“Welcome” Brussels throws its doors open!

BOZAROver the weekend of 29 and 30 March, several municipalities, quarters and hotels of the Brussels-Capital Region will be flinging their doors wide open to WELCOME BRUSSELS, a scheme set up by the Brussels-Capital Region, in association with VISITBRUSSELS, Brussels Hotels Association (BHA), Brussels Airlines, Bed & Brussels and Windbag Communication. Especially for the occasion, Brussels Airlines offers a 20% discount on flights to Brussels. Brussels hotels, under the crook of the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA), will also participate by offering to all their rooms at friendly rates. It is a golden opportunity to introduce family and friends to the authentic flavours of our region.

“The Welcome Brussels weekend calls for celebration in no less than thirty quarters spread across the Brussels-Capital region. Committed local residents of Brussels have stitched together an exciting and festive programme of discoveries.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

CinquantenaireSpecial discoveries: (hardly) ever open to the public, these landmarks are significant to Brussels residents because of their important function, visibility…

  • Breathtaking view over Brussels on top of the RTBF/VRT tower
  • Mont de Piété / Berg der Barmhartigheid: monopoly in Belgium on pawn-broking (Marolles / Marollen – City of Brussels)
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts / Paleis voor Schone Kunsten / Centre for Fine Arts: guided tour in this exceptional building (Victor Horta) which has no less than 8 floors covering 4.5 times the size of a football pitch (City of Brussels)
  • MAD in Situ: centre for 10 to 20 resident designers (City of Brussels)
  • Arcades du Cinquantenaire / Triomfboog van het Jubelpark / Arch of the Cinquantenaire: panoramic view, but also the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History and the Brussels Air Museum (Cinquantenaire / Jubelpark – City of Brussels / Etterbeek)
  • The Egg: between its post-industrial warehouse and its ultra-contemporary Art Deco space, this venue is both a cultural and events centre (Anderlecht)
  • The Embassies (of El Salvador, Togo, Cambodia) and the official residence of Quebec’s General Delegate open their doors (Woluwé-St-Pierre / Sint-Pieters-Woluwe)
  • Val Duchesse / Hertoginnedal: home of national and international meetings. Visit of the gardens (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • Maison Particulière: an atypical and remarkable space where art is showcased in an unprecedented manner – exhibition “States of Mind” (Châtelain / Kastelein – Ixelles / Elsene)
  • Le Botanique: guided tour of the building and the park (St-Josse / Sint-Joost)
  • Art walks: some forty artists welcome you in Woluwé-St-Pierre / Sint-Pieters-Woluwe

Artists:

  • Nina Meert: various stages in the making of a collection by this internationally renowned Belgian fashion designer and pioneer. Her designs are worn amongst others by Meryl Streep, Alexandra Stewart… (Ixelles / Elsene)
  • Marcel Hastir House: Barbara, Jacques Brel… have revealed their art in this little-know jewel of the Leopold district (City of Brussels)
  • PARCours – PARKunst: official opening – works by different artists are displayed in the various parks of Woluwé-St-Pierre / Sint-Pieters-Woluwe

Sustainable development / environment: alternative projects, “transitional” projects towards another way to “function in society”, another interaction with our environment.

  • Repair Café: RES (Réseau d’Échanges de Savoirs), network promoting exchange of knowledge – volunteer repairers in needlework, computers… (Molenbeek)
  • Urban agriculture in the gardens of the Carré Tillens / Tillensblok, neighbourhood composting site, insect hotels, hedgerows, community vegetable garden… (Uccle / Ukkel)
  • Cultureghem: go shopping in the largest market of Brussels and then prepare a healthy meal in a fully-equipped mobile kitchen (Abattoirs / Slachthuizen – Anderlecht)

Participatory projects: collectives of residents that put every effort in sharing their citizen project:

  • Walk in a (almost) rural quarter to learn about soil-grown chicory cultivation (Haren)
  • Discovery of the extraordinary heritage diversity and wealth of the old municipality of Laeken / Laken. Guided tours of the cemetery and of the canal between past and future (Laeken Découverte / Laken op Ontdekking – City of Brussels)
  • Participatory and citizen project, organic market: La Tricoterie – Fabrique de liens / Contactenfabriek (Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis)

Residents: ordinary people open the doors of their properties:

  • Train Hostel, truly original bed and breakfast (train on top of a building) (Schaerbeek / Schaarbeek)
  • El Hikma mosque: set up in the former swimming pool of Forest / Vorst. Stunning Art Deco building dating from the 1930s (Forest / Vorst)
  • Driven by his passion for robotics and special make-up effects, Michael Loncin opens his own training centre dedicated to special effects (St-Gilles / Sint-Gillis)

Artisans / shops / businesses:

  • Collective of artists in the Byrrh building (Tour &Taxis / Thurn & Taxis – City of Brussels)
  • Blacksmith’s school: demonstration of shoeing on horses and dead horses’ hooves (Abattoirs de Cureghem / Kuregem Slachthuizen – Anderlecht)
  • Atelier Razkas: collective of artistic creation and printing (Louis Bertrand – Schaerbeek)
  • Visit to the workshop of painter Hubert Meeze in the company of the 2 giants Tijl and Nele (Lesbroussart / Flagey – Ixelles / Elsene)

Heritage: remarkable buildings across Brussels

  • Langbehn House: genuine Art Nouveau gem just a stone’s throw away from the local town hall (Colignon – Schaerbeek / Schaarbeek)
  • Castrum farm: this fortification will give you a fuller picture of Brussels’ former battlements (Haren – City of Brussels)
  • Brussels Central Station, visit of the Salon Royal (Royal Lounge) (City of Brussels)

Museums / Interpretative centres:

  • Planetarium (Heysel / Heizel)
  • Archives of the City of Brussels (City of Brussels)
  • Parlamentarium (City of Brussels)
  • Van Buuren Museum and gardens (Uccle / Ukkel)

Kids:

  • Ferme Maximilien: a farm in the very heart of Brussels (City of Brussels)
  • Circus performances (Festival Up!) by Espace Catastrophe (Koekelberg)
  • Théâtre royal du Peruchet – exceptional visit of the puppet museum
  • Novanoïs: children’s show in a dance and music rehearsal studio
  • Meeting the Momo Show (rock-and-roll attitude) (Colignon – Schaerbeek / Schaarbeek)

For Brussels’ residents, this weekend is an ideal occasion to invite family and friends and offer another take on Brussels, the opportunity to go out and explore the region’s hidden treasures by way of original encounters and intimate journeys of discovery. They will enjoy a 20% discount on economy class flights via Brussels Airlines. And for their stay, we made it easy for them! Visitors have two alternatives: stay in one of the Brussels hotels at a bargain price or meet Brussels residents and spend the night at their homes by booking with Bed & Brussels. The hotel accommodation on offer, including breakfast is the following: €100/night at a 5-star hotel, €80 at a 4-star hotel, €60 at a 3-star hotel, €40 at a 2-star hotel and €30 at a 1-star hotel.

The Welcome Brussels weekend is packed full with activities, most of which are open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., on the Saturday and the Sunday alike, and also free of charge or at discounted prices. For some visits, prior registration is required.

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