For one night, it’s young people who call the shots in twenty Brussels museums. Expect graffiti, breakdance, catwalks and dj-sets in places that weren’t exactly meant for them, like the Museum of Natural Sciences or the Army Museum. Goes on until 1 o’clock, with a famous afterparty.
Each spring, king Philip opens the gates of the Royal Greenhouses. Built in Art Nouveau style by his great-great-great-uncle (king Leopold II), they are a world apart with 15.000m2 of flowers, plants and even palm trees brought here from our former colony of Congo more than 100 years ago.
“Bukarest Fleisch”, “Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre”, “Zombies of Mass Destruction”... The science fiction and horror festival presents both big releases and B-films in an old industrial site with over 1.000 seats. Nobody stays quiet during the movies.
You can run a marathon, or run for 3 days between 50 venues for 200 concerts. Big Belgian names play on the Grand Place or the other city squares, while students and rising stars perform in bars. All concerts are for free - check the programme online.
Plants and music, just what we need in springtime. Les Nuits Botanique lasts for ten nights in the pretty botanical gardens, with a selection of the big names in the indie scene (in 2014: Badbadnotgood, Cat Power, Hercules and the Love Affair) and unknown young gods.
Couleur Café is a three-day world music festival reflecting the multicultural city that Brussels is today. With more than 40 concerts, it́ offers the best of hip hop, world, afro, reggae, dub, Latin, salsa, son, raï, rock and electronic music in outdoor dance halls and inside big industrial buildings.
You can only visit the Brussels Royal Palace during summer. Every seat, every ceiling and every mirror is more decorated than a wedding cake. Biggest attraction: the mirror hall by megalomaniac artist Jan Fabre is the biggest attraction: 1.500.000 glowing green dead beetles carefully pinned to a ceiling.
Erm... a beach? In Brussels? OK, it took us some improvising with trucks full of sand, plastic coconut trees and cocktail cabanas, but this comes close to a summer beach, right next to the canal and with a skyscraper skyline.
It’s like the 4th of July, but with good beer instead of stars and stripes. 21st of July: spectacular fireworks and a military parade. But every Brusseleir knows the real party happens a day before (20 July), when locals get drunk, dance and sing to Belgian classics like Le Grand Jojo and Stttella on the marketplace in the Marolles.
Maybe one of the coziest free summer festivals Brussels has to offer. Hosted by the 9 youth clubs of Brussels, this festival has a non-commercial vibe and offers besides quality music lots of food stands and animation.
‘Boterhammen in het park’ has local bands playing in the park next to the Royal Palace, during lunch hour. And when it’s getting dark at night, more international bands play intimate music (singer-songwriters, weird country, electronic dub, ambient pop) during ‘Feeërieën’ - something like a magic fairy time.
Big festival in the center of Brussels, during 10 nights. Last year, the BSF programmed acts like Patti Smith, Texas, Aeroplane, Sergent Garcia, etc… Tickets around 50 euros for ten evenings, and a lot of the famous classic museums are included in the price.
In Brussels, people take their cars to go to the bakery, even if the car is parked further away than the shop. There is only one exception to the crazy traffic in this city: Sunday Without Cars. Suddenly, you can hear a bird whistle.
Nuit Blanche, which means “sleepless night” or “white night” in French, is the perfect day to explore Brussels by night. It allows you to enter places that are normaly closed at night during the whole year. Besides the official programmation almost every hip bar in the city centre organises something, from comedy to raves.