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Things to do in Brussels

Head to the Mont des Arts for historic city views and the main museums. A short walk brings you to the grandeur of the Grand'Place, and the nearby Manneken-Pis fountain of a peeing boy. Away from the centre, Brussels is full of hidden gems. The districts of Ixelles and Saint-Gilles are brimming with Art Nouveau architecture. Further north lie the Japanese Tower and the gleaming Atomium. Most museums are closed on Mondays.

Forêt de Soignes, Brussels. © Plateforme de la Forêt de Soignes

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Musical Instrument Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    MIM - Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels. © MIM

    This wrought-iron and glass Art Nouveau building, designed by Victor Horta, is home to MIM, Brussels' musical instrument museum. Located off the Mont des Arts, the converted department store features 1000 world instruments on four floors, and a rooftop café.Show this on map

    Cost

    €5

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-5pm

    Address

    2, Montagne de la Cour, Brussels 1000

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2545 0130

    Transport

    Gare Centrale or Park metro

    Website

    Musical Instrument Museum Website

  2. 2. Magritte Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    The Return, 1940, oil on canvas, 50 x 65 cm. © Charly Herscovici, with his kind authorisation - c/o SABAM-ADAGP, 2009

    Celebrated Surrealist painter René Magritte gets his very own museum. Located on Brussels' place Royale in an extension of the Fine Arts Museum complex, the Magritte Museum features hundreds of works set off by the latest technology.Show this on map

    Cost

    €8; concessions €5; under 18s free

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (until 8pm Wed)

    Address

    3, rue de la Régence , Brussels 1000

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 508 32 11

    Transport

    Gare Centrale metro

    Website

    Magritte Museum Website

  3. 3. Museum van Buuren - Museums and Galleries

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    David and Alice van Buuren Museum, Brussels. © Musée van Buuren

    David and Alice were passionate collectors who decorated their home in Art Deco style. Filled with artwork spanning five centuries, including Van Gogh sketches and a Bruegel, it is now a museum. Don't miss the garden with maze and sculptures.Show this on map

    Cost

    €10 museum and garden; €5 garden only

    Opening hours

    Wed-Mon 2pm-5.30pm

    Address

    41, Avenue Léo Errera, Brussels 1180

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2343 4851

    Transport

    Tram 3, 23 or 24 to Churchill

    Website

    Museum Van Buuren Website

  4. 4. Horta Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    The Horta Museum, Brussels. Courtesy of Brussels Tourist Office

    Victor Horta is Belgium's most celebrated Art Nouveau architect. The Horta Museum in Châtelain is Horta's former home and studio, with a sinuous staircase inspired by vegetation, twisting metal with asymmetric patterns and carved details on the furniture.Show this on map

    Cost

    €7

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 2pm-5.30pm

    Address

    25, rue Américaine, Saint-Gilles, Brussels 1060

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2543 0490

    Transport

    Tram 81 or 92 to Place Janson

    Website

    Horta Museum Website

Attractions

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  1. 5. Mini-Europe - Attractions

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    Mini-Europe, Brussels. © Mini-Europe

    Located at the foot of the Atomium, Mini-Europe faithfully reproduces the cities and sights of Europe. Wander past the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, watch the gondolas go sailing by in Venice or witness the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.Show this on map

    Cost

    €12.90

    Opening hours

    Mid-Mar-Jun & Sep 9.30am-6pm; Jul & Aug 9.30am-8pm; Oct-Dec 10am-6pm; closed Jan-mid-Mar

    Address

    Bruparck, Brussels 1020

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 478 0550

    Transport

    Heizel metro

    Website

    Mini Europe Website

  2. 6. European Parliament Complex - Attractions

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    The European Parliament Building, Brussels. Courtesy of Visit Flanders

    The European Commission and the Council of Ministers both have their seats in the European Quarter of Brussels. Visit the Parliament building and, during part-sessions, attend a parliamentary sitting of this political powerhouse and see democracy in action.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Audio-guided visits in various languages Mon-Thu 10am & 3pm; Fri 10am

    Address

    60, rue Wiertz, Brussels 1047

    Telephone

    + 32 (0) 2 284 2111

    Transport

    Trône or Maalbeek metro

    Website

    European Parliament Website

  3. 7. Grand'Place - Attractions

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    Carpet of Flowers, 2006, Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium

    Bursting with Gothic façades, the Grand'Place is one of Europe's largest city squares. Don't miss the gloriously asymmetric Town Hall and adorned guild houses. This is the historic heart of Brussels, with free concerts, cafés and a regular flower market.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Grand'Place, Brussels 1000

    Transport

    Gare Centrale, de Brouckère or Bourse metro

  4. 8. Japanese Tower - Attractions

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    Japanese Tower. © Musées d'Extrême-Orient

    Part of the Museums of the Far East, the Japanese Tower is set in the quiet commune of Laeken, home to the royal family. The kitsch pagoda features stained glass and a façade crafted in Yokohama, and is filled with Japanese porcelain.Show this on map

    Cost

    €4; concessions €3

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-5pm

    Address

    44, Avenue Van Praet, Brussels 1020

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 268 1608

    Transport

    Tram 23 or 4 to the Araucaria stop

    Website

    Japanese Tower Website

  5. 9. Manneken-Pis - Attractions

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    The infamous Manneken-Pis, Brussels. Courtesy of Visit Flanders

    This bizarre little statue of a peeing boy is the most popular tourist attraction in Brussels, just off the Grand'Place. Famously touted as a glorious example of Belgian humour and capacity for self-mockery, it is a true cultural icon.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    rue de l'Etuve, Brussels 1000

    Transport

    Gare Centrale metro

  6. 10. Atomium - Attractions

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    Atomium, Brussels. Courtesy of the Belgian Tourist Office

    Halfway between design and architecture, the Atomium is a 102-metre-high representation of iron crystal molecules, designed for the 1958 World Fair. Reopened in 2006 after extensive renovations, it now illuminates Brussels' skyline at night. Try the panoramic gourmet restaurant.Show this on map

    Cost

    €9; concessions €6-7; under 12s free

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-6pm

    Address

    Atomium Square, Brussels 1020

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 475 4777

    Transport

    Heizel metro

    Website

    Atomium Website

Special things to do

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  1. 11. Forêt de Soignes - Special things to do

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    Forêt de Soignes, Brussels. © Plateforme de la Forêt de Soignes

    The Forêt de Soignes is Brussels' largest forest where you can walk, cycle, ride horses and even go fishing. The 60km Green Walk passes through the forest, taking in clearings, thickets and marshes.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily dusk-dawn

    Address

    Forêt de Soignes, Brussels 1170

    Transport

    Hermann-Debroux metro; Boisfort train station

    Website

    Fôret de Soignes Website

  2. 12. Abbaye de la Cambre - Special things to do

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    Abbaye de la Cambre, Brussels. © Brussels International

    Leave the traffic of Avenue Louise behind with a visit to the Abbaye de la Cambre, surrounded by perfectly manicured French gardens. Founded by Cistercian monks in the 13th century, it's a green sanctuary right in the middle of Ixelles.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Enter from Avenue Emile Duray, Brussels 1050

    Transport

    Tram 94 to Abbaye

  3. 13. Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art - Special things to do

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    Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art, Brussels. Courtesy of Visit Flanders

    The Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art is dedicated to cartoons, celebrating artists such as Bruxellois Hergé, creator of Tintin. New comic strip art appears alongside rare originals. Check out the Art Nouveau building by Victor Horta and the bookshop.Show this on map

    Cost

    €7.50; concessions €6; under 12s €3

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

    Address

    20, Rue des Sables, Brussels 1000

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 219 1980

    Transport

    Botanique or Gare Centrale metro

    Website

    Belgian Centre fo Comic Strip Art Website

  4. 14. Cantillon Brewery - Special things to do

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    Cantillon Brewery, Brussels. © Cantillon Brewery

    Since the 19th century, the Van Roy-Cantillon family has been producing Lambic, Gueuze and Kriek beers at these small premises near the Gare du Midi. Highlights of the tour include the gleaming barrels, brewing process, and the complimentary glass of beer.Show this on map

    Cost

    €5 (includes beer tasting)

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 10am-5pm

    Address

    56, rue Gheude, Brussels 1070

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 521 4928

    Transport

    Gare du Midi metro

    Website

    Cantillon Brewery Website

  5. 15. Autrique House - Special things to do

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    Maison Autrique, Brussels. © Marie-Françoise Plissart, Maison Autrique

    Set in the Schaerbeek district, Autrique House is the first hôtel particulier designed by Art Nouveau darling Victor Horta in 1893. Now a museum, the house is filled with graceful corridors, asymmetrical shapes, curvy staircases and Horta's revolutionary use of metal.Show this on map

    Cost

    €6; concessions €3-€4.50

    Opening hours

    Wed-Sun 12pm-6pm

    Address

    266, Chaussée de Haecht, Brussels 1030

    Telephone

    +32 (0) 2 215 6600

    Transport

    Tram 92 to Robiano

    Website

    Autrique House Website

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