The Music Lover's Guide To Brussels

Joseph Young/Unsplash
Joseph Young/Unsplash
Danielle Lewis

The city of Brussels is bursting at the seams with music. There is such a wide array of events and outlets, for all genres and tastes, that you can find people from all over the world looking for a music fix. From a traditional concert venue experience to a cozy and intimate night at the bar, here are 10 places a music lover must experience in the city of Brussels.


The spring months will shower you with talent through the Flemish music festival, Stoemp! Set in small venues, cafés, and bars like Café Floreo all around the city, these concerts are free to the public. “Cozy, warm, and intimate” is the prevailing atmosphere of this small-scale festival. Stoemp! locks onto no specific genre; its only goal is to support up-and-coming musicians.

Stoemp festival Brussels

1. Juke Box

Shop, Bookstore

1. Juke Box
© Kai Oberhäuser/Pexels
Juke Box proudly holds the title of ‘oldest record store in Brussels.’ This iconic record store carries old, new, and extremely rare records. It is run by 65-year-old Jean-Pierre, who also directs the annual record fair in Galerie Ravenstein. Vinyl junkies will find heaven in this record store.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

2. AB

Concert Hall

Eagles of Death Metal in the Main Hall of de AB
© Tom Verbruggen/Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique
Looking for something a bit more large scale than a secret jazz club in the basement? The Ancienne Belgique, also known as AB, is a concert venue equipped for the masses. It may not be a stadium venue, but AB’s Main Hall has room for at least 1,800 standing attendees and over 200 seats. Big and small names have taken the stage in the Main Hall at AB, such as Lenny Kravitz, Halestorm, and Iron & Wine. For a more intimate experience, the AB Club Stage also offers 280 spots, where international and local artists perform, such as Zita Zwoon, The White Stripes, and MGMT. Many gifted musicians roll through AB’s doors, so be sure to keep updated on who’s coming next.

3. Le Botanique

Concert Hall, Music Venue, Building

The Botanique
What used to be the center of botanical studies, known as the Jardin de Botanique, is now a booming concert hall hosting over 280 shows a year. Le Botanique is arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in Brussels. It is composed of three halls for three different experiences: The Rotonde is a theatrical hall meant for 125 to 250 guests for an acoustic and intimate setting; the Witloof Bar is a 200-person, café-type hall built with beautiful arches and columns that divide up the space of the room; and the Orangerie is the largest hall in the Botanique, with up to 700 standing places or 350 seats where audiences can enjoy everything from film screenings to concerts to seminars. (Local Tip: Go to Arsene 50 to find discounted tickets. Tickets are half price at 2:00 p.m. every day.)

4. Musical Instruments Museum

Building, Concert Hall, Museum, Shop, Store

Once finished staring in awe at the façade, guests to the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) will discover four galleries inside that take them on a journey through the history and evolution of musical instruments. The museum also houses a concert hall, museum shop, restaurant, and a legendary view of Brussels at the top. The MIM participates in the Museum Night Fever, during which, for the cost of one ticket, guests gain access to 24 museums, including the MIM, and an epic night of performances in dance, various workshops, and live music.

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday (and on holidays) 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Brussels International Guitar Festival & Competition

Sponsored by Her Majesty the Queen, the Brussels International Guitar Festival hosts talented guitarists from around the world, who flock to the city of Brussels to take part. This festival features premiere guitar concerts at the Brussels Royal Conservatory and master classes, lectures, exhibitions, and an international guitar competition at the Théâtre du Vaudeville. The competition is open to all classical guitarists of any age and nationality who are not working with an agency. Five prizes are awarded to the top candidates. This is a unique opportunity for guitar enthusiasts and music lovers alike.


Building, Theater

© Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier/Flickr
BOZAR has a simple mission: to include art in the culture of the city and make it a part of life. It strives to give each and every person who walks through its doors a holistic art experience. BOZAR serves all types of art including film, theater and dance, literature readings, and, of course, live music. You will find yourself in good hands at BOZAR, listening to music from the top classical and brass ensembles. Concerts are held frequently.

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