Discover the Best Gyms in Brussels – Morton Place Guide for Newcomers

Brussels houses a range of fitness options, from the upmarket luxurious options to affordable yet effective fitness centres. Gyms are also a great way to make new friends – once you settle into your routine you will recognize familiar faces attending at the same time or enjoying the same instructors as you. We bring you a well-curated list of gyms that offer the best of what Brussels has to offer at locations convenient to the EU quarter and where Morton Place residents live and like to go out. We recommend trying a day pass to see which environment suits you best and remember to read the fine print before signing any contract!


1. Aspria: Full service gym steps from the office
Located at a stone’s throw distance from the EU quarter, Aspria offers a premium fitness experience that extends beyond mere workouts. As an upmarket gym, it pampers its members with high-end facilities, a range of fitness classes in 5 different fitness rooms. If you love a class after a long day at work, or a quick workout during your lunch break this is the gym for you. The full service spa is an added bonus for extra pampering. If you are someone who enjoys a sprinkle of luxury and loads of classes to choose from, Aspria should be your go-to destination.

Our tip: Check out the fabulous indoor pool, the only one in the EU quarter!



2. Basic Fit: When Cheap and Cheerful fits the bill

If straightforward and budget-friendly is your fitness motto, Basic-Fit is your destination. Spread across various locations in the city, it offers a huge selection of solo or group workouts, ensuring that keeping fit becomes an integral part of your daily routine. Each gym has a neighborhood feel, with the staff greeting members by name. The music is amped up, the crowd is focused and the equipment is plentiful. As an added bonus, the proximity to Morton Place practically eliminates all excuses – there’s a Basic Fit within 200m of all our houses!

Our Tip: Check out Basic-Fit Ladies for a female-only environment that feels both empowering and intimate

3. Animo Studios: Chic Fitness with a Touch of Pampering
Animo Studios is the latest hotspot for fitness enthusiasts looking for a modern and stylish approach to health and wellness. This is a boutique fitness class experience where you attend classes or private training sessions only. Conveniently situated near Flagey, Louise, and Brugmann, the studios offer top-quality group classes in a range of popular styles – think yoga, pilates, general fitness, and cycling.

Fabulous music, beautiful surroundings and the best part? You don’t need to commit to a subscription. Their pay-as-you-go option makes it easy for you to dial up or down your commitment. These group classes are not only fun but also pack a punch, and spots fill up fast through their user-friendly app.

Treat yourself to a luxurious shower experience in their dressing areas, complete with exclusive beauty products and a calming ambiance. Animo Studios not only promises a challenging workout but a refreshing and pampering post-exercise routine.

Our Tip: For a perfect Sunday, try the Hot Yoga at the Brugmann location, followed by a nutritious brunch at the local favorite, Seven. It’s a delightful way to end your week!

4. Yoga Room: Find your Inner Peace
For those who are inclined towards a more reflective and calming fitness routine, we recommend the Yoga Room. A popular choice amongst yoga enthusiasts with a range of levels from beginners to experts, the Yoga Room offers a serene and welcoming environment where you can practice yoga under the guidance of experienced instructors. Classes are taught in English and French. The studios are chic and clean, with a friendly welcome staff and a soothing cup of herbal tea to settle you down. The formula is pay as you go, so no subscription services and there are hundreds of classes at all times of day. Whether you want early morning focus sessions or after work cool down there is always a class when you need it.

5. Corpus Studios Pilates: For specialised care in a friendly setting

Venture a bit closer to the EU quarter to find Corpus Pilates, a boutique gem focusing exclusively on Pilates classes, making it the most comprehensive choice in Brussels. Whether at their cosy studio near the EU quarter or the expansive specialised location near Flagey, you’ll find highly trained instructors guiding you through nuanced Pilates sessions, perfect for enthusiasts of all levels. It’s not just a fitness centre, but an insider’s choice for a boutique Pilates experience.

Our Tip: Friday evening classes are a perfect wind down after a week of work with the option to enjoy a glass at the nearby Place Flagey with friends or fellow pilates classmates.

Embarking on a new chapter in this city means more than just adapting to a new home—it’s about embracing a community filled with potential friendships and connections. In a new city, forming friendships can start with simple, shared experiences, and what better place to start than your local gym?

Here’s to staying fit, enjoying your time, and forging new friendships in Brussels!

Summer’s back in Brussels: Our Favorite Rooftop Hot Spots 

Sun’s out, fun’s out! Whether you’re in the mood for sunset cocktails or a weekend in the park with friends, soak up summer at some of our favorite rooftops. Most are tried and true Morton Place favorites, and others are hot spots we’ve recently discovered.  

 

Courtesy of The Hoxton

Tope at The Hoxton

Just a few months on the scene and  The Hoxton hotel’s rooftop restaurant Tope is already top! Head to this Mexican-inspired terrasse for an apéro afterwork if you’re at nearby Madou, or it’s the perfect place for glamorous cocktails if you happen to be enjoying an evening at the Botanique, either way it’s worth the detour!  The extensive bar menu includes all the classics, plus tequila & mezcal speciality cocktails to pair with trios of tacos  — from the al pastor, to the vegetarian Coliflor, and several variations of chicken, beef and shrimp. Tope is sure to prolong the memories of your summer holiday!  

Tope at The Hoxton, Square Victoria Régina 1, 1210 Brussels  

Mon-Thurs 17:00 to midnight // Fri-Sat 15:00 to 01:00 // Sun 15:00 to midnight

Courtesy of Jam Hotel

 

Perché 

Perché is a long-time MP Chatelain house favorite so make it your neighborhood bar all summer long too! Perched on the roof of the nearby JAM hotel, we can attest that Perché is the ultimate staycation location. The brave will take a dip in the pool while sipping a signature cocktail (can we say Thym Sour and Pineapple Daiquiri anyone?!) Or just tuck into bar snacks while admiring your neighborhood from a new vantage point. Perche? Pourquoi, pas? 

 

Perché at the JAM Hotel, 6th Floor, Chaussée de Charleroi 132, 1060 Saint Gilles

Everyday from 17:00 to 01:00 

Courtesy of Albert

Albert 

Libraries aren’t just for reading, especially at the Royal Library of Belgium. So, ditch the books and head to the sprawling 2200 m2 rooftop terrasse for a Brussels experience like no other. While the hours are limited to align with the bibliothèque, maybe you can duck out of work early to catch the incredible views with a beverage & snack in hand. Or bring your laptop along and keep workingat one of the many comfortable spaces! Best of all you can book a table here for weekend brunch too. 

 

Albert, KBR Building, 5th Floor, Mont des Arts 28, 1000 Brussels

Everyday from 9:00 to 17:00

Courtesy of Warwick Hotel

Secret Rooftop Bar

While it’s not so secret anymore, The Warwick hotel’s rooftop is still worth shouting about. Morton Place residents have long imbibed from the bar’s classic and signature cocktails, and  bubbles, beer and softs. While a destination on its own, this high-in-the-sky sojourn could be the perfect first stop on an evening out downtown. Escape the bustle of central Brussels with views of the Grand Place from this iconic vantage point. 

 

Secret Rooftop Bar at the Warwick Hotel, rue Duquesnoy 5, 1000 Brussels

Mon-Sat 17:00 to 23:00 // Sun 16:00 to 22:00

 

Our favorite picnic spots, walking distance to Morton Place

 

Brussels is full of beautiful green spaces for taking advantage of the summer sun. Luckily Morton Place is near it all! Grab a group of friends, or plan a romantic rendez-vous for two, and enjoy what our residents consider the best of the best public parks nearby. 

 

Bois de la Cambre

The Bois de la Cambre is the ultimate outdoor space somewhat close to Morton Place. It’s definitely worth the extra effort to get there, either by planning a long-ish walk or via scooter, bike, or public transport. Boasting an expanse of grassy fields, forest areas and walking & biking trails lining the southern part of Brussels you can always find a shady spot under the trees or stake your claim to a sunny patch by the lake.

Perhaps you’d prefer to pack your own picnic for an afternoon in the park, but if dining out is your thing, check out Woodpecker and Le Kiosque for casual fare like sandwiches and snacks. If you’re up for a mini adventure, jump on the ferry boat shuttle to Chalet Robinson where you can dine more formally in the restaurant — or plop down in a canvas lounger on the lawn and watch the paddle boaters go by.

 

Our favorite place for quick bites and cool drinks is Le Kiosque. This cheerful, self service café has some impromptu jazz nights during the summer and keeps its terrace full of young punters satisfied with generous drinks, decent enough food and lovely staff.

Check out the individual websites for exact locations and hours.

 

 

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Maybe you work near the European Quarter or just want a change of scenery…Parc du Cinquantenaire offers a majestic backdrop for picnicking. Surrounded by a panoramic arcade built to commemorate the 50th year of Belgium’s independence, the park features a long esplanade and ample space for spreading out to enjoy a Brussels sunset. If you’re up for some culture, pop into the Military, Auto and Art History museums surrounding the park, watch the calendar for a myriad of events, or just pick up a variety of goodies from the numerous specialty food & drink shops nearby and park yourself in the grass. 

Parc de Forest – Park van Vorst
© visit.brussels – Jean-Paul Remy – 2019

Forest Park

Forest is the closest walking distance park from our Morton Place homes, which means it’s an easy go-to destination for lazy summer days. The vast open areas make for perfect picnic spots, kicking around the football, tossing a frisbee, or just meandering amid the beautiful flower beds and foliage. Swing by the myriad of shops along the way to fill up your picnic basket – create your own from the Carrefour Market at Chaussee d’Alsemberg or go for pre-made goodies from some of our favorites like Himalayan dumplings from Mo Mo and creative rice paper rolls from Knees to Chin.

Place Louis Morichar Park

For super-local green space, well off the beaten track and  just 400 meters from your front door, head over to Place Louis Morichar. A quintessential city park, where basketballers and skateboarders unite, you’ll also find it a perfect go-to spot for summer sundowners and picnics, always packed with fellow neighbors when the weather is nice. 

The Ixelles Ponds & Gardens of the Abbaye de la Cambre 

Just a hop, skip & jump from Morton Place you’ll find an idyllic location for picnicking amid the bustle of popular Place Flagey. If you go on Saturday or Sunday, hit the famous Flagey market, easily accessible on the 81 tram from Lombardie. On other days, combine an afternoon apéro or morning espresso on the sprawling terrace of red chairs at Cafe Belga — and then make your way along the Ixelles ponds and up through the Abbey and surrounding gardens.

 

Moving to Brussels: What to Expect Bienvenue! Welkom! Willkommen! No matter how you say it, if you’ve decided to move to Brussels, welcome to your new adventure! 

Maybe you’ve visited this vibrant city before, and if so, you have a small taste of all the things that make Brussels so great — even beyond the beer, frites, mussels, chocolate, and waffles. But living in Brussels is a much different experience than a short city break. Thousands of people move to this amazing city every year – and it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to get excited about so keep reading for the inside scoop on living your best life day-to-day, plus some administrative tips for making Brussels your new home.

What to expect from Brussels life

Languages in Belgium 

Belgium has three national languages: French, Dutch, and German. French dominates the Brussels scene, but the capital city is officially bilingual along with Dutch. You’ll probably notice that all the street names are written in French and Dutch, along with food & package labeling, advertising, public transport, and lots of other day-to-day communication. The German language will prevail only if you venture to a small corner of eastern Belgium. 

Luckily for the plethora of expats who call Brussels home, language education is excellent in Belgium so most locals speak English without any trouble. In fact, most websites and public transport stations all tend to have things written in English so communicating won’t be an issue! 

And if you have the time and interest to learn a new language yourself, here’s a list of language schools in the Brussels region.

Making Friends in Brussels

Brussels welcomes around 40,000 newcomers every year. Loads of people come here because so many European institutions and companies are based in this city. So there are plenty of jobs around – particularly in service areas like law, PR, and consulting. As a result, Brussels is a fairly busy city and quite a youthful one too. One of the best parts of living in this vibrant capital is meeting new friends from all over the world! You’ll mix with a multitude of expats out at networking events, bars, coffee shops, food markets, restaurants, concerts, local events and just walking around the city. Expect to mingle with plenty of international professionals in all facets of your daily life, many of whom have probably emigrated from other countries like you.

Weather in Brussels

Belgium has a special weather reputation, right? Grey, rainy, blah. In realty, there’s more to Belgian weather than this unfortunate stereotype! Yes, the one thing you can count on is rain – but it’s not all day, everyday. Sometimes it even hails for added excitement! In general, the temperature is mild all year round, and you’ll likely see beautiful sunny spells in the late spring, summer and even into fall. Some summer days are downright hot, so you might even escape to the Belgian coast. The winter months aren’t unbearable either; snow can fall, but the temperatures rarely drop too far below freezing. Pro tip: it’s best to invest in a small umbrella to keep in your bag since Brussels always seems to play tricks on the weather apps!

Now, when you arrive in Brussels, there are various admin tasks you need to concern yourself with. We’re talking about financial admin, registration, figuring out how to get around, and so on. Bearing that in mind, here’s what you can expect:

Current Covid Regulations in Brussels

As you can imagine, Covid regulations change constantly. While we are currently experiencing minimal impact to daily life in Brussels, it’s a good idea to check the region’s official Covid site for the most up to date information. You’ll find answers to all your questions regarding Covid certificates, vaccines & boosters, testing sites, pharmacies and more.

How to Register at the Commune: Registering Your Residency

As you may know, Brussels consists of 19 separate communes, or municipalities. Belgian law requires that most adults register with the commune where they reside if planning to stay longer than three months. 

Head over to our step by step guide on how to register your residency. 

Two key points to keep in mind when planning your move to Brussels: 

When landlords say you can register or “domicile” with your lease that means you can register to live in Brussels legally. If you have seen the term “non-domiciliation,” you can’t register to live legally at that address and might want to reconsider housing options. 

Residents of non-EU member states will need to apply for a visa prior to requesting residency. Most likely your employer has already finalized this process, which includes work permits and necessary applications. 

Online Services: Staying Connected 

At Morton Place, you’ll be up and running with wifi and Internet services in no time. But if you need to start from e-scratch, update your mobile phone service, or require other online necessities, you’ll find a slew of spots in Brussels to stay connected. Visit companies like Proximus, Orange, Telenet, Base, and Mobile Vikings for internet and mobile subscriptions, prepaid & SIM cards, products and more. Pop into the Apple store for all the latest & greatest gadgets, centrally located near Avenue Louise. 

 

 

Public Transportation in Brussels: Get Around Town in Public…

The public transport network in Brussels offers swift and reliable options for getting around town. Take your pick of trams, buses, and the metro depending  on where you are and where you want to go. You can even check your commute time at the interactive transport site STIB-MIVB and also find the fastest way to get from point A to B in this bustling city. 

Our Morton Place properties are very close to public transport stations, so we highly recommend using them for easy and reliable service. 

We recommend you order a MoBiB card online, as this is the easiest way to pay for public transport. You can top it up with as much money as you need, and it can be used to pay for all of the public transport operators in Belgium. These days, you can also use contactless credit or debit card to pay on board however as of this writing, it is more expensive to pay for a ride with contactless than via a MoBiB card. 

…Or Ride Alone in Private!

Brussels has seriously embraced alternative personal mobility. We’ve highlighted some of the more popular options below, but check out this complete list of mobility options ranging from electric kick scooters to private car shares. 

Electric (kick) scooter and ebike sharing services have taken over almost every corner of this city! While there is some controversy regarding safety and parking, these personal transport options, accessible via app, are extremely popular and very useful for zipping around. Brands like DOTT and Bolt offer both ebikes and scooters, while Lime, Voi, Bird and Tier have hundreds of scooters available.

Swapfiets lets you pay a monthly fee for your own personal electric bike — a great choice for shorter commutes and freedom on the weekends. 

Traditional bicycle shares like Villo! make it easy to ride from one fixed point to another with flexible payment options. 

Want to feel the wind in your hair? Well, under your helmet at least. Sign up for Felyx, the electric moped service that’s as fun as it is useful. 

Car sharing providers like Cambio and Poppy allow you to pick up a car at a station or within a zone and deliver it back when you’re done. 

Uber has experienced an ongoing legal battle here in Brussels, but currently the cars are running and it’s easy to order (and even pre-book) a pickup.  

If you have a private car, your lease at Morton Place qualifies you for a resident’s parking permit which you can obtain from the commune.

Shopping for Home Goods: Deck out Your Space with the Finishing Touches 

You will find plenty of shops in Brussels with the essentials for making your new space a home. If you just need to pick up a few toiletries, you’ll find mini markets like Proxy and Carrefour Express dotted around the city. 

If home decor, bedding, towels, novelty items and household appliances are on your list, add HEMA, Zara Home, H&M Home and Casa to the mix. All of these shops are within walking distance of Morton Place for you to explore. There are also two IKEAs around Brussels, for added retail therapy. (And meatballs).

Shop from the comfort of your own home with bol.com or amazon.com.be to have almost anything delivered to your front door! 

Can You See Yourself at Morton Place? 

We hope that you’ll join our Morton Place community! As a resident in one of our homes it is our mission to help you settle into Brussels while delivering you the unique benefits of a chic, all-inclusive, coliving environment. Feel free to reach out anytime!

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