Visit the Musée Wiertz
The Musée Wiertz is dedicated to painter, sculptor and writer Antoine Wiertz, one of the more controversial and fascinating figures of Belgian Romanticism. You can explore his spectacular, and at times troubling, works of art including Two Girls and The Beautiful Rosine, which features a girl face-to-face with a skeleton.
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 10-12am/12.45-5pm
Address: 62 Rue Vautier, 1050 Brussels, Belgium + 32 2 648 17 18
Catch a show at the Théâtre Varia
Established in 1905, Théâtre Varia is one the true cultural hubs of Brussels. Hosting a variety of shows (from theater to dance and everything in between), it simultaneously pushes boundaries and respects traditions, as well as providing opportunities for new troupes and young talent.
Address: 78 Rue du Sceptre, 1050 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 640 82 58 (General)/+32 2 640 35 50 (Ticketing)
Drinks at Place Luxembourg
If you want to do as the locals do, then go for drinks at Place Luxembourg after work on a Thursday or a Friday evening. The square gets turned from a sober EU bastion into a cheery beer garden, as all the office people let their hair down after a long week’s work.
Wander around the Institut Royale des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique
Always a great option for a rainy day (and rainy days are unfortunately quite common in Belgium), the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is fun and informative to visit for both adults and children. Don’t miss the 30 impressive Iguanadon dinosaur skeletons, as well as the biggest mammoth skeleton ever found in Belgium.
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 9.30am-5pm & Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Address: 29 Rue Vautier, 1000 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 627 42 11
Admire the symbol of the European Union
The symbol of the European Union, the Berlaymont, simply had to be included on this list. Although it cannot be visited on the inside, it is worth viewing from Place Schuman due to its iconic architecture and importance for the European Communities.
Address: 200 Rue de la Loi, 1049 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 295 24 26
Visit the Centre Islamique et Culturel de Belgique
The Centre Islamique et Culturel de Belgique is the oldest mosque in Belgium, and it is available to visit for non-muslims upon appointment. You can even take Arabic language lessons here, as it as a place of study as well as a place of prayer.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm & Fri-Sat 9am-1pm
Address: 14 Parc du Cinquentenaire, 1000 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 735 21 73
Eat the best fries in Belgium at Place Jourdan
Located on the Place Jourdan, Maison Antoine is one of the most famous frietkoten of Brussels. Opened in 1948, and still run by the same family, Maison Antoine beat Frit Flagey and hundreds of others to win the coveted first place in the fritomètre contest, in which the Belgian public votes for their favorite frietkot in the country. Definitely worth a try.
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 11.30am-1am & Fri-Sat 11.30am-2am
Address: 1 Place Jourdan, 1040 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 230 54 56
Go for a stroll through Parc Leopold
Located in the heart of the city, Parc Leopold is a quiet green area, which is perfect for a relaxing walk. The pond is a great spot to see some more unusual wildlife (mallards, moorhens, coots and even Egyptian geese and rose-ringed parakeets have been spotted nearby).
Address: Rue Belliard, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Visit the Chapelle de la Resurrection
The Chapelle de la Resurrection, or Chapelle pour l’Europe, is a Roman Catholic chapel with an Ecumenical orientation, located in the heart of the European Quarter. Its Neo-Renaissance façade has been completely preserved but its interior was rebuilt by Marionex Architects. As well as hosting religious celebrations, it also organizes conferences, cultural events and exhibitions.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm
Address: 22-24 Rue Van Maerlant, 1040 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 230 92 42
Take a look at the Solvay Library
Located in an absolutely beautiful building in the middle of the Parc Leopold, the Solvay Library is unfortunately not open to visitors (they do host receptions from time to time though) but it is still worth visiting, if only to admire its eclectic Art Nouveau exterior.
Address: 137 Rue Belliard, Parc Leopold, 1040 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 738 75 96