Search form

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

What’s on this week: 15 to 21 September

Plateaux 1001 at NBB
11:51 14/09/2023
Take a peek inside some of Brussels’ finest art nouveau treasures, set out on a trail of street art and celebrate car-free Sunday in the capital!

This is literally a feast of a show! 1000 Plateaux: Sharing Collections – Sharing Connections is a unique collaborative exhibition involving employees of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and the financial institution’s impressive art and historic collections. The title alludes to the mythical One Thousand and One Nights, although it actually consists of 160 ceramic trays – each painted in blue and white by a member of staff and shown alongside the works from the bank’s collections that inspired them. The project was conceived by external curator Carine Fol and artist Françoise Schein, who specialises in participatory works. Free entrance, reservation not necessary (also open during Brussels’ Heritage Days 16-17 September). Until 10 November, Monday to Friday, National Bank of Belgium, Boulevard de Berlaimont 3

Heritage Days

The annual open-door Heritage Days is a perfect opportunity for fans of art nouveau to explore the city’s treasures. With Brussels celebrating the architecture and design movement this year, it’s fittingly the chosen theme for the event’s 35th edition. Art Nouveau, art for all includes more than 100 free visits, tours and activities that demonstrate how the pioneering style emerged and why it proved to be so influential. As the title denotes, there’s also focus on public buildings, and 35 embassies are among the usually off-limit sites welcoming visitors. Many municipalities are organising themed walking tours 16-17 September, across Brussels

Car-free sunday (c)Eric Danhier, Visit Brussels

The entire region of Brussels is closed to motorised vehicles on Car-Free Sunday, leaving public space free to be taken over by cyclists, pedestrians, roller-skaters and scooter-users. Public transport operates as normal, allowing you to take part in the dozens of activities around the capital, such as the Ilot Sacré Festival, Heritage Days, Bucolic Brussels and the Fancy Women Bike Ride. But this isn’t all limited to Sunday – there is a whole Mobility Week with a simply endless number of activities across the entire region. Flanders and Wallonia celebrate Mobility Week, with most cities hosting a Car-Free Sunday. Mobility Week 16-22 September, Car-Free Sunday 17 September

Full Circle

A respected British Labour party figure, Lord Alf Dubs is an outspoken speaker on the rights of refugees, drawing on his own experience as a survivor of the WWII Kinder-transport. He presents his talk On Migration, Europe & Where our Societies are Heading this Friday lunchtime at Full Circle House. The community and ideas hub also celebrates its upcoming Season 11 with a free Launch Party later in the evening (19.00-22.00, registration necessary). 15 September 12.30-13.30, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Parcours Street Art celebrates its 10th anniversary with a three-week programme of activities. New frescoes by nine Belgian and international artists, exhibitions, free guided tours (in Fr, NL & Eng) and a festive party at Reset all mark the event’s promotion of street culture over the past decade. Initially launched to help artists put their talent to good use by giving the city a visual makeover, it has extended its mission to providing citizens with a flourishing outdoor art museum that’s not afraid of making social statements. The parcours consists of some eight different art trails. 16 September to 7 October, across Brussels

Le Baixu

It's a double celebration for Le Baixu, the convivial music venue located in Tour & Taxis’s atmospheric cellar. Marking the launch of its new season and its first anniversary, a festive musical weekend awaits. A family spectacle Schubert est amoureux, birthday reception and harpsichord recital by Bernard Foccroulle all animate Saturday, while a performance by the Quatuor Akhtamar of Enluminures is staged on Sunday. 16-17 September, Shed 1, Rue Picard 3, Tour & Taxis


The Grand Place is transformed into a whirligig of colour and costume during Folklorissimo this weekend. It will also be scene of traditional fanfares, music and games, among other activities celebrating not only city folklore, but traditions from around the world. New this year is Folklorissimo sings, an opportunity for the public to sing along to some folk songs. Refreshments and culinary specialities on sale. 16-17 September from 12.00, in and around the Grand Place

Art nouveau x the Plastic Design Collection_(c) Design Museum Brussels

The availability of new materials leads to history repeating itself in design – at least in the minds of designers. What direction do we take during periods of technological evolution? How will it influence creativity? And most importantly … will the consumer go for it? The exhibition Resonances: Encounter Between Art Nouveau and Plastic Design pairs outstanding pieces from both periods – the late 19th century and the 1950s, respectively – to explore how designers have dealt with industrial booms and changing demands. 15 September to 14 January, Design Museum Brussels, Place de la Belgique 1 (Laeken)

Cassandra ©KarlForster

In Greek mythology, Cassandra made it clear how to prevent the fall of Troy, but everyone ignored her. Check out La Monnaie’s Cassandra Festival, a celebration of its new season and its new opera. The opera brings the theme of mass denial into the 21st century, as a lone woman tries to convince the world that climate change is destroying us. There are many related activities, many of them freely accessible in the square. Catch the La Monnaie Woodwind Quintet, kids’ workshops and Birds, a dance in which passers-by are playfully incorporated – and can even influence the outcome. Opera until 23 September, Festival 17-26 September, Place de la Monnaie

We Love Cinema

For four days, We Love Cinema Days  partners with BNP Paribas so that cinemas around Belgium can lower their ticket prices to €6 per person. Cinephiles can catch up on the films they’ve missed – including blockbusters – plus enjoy a sneak peek of titles to be screened later this year, including Luc Besson’s Dogman20-23 September, cinemas across Belgium

Young Belgian Society for Microorganisms

They may have a bad reputation, but microbes are the topic of the day at this family-friendly event for International Microorganism Day. Learn all about the organisms in a totally fun and engaging way thanks to the Young Belgian Society for Microbiology and the EU-funded project CIRCLES. Participants can enjoy interactive activities, make their own kombucha and create some living organism art pieces. CIRCLES will also provide test kits so that participants can collect and sample microbes in their own homes. 16 September, all day, Museum of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29


The Marni Jazz Festival continues to entertain music fans with concerts showcasing the double bass. See the string instrument take centre stage in a series of musical evenings. The festival welcomes renowned Belgian musicians who have selected emerging talents from home and abroad to join them onstage. Until 22 September, Marni theatre, Rue de Vergnies 25 (Ixelles)

Wordcraft Collective

Book now Wordcraft Collective Calling all wordsmiths in the capital! Join the free launch event for this group of creative writers and storytellers at Pianofabriek. After an introductory welcome, participants can join in a series of classes that provide a taster of the collective’s many courses. They include tips on crafting your story, writing about what you know and elements of poetry. As well as kickstarting literary aspirations, it’s an opportunity to socialise with like-minded creative souls.  23 September 13.30-19.00, Rue du Fort 35 (Saint-Gilles)

Outside Brussels


British grocer Stonemanor hosts a charity book sale at its Everberg store this Saturday. The fundraiser is in aid of volunteer organisation Serve the City Brussels. Come and browse a diverse collection of second-hand books. Meanwhile, a fish & chip food truck will be in attendance and the new Expatriate Bistro also open. 16 September 10.00-15.30, Steenhofstraat 28, Everberg

A V bomb falls on Antwerp's Fine Arts Museum (c)CegeSoma

Antwerp’s city museum MAS has opened a new permanent exhibition. City at War shows the impact of the Second World War on Antwerp and its residents. The city was particularly badly hit, with upwards of 25,000 civilians and military deaths. Personal stories and belongings illustrate the collective feelings of powerlessness, division and betrayal, together with courage, resistance and cooperation. Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp

(c)Courtesy Doel Festival

The village of Doel, whose residents were bought out – sometimes unwillingly – to make way for an expansion of the port of Antwerp, has become famous for its eerie ghost town atmosphere and its burgeoning street art scene. It’s certainly a unique place for an arts festival, so grab tickets to experience five stages of electronic music and an exhibition that springs up in the nooks and crannies of this tiny, fascinating place. Shuttles are available from several cities, including Brussels. 16 September, Doel (East Flanders)

Odegand (c)Courtesy Gent Festival

The Gent Festival kicks off with Odegand, when the entire city centre is taken over by music and dance – in squares, churches and on the canal. Like the rest of the festival, Odegand is a showcase of international classical and world music. The Odegand Village features free concerts all day, and by night three squares are filled with swing, waltz, polka and breakdance. The ticketed portion allows you to choose a parcourse of three 45-minute indoor concerts. You’ll find Romanian fanfare, piano film scores, violin serenades, Italian lullabies, sultry tango and more, many of which are accessible via canal boats. Odegand 16 September, Festival until 30 September, across Ghent


Promising quality music in the relaxed and bucolic setting of three Walloon Brabant villages, Max Festival sets out to shake up the world of classical music with inventive and poetic concerts by international artists under the banner of ‘Infinity’. Musical shows, masterclasses, talks and walks complete the eclectic programme. The church of Saint-Martin in Tourinnes-la-Grosse (boasting brilliant acoustics), plus venues in Nodebais and Beauvechain, host the festival, now celebrating its 8th edition. 14-17 September, Tourinnes-la-Grosse, Nodebais & Beauvechain


The annual Fêtes de Wallonie is celebrating its centenary with five days of colourful traditional folklore, free concerts, entertainment and merrymaking. The main hub for Les Wallos is regional capital Namur, which boasts a packed programme of musical entertainment with Christophe Willem, Kungs, Alex Germys, Mosimann and Daddy K among the line-up. Festivities are also celebrated in Charleroi, Liège, La Louvière and plenty of other towns. Warning: The pekèt will be flowing and Walloon dialect songs ringing out. Until 18 September, across Wallonia


Book now Night of the Dragons at Rixensart castle that brings together artists, choreographers, dancers, circus performers and actors to explore the mystery and legend of dragons. Directed by world-famous director Luc Petit and produced by the nonprofit Avant que l’ombre, the immersive two-hour spectacle explores the various myths surrounding this weird and wonderful mythical creature. 20 October to 5 November, Château de Merode, Rue de l’Eglise 40, Rixensart

Photos: Car-free sunday ©Eric Danhier, Visit Brussels; Parcours Street Art Iota-hyperballad; Art nouveau x the Plastic Design Collection © Design Museum Brussels; Cassandra ©KarlForster; Marni Jazz Festival 2022, Manou Gallo ©marni; Courtesy Stonemanor; A V bomb falls on Antwerp's Fine Arts Museum ©CegeSoma; ©Courtesy Doel Festival; Odegand ©Courtesy Gent Festival; Fêtes de Wallonie ©Albert Blond; Nuit des Dragones ©Luc Petit



Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw