Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

#10 in Best Things To Do in Brussels
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium picture
elPadawan/Flickr

Key Info

Museumstraat 9

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

If you only have time to hit one art museum, the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (Royal Museums of Fine Arts) should be it. The museum houses 20,000 works of art from the 15th to the 21st centuries, and it's organized into six smaller museums, including the Old Masters Museum and the Modern Museum. Walking through the halls, travelers will be able to see works from Rubens, Brueghel, Van Dyck, Magritte and many, many more.

Recent travelers report being impressed with the museum's vast collection of art. Considering the size of the collection, many suggest allotting four or more hours to not just see the works of art but to appreciate and enjoy them. Some travelers even visited twice. Others, however, found the museum to be a bit boring, cautioning future visitors not to go unless they are really into art.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts can be found just a block or so from the Musical Instruments Museum. Museum hours vary depending on day of the week and the museum. Admission is about €8 EUR for adults and 2 EUR for children for one museum. A combination ticket that lets visitors into four of the six museums (excluding the Wiertz and Meunier museums) is 13 EUR for adults and 3 EUR for children. The museum is free to any visitors the first Wednesday of every month after 1 p.m. For more information, including hours of operation, visit the official website.

See all Hotels in Brussels »

More Best Things To Do in Brussels

Manneken Pis1 of 11
Grand-Place2 of 11
Type
Time to Spend
#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.

Read more
Luke1138/iStockphoto.com
See full list of Best Things To Do in Brussels »

Explore More of Brussels

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019

The 6 Best Maui Helicopter Tours

Combine sightseeing with a breathtaking adventure on one of these flights.

Gwen PratesiJuly 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Tours

Take in the city's major sights by water with one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 22, 2019