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Brussels to get new youth hostel in 2025

13:24 27/05/2024

Young people coming to the capital next year will have a new youth hostel to discover in the centre of town, on the Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains, near Place Sainte-Catherine.

Existing options for budget accommodation in Brussels include the Breughel in the Marolles area and the Jacques Brel and Van Gogh hostels in Saint-Josse near the Botanique.

The youth hostel sector is doing well in Brussels, with an occupancy rate of 70-80%, according to RTBF.

Youth hostels do not suffer from competition from other platforms such as Airbnb as they add to the range of tourist accommodation available in the capital.

At the same time, they promote sharing and meeting people in the common areas of the building – kitchen, lounge, TV room or other, a spokesperson from Belgium’s organisation representing youth hostels, Les Auberges de Jeunesse, said.

This hostel will offer more than 180 places at "competitive" prices as well as a restaurant and spaces where exhibitions, workshops and other events can take place. It will be able to accommodate Belgian and international groups wishing to discover or rediscover the capital.

Les Auberges de Jeunesse managing director Luc Mesuere told RTBF that, despite the pandemic, there has always been strong demand for accommodation for young people. Youth hostels served a niche and were popular for example with school groups from Wallonia and Flanders.

Opening in spring 2025, the hostel will bear the name of Arthur Haulot (1913-2005), a pioneer of socia’ tourism in Belgium and the first secretary-general of the international social tourism organisation. Haulot was also a poet and a member of the Belgian resistance in the second world war.

Brussels' secretary of state for urbanism and heritage, Pascal Smet, said: “Brussels is a young and diverse city, full of energy, but we need to be able to welcome more young people.”

The new hostel building used to be a medical centre but has remained vacant for years. It meets Brussels' "10-minute city" ambition – where all neighbourhoods offer collective facilities such as housing, schools, creches, sports halls, cultural centres, shops and green spaces within a 10-minute walk.

Written by Liz Newmark