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Architecture and heritage

Explore Brussels’ architectural heritage, including superb Art Nouveau buildings, the Atomium, Grand-Place and other unmissable sites.
When you think of Brussels, you think of the beauty of Art Nouveau, Grand-Place, the Atomium and more. In fact, Brussels is teeming with architectural gems. All styles are brilliantly represented. Brussels has a lot of surprises for you when it comes to architecture.

Follow the guide

  • The most convenient way to explore Brussels’ great buildings is by the hop-on, hop-off bus service, which takes you to all the main tourist attractions, including Manneken Pis, the Stock Exchange, the Atomium and the European Parliament.
  • There are plenty of guided tours of Brussels’ architectural heritage to choose from, too, especially in summer. Individual guides are also available.
  • Art Nouveau (FR/NL) inspiration is also found online.

Too many to name

The Brussels-Capital Region’s Direction des Monuments et Sites is responsible for the list of architectural heritage in Brussels (FR/NL). The list of Brussels’ architectural gems is posted online.

Behind the façades

It can be interesting to take a look behind the façade of some prestigious buildings. The walks below take you inside several of the city’s architectural masterpieces:

  • The Direction des Monuments et Sites holds its Heritage Days (FR/NL) every September when you can go inside buildings that are usually closed to the general public.
  • The commune of Koekelberg has published a walking map, "Koekelberg à la carte" (FR/NL) to reveal the commune's rich heritage and spots off the beaten track.
  • A very large number of museums are housed in magnificent buildings. The architecture is often just as interesting as the contents of the museum itself. The home of both the Museum of Musical Instruments (Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Brussels) and the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brussels) is a typical art nouveau structure.
  • The Flagey building (Place Sainte-Croix, 1050 Ixelles) and Bozar (Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels) are both in the art deco style. Leopold II ordered the building of prestigious museums like the museums in Parc du Cinquantenaire (Mérode metro station) and the Museum for Central Africa in Tervueren. The Atomium (Heysel metro station), that forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal, is certainly one of a kind.
  • Several associations of guides specialise in architectural heritage and are able to take you inside some of Brussels most unique buildings. See the websites of Arkadia (FR), ARAU (FR), Korei (NL) and La Fonderie (FR) (industrial heritage).

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