With the arrival of autumn, Brussels’ parks and gardens take on an unusual beauty as they are tinged with ochre, reddish and golden colours that lend them a special charm, while a calendar full of attractive events invites us to enjoy a lively but always discreet cultural life.
These are some of the inspiring things to see and do in Brussels this autumn:
1. SEE THE DAVID HOCKNEY EXHIBITION AT BOZAR
Bozar unveils the work of one of the world’s most famous and influential contemporary artists through two major exhibitions: Works from the Tate Collection, 1954-2017, a major retrospective of the artist featuring more than 80 paintings and prints and featuring some of his most iconic works, and The Coming of Spring, Normandy 2020, dedicated to a series of works produced during confinement that represent a hymn to life and an ode to nature despite the difficult times in which we live.
Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23, From 8 October to 23 January 2022.
2. HAVE A BEER IN ONE OF THE BEST BARS IN THE CITY
Having a beer in Brussels is one of the most deeply rooted customs in a city where beer is almost a religion and where it is possible to find a beer to suit everyone’s taste and a special place to taste it. Are you ready to discover the list of the best breweries in Brussels?
3. CLIMB UP TO THE BELVEDERE OF THE KOEKELBERG BASILICA
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest church in the world and was built at the express wish of King Leopold II on the Koekelberg esplanade. It is an immense Art Deco church with a magnificent 53-metre-high viewing platform from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city, especially in autumn, when the city’s parks and gardens are a real spectacle.
Koekelberg Basilica, Parvis de la Basilique 1
4. EXPLORE THE CENTRE OF BRUSSELS FOR BRIGHT BRUSSELS
For a few days, this dazzling festival turns Brussels into the setting for a luminous tour where fascinating interactive, playful or artistic installations by national and international artists give visitors the chance to discover the capital’s emblematic buildings and monuments in a way they have never seen before.
In different parts of the city.
5. ATTEND A CONCERT AT THE BRUSSELS PIANO FESTIVAL
Every October, the Gothic hall of the majestic Brussels City Hall hosts a piano festival featuring prestigious pianists from the international music scene. Entering this impressive building at night to attend a piano recital surrounded by boisseries and luxurious 16th century tapestries is an unforgettable experience.
Brussels Piano Festival, Brussels City Hall. Grand Place 1
6. ADMIRE THE MUSEUMS OF THE FAR EAST IN THE PARK OF LAEKEN
A stroll through this park to admire the buildings that make up the Museums of the Far East, currently closed to the public for works, and especially the Japanese Tower, allows you to take a short trip to the Asian continent without leaving the European capital.
Museums of the Far East, Avenue Van Praet 44, 1000 Brussels
7. SPEND AN AFTERNOON AT THE TRAIN MUSEUM
Train World reveals to visitors the fascinating history of the train from its creation in 1835 to the present day as they walk through the former Schaerbeek station converted into a museum. From the end of October until next spring, the exceptional exhibition “The Epic of the Orient Express” will take visitors on an exciting journey on board this legendary train.
Train World, Place Princesse Elisabeth 5, Schaerbeek
8. VISIT ONE OF THE CASTLES AROUND BRUSSELS
Belgium tops the list of countries with the most castles per square kilometre, and just half an hour from the capital you can spend a beautiful autumn day visiting dream castles that look like something out of a fairy tale and strolling through the beautiful parks and gardens that surround them.
9. DISCOVER THE IMPRESSIVE BOOK COLLECTION OF THE KBR MUSEUM
The modern KBR museum houses the former library of the Dukes of Burgundy, a treasure trove of over 600 years of history which was opened last year. The great historical, artistic and cultural value of this impressive collection of manuscripts, including several incunabula, alone justifies a visit to this interesting museum.
KBR Museum, Mont des Arts 28
10. BUY ARTISANAL CHOCOLATES
Brussels is a real paradise for lovers of chocolate in all its forms. Spending an autumn afternoon buying and tasting handmade chocolates in establishments such as Mary, Elisabeth, Irsi, Benoit Nihant or Yasushi Sasaki will not only leave a sweet memory in your mind, but will also make you forget that it’s raining in Brussels.