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11 February 2016

Lots of Free Fun in Brussels, Belgium

Living, studying or visiting Brussels? You’re most likely on a pretty tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to an occasional cool event or experience –sometimes for little or nothing. Here’s a money-saving mini-list, for starters:

Free Visits in Brussels

- The European Parliament (Rue Wiertz 60) is in the European capital’s so-called “Europe Quarter”, and here you can check out the “Parlamentarium”, the parliament’s interactive visitors’ centre, a very cool – and free – activity.

- Halles de Saint Géry(Place Saint-Géry 1), in the heart of the city, the 1880s brick marketplace has been renovated and turned into a cool multi-use centre for exhibitions; live music and other culture; bars and restaurants; a market for vintage merch; and more – a great place to keep you entertained throughout the afternoon and evening!

- Galéries Royales Saint-Hubert(Galerie du Roi 5), an Italianate, 19th-century shopping arcade right near the marvelous Grand’ Place, a favourite local hangout for shopping, dining, drinking, and movie-going. Join them!

- Cathedral of St. Michael & St. Gudula (Metro station Gare Centrale) is one of the city’s most iconic structures.

- Palais de Justice (Poelaertplein 1). Built in the late 19th century, the world’s largest courthouse impresses with not just its architecture but its size –104 metres (340 feet) high.

- The Astronomical Dome of the Brussels Free University offers a fascinating bit of free skygazing – just remember, Wednesdays only.

Two Stunning Free Views

1) From the Arc du Cinquencentenaire, it’s cinematic. Where?  The Europe Quarter, in the Parc du Cinquencentenaire; reachable via lift from the Brussels Royal Army Museum. It’s not extremely close to downtown, so get up here via Metro to the Schuman et Mérode stop.

2) Not as “glamorous”, perhaps, but an insider secret, check out the sweet views from the rooftop of the car park at 58 Rue de l'Evêque , very close to the Place de Brouckère.

Free Brussels Museums

Yes, indeed. Various museums have select days/times when you can check them out with no admission fee. For example, the first Wednesday of each month as of 1 pm, federal institutions like the Charleroi Photography Museum, MAC in the Grand Hornu, the Mundaneum in Mons, MIMI, the Magritte Museum, and many others. Special temporary exhibitions excepted. In addition, there are 70 museums which waive admission fees the first Sunday of each month.

As you can see, whether you’re studying in Brussels or just visiting, a city that can be pricey also has ways to take advantage of so many moneysaving opportunities! And if you wish to take a tour around Flanders, remember we talked about the Bed and Bike programme ;)

Photo | Ariel Arias

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