©Analia Glogowski/Lonely Planet


Top choice in Brussels

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 highlight as the museum itself are the premises – the art-nouveau Old England Building. This former department store was built in 1899 by Paul Saintenoy and has a panoramic rooftop café and outdoor terrace.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brussels attractions

1. Old England Building

0.01 MILES

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…

2. Musée Magritte

0.03 MILES

The beautifully presented Magritte Museum holds the world’s largest collection of the surrealist pioneer’s paintings and drawings. Watch his style develop…

4. Coudenberg

0.07 MILES

Coudenberg Hill (now Place Royale) was the site of Brussels’ original 12th-century castle. Over several centuries this was transformed into one of Europe…

5. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts

0.07 MILES

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…

6. Musée BELvue

0.08 MILES

Take a chronological audio tour through the airy stuccoed interior of this former royal residence to explore Belgium’s history from independence to today,…

7. Bibliothèque Royale

0.14 MILES

The city's striking modern library is a beautifully designed space, containing a small museum about books and printing, and a top-floor cafeteria.

8. Palais Royal

0.16 MILES

These days Belgium’s royal family lives at Laeken, but this sturdy 19th-century palace remains its ‘official’ residence. One unique room has had its…