If you’re visiting Brussels and you’ll be in the old town, either in the Grand Place area or near the museums, I highly, highly recommend visiting the Musical Instrument Museum.
It’s small and can be easily missed among the bigger museums. However, this unique collection of over 7000 musical instruments (from the Middle Ages to today) is a joy to explore. Don’t forget to grab a pair of headphones before you go up. That’s where you’ll get to hear recordings of what a lot of these instruments sound like.
But first, if you’re hungry, head to the very top (10th floor) to enjoy a lovely lunch overlooking Brussels. I absolutely loved this (not-so) hidden spot for enjoying a colorful salad while taking in the views.
There’s the Grand Place in the distance!
The MIM Restaurant sits at the top of what used to be the Old England department store. They even have a copy of the original menu from the “Old England Terrace” from years ago. It’s fun to look at the absurdly low prices from another era.
Exploring the Instrument
I had a blast taking my time going from floor to floor exploring all the different instruments. The first four floors of the building house the various instruments. I was awed by the funny shaped violins, gorgeously painted pianos, creative versions of keyboards, and even a musical typewriter.
My only regret was that I did NOT grab a pair of headphones, so I missed out on the opportunity to hear these instruments. The museum was actually quite close to our hotel, so I kept meaning to return, but didn’t find the time before we had to fly back to Hong Kong.
I am hoping we have the opportunity to go back to Brussels again. If so, then I will certainly re-visit this museum and actually listen to what these beautiful instruments sound like!
NOTE: The MIM closed for renovations April 2020. Also, because of COVID-19, the museums may not be open all the time depending on government regulations. Please do check the website for the latest information.
Musical Instrument Museum
Rue Montagne de la Cour 2
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium