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Up my street: The Bulletin's neighbourhood guide to Evere

22:41 20/08/2018

Evere in the northeast of Brussels is bordered by Haren, Schaerbeek, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Flanders. Like many of the peripheral communes, it’s quiet and leafy and well-suited for families. It’s also conveniently located for those working in the EU institutions, with direct trains to Schuman taking just seven minutes, and is handy for the motorway network and the airport too. We surveyed readers of The Bulletin to find out what it’s really like to live here and what they’re not so keen on.

“I’ve lived here for three years, and for me it’s the friendliest and most peaceful neighbourhood in Brussels,” says Spela from Slovenia. “The people still feel like a community, and it’s the only place I’ve ever lived where the town hall staff are super-friendly. I feel like a resident as an expat, not some criminal they don’t know what to do with.” Any downsides to life here? “More tram lines would be great.”           

“It’s been quiet so far with a decent crowd of people, and there are green patches and amenities all around,” says one German resident who recently moved here. “Evere is a calm spot in the city: I’ve got everything I need within a five-minute walk,” adds Dimitar from Bulgaria, who’s lived here for 15 years. “I’d like to see an improvement of public transport, with more railway services. The staff at the town hall are normally helpful, but there’s always a long wait.” 

Another long-term resident is Ray from the UK, who moved here from Bangkok 15 years ago. “It’s quiet, peaceful and quite green, with numerous facilities and good local government,” he told us in our reader survey. “It’s friendly and has good transport links, though the local bars aren’t up to much.”

According to one Polish expat, Evere is mainly a safe area, though the streets closer to the neighbouring commune of Schaerbeek feel less so. “It’s mainly local people who live here,” they say. “It’s close to the airport and the connection to the city centre is good, though there’s no night bus and it’s quite noisy at night due to the proximity of the airport.” In terms of shopping, the local centre “could be a real shopping mall and not just three supermarkets, and the Decathlon site could also be more developed with more shops,” they say. “There is not much to do in Evere, to be honest, but it is a very beautiful district when it comes to architecture.”

A neighbour from the Netherlands agrees: “It’s quiet, there’s not much to do. I like the greenery and the parks, because there’s nothing else to do or visit. There are no shops, everything is closed on Sundays and closes too early on weekdays.”             

One Belgian resident from Charleroi has lived here five years and describes it as “a green and beautiful place with a nice atmosphere and quiet streets, though there’s no metro. The town hall staff are helpful if you explain to them exactly what you want from them.”

Property in Evere is more expensive than in many other communes, with much of the current available housing stock – to rent or to buy – in modern apartment blocks. One-bedroom furnished apartments with terrace in a new development close to the Nato headquarters in nearby Haren are available to rent for about €1,000 per month, for example. Three- and four-bedroom houses are available to buy for around €350,000 to €400,000, according to property website Immoweb.

Local landmarks in Evere include the Brussels Museum of the Mill and Food, housed in an old windmill that’s listed as a national heritage building. The permanent exhibition showcases the history and importance of milling, with regular temporary exhibitions focusing on different aspects of food culture. The vast Brussels Cemetery is also here, the final resting place of several notable local people, including former mayors Jules Anspach and Charles De Brouckère. It also features a large monument in memory of the soldiers of Waterloo, by Belgian sculptor Jacques De Lalaing.

Favourite spots

Sushi Moon Japanese restaurant • Triton, the local swimming pool with sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi, tennis, table tennis and shooting range • The Brussels Cemetery “for a stroll among the magnificent old tombstones” • The park in front of the church of Saint-Vincent • The green areas around Tuinbouw and the small wood around the Stade Communale • Chez Anesti Greek restaurant • Un Goût de Chez Nous tapas-style restaurant • 86 Avenue Boîte à Pâtes restaurant

Positives

  • Quiet and peaceful
  • Attractive streets and houses
  • Good transport links with two railway stations, Bordet and Evere
  • Town hall staff are easy to deal with

Negatives

  • No metro service and no night bus
  • Not much to do
  • Limited shopping options
  • Some areas feel unsafe
  • Property is expensive
  • Not many bars, cafes or restaurants
  • Some airport noise
Written by Sally Tipper