visiting the royal palace, brussels

For about a month each summer, the Royal Palace in downtown Brussels is open for visitors. Not only have I gone twice this summer, but I’ve also been recommending it to everyone else. It is one of the most beautiful palaces I have ever visited and it is free. That’s right, free! Each time I went, there were no lines at all and I was able to go inside right away.

the Royal Palace
the Royal Palace

I did spend one euro and bought the Visitors’ Guide 2015, which provides a map of the building (though the path one takes is clearly marked), explanations of what many of the things in the rooms are, and more details on the temporary exhibitions.

This year’s exhibitions are: Insecta — the Insect Kingdom, which is in the Throne Room, and is about the connection between art and insects over the centuries; Romantic Landscapes: Marie de Flandre, which highlighted artworks by the Countess of Flanders and Princess Henriette throughout the Grand Gallery; and Insects Under the Microscope, an interactive exhibit all about insects, located in the Hall of Mirrors (which is also the room with the crazy beetle wing ceiling and chandelier — very appropriate!).

the large white drawing room
the large white drawing room
Jan Fabre's 2002 installation, "Heaven of Delight," uses the wing cases of 1.4 million Thai beetles
Jan Fabre’s 2002 installation, “Heaven of Delight,” uses the wing cases of 1.4 million Thai beetles
the Grand Gallery
the Grand Gallery

If you’re in Brussels right now, the palace is open for visitors until this Sunday, September 6 (10:30-4:30 daily, closed Mondays): more information is available here. I would definitely recommend a visit!


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