When relocating to Brussels you will need to decide which neighbourhood to live in. Factors like commuting time to your work, proximity to schools, safety, price and amenities can all play a role in determining whether a specific neighbourhood is right for you.
In this post I will be examining the Brussels commune of Woluwe Saint Pierre (which is where I currently call home) to see what are the pros and cons of living in this popular affluent suburb of Brussels.
For a complete overview of all neighbourhoods in Brussels check out our post on Best Neighbourhoods in Brussels for Expats.
|Crime and Safety||9/10|
|Quality of Housing||9/10|
|Entertainment (Nightlife & Restaurants)||3/10|
|Cost of Living||4/10|
|Outdoor Activities/Green Spaces||9/10|
|Public Transportation Links||6/10|
Population and Demographics
Woluwe Saint Pierre has a population of about 42,000 inhabitants with a population density of around 4,700 inhabitants per square km (12,000/sq mi).
To put it in perspective the nearby municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode has a population density of around 24,000 inhabitants per square km (62,500/sq mi) making it one of the top 20 most densely populated urban areas in the world. As a result Woluwe Saint Pierre is one of the most tranquil and green municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region.
This has made the neighborhood a favorite amongst families looking for a quiet and safe neighborhood which is still within reach of the city’s main shopping and business districts.
The area has a reputation of being the neighbourhood of choice for the staff of the many embassies and accompanying residences which are located throughout the commune. As a result, it has a very sizeable expat population.
According to data from the Brussels Institute of Statistics (IBSA), Woluwe Saint Pierre is home to 15,611 expats which means that expats make up 37% of the the neighbourhoods total population. Nearly 80% of expats in Woluwe Saint Pierre are from other EU countries with the remaining 20% coming from outside of the EU. The table below provides an overview of the top 10 biggest expat communities in Woluwe Saint Pierre.
|Nationality||Number of Residents|
The “bruxellois” (local residents) who live in Woluwe Saint Pierre make up 63% of the population and are generally Francophone and are often made up of “baby boomers” and retirees.
Woluwe Saint Pierre is very much a residential area located about 5km (3.1mi) from Brussels city center. The neighbourhood is conveniently situated between Woluwe Saint Lambert to the North, Tervuren to the East, Auderghem to the South and Etterbeek to the West. Within the neighborhood there are several areas which have their own unique characteristics.
For example the area near the Montgomery roundabout/metro station bordering Etterbeek is mostly made up of large apartment buildings which line the commune’s main transportation road, Avenue de Tervueren. This area is also very close to many of the European Institutions which are located between Merod and Schuman.
The area surrounding the Stockel metro station and place Dumon is its own self contained neighborhood within Woluwe Saint Pierre where residents can enjoy easy access to a variety of shops and restaurants while still having direct access to the city center via Metro line one, which which runs from Stockel to Gare de l’Ouest. Prospective residents who are concerned about noise pollution should be aware that the Stockel area can be quite noisy due to the frequent airplane flights which fly directly over the neighborhood.
Another popular area within Woluwe Saint Pierre is the area known as “chant d’oiseau” (bird song) which is a very quiet part of the commune and is made up of large villas, townhouses and small apartment complexes.
Commuting Times to Main Areas
|Location||Method of Transport (Car)|
|City Center (Grand Place)||15-20 min|
|European Quarter||10-15 min|
|NATO Area||15-20 min|
Public Transportation Links
The public transportation links in Woluwe Saint Pierre can vary depending on how close your housing is to the main metro stations (Montgomery & Stockel) or tram station which runs along Avenue de Tervueren. Accommodation near these public transportation links is noticeably more expensive than housing located further away from metro and tram stops.
Unlike some of the other areas of Brussels, Woluwe Saint Pierre has good access to parking. Most villas and townhouses will have their own garages and driveways which can be used for parking while many of the apartment buildings have dedicated garages or access to street parking.
Renting a garage box in an apartment will normally set you back between 100-200 Euros per month.
The Commune provides up to three street parking permits per household which can be purchased at the following rates:
- 1st card € 10,00 (per year)
- 2nd card € 50,00 (per year)
- 3rd card € 250,00 (per year)
Residents can also purchase daily parking passes for visitors at a cost of €5 per day from the commune.
One of the most important factors for families looking to relocate is the quality and access to schools for their children. Woluwe Saint Pierre offers a number of different education opportunities for families.
For parents wishing to send their children to international schools the nearest international school is the Ecole International Montgomery which has both a primary and secondary school offering education in either entirely in English as well as a bilingual English-French programme.
Younger children between the ages of two and a half to six can attend Montessori House Brussels which is an independent international school offering bilingual (English and French) education.
For a complete overview of all international schools in Brussels check out our article on International Schools in Brussels.
Parents also have the option of sending their children to local public schools which offer education in either French or Dutch.
Entertainment & Leisure
Being a more quiet residential neighborhood with a relatively low population density Woluwe Saint Pierre has less shopping and dining establishments than surrounding communes like Woluwe Saint Lambert or Etterbeek.
Nevertheless residents can dine at a number of neighborhood brasseries as well as other worldly cuisines including, italian and japanese food. For lovers of fast food Woluwe Saint Pierre is not a good choice with most fast food outlets like McDonalds, Burger King, Dominos and Quick being located in the surrounding communes.
Woluwe Saint Pierre has a number of gyms as well as offering residents with plenty of outdoor green space for activities like jogging, cycling and tennis.
Cost of Living
The vast majority of living expenses such as groceries, restaurants and utilities are the same no matter which area of Brussels you decide to live. Nevertheless due to the affluent nature of the commune it tends to have more upmarket options for things like groceries, restaurants and hair salons which could contribute to an overall higher cost of living.
Woluwe Saint Pierre Housing Prices
When looking at the price of housing for both the rental and buying market you will see that Woluwe Saint Pierre is noticeably more expensive than other communes in Brussels. I have compiled a table containing the average price of accommodation in the area based off of https://www.immoweb.be listings from December 2020.
|Type of Accommodation||Rent||Purchase Price|
|Studio||€863 per month (€26 per m2)||€173,000 (€3,800 per m2)|
|1 bedroom apartment||€1,407 per month (€20 per m2)||€276,000 (€3,930 per m2)|
|2 bedroom apartment||€1,687 per month (€16 per m2)||€514,000 (€4,660 per m2)|
|3 bedroom apartment||€2,057 per month (€13 per m2)||€818,000 (€4,470 per m2)|
|3 bedroom townhouse||€2,423 per month (€14 per m2)||€500,000 (€3,840 per m2)|
|4 bedroom townhouse||€2,434 per month (€12 per m2)||€718,000 (€3,540 per m2)|
While Brussels has comparatively high crime levels compared to other European capitals as well as other cities in Belgium, the area of Woluwe Saint Pierre is considered one of the safer areas of the city. Recent statistics from the Mayor’s office indicate that on average there are less than 10 crimes reported per month with violent crimes being very rare. My wife and I have never felt unsafe during the two years we have lived in this neighborhood and have found that the police and fire departments respond quickly to any incidents that take place in the neighborhood.
- One of the more family friendly neighbourhoods in Brussels
- Lots of green space
- Good parking availability
- More expensive than other Brussels neighbourhoods
- Could be too quiet for those seeking
- Unless you live close to one of the main metro/tram stops, public transportation can be inconvenient
- Families looking for a more quiet suburban life.
- Expats working at the many embassies located in the neighbourhood.
Official Neighbourhood Contact Details
Commune website: https://www.woluwe1150.be
Address: Avenue Charles Thielemans 93 1150 Brussels
Telephone: 02 / 773.05.11
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 08:30 – 13:00; Wednesday 14:00 – 16:00; Thursday 16:00 – 18:30
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