Brussels’ top 10 bookshops

10 May 2022
a view of the book section of cook & book

Brussels is full of bookshops and has a real passion for literature. This is because it has always been an attractive destination for famous writers and poets!

Did you know that in the 19th century, Brussels was the refuge of authors such as Alexandre Dumas, the Brontë sisters, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Karl Marx, Leo Tolstoy, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud? To this day, it remains an inexhaustible source of literary inspiration for many authors.

No wonder the city is overflowing with large, small, generalist and even specialist bookshops to browse. Let yourself be swept away by the magic of Brussels' 10 most beautiful bookshops, each of them warm, welcoming and unique in their own way. Most of the bookshops in our selection are French-language bookshops.

Passa Porta Bookshop

Passa Porta Bookshop is the best multilingual bookshop in the capital. Housed in Passa Porta — the international house of literature in Brussels — it offers, under its beautiful well of light, a quality selection of novels, poems, essays and books for children.

a couple of women browsing in Passa Porta

Replica Bookshop

Replica, the new bookshop behind Tour & Taxis, houses the most charming selection of Dutch and English books. Here you can sit back and relax, with or without a book. Order a flat white and a fresh cookie or cinnamon roll, grab a seat and admire the book covers that line the walls. So much knowledge and experience within just a few square metres... it can't help but be inspiring.

a glimpse of Replica's small but fine book collection; with the bar in the background

Tropismes

Nestled in the Royal Saint-Hubert galleries, Tropismes should be visited first and foremost for its beauty. It is housed in a historical setting, with gigantic mirrors and a magnificent mezzanine. For lovers of fine books, this sumptuous bookshop focuses on human sciences, great classics and fine arts. It also offers a rich selection for youths and comics for youngsters.

the immense Tropismes bookshop in top view

Le Wolf

Le Wolf is a favourite with parents. This temple of children's literature is entirely designed with youngsters in mind. In its original and luminous setting, children choose their future favourite stories. Don't forget to visit Freddy the sleeping wolf upstairs. Le Wolf also organises courses, workshops and storytelling readings. It's an unmissable address for all book lovers.

A mother reads to her child in Le Wolf

Galerie Bortier

Galerie Bortier is a charming destination for bookshop owners and second-hand booksellers. This covered passage (with its magnificent glass roof) houses the Pierre Coumans bookshop, with its old books and works that are full of soul. It's the ideal place to spend hours searching for that rare gem. A short detour to the Crypt Tonique bookshop will give you an insight into the most advanced aspects of images (literary, mental or plastic).

People browsing among second-hand books at Galerie Bortier

Bozar Bookshop by Walther König

BOZAR has entrusted its bookshop to Walther König, Europe's leading art bookshop and an important art book publisher. As such it has amassed an international and specialised range of publications dedicated to art, architecture, photography and design. BOZAR Bookshop fits perfectly with the Art Deco architecture that Victor Horta designed for this Palace of Fine Arts.

a man looks around in the neat Bozar Bookshop

Candide

On the charming place Brugmann you will find Candide, which has been a reference for many decades. A fine selection of travel and cookery books, a delightful children's corner and an eclectic selection of novels. And for the epicureans among you, why not devour your chosen book on the heated terrace of the Voltaire café located just next door?

Candide bookshop in top view

Peinture Fraîche

The pretty Peinture Fraîche bookshop is nestled away in the heart of the Bailli neighbourhood. With its magnificent Art Nouveau-inspired wood-panel window, Peinture Fraîche doesn't offer literature, but a fine selection of art, architecture, illustration, photo and design books.

Worth noting: a splendid section on Japan and its culture.

An elderly man looks through the classic shop window of Peinture Fraîche

Cook & Book

Cook and Book is an original concept that combines bookshop and restaurant, with 9 different universes spread over two spaces. Block A houses the comics, youth, travel, fine arts and music sections. Block B is reserved for the Art of Living, Literature, Cooking and English books sections. It also offers delicious Sunday brunches in Block B, making it a wonderful spot for families.

a set table among the books in cook & book

Filigranes

Filigranes is one of the most dynamic bookshops in the centre of Brussels. It constantly offers meetings with authors, workshops and conferences. Filigranes has — among other things — a very large comic book section. The added bonus? A pleasant area to take a break and have a drink awaits you in the heart of this huge bookshop. You can also find Filigranes bookshops in Ixelles and in Uccle.

an old man looks around in the Filigranes, hands behind his back