Cologne’s Belgian Quarter: tips from the hippest neighbourhood in Cologne

Hallo everyone!

I’m Caro from the Colonia Aktiv Team and today I’m going to take you on a trip to a very special area, the Belgian Quarter!It’s almost like a guided bike tour, but WITHOUT a bike! Because today we’re going to take a classic walk to discover the hippest corners!

Cologne’s Belgian Quarter is one of the city’s most popular, but also most expensive neighbourhoods. Here you will find a variety of unusual boutiques, galleries, theatres, trendy pubs, cafés and bars that will make the hearts of fashionistas, art lovers and party animals beat faster. There is something for everyone in this neighbourhood, from the hustle and bustle of the city centre to quiet places to relax.

Belgian Quarter? Where does that name originate from? 

Well, the neighbourhood owes its name to its streets, which are named after Belgian provinces and cities. Specifically, these are the provinces of Brabant, Limburg and the Flanders region, as well as cities such as Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp.And the neighbourhood does indeed exude a similar charm to the Belgian fashion capitals: artists, the music and design scene, publishers and agencies all congregate here and are closely networked with one another.

Fun fact: Some of you may have already noticed this little Easter egg, but there are also a few Dutch cities hidden among the street names, such as Maastricht Street and Utrecht Street!

Now then, off we go to the Belgian Quarter

Belgian Quarter at ist best: a clash of arts and cultures! 

We start on Maastrichter Street, take a short walk around Brussels Square and continue along Brussels Street to Bismarck Street. Not a long route, is it? But long enough to give you an insight into why Cologne’s Belgian Quarter is so popular!

Belgisches Viertel

Along Maastrichter Street

Maastrichter Street is special in some ways: here, for example, we find the odd hidden restaurant or cute little boutiques that are just crying out for a quick stroll. In my opinion, however, it’s the buildings that give me an impression of what to expect as soon as I enter this otherwise quiet neighbourhood. New and old buildings stand parallel to each other, as if modernity is merging with history. And in the middle of it all is St Michael’s Church, the spires of which we can see from afar peeking out from between the treetops.

I took a closer look at this church and found out that the neo-Romanesque church building is actually the third largest church in Cologne. It is located right in the heart of the popular Belgian Quarter and was only built at the beginning of the 20th century in just 4 years!

Brussels Square  – the heart of the Belgian Quarter

Once you arrive at Brussels Square, the trend of new and old buildings lined up next to each other continues, and on nice days – especially in summer – St. Michael’s Church, surrounded by lush green trees, bushes and colourful flowers, gives the area an extraordinary flair. As soon as the sun comes out, Brussels Square is the place to be, where the people of Cologne like to pass the time with a cool Kölsch!

Belgian Quarter meets food and drinking culture! 

There’s so much food and drink on offer around Brussels Square that I don’t even know where to start! No problem! Want to enjoy a cold beer outdoors? No problem! Or do you fancy something tasty to eat? There are plenty of restaurants and sweet cafés around the square offering hearty savoury dishes or sugary snacks. With the option of sitting outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, of course. I authentically opt for the kiosk drink and a piece of cake from the café next door and continue my walk.

Around St. Michael and off we go to Brussels Street!


Let’s start with a little fun fact ahead, because if you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, this bizarre work of art could give you a real fright. The balcony sculpture on Brussels Street is an incredibly lifelike sculpture that resembles a person sitting calmly on the edge of their balcony – which not only looks very dangerous, but also sends many passers-by into a brief state of shock.

Belgisches Viertel„Hiding in Plain Sight“…!

Further down Brussels Street is another building that our street art lovers in particular must have seen! And if you’ve ever been on our guided street art tour, you’ll recognise this spot immediately: the walls are covered in stickers, stencils and works of art, and the look of this unique hotspot changes almost weekly when a few new artists have immortalised themselves here. I take a look around and immediately notice a small sticker by Joiny that I particularly like!

If you want to find out more about the street art scene, have a look here!

Further through Brussels Street

During the day, the small boutiques and shops invite you to take a relaxed stroll and I was naturally drawn straight to the nearest bookshop! Nightlife, on the other hand, is very different, as there are plenty of pubs and cool bars between the small shops.

Belgische Viertel

Cologne party nights in the Belgian Quarter!

From a kiosk beer to a cocktail to start or end the evening… It doesn’t matter! Because the Belgian Quarter makes the hearts of all bar, pub and nightlife enthusiasts beat faster. I take it easy today and grab a spot on the wall at the Stadtgarten with a cold drink in my hand. From here, I can watch the party crowd move from A to B and catch the last rays of sunshine.

Conclusion of the afternoon: Cologne’s Belgian Quarter is small but nice! Thank you for joining me on my short tour! See you next time.

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