The Must-See Museums of Brussels
Collaboration written by Kenny Leys and Taylor Trummel
Belgium is renowned for many reasons. One of which is for the variety of activities its capital city offers. With over 110 museums endorsed by the tourist department, Brussels has one of the most diverse collections of museums in the world. These museums are a fantastic way to learn more about Brussels’ culture, art, and history. You may even be surprised and humored to learn of the museum dedicated to the famous Manneken Pis and his wardrobe.
This list features some of the most interesting and memorable museums. Don’t forget to bring a camera. You’ll be able to create a unique photograph in each of these museums.
Address: Van Volxemlaan 354, 1190 Brussels
Wiels is a contemporary art center situated in a building of the former Wielemans brewery. Built in 1931, the historical building is one of the few examples of modernist industrial architecture in Brussels. Tickets to the museum are affordable at 10 euros or reduced rates. In addition to the art, the ground floor features a cafe with an airy, bright seating area.
Address: Cinquantenaire Park 11, 1000 Brussels
Autoworld is a museum of vintage cars. It is located in the southern hall of the Cinquantenaire Park, and displays a large and varied collection of over 250 European and American automobiles from the late 19th century to the 1990s. It is notable for its collections of early and Belgian-produced vehicles, including Minervas and several limousines belonging to the Belgian royal family.
Museums of the Far East
Address: Avenue Van Praet 44, 1020 Brussels
The Museums of the Far East are a Léopold II leftover. They were built after he was inspired by exhibits featuring similar structures at the 1890 Paris World’s Fair. It is a glittering structure and houses an extensive collection of Chinese porcelain. In addition to the Chinese Pavillion, there is also a Japanese Tower. The structures can be found on the edge of the Royal Estate at Laeken. It should be noted that the buildings have been closed since 2013 for safety reasons. You can still however admire them from afar. The artifacts have been moved to other museums around Brussels for the time being.
Museum of Natural Sciences
Address: Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels
The Museum of Natural Sciences of Belgium is a museum dedicated to natural history. Its most important pieces are 30 fossilized Iguanodon skeletons. Discovered in 1878, these skeletons were found in Bernissart, Belgium. The dinosaur hall of the museum is the world’s largest museum hall completely dedicated to dinosaurs.
Belgian Comic Strip Center
Address: Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brussels
An accomplished attraction located in the heart of Brussels, the Belgian Comic Strip Center has been honoring comic artists for more than 30 years. This museum celebrates the comic strip artists that gave the world Tintin, Smurfs, and more. The self guided tour takes you through history and features many life sized cartoons along the way.
Belgium Sewer Museum
Address: Octrooipaviljoen – Anderlechtsepoort, 1000 Brussels
This unusual museum tells the story of when, why, and how the sewers were built. It also describes the sewer workers job in this underground world and explains the city’s water cycle. Don’t miss this off-the-beaten path museum.
Musee Royaux Des Beaux-Arts
Address: Regentschapsstraat 3, 1000 Brussels
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are a group of art museums in Brussels. They contain over 20,000 drawings, sculptures, and paintings, which date from the early 15th century to the present. The Old Masters Museum within this group is particularly notable. It is home to Rubens, Rembrandts, and many more. The building itself is also quite grand and remarkable.
Royal Museums of Art and History
Address: Parc du Cinquantenaire, 1000 Brussels
Next, the Royal Museums of Art and History is perhaps one of the most famous groups of museums in Brussels. One of the members of this group is call the Art and History Museum. However, prior to 2018 the Art and History Museum was known as the Cinquantenaire Museum. Two other museums of this group are included on this list: The Museums of the Far East and the Musical Instrument Museum. The Art and History Museum is located in Cinquantenaire Park. It includes art from all around the world. For one, the museum holds the largest collection of Ancient American artifacts in Europe.
Musical Instrument Museum
Address: Hofbergstraat 2, 1000 Brussels
The Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) is a music museum in central Brussels. As noted above, the museum is part of the Royal Museums for Art and History (RMAH) and is internationally renowned for its collection of over 8,000 instruments. This is one of the largest collections in the world. The building that houses this collection is also quite whimsical and can’t be missed.
Address: Quai du Hainaut 41, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Belgium
Sitting on the Brussels canal, the MIMA is a museum found inside the old Bellevue brewery. It is an exhibit of visual arts determined to fill a hole in the Brussels museum landscape. It features art considered to be subculture, such as graffiti and geek art. As the internet has drastically changed the world and altered modern culture, the museum showcases this new wave of art with everything from hacking to digital creations in mind. The museum also has a restaurant and rooftop terraces with great views of the city. A visit to this museum will certainly inspire your quirky, creative side.
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