay-popular luxury boutique hotel in the city centre of Brussels with a mixed of vibrant and classical vibes. We loved the attention to details, full breakfast and happening bar.
- Thon Brussels City Centre ☆☆☆☆ – A gay-friendly hotel with modern, yet conventional design, popular due to it’s association with the La Demence gay dance parties.
- Warwick Brussels ☆☆☆☆☆ – Refined and utterly elegant – but a bit too stuffy for our liking – the Warwick Brussels deserves a mention as the preferred partner hotel of the La Demence once because of their location in the gay area, anda short walk from Fuse club. Expect plenty of gay travellers over event weekend, but not the best pick at other times.
- Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo ☆☆☆☆☆ – A contemporary hotel with unique decor and modern detailing housed in a historic red-brick former prison in central Brussels. Gay-friendly, this is a great splurge option (and check out the top-level suite and it’s outdoor terrace views!)
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Brussels
Brussels is well-known one of the most gay-friendly cities in Europe, and of course it has plenty of gay nightlife to cater for any kind of mood. Gay Brussels offers some of the biggest gay dance parties in Europe and there are a ridiculous amount of Brussels gay bars to choose from located around the Gay Village / Saint Jacques neighbourhood in the city centre. If the big two gay dance parties in Brussels are not on when you visit (or even if they are) you should check out other upcoming gay events in Brussels held at other venues.
- La Boule Rouge – Great for dinner and a drink while being entertained by fabulous drag queens, cabaret or karaoke (look up the nights events in advance). Kitsch yet fun, the resident queen La Diva makes sure everyone is having a great time!
- Le Baroque – A small but popular bar that often overflows onto te street outside. Colourful and fun with a friendly atmosphere and plenty of bears. Right in the heart of the Brussels Gay Village pumping out pop and club / euro-trash tunes on weekends but no dance floor.
- Amalgame – Trendy gay bar with dance floor, a oh-so-cool atmosphere and great bar tenders. Centrally located, the long bar makes it easy to socialise if it’s quiet – though Amalgame is more famous for it’s Flash After-Party on Monday mornings if you just don’t want your weekend to end!
- Le Detour – Simple a classic gay bar in the heart of it all and open from 4pm so perfect after a day of sightseeing. Friendly service and a great place to meet up.
- L’Homo Erectus Classicus – Next door to Le DeTour, you have to just go for the name alone right. Great atmosphere but very small and intimate.
- ChristoBar – A gay bar which welcomes everyone, no labels or strings attached – so great if you have your supporters with you. Plenty of themed nights and one of the latest Happy Hours in Brussels lasting until 11pm most nights!
- La Reserve – A true gay pub in Brussels and one of the oldest gay establishments in Brussels. Sociable atmosphere, and close to everything else when you inevitably want to move on after a few beers.
- Station BXL – A retro-bar with draws a large crowd with its out-door area and tempting selection of beer and cocktails. Popular with bears and more mature guys – this is great place to meet friends or make new ones.
- Le Dolores – A small gay bar recently re-opened after a hiatus with local vibes and popular thanks to it’s outdoor terrace – especially in summer. Small but plenty of pretty young things.
- Le Bélgica – Cute bartenders, drink speaks, a small dance floor and a live DJ make this the most popular gay bar in Brussels with a great mix of people heading for after-work drinks or on the way to the clubs. A Belgium gay bar institution since the 1980s – and still going strong!
- Chez Maman – A men-only popular gay bar which is standing room only and famous for it’s bar top drag show. You have to knock to be let in – and leave your fruit flies at home.
- La Demence Gay Party – One of the biggest gay dance parties in Europe and worth planning an entire trip around – La Demence is an epic gay event occurring monthly at Fuse nightclub with three floors, four bars, international DJs, multiple dance floors and a dark room. Does it get even better? Yes – it’s strictly only men and the dark room is absolutely packed.
- Flash Tea Dance @ You Night Club – Every Sunday this trendy club is taken over with club pop, lesbians and twinks – or really anyone that has nowhere to be on a Monday. A different concept every week and everyone goes all out on their costumers. Check their Facebook page for inspiration.
- Revelation – The infamous Brussels Fetish party with two dance floors, an expansive cruising area, international DJ’s and oh-so-kinky dancers and performances. Not for the faint of heart, Revelation Fetish Party takes place in Brussels one Saturday a month at Bazaar.
- Cat Club – A fully inclusive pop-up event that takes place sporadically in the most bizarre views – think dilapidated, abandoned or about to be torn down. Check their Facebook page for the next big event.
The famous Brussels gay bar Le Boys Boudoir has now closed permanently sadly.
Gay Saunas in Brussels
Those who are interested in the gay sauna Brussels has to offer will no be disappointed by the options served up – and in such a foreign-friendly city you should have no issues visiting any Brussels gay sauna,. It appears gay prostitutes in Brussels are becoming increasingly common in many of the smaller establishments though. If gay saunas are not quite your thing, Argos Video Club, RoB Brussels @ Man2Man and Boris Boy are gay sex shops in Brussels Gay Village around the Saint Jacques neighbourhood and are well-known cruising spots for those looking for a bit more kink!
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in Gay Brussels, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you…
- Macho Sauna – The biggest and most popular gay sauna in Brussels, now operation under new management with a revamped bar. Famed for its 8am after-parties for those who left the La Demence monthly gay parties wanting more. Plenty of young beautiful things, and events every night of the week if you’re after something specific. Complete with all the expected services including bar, jacuzzi, pool, sauna, video area and mystery room.
- Sauna La Griffe – A small sauna in the centre of Brussels, with a relaxed vibe and general more mature gays – and those who love them. With relaxing private cabins, a fabulous Turkish steam bath and both wet and dry sauna – just take it slow and let the action come to you.
- Oasis Sauna / L’Oasis – A small sauna with questionable cleanliness but known for Bear Day on the first Friday of every month. Includes dry sauna, video room, pool, private cabins and bar.
- Sauna Club 3000 – A six-story sauna, cinema and adult shop complex open 24/7. Despite its appeal, reports from readers suggest it is filthy, now mixed men/women with little action and filled with plenty of rent boys waiting for their next pay-day. Facilities however include sauna, vide room, dark room and private cabins.Not a great option.
- Stamm Bar – A popular cruise bar with industrial details, a long bar and plenty of dark rooms. labyrinth and cruising spaces. Open nightly with a special Sunday afternoon session. Most popular with the bear, otter and admirers. Different themes each night. Not quite a bar, not quite a sauna.
Note: The Brussels Gay Sauna Spades 4 is permanently closed.