Barely outside of Brussels, Saint-Gilles has the largest non-Belgian population in the area with nearly half a city of foreign residents. Among the French, Portuguese, and Italians, digital nomads also come here for a great coliving experience.
The best ways to get around are by subway, bus, and tram. Cycling or walking are still great options, with a ride into Brussels city center only taking 10 minutes or a 30-minute walk. Taxis are available but only really necessary after 11 pm when transit is reduced.
Being a Northern European Coastal city, St-Gilles has warm, sunny summers around with daytime highs in the mid-70s, with cool nights in the mid-50s. Winters are cold and cloudy, with days around the low 40s and nights dropping to the low 30s.
With just a short commute to Brussels, residents can enjoy everything the city and surrounding municipalities have to offer. With a large Portuguese population, St-Gilles is home to the annual Portuguese festival. While there are epic museums and cathedrals to see in the city, St-Gilles has some nicer, calmer parks to enjoy a quiet day.
Enjoying a coliving space in the capital offers unlimited food options. Some must-try foods include meatballs, Flemish stew, and rabbit with prunes. A Belgian staple is the grey shrimp, which are characterized as being sweet and delicate. Many great local foods come with a classic side of Belgian fries, or you can always grab a cone with a dollop of your favorite sauce at any fry stand.
Here are some fun facts about St-Gilles:
- For centuries it was originally known for its cabbage cultivation until the mid-1800s when the Brussels region expanded
- Belgium was the second country in the world to decriminalize homosexuality
- Karl Marx was among many famous exiles to have lived in Belgium and wrote the communist manifesto in Belgium