Guest post by Alex Coverdale
Brussels is a fascinating place that is crawling with rich history, stunning architecture and lots to see and do. Flights to Brussels are becoming more and more affordable, it’s the perfect place to visit for a summer getaway! Even though tourists flock here to indulge in chocolates, waffles and beer – it’s actually a vibrant city with something to do for everyone! Surprisingly enough, some of the most impressive things about Brussels are the museums. If you plan on taking a trip to Brussels, be sure to check out these six museums!
6 Brilliant Museums in Brussels
1.) Horta Museum
The Horta Museum is located in the private home and studio of Belgian architect Victor Horta, where he lived from 1901-1919. The whole house and studio has been kept the way it was when it was originally designed by Victor Horta himself. The entire house is decorated with the typical Art Nouveau style. The Art Nouveau style was invented to break away from the styles of the past. In 2016, the Horta Museum was extended to exhibit important archives and an entire Art Nouveau reference library that consists of more than 5,000 books.
2. MIMA Museum
Founded in 2016, the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art is the most significant contemporary art museum in Brussels. This entire museum is based around the New York street art scene. This museum includes classic street art, graffiti, tattoo design and much more. The best thing about this museum is that it ties together all types of influences from the street scene. In the historically industrious part of town, the building sits right on the canal walls and is four stories of vibrant, captivating art.
3. Magritte Museum
Dedicated to the works of surrealist Belgian artist, Rene Magritte, this museum is one of the most significant parts of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The Magritte Museum is located in the heart of Brussels and is the world’s largest collection of surrealist art by Rene Magritte. The museum includes 230 works of art and archives on display. From house paintings to sculptures, drawings, film, photographs and even musical scores in surrealist form. The Magritte museum has over 300,000 visitors walk through their halls every year. The surrealist art scene in Belgium was, other than France, the earliest establishment of surrealist art at its time. It was in 1926 that Rene Magritte painted his first piece of surrealist art and in 2006 the doors to one of Belgium’s most beloved museums. As Rene Magritte said, “to be a surrealist is to banish the notion of deja vu and seek out the not yet seen.” This museum definitely meets those standards!
4. Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is a world-renowned museum known for its collection of over 8,000 instruments. Also known as MIM, this museums opened its doors in 1992. Under royal decree, the museum has two sections. The first section is filled with instruments from the early days of sound. The second section is dedicated to modern music from the 19th and 20th century. This museum is extremely rich in history and has a diverse collection of instruments from all over the world. They even have an instrument of the month, every single month. There is also even a delicious restaurant, a concert hall and a library inside. The MIM is simply a must if you are in the Brussels area!
5. The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate
Also known as Choco-Story, the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate is one that you don’t want to miss out on while in Brussels. Even though this museum is smaller than the rest, it is certainly not lacking in richness and deliciousness. Over 75,000 people visit this museum every year to experience the history of chocolate, watch how it’s made by gourmet chocolatiers and, of course, eat it! This is a super fun museum whether you are a chocolate lover or not. They are open every day and always have events going for all of the chocolate enthusiasts out there! You will learn how the Mayans and Aztecs first grew cocoa. You’ll learn how the cocoa bean took Europe by storm when it was discovered. And yes, don’t worry! There is a store where you can get your chocolate fix after checking out the museum!
6. International Puppet Museum
Possibly the quirkiest, most unique museum in Brussels is the International Puppet Museum! Inside a picturesque 18th century rural cottage is 4,000 original puppets from all around the world. Founded in 1938, this museum is unlike anything you have seen before. As soon as you walk in the door, you’ll enter into the cave of Ali Baba, which is absolutely covered with puppet characters. If you get frightened by creepy puppets, then you should probably stay away. But, it’s definitely worth seeing if you are in the area! They even have puppet shows every single week!
It’s safe to say you won’t be bored in Brussels. There is plenty to eat, plenty to do and certainly plenty to learn on your adventure. Belgium is the perfect place to explore. You can drive from border to border in Belgium in two hours. Even though it’s a small country, it still rich in history, culture and beauty!
*Thank you Alex for this wonderful guest post! Regular readers, I am now back in Moscow from my trip to DC! I’ll be back to posting as usual on Friday with a look inside ModCloth’s brand new FitShop in DC!