11 hidden treasures to discover in the streets of Brussels

11 hidden treasures to discover in the streets of Brussels

Seldom talked about, some places in the capital are sometimes so discreet that you could walk past them without ever noticing them.

A panoramic view of the city, an old cinema, an English-style park, an underground museum... there are so many unusual places to discover in our capital. Head to the heart of the city and go in search of these 11 hidden treasures.

  • La Bellone

    You will have to take a covered passage in the Rue de Flandre to discover this magnificent baroque building. Sculpted by Brussels architect Jean Cosyn in 1697, La Bellone is today a multi-purpose centre dedicated to entertainment and the performing arts.

    © David Marle

    Rue de la Cigogne

    Reachable via Rue Rempart des Moines (or Rue de Flandre) via an arch topped with a sculpture of Saint Roch, Rue de la Cigogne is a refreshing oasis in the heart of the capital.

    The best time to venture into the Rue de la Cigogne is between April and June, without hesitation! Wisteria takes over the street and adds a touch of poetry.

    The Royal Library of Belgium and it's panoramic view of Brussels

    Built in 1935 in memory of King Albert 1er, the Royal Library of Belgium is also known as the "Albertine" or "la Royale". It has also recently changed its name to KBR. In addition to its book collection, this institution houses prints, etchings, posters and newspapers. The KBR Museum will be open in September 2020. opent er ook het KBR Museum, it will house a magnificent collection of manuscripts from the time of the Dukes of Burgundy and will also regularly host afternoon concerts.

    The highlight of the show is on the 5th floor of the library, so take the lift and discover one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Brussels.

    The "Jardin aux Fleurs" mural by Brecht Evens

    This 415m² mural plunges you into plunges you into a world where colours intermingle, inviting you to travel between East and West. Head to the lower part of the city to discover the "Jardin aux Fleurs" (Flower Garden) mural by Brecht Evens which stands in front of a community vegetable garden.

    Good to know: this mural is part of Brussels' comic strip trail, one of the most famous walking tours in Brussels and a must during your visit.

    Saint-Gilles town hall

    Saint-Gilles Town Hall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful town halls in the capital. Designed by architect Albert Dumont, this imposing building, in the French neo-Renaissance style, is characterised by the magnificent ornaments and statues representing strength, finance, maternity, solidarity and justice that adorn its facade.

    Don't hesitate to enter the town hall to take a look at the paintings of Belgian artists that decorate the walls or to admire the first stone laid in 1900. Situated in the foundations on the right-hand side of the main entrance, this stone contains documents on the building's construction and some old coins.

    The Aegidium

    Make your way to the heart of the Parvis de Saint-Gilles to discover the Aegidium. Built in 1905, this architectural gem has been an auditorium, cinema, dance hall and meeting place for the inhabitants of Saint-Gilles.

    Currently being renovated, the Aegidium will be converted into an urban and creative laboratory that is open to all. For the time being, those who want to admire the eclecticism of its decor can take part in exclusive guided tours.

    CC BY-SA Anthony Rauchen

    Pierre Paulus park

    Brussels is considered one of the greenest capitals in Europe, with more than 30 parks. Pierre Paulus Park, divided into 2 parts, is undeniably one of the capital's most remarkable.

    The first part, in the English-style, was once the garden of a mansion. Here you will find the magnificent Maison Pelgrims, fake antique ruins, a pond and waterfalls. It is undoubtedly the ideal place for a romantic break.

    The second part of this park is laid out on the garden of a former cenacle. You can lie down here with friends or stroll along its paths and discover the busts of numerous famous figures.

    The Sewers museum

    This unlikely museum is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary must-see attractions to visit when you come to Brussels. The Sewer museum tells the story of the creation of the sewers and explains how their 1900km network came into being.

    Guided tours are offered to learn more about its history, the water cycle and the rumours that surround this little-known underground world.

    Rue Porselein

    As soon as the fine weather returns, this cobbled alleyway, lined with colourful little houses and flowers, offers a unique show to architecture lovers. This gorgeous hidden treasure also leads you to two more hidden treasures: the Place de la Vaillance and the Maison d'Erasme.

    The beating heart of Anderlecht, Place de la Vaillance is surrounded by Gothic style buildings dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. No wonder this square is often used as a film set.

    The Dutch humanist who gave it its name stayed in Erasmus House in 1521. It has an impressive collection of paintings and drawings, a library, a reconstruction of his workshop, a herb garden and a philosophical garden.

    Hall of Fame

    As you continue your visit of the commune of Anderlecht, make sure you stop to admire one of our capital's best examples of street art: the Hall of Fame.

    This outdoor art gallery contains close to 150 gigantic and colourful pieces. They are constantly being refreshed and represent a beautiful explosion of colours and styles.

    You'll find all types of street art here: abstract calligraffiti pieces (letters that are difficult to read, tangled and decorative) stand alongside realistic or abstract murals and works inspired by comic books or music, as well as stencil graffiti art (more stylised paintings).

    Friture René

    With its red and white checkered tablecloths, and its menu printed like a newspaper, Friture René has all the authentic little touches for those who want to experience Brussels like a local.

    A family business since 1932, it's no surprise to find typical Belgian dishes on the menu: mussels, américain préparé (Belgian steak tartare) but also beautiful pieces of beef and horse. Naturally Belgian beer has a big role to play, but, perhaps more surprisingly, Nicolas - the son of the family - can recommend delicious teas for after your meal.