During a visit to Brussels, we skipped the art museums and instead visited the MIM, also known as the Musical Instruments Museum. It’s situated up on a hill, within easy walking distance of the Grand Place.
The exhibits include over 1200 musical instruments from around the world, many dating back to the middle ages. The instruments are mostly behind glass, and grouped according to family and place of origin. The entry fee was around $ 7.00 per person, and included the use of an infrared audio headset. Walking up close to an exhibit would trigger the audio headset and play the sounds of the instruments in the display case. When stepping away, the music would stop and upon approaching the next display, the musical sounds of that showcase would start.
Spread out across four floors of the museum, were clavichords, harpsichords, guitars, drums, flutes, pianos, trumpets; even some kinds of instruments I didn’t even know existed. We watched a group of school children learning about some of the instruments. Afterwards they took turns trying out a wooden alpine horn. The giggles and smiles on their faces were priceless!
This was one of the most fun museums ever!! Not only does one get to look at so many types of different instruments, but one gets to listen to them as well.
All at one’s own speed! It is entirely up to you, how long you want to listen.
If you need a break, check out their cafe/restaurant on the 10th floor. They serve great coffee, and lunch if you are hungry. And the view of Brussels is spectacular! In the summer, there is outdoor seating available.
I could have easily spent another day at this museum. We encountered few people there in mid May. If you find yourself in Brussels, and you like music, go check this place out. And if you have children with you, they will love it too!