Brussels Travel Guide

Activities & Events

You can see what's going on in Brussels by picking up a copy of local free city newspaper Zone 02. Another good free listings paper is Agenda, which is distributed together with the Dutch-language weekly Brussel Deze Week and has the notable advantage of being published in three languages (English, Dutch, French). Both of these are distributed in cafés and bars around the city. If you're looking for a good party, online listing Net Events (French and Dutch) and Ready2Move, are a good place to start.

Brussels Agenda is the official cultural and entertainment agenda of the City of Brussels and the francophone Médiatheque has a website featuring the upcoming concerts in Brussels and the rest of Belgium. However, their listings page only features concerts Médiatheque staff are interested in.

The most widely read English magazine is The Bulletin which, apart from covering Belgian and EU news, also offers arts and lifestyle stories, as well as in-depth events listings and a TV guide.

Tours
Brussels Bike Toursmeeting point right outside the Tourist Information Office at the Grand PlacePhone: 0484 89 89 36Hours: From April to October daily at 10AM. From July to September daily at 10AM and 3PMPrice: General 25 - Full-time students 22Daily bike tours in English allow you to see the main sights in just about 3.5 hours. It includes a halfway stop for fries and beer (not included in price). Reservations recommended.
Visit Brussels LineHours: 10AM-4PMPrice: 18Hop-on/hop-off city open-deck double-decker bus tours with commentary. 12 stops around the city, bus departing every 30 minutes.
Brussels City ToursGrasmarkt-Rue du March aux Herbes 82Phone: 02 513 77 44Fax: 02/502.58.69Price: 25/23/12.50Brussels City Tours is the main bus-tour company, with 2-hour tours of all the major sights.
Architectural toursBoulevard Adolphe Maxlaan 55Phone: 02 219 33 45Fax: 02 219 86 75Hours: Saturday mornings Mar-Nov, groups year-roundPrice: 2h walking tours 10; 3h bus tours 17 (under 2613)Atelier de Recherche et d'Action Urbaine, a Francophone Brussels heritage conservation group, runs tours of the city's architectural gems, offering a variety of theme tours to Art Nouveau buildings, Art Deco houses, the EU quarter, the Grand Place area and the Marolles/Marollen.
Horse-drawn carriagesRue Charles BulsstraatPrice: 18 per carriageHorse-drawn carriages do circuits of the Lower Town starting from Rue Charles Bulsstraat, near Grand Place.
Cinema

Brussels has a fair number of cinemas, if limited compared to most European capitals. French films are subtitled in Dutch, and vice versa, all other films are shown in the original version subtitled in French and Dutch (on cinema listings look for 'OV').

Actors Studio and Styx, run by the cooperative nouveau cinema. Both cinemas screen interesting films in their original version with French and Dutch subtitles. Actor's studio, Petite Rue des Bouchers - Kleine Beenhouwersstraat, Brussels 1000, tel: 025121696 or Cinéma Styx, Rue de l'Arbre Bénit - Gewijde Boomstraat 72, Ixelles-Elsene.
Cinema WellingtonLocated in downtown Waterloo with French, Flemmish and English spoken films as well as French and Flemmish subtitles. - Screencasts most mainstream American films as well as French movies. The Wellington Passage - Chausse de Bruxelles 165, 1410 Waterloo, tel: 023549359/023549359
Cinema NovaIs an independent-to-the-bone cinema showcasing the more esoteric side of cinema - films which would not be shown elsewhere are generally shown here. A Korean Ultraman rip-off, a Pakistani documentary or a bleak Chilean cinema vrit flick? Only at Nova. Nova Cinema, 3 rue Arenberg-Arenbergstraat.
ArenbergIs a good arthouse cinema with a well-programmed selection of films. Especially good for the newer arthouse flicks. Cinma Arenberg, 26 Galerie de la Reine - Koninginnegalerij.
Muse du Cinema/FilmmuseumIs part of the Centre for Fine Arts and features a carefully chosen selection of contemporary and classic arthouse films. The best thing about this isn't just the building (due to be restored soon) but also the fact that the entrance fee is cheap. So if you can't live without your dose of Werner Herzog or Jan Svankmajer fret not - this place won't cost you an arm and a leg. Royal Film Museum, 9 Rue Baron Horta - Baron Hortastraat.
Vendome, 18 Chaussée de Wavre-Waversesteenweg, Ixelles-Elsene. Another arthouse cinema. It's located near the Porte de Namur (Naamsepoort) and acts as the metaphysical gateway to a lively African neighbourhood known locally as Matongé.
Flagey is the old broadcasting headquarters and now houses the regional TV station TVBrussel . It labels itself 'the sound and images factory'. Quite an apt description - arthouse films, theatre pieces or world-renowned musicians are all featured here. Flagey, Place Sainte-Croix - Heilig-kruisplein, Ixelles-Elsene.
UGC De BrouckreThis is the most centrally located UGC in Brussels. Another UGC exists in Ixelles. As far as programming goes it's the usual Hollywood and mainstream European fare you'd expect from any other UGC in Europe. UGC De Brouckre, 38 Place De Brouckre - De Brouckreplein.
KinepolisWas the first megaplex in the world. It's located at Heysel, near the Atomium, and has 25 screens showing a wide selection of mainstream films.
BIFFFIs Brussels' international fantasy film festival (film fantastique in French). This two-weeks festival is scheduled yearly in March and is a must see for tourist and locals alike.
Offscreen is a showcase for unusual, independent and unreleased films, cult classics, extraordinary documentaries and offbeat genres from around the world. Takes place during the month of February and/or March in co-production with Cinema Nova and in collaboration with the Film Museum of the Royal Belgian Film Archive.
Events

Brussels has a good selection of year round events, many suitable for English speaking visitors. The following sites are useful to check out what's on.

Classictic ConcertsA site selling classical tickets, but has an excellent rundown of all the upcoming classical concerts.
Wallonie TourismIs brought to you by the French Speaking Tourist board.
Ancienne BelgiqueFor popular concerts, where the stadium bands stop in.
Brussels Events ListingsIs a roundup of events for an English speaking audience, this is good for some of the smaller and expat focused venues.
The Bozar

The Paleis voor Schone Kunsten (Dutch) or Palais des Beaux-Arts (French), Rue Ravensteinstraat 23, tel: 02 507 82 0, is often referred to as "Bozar" or "PSK". Construction was completed in 1928 and includes exhibition and conference rooms, movie theater and concert hall which serves as home to the National Orchestra of Belgium. The complex contains a large concert hall, a recital room, a chamber music room, lecture rooms and a vast gallery for temporary exhibitions. Since 2002, the Belgian federal institution has chosen the brand name BOZAR. It has seven artistic departments: Bozar Expo, Bozar Music, Bozar Cinema, Bozar Dance, Bozar Theatre, Bozar Literature, Bozar Studios and Bozar Architecture.

Bozar Architecture is open to the public with exhibitions and lectures working in close collaboration with the Information Centre for Architecture, Town Planning and Design.
Bozar Cinema has showings of quality films for the general public, a special series for Young Film Fans (in the Henry Le Boeuf Hall), and cross-fertilising events that explore connections between cinema, video, and the other arts (Terarken rooms, Horta Hall).
Bozar Dance hosts international contemporary dance productions.
Bozar Expo has many exhibitions every year, in cooperation with the most prestigious international institutions, alternating the great collections with contemporary art, various national heritages, and support for young artists.
Bozar Literature hosts meetings with Belgian and foreign writers.
Bozar Music - concerts in almost a dozen venues, both at the Centre for Fine Arts and elsewhere in Brussels, with Western classical music from the Middle Ages to our times, as well as non-European classical music, traditional music, jazz, blues, rock, etc., in a great variety of line-ups and genres, from chamber ensembles to big bands, from recitals to concert performances of opera.
Bozar Theatre is oriented towards avant-garde theatre.
Bozar Studios is the Centre’s educational service, operating as an artistic department in its own right.

source: Wikivoyage

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