St Josse, Schaerbeek and Evere - Brussels
St-Josse, Schaerbeek and Evere make up the north-eastern communes of Brussels. Of these, St-Josse, the city’s smallest commune, is full of expensive hotels at its southern border with Brussels centre and with office blocks around Place Madou, although the rest of the area houses a lively Turkish and north African population which spills over into neighbouring Schaerbeek. For green spaces, St-Josse boasts the old Jardin Botanique, which is a favourite with joggers. Schaerbeek is on the whole run-down and unappetizing, especially around the Gare du Nord, although pleasant squares as well as beautiful town houses do exist around Parc Josaphat (the commune’s impressively large green lung) and near the Etterbeek border. Evere, the most easterly of the three communes, is a semi-industrialised old farming zone which retains some of its character thanks to 50 hectares of green parks. Among the cultural highlights of the north-east area are St-Josse’s French community cultural centre (which hosts concerts in its greenhouses in the Jardin Botanique) and Schaerbeek’s Halles and Maison des Artes (both of which offer exhibitions and performance spaces). The north-east of the city has reasonably good tram and bus connections but the metro line ends in St-Josse at the Gare du Nord.