Musical Instruments Museum

#4 in Best Things To Do in Brussels
Musical Instruments Museum picture
dalbera/Flickr

Key Info

Rue Montagne de la Cour 2

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you love music, then place the Musée des Instruments de Musique (the Musical Instruments Museum) at the top of your Brussels to-do list. This facility has 1,200 mechanical and electrical instruments from around the globe, including a 19th-century orchestra, Scottish bagpipes, African slit drums and a collection of traditional Tibetan instruments. The museum gives visitors the unique opportunity to hear what these instruments sound like thanks to special headphones located in some of the exhibits. The museum also has a concert hall that hosts dozens of events throughout the year.

Recent visitors enjoyed their experience at the Musical Instruments Museum. Many were impressed with the museum's extensive collection, with some noting seeing instruments they didn't even know existed. Others really loved that they had the opportunity to listen to the instruments through the headphones available at the exhibits, saying it was the best part of their experience. Travelers also recommended taking a trip to the cafe, which provides great views of Brussels.

Sitting just a block from the southwest corner of Parc de Bruxelles, the Musical Instrument Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is about €8 EUR for adults and 2 EUR for people ages 4 to 25 years old. For more information, check out the Musical Instrument Museum website.

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#1 Manneken Pis

This little boy has put Brussels on the tourist map; people travel to this city from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of him urinating. The legend behind the Manneken Pis (which translates to little peeing man in Dutch) varies widely depending on who you ask. One popular story is of a little boy relieving himself on a witch's doorstep. Catching the boy in the act, the witch wished to punish him by turning him into stone, forcing him into that compromising position for eternity. A local, who witnessed the entire incident, ran to the boy and replaced him with a statue in the nick of time, making the boy miss the curse entirely. Another very popular story is that of a little boy stopping Brussels from meeting its demise. Enemy forces, intent on destroying Brussels, lit a small fire with the hopes it would spread and burn the city to the ground. A wandering little boy, who apparently really needed to go to the bathroom, saw the fire and put it out with his natural resources, thus saving the city. 

While the statue itself is of a child in the nude, he has been the recipient of about 800 different costumes, a tradition that began when Maximilian II Emanuel gave him a soldier's uniform in 1698. Since then Manneken Pis has been many things, including Santa and Elvis. Those interested in learning more about Manneken Pis should take a trip to the Museum of the City of Brussels, where more than 100 of his outfits are on display. The museum also has a digital archive of every single outfit that Manneken Pis has worn for visitors to view.

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