Must-see nightlife in Belgium

  • Café Hessenhuis


    In a fine brick building that started life as a 16th-century warehouse, the cool, modernised interior hosts a welcoming bar aimed for a gay male clientele…

  • Georges Café

    The Ardennes

    With 13 brews on tap, a quirky interior with seats that look like old tram benches, a large terrace and cosy rear garden-yard, Georges is the most…

  • Warzone


    Take surreal decor with a ghoulish dark humour, add arcade games, thrash metal music and staff with more piercings and ink than plain skin et voilà – c…

  • In den Spytighen Duvel

    Northeast Belgium

    Sit beside a fireplace beneath historic beamed ceilings at this quiet pub and get stuck into a choice of over 200 brews including all the Trappists and 25…

  • Barricade/Entre-Temps


    Want deep discussions (in French) about the state of the world? Then venture into this intimate little cafe with two convivial little balconies, located…

  • Gruut


    Ghent’s uberpopular brewery-pub serves excellent herb-infused brews. Guided tours of the brewery (for a minimum of eight thirsty punters) are available by…

  • Booze’n’Blues


    Cramped and rough, Booze’n’Blues features a mannequin torso, an old jukebox and an extended bar panelled like a choir stall. Unpredictable, entertainingly…

  • Au Soleil


    This old clothes shop has been converted into a shabby-chic bar with good beats and surprisingly inexpensive drinks given its status as a favourite for…

  • Brasserie {c}


    A tasting room for Liège's exciting new brewery whose products are already causing a stir, notably the refreshing Curtius wheat beer and the excellent IPA…

  • De Kat


    A calm, mirror-panelled little bruin café (traditional pub) that's an absolute classic for quietly sipping a bolleke (beer from €2.20).

  • Roskam


    Navy tiles and a stylised horse-head sign identify this bar and music venue, a small and welcoming neighbourhood place that hosts great Sunday-night jazz…

  • Le Marseillais du Jeu de Balle


    This traditional corner bar is a much-loved old stager on the square. It serves baguettes and beers, but the speciality is pastis: an anise-flavoured…

  • Brasserie Ploegmans


    This classic local hostelry with old-fashioned mirror-panelled seats and 1927 chequerboard flooring is well regarded for its typical Bruxellois meals.

  • Chatleroi


    Grungier and friendlier than most bars in ’t Zuid, Chatleroi has a deeply atmospheric interior and eclectic musical taste, whether piped or live.

  • De Geus van Gent


    This congenial, multifaceted café with eclectic decor and at least 20 beers from the barrel hosts regular jam nights and live music.

  • Staminee den Boulevard

    West Flanders

    Flickering candles, crooning soft jazz and more than 100 beers including draught Chimay Tripel (€3.50). Tables spill onto the park opposite.

  • Rococo


    Lit only by candles, this classic late-night cafe-bar with carved wooden ceilings is an ideal place for cosy midnight conversations.

  • Le Belgica


    DJs transform what looks like a traditional 1920s' brown café into one of Brussels’ most popular gay music pubs.

  • Pelikaan


    A lively, inexpensive bruin café (traditional pub) with summer street-seating spilling out towards the cathedral.

  • Le Coffee Ride

    The Ardennes

    Cool decor, great coffee (from €2) and insider suggestions for cycling fanatics; located just above Coo train station.

  • Entrenous


    A real nightclub in the centre of the city. A very youthful crowd packs out the DJ nights, gigs and after-parties.

  • Stammbar


    A men-only cruising venue with an arty theme, Stammbar has regular themed exhibitions and DJ nights.

  • Kitty O’Shea’s


    Friendly Irish pub near the European Commission that's great for beer, sport and socialising.

  • Club des Halles


    Popular city-centre club in the vaulted cellars beneath the buzzing Café des Halles.

  • Wine Fever


    From bottles of Italian barolo to glasses of Argentinean malbec, Wine Fever offers a whistle-stop tour of some of the world's best wines. The specials on…

  • Jane's


    Jane’s is where New York cocktails meet the Italian aperitivo. Among marble tables and intimate lighting, platters of grilled Scamorza cheese with…

  • Belga & Co


    The beans sold at this hip coffee shop are prepared at Belga & Co’s own roaster in Antwerp. Caffeine connoisseurs can expect a choice of well-prepared…

  • Celtica bar.



    Lewd, loud, central and – most importantly – cheap: just €1 for a beer.

  • Lafayette Music Bar


    With the panelling of a traditional café but the backlit bottle racks of a fashion-conscious cocktail bar, Lafayette hits a fine balance between hip and…

  • Le Bouffon du Roi


    Reminiscent of a typical Euro-Irish bar but without the signposts to Killarney, this is popular with students from the nearby university and has a beer…

  • Le Châtelet


    This busy pub-café on Ostend's so-called 'Little Paris' corner was built in 1885. It's a local landmark and a thoroughly atmospheric place to down a beer,…

  • Hotsy Totsy


    Silver-floral wallpaper, black-and-white photos from the glory days of celluloid and the occasional live jazz performance (9pm most Thursdays Oct-Apr)…

  • ’t Binnenhuys


    One of Ypres' oldest houses, the 1772 Binnenhuys was rare in surviving WWI relatively intact. It's now an old-world home interiors shop, but tucked away…

  • Mokabon


    In a graphic metaphor of globalisation, Ghent's classic old-world coffee shop is now hidden behind a brash Starbucks. Its response? A bright new takeaway…

  • Café Botteltje


    In a spacious café reminiscent of a British pub you'll find around 300 different beers, including a dozen on draught. Meals (noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to…

  • Vitrin


    Of all the terraces on Marnixplaats overlooking the huge Neptune sculpture, this happy spot is generally the most popular. And when skies open, the big…

  • La Boule Rouge

    The Ardennes

    A low-key café with a people-watching terrace, a wide range of fair-priced beers (most €3.90) and plenty of decent pub food at reasonable prices (mains €9…

  • Abbaye d'Aulne Brasserie


    Around the back of the Abbaye d'Aulne, it's worth seeking out this timeless brasserie, which serves up excellent high-fermentation beers, including the…

  • Au Tableau Qui Dit des Bêtises


    The tree-shaded terrace by Liège's cathedral is a good place to sip a glass of wine with local arty types. The bistro section next door with an all-black…

  • The Vintage


    Unusually hip for Bruges, with a '60s/'70s vibe and a vintage Vespa hanging from the roof. The sunny terrace is a nice spot for a Jupiler, and the theme…

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