Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

53 museums outside Brussels that are well worth a visit

03:11 01/10/2019


Butcher’s Hall
This stunning hall was once the only place to sell meat in the city. Today it houses archaeological finds and art.

An interactive journey through Antwerp’s diamond story. See objects from every corner of the globe: silverware, jewellery, precious stones and once sought-after materials like coconuts, shells and coral.

In a renovated warehouse on the Waalsekaai, Fomu is made up of exhibition spaces, screening rooms and a workshop.

Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art houses 4,750 works by almost 700 local and international artists.

Middelheim Museum
One of the oldest open-air museums in the world, offering a fascinating overview of more than 100 years of visual arts in beautiful grounds.

The world’s largest collection of contemporary Belgian fashion, plus a historical collection of Western European costume.

Museum aan de Stroom
Antwerp’s biggest museum covers 10 floors, packed with stories of the city’s rich heritage. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Antwerp from the roof.

Museum Mayer van den Bergh
The former collection of art collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh features paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, including Mad Meg. Housed in a neo-Gothic house built by his mother after his death.

Plantin-Moretus Museum
Unesco-honoured museum focusing on the work of two 16th-century printers. It’s located in their former home and printing works and contains a world-class collection of typographical material.

Red Star Line Museum
Tells the story of the two million Europeans who travelled to the New World between 1873 and 1934.

A 17th-century bourgeois home, complete with courtyard garden and Italian palazzo. Some of Rubens’ artworks were painted for the home.

Admire some of Rubens’ masterful work and discover the place where he lived and worked.


Bois du Cazier
A mining tragedy of 1956 saw 262 men lose their lives. Today a tribute exists in the form of a large fresco, photo collections and interviews. Museums of glass and industry complete the collection.

Housing the province’s 6,000work collection, it stages bold exhibitions, many showing internationally renowned artists.

Photography Museum
An impressive collection of 80,000 photographs along with both permanent and temporary exhibitions, including a dark room and digital laboratory.


In Flanders Fields Museum
Offers a wealth of information about the Great War, and encourages visitors to connect with the events that began in 1914. Housed in Ypres’ former cloth halls.

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Incorporates an underground area in former WWI dugouts. Located in Zonnebeke, at the centre of battlefield activity, it includes the war sites Tyne Cot Cemetery and Polygon Wood.


Design Museum Ghent
A modern museum, contrasting with its more classical 18th-century exterior, with permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Museum Dr Guislain
An intriguing museum in Belgium’s oldest psychiatric hospital focusing on mental health care through the years.

Museum of Fine Arts
This museum boasts an impressive collection of Flemish art.

Ghent’s contemporary art museum is a sensory treat with original exhibitions all year round.

Presents the story of the city. A circuit leads visitors along a chronological trail of objects and multimedia that trace its growth.


Jenever Museum
Home to a 19th-century distillation system that is still in use, along with a fascinating collection of objects. Don’t forget to check out the tasting bar.

Fashion Museum
An impressive collection of 17,000 items, including historical and preserved clothing as well as contemporary pieces.

An interactive journey through the history of the city.


Establised as a flax museum in 1982 and later adding lace and linen collections, Texture provides a history of textiles in the region.


Shows the history of Liège from its prehistory and Gallo-Roman periods until recent times.

Fine arts museum hosting temporary shows with an international outlook, as well as permanent collections. The original Neoclassical building was erected for the World Expo in 1905.

Cité Miroir
Cultural centre comprising a theatre, exhibition and event space, dedicated to memory, citizenship and culture.

Grand Curtius
Art and archaeology museum in a historic building on the Meuse. More than 5,000 items from over 7,000 years ago, with collections of archaeology, decorative arts, religious art and Mosan arts.

House of Science
Tour guides perform experiments and visitors can explore the permanent exhibitions.

Museum of Walloon Life
Learn about life in Wallonia, from the 19th-century to the present day.

Walloon Art Museum
With a collection of almost 3,000 pieces, the museum showcases the works of Walloon artists dating from the 16th century.


Known as the historical archive of UZ Leuven, it contains more than 9,000 objects from the evolution of medicine over the past 100 years.

M Museum
A permanent collection comprising late-gothic and Flemish 19thcentury art and sculptures. More modern pieces include audiovisual art and architecture.

Religious art museum with temporary exhibitions focusing on the interaction between contemporary themes and religious heritage.


Musée Hergé
Explore the life and work of Belgium’s most famous comic-strip artist. The museum brings together more than 80 original plates and 800 photographs, documents and objects.

Musée L
A cultural hub presenting a dialogue between important scientific collections and major art. More than 800 works on show in the permanent collection.


BAM Mons
A contemporary art space that shows a number of temporary exhibitions, particularly of international artists. Some incorporate works from the museum’s 2,000-strong collection.

Mons Memorial Museum
A collection of items from both world wars, highlighting the daily lives of the Mons inhabitants, and looking back to previous conflicts.

Created by two Belgians, Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine, in order to document the knowledge of the world using their Universal Decimal Classification.

Musée du Doudou
Museum dedicated to the Unescorecognised Ducasse ritual, familiarly known as Doudou.

Museum of Natural History
With a collection of more than 600 mammals and almost 1,000 birds, including some that are now extinct, the museum focuses on biodiversity.


Archaeological Museum
Namur’s oldest museum features a collection of exceptional finds dating back to the Merovingian era.

Félicien Rops Museum
Pioneering Belgian artist Rops was a precursor to comic art and is famed for his prints and etchings of erotic and Satanic themes.

Namur Provincial Museum of Ancient Arts
Houses the Namur Archaeological Society’s medieval and Renaissance collections, which include paintings, sculptures and more.


Atlantic Wall Museum
During World War Two, the Germans built the Atlantic Wall, which started in northern Norway and stretched to the French-Spanish border. More than 60 bunkers covering 2km make up this well preserved section of the wall. Some have been restored.

Houses a collection dating back to 1830 with three temporary exhibitions a year.

Creates projects, exhibitions, productions and publications with contemporary artists, architects, designers and film-makers to examine a variety of social themes.


Museum of didactic art with more than 300 works spanning 700 years of Western art history.


Royal Museum for Central Africa
Revamped extensively and reopened at the end of 2018, the museum explores the diverse nature of the continent, its cultural riches and creative cities.


Musée des Beaux-Arts
Designed by Belgian architect Victor Horta, the museum was built in 1905 to house a collection of paintings and sculpture by the Brussels philanthropist Henri Van Cutsem.

Musée de la Tapisserie
Housed in a Neoclassic mansion, the museum displays prestigious tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries plus more modern works.

Written by The Bulletin