How To Spend A Sunday In Brussels, Belgium
Brussels Street Scene | Matthias Ripp/Flickr
Whether you are a tourist or a local, Sundays provide a great opportunity to get acquainted with Brussels’ multicultural side through international markets, museums, art exhibitions, music festivals, and much more. Check out our list of things to see and do when exploring Sunday life in Brussels.
While many pubs, bistros and restaurants are open on Sundays in the central area, there are some that stand out. Peck 47 is a hip place to be in Brussels, serving healthy food throughout the day and welcoming you with retro décor. Another spot worth dropping by is Les Filles, Plaisirs Culinaires, located in the Saint-Catherine area, a few streets down from Bourse (Stock Exchange). They are also open on Sundays between 10am – 4pm, and if you are interested, you can also join one of their cooking classes. If a street bistro just won’t do for you, the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) offers Sunday brunch on the terrace, between 10am – 3pm, where guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, a glass of champagne and some amazing panoramic views of the city.
Healthy and not-so-healthy options to choose from | Courtesy of Peck 47
If looking to enhance your cultural knowledge, Brussels can definitely offer that, even on Sundays. Choose between historic places like the BELvue Museum or opt for a more unique visit by discovering the eclectic collection of instruments at the MIM. There truly is something for everyone, as Brussels is home to several different museums. While there are a number of museums that open their doors on Sunday, there are also a few that are open to the public free of charge on the first Sunday of the month.
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium | © Philippe van Gelooven, courtesy of RMFAB
All in all, the weekend is a great time to explore the city, but what if you just want to relax? Whether lying on the grass, hosting a picnic or listening to some open-air concerts, Brussels contains a number of great spaces to do just that. If the weather is on your side, venture out to some of Brussels’ parks to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon or check out the cultural agenda to see if there is an event hosted by the city.
The Cinquantenaire Park | © Ben2/Wikimedia
Why not embark on a tour of Brussels’ best Sunday markets? The market at Brussels-Midi station is one of the most popular and multicultural of the capital’s markets. Open on Sunday between 8 am-1 pm, the Brussels-Midi Market sells food, clothes and plants from around the world. For those that enjoy hunting for antiques, think about paying a visit to the Jeu de Balle market, which takes place every Sunday in the Marolles between 7 am-2 pm. MicroMarché is also a worthwhile stop, as it hosts artists and craftsmen selling their handmade treasures between 1:30 pm-6:30 pm.
The Jeu de Balle Flea Market / | ©sam.romilly/Flick
Brussels is also a book lover’s paradise on Sundays. There are various bookstores open on Sunday, both for locals (FR and NL) and internationals (EN and other languages). Filigranes, one of the most popular bookstores around the city, offers a selection of 10,000 books, plus activities such as concerts, singing sessions, and storytelling for children. Passa Porta the ‘passport to contemporary world literature in the multilingual heart of Europe’, represents the International House of Literature in Brussels. It is open to literature lovers, authors, readers, translators and cultural mediators. When looking to grab a bite to eat while enjoying a book, Cook & Book is a great option as well.
Cook & Book | Courtesy of cookandbook.be
For those looking to experience live music on a Sunday in Brussels, there are a few choice establishments to check out when looking to satisfy a variety of tastes. Ancienne Belgique (AB) is undeniably one of the top spots to catch a concert with its packed agenda of leading national and international acts. For jazz lovers, Bonnefooi hosts its own Brussels Jam Sessions every Sunday where the public is not only invited to listen to great music, but musicians in the audience get in on the act. Art Base is also another great venue for world music lovers, as it provides an intimate atmosphere to catch a performance of either Indian, Greek or Latino music.
While finding a shop open on Sunday may be tricky, there is one fashion event everyone can count on. Held on the first Sunday of each month in the Halles Saint-Géry, the Brussels Vintage Market hosts a unique shopping experience with numerous vendors selling eclectic clothes and retro items from 12pm – 7pm.
Vintage Market|Courtesy of Brussels Vintage Market
For those looking to get lost with a great film, there are plenty of options besides watching the latest flicks. Head to one Brussels’ independent theaters to watch an art house film or catch an offbeat thriller. Cinematek, a combination of museum, theater and archive all in one, also hosts regular shows from classic favorites to obscure films.
The Royal Belgian Film Archives, or Cinematek | © Courtesy of Cinematek