Have you found yourself wondering what to do in Brussels on a rainy day? We’ve got you. There are plenty of things to do in Brussels once the clouds have come in. Some of the best museums in Belgium can be found in the capital. Love an art museum? You’ll be spoilt for choice. Cars? Yep. Comics? Those too! The museums of Brussels are so worth exploring, we’ll bet you might even still be there once the sun’s come out.
We’ve picked 13 of the top museums in the city so you’ll be spoilt for choice on places to visit in Brussels, come rain or shine…
Check out even more awesome things to do in our Brussels city guide.
1. Musée Magritte Museum
Let’s start with a classic. One of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Musée Magritte Museum showcases the surreal artworks of René Magritte, one of Belgium’s most beloved artists. The best part? The museum is conveniently located in the artist’s old apartment so you can see not only his masterpieces on show, but where he painted them!
2. Design Museum Brussels
From fine art to contemporary - this is no dusty classical museum. This museum in Brussels is entirely dedicated to modern design. One of their permanent exhibitions focuses on the evolution of plastic, from household items (a chair never looked so good) to more quirky creations. There’s always something fresh on with their temporary exhibits, so you can keep coming back for more.
3. Autoworld Brussels
Roadtrip, anyone? Drive through the history of cars all the way back to the 17th century at this fun car-crazy museum. Check out over 300+ models from classic motors to electric designs, and get up close and personal with the evolution of race cars. Hide out indoors from the rain in one of the most interesting museums in the capital. Autoworld Brussels is the perfect museum stop for any car enthusiast.
It wouldn’t be a Brussels’ museums list without mentioning Bozar. You’ll need a good few hours at this hub of cultural events and exhibitions because Bozar has it ALL. It’s definitely one of the most interesting things to do in the city. With temporary exhibits showcasing both local and international artists, theatre performances, concerts, movies, and more, there is always something going on at The Centre for Fine Arts.
The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (we’ll stick with ‘MIMA’), has tons of exhibitions showcasing visual art with a focus on culture and social issues. This isn’t your typical museum sharing old, historical art; MIMA aims to share non-traditional art with the younger generations, focusing on the here and now. If you’re looking for exhibits on topics like music culture, fashion, graffiti, virtual reality... you’re in the right place. There’s no better way to spend time indoors in Brussels than MIMA.
6. Belgian Comic Strip Centre
Brussels has some really unique places to visit. But did you know some of our favourite comic strip characters were born right here in Belgium? Dive right into the history of some Belgian treasures at the Comics Art Museum. You’ll learn about our beloved TinTin and the Smurfs as well as some world-famous characters, along with the invention of the comic strip itself.
7. Sewer Museum
Okay, hear us out. It might not sound appealing, but how often can you say you’ve walked through a sewer? The unique Sewer Museum gives an insight into the life of a sewage worker. During the tour you’ll see photos, models and various items that explain the hardships of sewage labour, as well as get the chance to walk through a real sewer. If nothing else, at least you’ll come out loving your job more than you did before, right?
8. Musical Instruments Museum
How many musical instruments can you name off the top of your head? We’ll bet it’s not 7,000! In the impressive Musical Instruments Museum, you’ll find 7,000 instruments on display dating all the way from the Middle Ages to the present day. It’s definitely a family fave and always makes the list as one of the best museums in Brussels. As well as information about the different instruments, the museum gives you the chance to hear short pieces of what they would sound like. The ‘tambura’ might be our new favourite…
9. Pixel Museum
Transport yourself back to the time when your biggest worry was your high score. At the Pixel Museum, you can not only see the old video games consoles but try them too! Take an interactive journey through the history of video games, with some dating as far back as 1972. There are hundreds of retro and modern consoles to try as well as thousands of games on display. The Pixel Museum is one of our favourite ways to spend time indoors in Brussels, since this museum is pretty new and mostly unknown to the tourist crowds of the capital. Get more deets on this unique museum below before it gets super popular!
10. Horta Museum
The beautiful Horta Museum is dedicated to all things Victor Horta - one of the founders of the Art Nouveau movement and one of the best architects in Brussels. The museum is aptly located in one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the city, the home and studio of (and designed by, obv) Horta himself. This museum is a real Brussels gem and a must for all art lovers!
11. WIELS Museum
Brussels really knows how to do art - didn’t we tell you you’d be spoilt for choice?! Wiels isn’t your ordinary art museum, calling themselves an ‘innovative and contemporary venue’ where you’ll find contemporary art to suit all. There are no permanent exhibitions at Wiels; with constantly changing exhibits from up and coming locals to well-known artists, you’ll never know what you’re going to get.
12. Museums of the Far East
Take a vacation from your vacation and head to the Far East to explore the culture of Japan and China. The Museums of the Far East are made up of three separate museums. The Chinese Pavilion is filled with artefacts and artwork from China whilst The Museum of Japanese Art is where all the history and art from Japan is kept, including original samurai armour! The Japanese Tower was opened by King Leopold II in 1905 and is an impressive, decorated structure surrounded by a Japanese garden filled with Asian flora and fauna. The Museums of the Far East are the perfect places to visit in Brussels for an escape from the city and a cultural fix.
13. Museum of Original Figurines
Comics fan? MOOF Museum is another dedicated to our favourite fictional characters. Brought to life as tiny figurines, there are over 3,500 to see at this magical museum, with Eric Pierre adding news sets every 6 months so each trip feels like a new experience. Jump onto the page of your favourite comics and get up close and personal with your childhood stories.
That’s it for our list of some of the best museums in Brussels. But the capital of Belgium has plenty more places to explore. Check out our sustainable 2-day itinerary for your weekend trip to Brussels!