The North-East of Brussels is a residential and commercial district of Belgiums capital, bordering Schaarbeek to the south-west and Woluwe to the south. The district is sandwiched between the rail yard of Brussels North and the border with Flanders. It is internationally known for hosting the NATO headquarters of Evere, making the district one of the most powerful military hubs in the world. Aside from the Cemetery of Brussels, this off-the-beaten-track district has a few interesting museums to offer.
The district consists of the communes Evere in its centre, Haren to the north, and the residential parts of Schaarbeek to the south-east.
The district has 3 train stations: 1 , 2 , 3 , and 4 . The Schaarbeek station is the most frequented station on the line to Vilvoorde, Mechelen, and Antwerp. All stations are served by Belgian rail operator NMBS.
Trams Evere station, and tram stops at Schaarbeek station. To reach the main tourist attractions (museums, O Siam), take tram from direction until 5 , about 30 min. All trams are operated by the MIVB., , and stop at
Bus lines Flemish bus company De Lijn, with an incompatible ticketing system. As a rule of thumb, bus line numbers below 100 are MIVB lines, and line numbers above 100 are De Lijn lines., , and traverse the district and have numerous connection points with tram and rail network. Note that many bus lines are operated by the
As in the other districts, bicycle sharing system Villo has numerous stations where a bike can be dropped off. Cycle time is ca. 30 - 40 min from the Brussels city center, depending on where you want to get in the district.
By public transport
Trams, , and traverse most of the district, and the fastest mode of point to point transportation. Bus lines and reach the northern parts of the district, but are a slower option. You can take a bus or tram with the same ticket within an hour, since they're both operated by the MIVB.
All the tourist attractions can be reached from any of the train stations by foot within 30 minutes.
- 1 NATO Headquarters. A large military complex in use as the NATO headquarters. It is off-limits to visitors, and you might get shot on sight when trying to get in so leave your bombs at the entrance.
- 2 Communal Museum of Evere (Gemeentelijk Museum van Evere), Edward Stuckensstraat 11-13 ( ), ☎ . Th 14:00-17:00. A museum dedicated to the history of the Evere commune, focussing on the political, religious, economical and social life in the area from the Midde Ages to the present. The story of Evere is told through paintings, sculptures, and tools from pre-urbanized times. Many pictures and artifacts guide visitors through the more recent history of Evere and its signficance for Brussels. Free.
- 3 Museum of Milling and Food (Museum van de Molen en de Voeding), Windmolenstraat 21 ( ), ☎ . W-F 10:00-17:00, Sa-Su 13:00-17:30. Occupying the former windmill of Evere, built in 1841 to grind the grain of surrounding farms. It was hooked up to a steam machine in 1853, making the blades redundant, and they were disassembled shortly afterwards. From 1911 onwards, the will could no longer compete with larger mills and it lost its function. For the next 20 years, it became a location for various companies and factories unrelated to milling. From 1930 to 1983 most notably, the building served as a spices factory, after which the mill remained empty for 25 years. It gained the status of protected heritage in 1990 and was acquired by the municipality in 1998 which gave it its current function of museum in 2008. It hosts a permanent exhibition of machines and tools used for milling and processing spices, dating from the spices factory era. It also discusses the history of the mill, the development of milling techniques from prehistoric grindstones evolving to millstones and contemporary techniques. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that change yearly, ranging from nutrituional themes to the history of breakfast, the history of sweets, culinary history of the First World War, forgotten and unusual vegetables, and so on.
- 4 Cemetery of Brussels ( ). The cemetery of Brussels is, rather ironically, situated behind the former NATO headquarters complex. Numerous inhabitants of Brussels with a historic significance are burried here, including former mayor Charles Buls, and Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, founder of the Brussels University.
- 5 Field of Honour. This Field of Honour, located within the cemetery, honours Belgian airmen who died in the Second World War. It is administered and maintained by the Belgian Ministry of Defence, although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemoratively lists 84 of the airmen buried here who died serving in British Commonwealth air forces following the fall of Belgium to Nazi German occupation in 1940. In all over 200 airmen are commemorated here with headstones. Around 30 of those, whose headstones are marked "missing" (in ancient Celtic "disparu"), have no known grave. The cemetery also contains the war graves of 53 British Commonwealth service personnel of the First World War and 587 from Second World War. Most of the graves from the former war, all within Plot X, are of bodies of prisoners of war exhumed from Germany and reburied here by the Canadian Corps in April 1919. Those of the latter war are of troops of the British Expeditionary Force in Belgium in May 1940 before the retreat to Dunkirk, aircrew crashed or shot down over Belgium, and, predominately, those on lines of communication duties after the liberation of Brussels in September 1944. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission are responsible for these graves as well as for 35 Foreign National service burials and 5 non-World War service burials.
- 6 British Waterloo Campaign Monument, Rond Punt der Geallieerden. Monument for British officers killed during the Waterloo Campaign of 1815. After being suggested in 1861,the City Council of Brussels approved to donate about 30 m² of cemetery to re-bury British officers whose graves were in or around Brussels, and on cemeteries around the battlefields of Waterloo and Quatre Bras. Queen Victoria personally oversaw the funding of a suitable monument. The sculpture, a design of Belgian artist Jacques de Lalaing, is a large edifice of bronze figures on a plinth of stone blocks. It depicts Britannia with her hemet and trident lowered, surrounded by weapons, uniforms and equipment. Inscribed to the sides of the plinth are shields bearing the names of the regiments that participated in the campaign. The monument was unveiled in 1890, with below it a crypt with 16 niches. It now contain 17 bodies, all of which were transferred here between 1890 and 1894. Of the 17 men, all but one died during the campaign: Sergeant-Major Edward Cotton survived the battle and became a tourist guide to the battlefields after the campaign. He was buried at Hougomont after his death in 1849 and also transferred to the Monument.
- 8 Train World, Prinses Elisabethplein 5, Schaarbeek (in and next to the Schaarbeek train station; take the train; or take the tram until its terminus station ). Tu-Su 10:00 - 17:00. Belgian train museum, opened in September 2015. €10.
- 1 O Siam, Lindestraat 207 ( ), ☎ . 11:00-23:00. A small spa with hammam, sauna, jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, Japanese garden, and massage facilities. Also offers bed & breakfast. Couples €125 for 2h.
- 2 Xtreme Park, Haachtsesteenweg 1385 ( ). Su-F 17:00-22:00. Indoor skeelering, rollerskating, rollerblading and skateboarding facility, opened in 2018.
- 1 Courtyard Brussels, Avenue des Olympiades-Olympiadenlaan 6, ☎ . Positioned between a housing and a commercial area, close to NATO and reasonably close to the airport. Quality furnished spacious rooms, cold breakfast is good but cooked breakfast questionable. Underground parking available.
Other districts of Brussels adjacent to the North-East district are
- 1 Schaarbeek, a residential area to the south-west, with impressive architecture, and the Brussels Red Lights District.
- 2 Woluwe, laid back residential area with neat tree lined boulevards, UNESCO World Heritage site class architectural sights, and excellent restaurants.
Several adjacent towns in Flanders are also worth a day trip:
- 1 Grimbergen to the north-west, with an impressive abbey, public lunar observatory, and world class spa.
- 2 Kraainem to the east, easily reachable by Villo or bus, one of the earliest sites of industrialization around Brussels.
- 3 Vilvoorde to the north, a former manufacturing hub of the car industry, nowadays overrun by immigrants.
- 4 Tervuren to the south, an authentic town on the outskirts of the Sonian Forest.