Brussels’ iconic Bourse opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 150-year history in September. The former stock exchange has been renovated since 2019, creating 12,000 sqm of space spread over five stories for dining and shopping, as well as two museums Bruxella 1238 and Belgian Beer World.
Palais de la Bourse
Built between 1868 and 1873, the Palais de la Bourse was the idea of architect Léon-Pierre Suys who wanted to cash in on the expanding financial markets in the latter half of the 19th century. It stood as the bastion of capitalism until 2014 when its backers deserted it.
For decades the citizens of the Belgium capital have met outside the Bourse, now due to the restoration project they can meet inside one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. Its central nave creates a gateway between the city’s pedestrian walkway and the Grand Place.
The history of the site predates that of the building, with remains dating back over 800 years discovered on an archaeological excavation. This will be made open to the public in Bruxella 1238, an open-air museum space which will be open seven days a week (9:30am to 6pm).
Belgian Beer World
On the second floor Belgian Beer World will tell the story of the country’s beer heritage since the Middle Ages. Some hundred brewers are involved in the interactive museum, which has the same opening hours as Bruxella 1238.
Visits to Belgian Beer World conclude at the BEER LAB sky bar on the roof of the Bourse with amazing views across the central Brussels and its city hall.
The Bourse is open to the public, although there is a fee for both Belgian Beer World and Bruxella 1238. In addition to admiring the building, visitors can dine at Madame Café Brasserie on the first floor, or shop at the Boutique de la Bourse, where you can purchase unsurprisingly some Belgium beer.
The project was built with funding from the EU, the city of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region and the federal government.
For more inspiration on what to do in the Belgian capital, read Mark Bibby Jackson’s From Beer to Mussels: Things to Do in Brussels.
Further Information on Belgian Beer World
You can find more information here.