Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Building in Royal Quarter

Old England Building

This 1899 former department store is an art nouveau showpiece with a black facade aswirl with wrought iron and arched windows. The building contains the groundbreaking MIM music museum, a celebration of music in all…
Top Choice Square in Grand Place & Îlot Sacré

Grand Place

Brussels’ magnificent Grand Place is one of the world’s most unforgettable urban ensembles. Oddly hidden, the enclosed cobblestone square is only revealed as you enter on foot from one of six narrow side alleys: Rue…
Top Choice Museum in Royal Quarter

MIM

Strap on a pair of headphones, then step on the automated floor panels in front of the precious instruments (including world instruments and Adolphe Sax’s inventions) to hear them being played. As much of a highligh…
Top Choice Museum in St-Gilles, Ixelles & Uccle

Musée Horta

The typically austere exterior doesn’t give much away, but Victor Horta’s former home (designed and built 1898–1901) is an art nouveau jewel. The stairwell is the structural triumph of the house: follow the playful …
Top Choice Jazz in Grand Place & Îlot Sacré

L’Archiduc

This intimate, split-level art deco bar has been playing jazz since 1937. It’s an unusual two-tiered circular space that can get incredibly packed but remains convivial. You might need to ring the doorbell. Saturday…
Top Choice Historic Building in St-Gilles, Ixelles & Uccle

St-Gilles Town Hall

One of Brussels’ overlooked architectural wonders, a splendid Napoleon III–style palace sporting a soaring brick belfry dotted with gilt statuary. Try to see the wedding-hall ceiling, painted by Belgian symbolist ar…
Top Choice Vintage in Grand Place & Îlot Sacré

Gabriele

For amazing vintage finds, try eccentric, elegant Gabriele. There’s a gorgeous jumble of cocktail dresses, hats, Chinese shawls and accessories; only original clothes from the ’20s to the ’80s are stocked.
Top Choice Gardens in Brussels-Capital Region

Planetuin Meise

Belgium’s 93-hectare national botanic garden is located in the village of Meise, 12km north of Brussels. Home to 18,000 plant species, it’s based around two lakes and includes the Kasteel van Boechout, a moated cast…
Top Choice Gallery in Royal Quarter

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts

This prestigious museum incorporates the Musée d’Art Ancien (ancient art); the Musée d’Art Moderne (modern art), with works by surrealist Paul Delvaux and fauvist Rik Wouters; and the purpose-built Musée Magritte. T…
Top Choice Park in EU Quarter & Etterbeek

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Parc du Cinquantenaire was built during Léopold II's reign. It's best known for its cluster of museums – art, history, military and motor vehicles – which house an incredible 350,000 artefacts. The Royal Art and His…