Hidden gems of good food, drinks and fun places to visit
Visiting a city you don’t know can be tricky. Google ‘visit Brussels’ and you’ll find tips on what monuments and museums not to miss like ‘La Grande Place’, ‘La Bourse’, ‘The Comic Museum’ and eat French Belgian fries and waffles! You’ll also find great overviews of the city, walking tours and ideas on how to spend 24/48/… hours in the Belgian capital!
How about adding these fun stops mentioned here to your list…maybe you’ve been living in Brussels for a while now and you’re interested in exploring new things?
Have a look and make the most of your time in Brussels! Hope you’ll enjoy these suggestions as much as I do!
The Art Scene
This museum only opened in 2016. MIMA (Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art) is a contemporary art museum not too far from the centre. It is located right over the canal, on the territory of Molenbeek – yes, the hell hole of Brussels. Ha – go and check it out. It’s actually not that bad!
MIMA schedules two main exhibitions per year, with a predefined theme related to social issues such as collaborative work, building an identity, humour and freedom, ecology, civil disobedience, etc. The works are intriguing and well-worth checking out what’s currently being exhibited.
This villa is an Art Deco architectural masterpiece. I’m not telling you more. Go and see for yourself.
The outdoor activities
Brussels from above. Visit the beautiful Basilica of Koekelberg! Not for religious reasons but for the great panorama. You can go up to the dome, at a height of 52.80 metres where you’ll be surprised by an amazing view over Brussels.
Ter Kamerenbos/Bois de la Cambre
This beautiful green area is part of the Forest of Soignes but belongs to the city. It’s the perfect green escape from the busy Brussels city life. On weekends you’ll find cyclists, joggers, roller-skating enthusiasts and families walking around.
Parckfarm Tour & Taxis
If the weather allows, go and hang out in this park. It’s a bit outside of the centre area but trams/metro can take you there easily (Google maps is your friend!). This park used to be an old train track, a rough and semi-abandoned industrial part of town. It has now made space for a green spot, a long park with a nice socio-cultural project just next to the bridge. Find more info on their website.
Food and drinks
Located in the Quartier Dansaert, on a corner of the Vlaamsesteenweg. At first glance, this may seem like a regular old-school cafe. But don’t judge too fast, there’s more to it. This bar serves all the good Belgian beers but aside from that, you can also enjoy delicious croquettes aux crevettes – a Belgian speciality. You’re in for a treat!
Brussels Beer Project
If you’re around the Dansaert area in the centre of Brussels, just keep walking towards the canal and stop by the Brussels Beer Project. It’s a cooperative brewery and they have the most interesting flavours!
Located in the centre of Brussels, in front of the Beursschouwburg. Best coffee in town. Period.
And everything in between
Flea market on the Vossenplein/Place du Jeu de Balle
This flea market happens every day in the morning – yes you read that right, e v e r y d a y – in the Marolles, on the Place du Jeu de Balle. Over 300 stalls offer vintage clothing, shoes, beautiful furniture, (weird) accessories and random objects. It’s nice to wander around and who knows, maybe your eye will fall on something you didn’t even know was on your wish list.
Keep wandering around the streets and the square and you might find something that will catch your interested. For example the Blaesstraat and the Rue Haute which has a lot of antique boutiques and thrift stores around there, as well as some amazing graffiti artwork to spot. If you make it to the glass elevator right by the Palais de Justice, don’t forget to go up and enjoy the view.
If the weather doesn’t allow – have a look at the screening schedule of Cinematek. Their offer ranges from new documentaries to classics and projects of young talent. The building is worth a visit in itself.
See U is a temporary occupation program of a former military site in Ixelles. As of 2019, the project will welcome different users to help reactivate this forgotten place. The focus is on a social and sustainable future. Check out their activity calendar and join one of the interesting events. From a musical brunch, apero, or follow a workshop!
Et voilà! A couple of ideas worth (in my opinion) exploring in Brussels! Let me know what you think!