12 alternative Brussels bookshops

10 May 2022
the products of Grafik, with a strong focus on illustration and graphic design

Aside from the “classics” we have mentioned in a previous article, the capital is also home to numerous alternative bookshops. In this article, we share with you some of our favourites!

In recent years, new, original and specialised bookshops have popped up in Brussels' neighbourhoods. Literary historical tomes, comic strips, graphic art, world culture... books of all genres are showcased in these treasure troves.

Get to know these passionate booksellers who have slightly different approaches. They're happy to share their expertise with you!

Librebook

Librebook brings together a unique selection of contemporary fiction from over thirty European countries, in twenty languages. In this bookshop you can set off on a cultural discovery tour of Europe, based on a multilingual selection of essays, graphic novels, novels and travel guides. Their offer also includes cookery and lifestyle books.

the tables and walls of Librebook cosily filled with books

Saint-Martin Bookshop

For more than twenty years, Martin Margiela House has been THE meeting place for fashion lovers visiting Brussels and the Dansaert neighbourhood. This famous white house, now home to the Saint-Martin Bookshop, is a unique bookshop for art collectors that has managed to preserve Margiela's original spirit.

the well-lit showroom of Saint-Martin Bookshop with books to look at on the tables

Grafik

With the opening of Grafik, Schaerbeek inherited a discovery space focused on illustration and graphic art. Meet a generation of passionate artists, take part in workshops and start experimenting yourself. Grafik offers you the key to a whole universe of committed artists and craftsmen.

the products of Grafik, with a strong focus on illustration and graphic design

Het Ivoren Aapje

Het Ivoren Aapje, named after the Brussels-based novel by Herman Teirlinck, was founded in 1999 by historian Frederik Deflo. This antiquarian bookshop offers literary and historical works in various languages (Dutch, French, German, English, Italian, Spanish and Russian), but always has room for philosophy and other human sciences. This cosy, literary gold mine is definitely worth a visit!

Owner Frederik Deflo behind his desk in Het Ivoren Aapje

Lagrange Points Brussels

Right in the centre of Brussels you'll find Lagrange Points Brussels, a place of cultural exchange. This initiative was created by a group of friends who wanted to create a dialogue between Arabic and Western culture. Discover classics from the Arab and Western worlds, in various languages.

Bookstore Lagrange Points Brussels, cosily decorated with wooden furniture, plants, posters and mood lighting

Tulibris

Fancy some English literature and vintage objects? Tulibris has just what you need! Aalst artist Peter De Meersman opened his rue de la Tulipe shop in 2015. This Ixelles book shop offers a careful selection of second-hand English books, both fiction and non-fiction, at democratic prices. The vintage look of the shop is also worth the detour!

The shop window of Tulibris, with hundreds of book spines and a number of vintage lamps behind it

The European Bookshop

This bookshop specialises primarily in non-fiction. More specifically, it deals with themes such as European politics, Belgian and international law, language study and academic textbooks. Here you'll find an extensive and multilingual offer.

The book selection from The European Bookshop, outside the sun shines through the trees

Piola Libri

Piola Libri is a bookshop, an Italian cultural centre, a wine bar, a music bar hosting concerts and a restaurant with delicious antipasti all rolled into one! Italian expats keep up with the news and the latest trends from their own country here and curious Brussels 'world citizens' appreciate the richness and beauty of the Italian culture that's on offer.

the large red cabinets and many plants give the interior of Piola Libri a warm glow

Anticyclone des Açores

Travel is one of our favourite pastimes and we're now exploring far beyond our national borders. Anticyclone des Açores is a beautiful, specialised travel bookstore a stone's throw from rue Neuve. With their multilingual offer, the whole world is at your feet, and you can look forward to crossing the next dream destination off your bucket list!

large world maps on the wall, with well-stocked bookshelves below, arranged by country

Herman Brauer

Everyone speaks the language of music, but can you also play and read it? This speciality bookshop on rue Saint-Christophe has been around for more than fifty years and is a gold mine of scores, music books and other musical study material. This bookshop is a stunning musical gem, in the heart of the Saint-Géry neighbourhood!

From record sleeves to scores, a look at the offer from music bookshop Brauer

Expo 59

Previously known as Het B-Gevaar, Expo 59 is Brussels' only Dutch-language comic book store. For almost thirty years now, owner Erik Deneyer has been helping comic book fanatics find their ideal comic strips. And he's good at it, as you can see from the reviews on the website. Expo 59 Magazine recently saw the light of day, following in the footsteps of the major literary magazines. Through this collaboration, Expo 59 and non-profit organisation Bakelitte & Formika shed light on a creative and cultural avant-garde.

the logo of Expo 59 with reading cartoon figures, back to back

Pépite Blues

Pépite Blues is a French-language bookshop in Ixelles that shines the spotlight on African world literature, stocking African, Afro-European, Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean works. Feel like broadening your horizons?

Pépite Blues' interior is colourful, with flags and posters