One of the first things that come to mind when the country Belgium is mentioned is the bold black, yellow and red flag colours, then the undeniable out-of-this-world architectures. The country is far from being boring as it also gave us The Adventures Of Tintin, magical castles, incredible carnivals, as well as delicious Belgian chocolates and beers.
Its capital city of Brussels is no short of fun. Officially known as the Brussels-Capital Region and comprising 19 municipalities, it is the perfect place to get your music fix.
From big concert night outs to an intimate visit to the museum, we are here to share some of the incredible spots in the city for music lovers.
Get schooled at the Musical Instruments Museum
There are four magnificent galleries at the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) in Brussels that takes you on a journey through the history of musical instruments. MIM is also home to a concert hall, museum shop, restaurant and you cannot miss the iconic video of the city from the third floor. This museum is a part of the Royal Museum for Art and History known for having over 1,500 instruments. There are even headphones available for visitors to have a complete experience of what is on display. MIM is a true representation of the Belgian musical history with modern orchestral instruments to the hybrid piano known as the lutheal.
2 Rue Montagne de la Cour, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium. Find out more about Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) here.
Smell the flowers at Le Botanique
Le Botanique has to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Brussels. It used to be known as Jardin de Botanique, a place that holds exotic plants but has blossomed into an incredible concert hall since 1984 with over 280 shows a year. Besides the circular theatrical hall of Rotondo that holds 125 to 250 people and Witloof Bar for 200 guests, the other music hall, Orangery, holds a capacity of 700 standing guests. Besides being a venue for music events, guests can also enjoy occasional film screenings, seminars and other exciting happenings at Le Botanique.
Le Botanique, Rue Royale 236, 1210 Brussels, Belgium. Details on Le Botanique can be found here.
Get intimate at Ancienne Belgique
Big international artists like MGMT, Black Eyed Peas, The White Stripes and Lenny Kravitz have graced the stage of Ancienne Belgique, or also known as “AB” for short. This live music venue, the Flemish counterpart to Le Botanique, has been drawing big shows and crowds for many decades now. Many big music acts have performed here when they were just starting out, so there are plenty of great memories contained within AB. The main hall with its signature red galleries can hold up to 1,800 standing people and about 200 seats. If you prefer a more intimate moment, the AB Club Stage is a cosy space that can fit up to 280 people.
110 Boulevard Anspach, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium. Click here for more info and upcoming events of Ancienne Belgique.
Art deco experience at BOZAR
BOZAR is the Centre for Fine Arts, which is a local cultural venue that was completed in 1929 by architect Victor Horta. The National Orchestra of Belgium makes this their home for their performances, along with many other incredible shows at this art deco building. Also known as PSK, this venue also holds exhibition and conference rooms, as well as a cinema and a concert hall. The main Henry Le Boeuf Hall holds up to 2,200 people that comes with velvet chairs for a complete holistic art experience. If this is your first time attending an orchestra show, you are in good hands at BOZAR with some of the top classical and brass ensembles.
23 Rue Ravenstein, Bruxelles 1000, Belgium. Check out more info on BOZAR here.
Circus history at Cirque Royal
This entertainment venue in Brussels is known as the Koninklijk Circus in Dutch was built by architect Wilhelm Kuhnen. It was first known as the city’s permanent circus home in the 19th century; it remains as one of the most prominent places for many great live music shows that can hold up to 3,500 people. Cirque Royal may be shaped with a circular look, but it is actually built as a polygon.
Rue de l'Enseignement 81, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium. Get to know more about Cirque Royal here.
Crate digging at Juke Box
Music fans who are also vinyl junkies would love this spot. Juke Box is known as the oldest record store in Brussels that carries new, old and rare records, so expect to spend hours digging through the selections available here. The place is run by Jean-Pierre Delabelle, who is also responsible for the annual Brussels Vinyl Record Fair that takes place at Galerie Ravenstein in December for free. Even if you are not a vinyl collector, Juke Box is a great place to visit just to browse through some fantastic releases ranging from singles to LPs at this iconic store.
Boulevard Anspach 165, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Be socially conscious at Allee Du Kaai
Known as a “Spontaneous Action Zone”, Allee Du Kaai at Avenue du Port is an event space situated at abandoned buildings for small initiatives with out-of-the-box ideas. It has become a home for a silkscreen shop, skatepark, bike workshop and kitchen. There are many types of artistic activities going on for everyone to enjoy and get to know like-minded folks. If you are ever in Brussels, make sure to drop by Allee Du Kaai for a different kind of experience before it makes way to a brand new public park in early 2020, so there is a temporary socio-cultural centre called Toestand.
Avenue du Port 53, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium. Click to get updates on activities at Allee Du Kaai.
Get cultured at Beursschouwburg
Beursschouwburg is an inspiring platform for artists to showcase their works from music to art. It is a melting pot of ideas that make it a true institution in Brussels culture. With a great team behind it and amazing visual identity, Beursschouwburg is a safe place for artists to disrupt what is known as regular – and for the community, initiate an on-going dialogue between each other. Beursschouwburg is a celebration of performances, encounters and creativity.
Auguste Ortsstraat 20/28, 1000 Brussel, Belgium. Learn more about Beursschouwburg here.
Cover Image: Paul Gisby Photography / Alamy Stock Photo