A list of places that you should visit if you wish to see the best that Brussels hs to offer.
ADAM – Art & Design Atomium Museum
Located at one of Brussels’ major tourism attractions, this new museum puts the spotlight on the glorious years of plastic, alongside art and design from the 20th and 21st centuries. The ADAM is spread over 5,000 sqm, almost half of which is devoted to a permanent exhibition of the collection of Philipe Decelle.
Started in the 1980’s, this striking collection, the only one of its kind in the world, brings together several hundreds of plastic objects ranging from the most commonplace to works of art. As the space cannot hold all of the pieces, exhibits are changed every year, offering new discoveries with each visit, an incentive to come back time and again.
Square de l’Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles
T. : +32 (0) 2 475 47 75
An unmistakable symbol of Brussels and Belgium and a unique feat in the history of architecture: today, the Atomium is the most popular attraction in the capital of Europe.
Built for the 1958 World’s Fair, it is a model of a crystalline iron molecule magnified 165 billion times. As well as offering a surrealist walk through tubes and spheres, the Atomium also has a permanent exhibition about its history and temporary exhibitions for a broad public (about science, design and society). The upper sphere offers unique, spectacular views of Brussels and its environs.
Square de l’Atomium, 1020 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 475 47 75
Erected in 1928 by architect and master of Art Nouveau Victor Horta, it is a centre of cultural and artistic life, with a variety of exhibitions, concerts and events. Each year, in May, BOZAR hosts the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Contest. A full renovation of the interior restored the original appearance of the building, as designed by the master, Horta. There are tours that allow people to rediscover parts of the building previously off-limits to the general public.
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 507 84 30
Comics Art Museum
Located in the heart of Brussels, in a majestic Art Nouveau building created by Victor Horta in 1906, the Belgian Comics Art Museum opened its doors to the public on 6 October 1989. In no time this impressive museum became one of the main attractions in Brussels. Each year tens of thousands of visitors come here to explore 4,200 m² of permanent and regularly changing temporary exhibitions.
Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 219 19 80
The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Arts (MIMA) opened in the old Bellevue brewery, along the Brussels canal. MIMA’s objective is to trace the history of 2.0 culture, since the emergence of the Internet, with particular emphasis on “sub-cultures.” Artists on the margin of classic contemporary art exhibitions are featured, from musical culture (electro, hip hop, folk and punk rock…) to Geek culture, with a detour through urban art. Two temporary exhibitions are presented every year.
33, Quai du Hainaut, 1080 Brussels
Located at the foot of the Atomium, Mini-Europe offers a journey across Europe in just a few hours. It’s an invitation to stroll through some of the most beautiful cities in the Old Continent, taking in their typical atmosphere. The incomparable chimes of Big Ben welcome visitors to the heart of London, while gondolas and mandolins evoke the charms of Venice. Along the route, visitors can see various things happening: Mount Vesuvius erupting, the Berlin Wall falling, a bullfight in Seville and much more. In total there are 350 scale models and sites to discover.
Brupark, 1020 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 474 13 13
Musée Magritte Museum
In the building housing the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, visitors can explore the 2,500 m² of the Musée Magritte Museum. This museum exhibits the Surrealist artist’s creations belonging to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, which mainly came from purchases and from the Irène Hamoir-Scutenaire and Georgette Magritte bequests. This multidisciplinary collection is the richest in the world. It comprises more than 200 works consisting of oils on canvas, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects as well as advertising posters, music scores, vintage photographs and films directed by Magritte himself.
Place Royale 1, 1000 Brussels (entrance via rue de la Régence 3)
T.: +32 (0) 2 508 32 11
Museum of the City of Brussels (King’s House)
This superb historic building was rebuilt in the 19th century, true to the 16th century original, the site having been occupied from the 12th century by a bread hall. The museum is devoted to all aspects of the city’s history, water in the city and houses the original statue of Manneken-Pis.
Grand-Place, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 279 43 50
Musical instruments Museum
This museum occupies the Art Nouveau buildings of the former Old England stores (3000m2 of exhibition space) and is one of the biggest collections of instruments in the world. The four exhibition levels have on display nearly 1.200 instruments (from the 7.000 items in the collection), both antique and contemporary, and presented in a way that blends sound and vision and includes technological tools such as interactive terminals and sound spaces.
Rue Montagne de la Cours 2, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 545 01 30
Natural Sciences Museum
Not to be missed: the iguanodons of Bernissart – the museum’s showpieces. Or the Evolution Gallery, which is a true journey through the history of living creatures. Several exhibition spaces present some magnificent specimens: the Whale Hall, the north and south poles, the Insects Room, and more.
Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 627 42 11
The world of the European Parliament can be discovered at the Parlamentarium, the biggest visitors’ centre of any parliament in Europe. Children over 10 and adults can learn, in a dynamic and original way, and in 23 languages, how decisions are made and how they influence our daily lives. The Parlamentarium is open every day and its entrance is free.
Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 283 22 22
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (MRBAB) form one of the biggest museum complexes in Belgium. Made up of museums such as the Old Masters Museum and the Modern Art Museum, they bring together rich art collections from the late 14th century to the present day. The MRBAB regularly holds large-scale exhibitions on different themes. In 2013 another, now unmissable, museum was added to the complex – the “Fin de Siècle Museum”. Presented here is a collection of works that reflect the multiple artistic disciplines practised between 1868 (the year that the Société Libre des Beaux-Arts – the Free Society of Fine Arts – was set up) and 1914.
Rue de la Régence 3, 1000 Brussels
T.: +32 (0) 2 508 32 11
The first railway line in continental Europe was built in 1835 and linked Brussels with Mechelen. But up to now, there was nothing much to celebrate this great innovation, so it was time to fill that gap. Train World is Brussels’s railway museum and will be anything but traditional! Thanks to the imagination of designer François Schuiten, it is more like a railway opera. Architecture and scenography shine the spotlight on the various aspects of this sector, which is rooted in both travel and transport: the passenger, the infrastructure, the change in rolling stock, from the past to now and to the future, sustainable development and even utopias.
Gare de Schaerbeek
Place Princesse Elisabeth, 1000 Bruxelles
T. : +32 (0) 2 244 70 28