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The most curious sights will take over Brussels' streets during Nuit Blanche | © Eric Danhier, courtesy of Nuit Blanche
The most curious sights will take over Brussels' streets during Nuit Blanche | © Eric Danhier, courtesy of Nuit Blanche
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The Top 10 Things To Do In Brussels In The Fall Of 2016

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 9 February 2017
While some bemoan the end of this sun-filled summer, others can’t wait for the crisp days of Fall to hit Brussels again. Whichever you prefer, the capital has more than enough indoor and outdoor activities to keep you smitten with this ever-evolving city as the charm of autumn sets in.

Wander through the city’s biggest museums at night

The Brussels Nocturnes are here for the sixteenth edition to make your own latent Night at the Museum fantasies come true. Starting their brand-new Fall exhibitions with a bang, at least five of the city’s art institutions will be swinging their doors open wide every Thursday evening, from September 15th to December 8th, 2016. Perfect for spending chilly or rainy evenings on a cultural outing rather than letting your inner coach potato determine your post-work fate.

Thursday evenings in the fall are for museum-hopping during the Brussels' Nocturnes | © Dieter Telemans, courtesy of Brussels Museums Nocturnes
Thursday evenings in the fall are for museum-hopping during Brussels’ Nocturnes | © Dieter Telemans, courtesy of Brussels Museums Nocturnes

Revel in the Promenade Verte’s color extravaganza

Each Fall, Brussels’ 60-kilometer trail – often described as the ‘green belt’ – transforms into a vibrant paradise of yellows, oranges and browns. Make sure to choose the Promenade Verte’s most leafy parts to hike or bike through, such as the Tournay-Solvay Park in the Woluwe Valley, the Bois de la Cambre or the expansive Sonian Forest.

A lovely fall scene at the Tournay-Solvay Park | Stephane Mignon/Flickr
A lovely fall scene at the Tournay-Solvay Park | Stephane Mignon/Flickr

Have spooky family fun at the Museum of Fantastic Art

This Brussels museum – dedicated to the art scene’s most peculiar, fantastical fringes – is already pretty scary to start off with. Doubling its fear factor this Fall is the Halloween Festival, to take place every afternoon from Saturday the 29th of October to Sunday the 6th of November. Only the bravest of kids will be able to solve the riddle that lies at the heart of the permanent collection and earn their witch or wizard’s diploma. After all that supernatural adventure, everyone is offered a well-deserved cup of snail juice or pumpkin soup as a reward.

Museum of Fantastic Art, Rue Américaine 7, Brussels, Belgium +32 475 41 29 18

Brussels' Museum of Fantastic Art somewhat is almost a horror cabinet, making it that much more appealing to spend your Halloween at | Courtesy of the Museum of Fantastic Art
Brussels’ Museum of Fantastic Art is a cabinet of horrors, making it that much more appealing come Halloween | Courtesy of the Museum of Fantastic Art

Rock out to a slew of indie concerts thanks to Autumn Falls

Kicking off and closing down the most colorful season on a musical note is Autumn Falls, the Fall festival to end all Fall festivals. Starting on September 23rd, just a day after the official turn of the season, this collection of concerts by bands both established and new will take you all over Belgium in search of melodious indie goodness. From Peaches in Leuven’s Depot, Chrysta Bell in Antwerp’s deSingel and Monophonics in Hasselt’s Muziekodroom, at 50 euros for a ‘combiticket’ this festival promises a marvelous line-up at an affordable price.

You can find the full program here

On the Fall Autumn line-up: psychedelic soul band Monophonics| © John Lill, courtesy of Toutpartout
On the Autumn Falls line-up: psychedelic soul band Monophonics | © John Lill, courtesy of Toutpartout
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Let your inner cinephile loose at the L’Age d’Ôr Festival

Rainy fall evenings make for the ideal occasion to take refuge in one of Brussels’ many quaint little cinemas. It just so happens that Cinematek is back at it again this October with its recently rebooted l’Âge d’Or Festival, a five-day celebration of the experimental film no matter which length, genre or size. The third edition of the revamped festival will feature 30 films never before shown in Brussels, and will introduce a new competition that will award a young filmmaker’s debut with the Impatience prize. Recommended to any movie lover with a passion for the new and unexpected.

Cinematek, Rue Baron Horta 9, Brussels, Belgium + 32 2 551 19 19

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Discover Belgium-based photography talent at Bozar

Bozar will honor one Belgium-based photographer this fall by offering a solo exhibition where the best images of their latest oeuvre will be on display. You’ll be able to admire the chosen talent’s work from the 16th of November until the 8th of January.

Centre For Fine Arts, Rue Ravenstein 23, Brussels, Belgium +32 2 507 82 00

Bozar is currently looking for a gifted Brussels-based photographer to blow them away with his art | © Annemie Augustijns, courtesy of Bozar

Bozar is currently looking for a gifted Brussels-based photographer to feature this Fall | © Annemie Augustijns, courtesy of Bozar

See the city in another light during Nuit Blanche

Each first Saturday night of October, the entire city of Brussels is transformed into an artistic laboratory where street installations, public performances and multimedia projections thrive. This ‘Nuit Blanche’ enlists international artists to do their thing until the early of hours of the morning, encouraging what usually amounts to 100,000 Brusselaars to explore their home city by showing them another side of the railway stations, squares, schools and public areas they know so well. 2016’s topical theme is ‘Borders’ and has a location to match: the city’s European Quarter.

On the night of October the 1st innovative artists are set free to transform the Brussels streets | © Eric Danhier, courtesy of Nuit Blanche
On the night of October the 1st innovative artists are set free to transform the Brussels streets | © Eric Danhier, courtesy of Nuit Blanche
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Enjoy a night at the opera with Verdi’s Macbeth

La Monnaie has made a habit of kicking off its Fall season with a bang. This September, a new version of Verdi’s MacBeth will own the stage from the 13th to the 29th, promising to highlight the legendary Italian composer’s dark side in this explosive story imbued with passion and power. In their welcoming of the young British-French director Olivier Fredj, La Monnaie will also host the esteemed conductor Paolo Carignani for the first time.

La Monnaie, Rue Léopold 23, Brussels, Belgium +32 2 229 12 00

It will be La Monnaie's first time hosting director Olivier Fredj | © Sébastien Leban, courtesy of La Monnaie

Upcoming director Olivier Fredj will direct this new approach to Verdi’s Macbeth | © Sébastien Leban, courtesy of La Monnaie

Indulge in design

By the time we officially enter fall, design enthusiasts will have already flocked to the Belgian capital in great numbers to indulge in over a hundred design-centered events. In town until September 30th, the 11th edition of Design September is bursting with lectures, exhibitions and routes, making sure that you can surround yourself with curated beauty at any given day of fall’s first week.

Warm up to Christmas

With five of Brussels’ biggest squares being transformed into a Christmas wonderland even before the end of November, a huge part of the joy come Fall in the capital is about gearing up for Santa whether you like it or not. An ice rink, a Ferris wheel, over 200 booths selling gifts and gluhwein and the Grand Place’s enormous pine tree make it near impossible not to join in on the premature Christmas fun.

Grand Place, Place de la Monnaie, Place de la Bourse, Place de Brouckère, Place Sainte-Catherine

With the Grand Place's huge tree in place, late fall is the ideal time to start basking in the twinkly lights of the upcoming holiday season | © Miguel Discart/Flickr
With the Grand Place’s huge Christmas tree in place, late fall is the ideal time to start basking in the twinkly lights of the upcoming holiday season | © Miguel Discart