You think you’ve seen it all in Brussels… after all, it’s not a big city compared to the other European capitals, despite that it is the European capital.
Here’s a list of the top 5 best kept secrets of Brussels you might not have visited yet. If indeed you have not, hurry up and see them with your friends!
1. The Toy Museum
24, Rue de l’Association, 1000 Brussels – 02 / 219.61.68
Admission: Adults €4.5, Children €3.5
Housed in a mansion of 1,000 square meters, this museum is perfect for everyone, for the little ones and their families. Children can play with the many unusual toys, while the adults enjoy the numerous collections. Every year, the second weekend of January is specially reserved for teddy bears, so if you come with your teddy bear, you will get in for free!
2. The Plasticarium Museum
35, Rue de Locquenghien, 1000 Brussels – 02 / 344.98.21
Admission: €8, visits by appointment
Philippe Decelle is the owner of this private museum that houses three floors of colorful collection of plastic works of art, furniture and appliances, signed by top designers from the 1960s to today. The vibrant colors welcome us straight into the atmosphere of pop culture, by way of the object worship that’s ever present in our consumer society. The 500 square-meter space is indeed filled with all kinds of objects collected over time by said plastic enthusiast.
3. The ULB Zoology Museum
50, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt-U door building B – 02 / 650.36.78
Free admission, guided tour: €2.5.
We visit the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences whenever we want to view the skeletons of many animal species, but we often forget about the collection available at the premises of the Free University of Brussels (l’Université libre de Bruxelles, or ULB). The ULB Zoology Museum houses over 3,000 displays of skeletons, ranging from platypus to elephants. The informative guided tours can teach you about the classification of many species.
Open Monday to Friday from 13h to 17h.
4. La Verrière Hermès
50, Boulevard de Waterloo – 02 / 511.22.62
It may not appear so if you’re just passing by, but the chic Hermès shop located on Boulevard de Waterloo is home to one of the largest art galleries in Brussels. The back of the shop was previously used as a parking space, but it has now been remodeled into a space that hosts exhibitions of contemporary art.
Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday from 10:30am to 6:30pm.
5. House of Bellone
46, Rue de Flandre, 1000 Brussels – 02 / 513.33.33
Well hidden from the spectators, the Maison du Spectacle (House of Performing Arts) has one of the most beautiful façades of the city, built by the architect Jean Cosyn between 1697 and 1708. The bust of this building’s namesake, the Roman goddess Bellona, is the main decoration at the gate.
A cover was built in 1995 (see picture below) for the building to protect it from the rain. The roof gives the impression of a museum but it is a center dedicated to the performing arts and is home to many associations. If you want to glimpse the beautiful façade, you can go during the opening hours, from Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.
Did you like our top 5 best kept secrets of Brussels? Did we miss any that you like? For more on tips on Brussels, check out this Brussels Hipster City Guide. And also check out our previous posts: Mini-guide to Eating and Drinking in Brussels, 5 Best Chocolatiers in Brussels & Top 5 Bars in Brussels for Beer Fans!
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