Go for a stroll in the Canal district

canal district brussels architecture

With the canal as its backbone, this district, which is as varied as it is creative, is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant in Brussels. Architectural curiosities, citizen projects and sustainable initiatives all contribute to the identity of the former industrial heart of the capital. A favourite with creative people and young hipsters, the Canal district is a promising and inspiring work in progress. Street art, industrial wastelands, urban farms and alternative music... Here is our 6-stop itinerary to immerse yourself in this lively, arty and slightly underground neighbourhood for a day. 

10h00, Ruby Gallery

After the MIMA, the iMal and KANAL, Ruby Gallery is the newest member of the club of local institutions that are boosting contemporary art. Founded by the team behind The Crystal Ship festival, it showcases street art and lets a whole new generation of artists express themselves. After your visit, walk along Quai des Charbonnages and Quai des Péniches towards Tour & Taxis: their walls are full of tags and murals. Among them, you can't miss the one from the adventures of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese. It's the longest of its kind in the capital!

19 Boulevard de Dixmude, 1000 Brussels

ruby-gallery-canal distrct brussels

11h30, Parckfarm

With its motto "from the pitchfork to the plate", ParckFarm is a green space composed of an urban vegetable garden, in the middle of which stands a greenhouse, the Farm house. Supported by the ParckFarm non-profit organisation, the park is a citizen's platform that promotes ecological, sustainable and solidarity-based practices. This long, green valley offers an astonishing view of the northern district and its skyline!

Boulevard du Jubilé - Jubelfeestaan, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

Park farm Tour et Taxis - park Brussels

12h35, Gare Maritime

A meeting point for hipsters and gourmets (among others), the Gare Maritime is the trendiest venue of the moment. A former cargo terminal in operation until the 1980s, it has been brilliantly renovated. The first thing you notice here is the architectural grandeur: The combination of iron pillars, the 19th century glass roof and Scandinavian-style light-coloured wood is a triumph. People come and spend time here for the atmosphere, the interior gardens and its tempting food court. Join one of the many guided tours that introduce you, in detail, to this neighbourhood within a neighbourhood.


11 rue Picard, 1000 Brussels

gare-matime-tour&taxis brussels architecture

15h00, LaVallée

An old disused laundry transformed into a cultural hive, you say? Head to Molenbeek, just across the canal. Open to creation in all its forms, LaVallée infuses the social and solidarity economy and creativity by bringing together a multidisciplinary community in the shadow of its emblematic red brick chimney. Throughout the year, it offers a varied programme of exhibitions, concerts, DJ-sets, debates and conferences, all of which punctuate the famous evenings of this hybrid, friendly and welcoming place.

39 rue Adolphe Lavallée, 1080 Brussels

LaVallée-molenbeek brussels exhibitions

17h30, Wim Delvoye, Cement Truck

A medieval-looking semi-trailer parked in the middle of the quai au Foin? No, you're not dreaming! "Cement Truck" is a three-dimensional work of art made entirely of carefully laser-cut steel. Conceived by Wim Delvoye, a leading figure in Belgian contemporary art, this astonishing piece of construction machinery provokes astonishment. By combining the finesse of the Gothic style with the massive silhouette of a truck, the work plays on the discrepancy between the centuries and aesthetics with a lot of humour and a touch of provocation.

Quai au Foin - Hooikaai, 1000 Brussels 


20h45, Magasin 4

Magasin4, or M4 to its fans, is an unusual place dedicated to alternative music. With its tagged walls lined with punk posters and its fanzine spirit, it acts as a link between the big venues and the small bars. It has kept something of the underground soul of its beginnings back in 1994, even if its programming likes to mix genres: Hardcore, Funk, Metal, Alternative Rock, Pop and lots of original fusions! Fans of indie music and parties that go on late into the night, this mythical place is the place for you!

51B avenue du Port, 1000 Brussels

Magasin 4 salle de concert hall Brussels