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The 10 best expat-friendly bookshops in Brussels

10:11 28/01/2018
Want to stock up on some great reads? Here are 10 of the best places for bibliophiles to find literature not just in English but also in other languages throughout Brussels.


Passa Porta 

Passa Porta is a real international house of literature in the city centre, stocking an impressive number of books in Dutch, French, German and English. Discover a secret garden of new authors while getting reacquainted with the classics. Besides fiction, the bookshop also sells art books and a selection of reading material for children. And there’s more to Passa Porta than the shop. Authors are regularly invited for lectures and meetings, and it also organises exhibitions and events throughout the year. 46 Rue Antoine Dansaert



One of the best-known British bookshops. Spread over two floors in a shop near Rue Neuve, you’ll find a large selection of fiction, classics, political and historical books, cookery, business and language books, travel guides, maps and imported English and American magazines and papers. At the front of the shop, the ‘homesick corner’ stocks a few British essentials, such as tea, marmalade, chocolate, brown sauce and biscuits. 71-75 Boulevard Adolphe Max


On the other side of Rue Neuve lies another paradise for book lovers. Sterling is Brussels’ largest independent English-language bookstore, packed with more than 40,000 titles. You’ll find newspapers, magazines, fiction and children’s books on the ground floor. Take the wooden staircase up and discover the cookery books, travel guides, business literature, dictionaries and much more. If you’re looking for a gift, browse the shelves for greeting cards, calendars, board games and bookmarks. 38 Rue du Fossé aux Loups


Piola Libri

Piola Libri is an Italian bookstore in the EU quarter that combines two popular pastimes: wine and reading. Piola is an ancient Piedmontese word for wine bar, while libri means books. The bookstore invites you to discover and rediscover Italy through books of all genres in original Italian and translated English, French and Dutch versions. So come, sit back and read a book like the Italians do – in a relaxed atmosphere, with some nibbles to eat and of course a good wine. 66-68 Rue Franklin


Punto y Coma

This place sells Spanish-language classics, books for children and for language learning, and a collection of Spanish and Latin American DVDs. Located just off Schuman. 115A Rue Stevin


Gutenberg Buchhandlung

Gutenberg opened in 1981 and was the first bookshop in Brussels to offer German-language books in the European capital. Now based in Kraainem, the store offers German classics as well as translations of international novels. Also stocks travel books and German learning material. 26 Rue d’Argile


Grande Muraille

The Great Wall is a Chinese bookshop in Schaerbeek that offers books on everything from acupuncture and traditional medicine to Chinese politics and tourism, in Chinese, French, Dutch and English. It also sells Chinese literature, magazines, CDs, decorative paper and calligraphy materials. 92 Avenue Paul Deschanel 

For a true experience 


A warehouse-turned-bookstore in the centre of the European institutions. With endless art, classics and travel sections, Filigranes has a substantial English-language and international section. Get lost in the aisles and aisles of books, then take a well-deserved break at its coffee and snack bar – with live piano music throughout the day. 39 Avenue des Arts

Cook and Book

If you’re not just looking for books but also an ‘experience’, then make an afternoon trip out of Cook and Book in Woluwe. Having been voted one of the top 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world by American culture website Flavorwire, Cook and Book brings the imaginative power of books to life. The store is organised by themes – including an English section with huge leather armchairs, Victorian-style bookcases and cheeky lampshades – and offers a lovely food menu. 251 Avenue Paul Hymans

Written by Kelly Hendricks and Sally Tipper



And if you don't want to spend the big bucks new books cost you can find an excellent selection of used English language books at Evasions, rue du Midi 89. Open 365 days a year (they will also buy your books).

A couple of blocks away, on the boulevard Lemonnier, Pêle Mêle also has an English book section, they are cheaper than Evasions but the selection isn't as good.

Jan 28, 2018 11:22

Don’t forget charity book sale is on four times this year held at one or other of stone manor both shops.
If you want more details ask to join the mailing list

Feb 3, 2018 23:28

For English Children's Books : Little Humane Books

Discover the online shop based in Belgium providing a children's book subscription service that is truly inspiring. Book subscribers receive carefully curated monthly packages of children's books based on 8 themes to cultivate humane values (ie: well-being, diversity, equality, environmental care, gratitude...). Books are delivered at home or at your child's school. Visit

Apr 6, 2022 14:29