How to Spend Your Free Time in Brussels
Brussels has an excellent choice of entertainment, and something for everyone, whether you're after cultural performances or you want to go clubbing.
Opened in 1829, Brussels's French cultural centre, Le Botanique, is a stunning, palatial building set in six hectares of attractive grounds. The venue hosts a range of entertainment including classical concerts, dance and theatre performances and rock bands. Rue Royale 236.
A stunning music venue, both visually and acoustically, the Palais Des Beaux-Arts was designed by Belgian architect Victor Horta. The hall is in fairly constant use for symphony and chamber music concerts. Rue Ravenstein 23.
Situated on the southern edge of the city, the Forest National stadium is the cavernous choice for rock concerts, ice-skating spectaculars and large-scale dance events. Av du Globe 36.
Jazz has a long, proud history in Brussels, and venues throughout the city swing to the sound of saxophones, pianos and trumpets well into the night. Music Village Jazz Club opened in September 2000, and has earned a good reputation among the city's discerning jazz fans. Live music from across the jazz spectrum can be heard Wednesday to Saturday, with Belgium's finest jazz musicians occasionally being joined by international stars. Rue des Pierres 50.
Presenting modern and established classics such as Waiting For Godot and Twelfth Night, the Theatre National is Brussels's foremost theatrical venue. The greater proportion of performances are held at Salle Le Palace (Boulevard Anspach 85), but some are held at Halles de Schaerbeek (Rue Royale Ste Marie 22).
The Theatre Royal du Parc is a good alternative, showing mainly classics by playwrights such as Moliere or George Bernard Shaw.
A temple to the classics, La Monnaie presents a varied bill of opera, music and dance. Tickets for classical performances such as Othello and Parsifal start at EUR8.
La Monnaie is also home to the Brussels Philharmonic Society, whose recent repertoire includes Bach, Handel and Debussy, as well as the works of lesser-known masters of Classical music. Place de la Monnaie.
Brussels is one of those cities where clubs aren't immediately apparent should you go a-hunting at random. The locals seem to evaporate from the bars at around ten or eleven o'clock and if you're not watching closely you can easily get left behind as the city moves into the clubs until the small hours of the morning. The best thing to do is to get some advice from a local on the day before your planned night out. Brussels's clubs have different nights on offer from day to day and there should always be something that suits you going on somewhere in the city. Below are some examples of popular nightspots.
Brussels's best club? Many would say so. Fuse has been the top night out for Brussels's party people for the last half a decade. Techno and dance dominate the decks and the dance floor is always packed. Having a good time is more important than looking good - although a bit of both is naturally preferable.