Parc du Cinquantenaire

Price guide: Free

Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, Brussels

Price guide: Free

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By Emma Thomson, your Brussels expert

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#18 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Brussels
Expert overall rating:4.1 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Couples, Culture vultures, Mature travellers, Sporty types, Travellers with pets, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, Nature / wildlife

Expert review of Parc du Cinquantenaire

City park dominated by Leopold II’s triumphal arch.

A short walk from the EU Quarter, this spacious park was designed by King Leopold II in 1880 to mark the first fifty years of Belgian independence. It’s fairly quiet for most of the year, popular mainly with joggers. Several statues and monuments are dotted around the gardens, including Constantin Meunier’s 'The Reaper', and a statue known as the green dog — rubbing his legs is purported to bring luck. The pièce de la resistance of the park is the enormous triumphal arch that dominates the eastern end of the park. It’s topped by an enormous bronze horse-drawn carriage that depicts Brabant raising the national flag.

Its right flank houses the Cinquantenaire Museum (Royal Museum of Art and History) (Parc du Cinquantenaire 10, 1000; tel: +32 2 741 72 11;; open: Tues—Sun 9.30am—5pm, Sat—Sun 10am—5pm; adults 5 euros, concession 4 euros, under 12s free. Free entry is also granted with the Brussels Card or by using two vouchers from the Must of Brussels booklet — see Brussels insider tips. Ticket price includes an audio guide) and Autoworld (Parc du Cinquantenaire 11; tel: +32 2 736 41 65;; open: 1 April—30 September 10am—6pm, 1 October—31 March 10am—5pm; adults 6 euros, free entry granted with the Brussels Card or by using two vouchers from the Must of Brussels booklet — see Brussels insider tips), while the left hosts the Musée Royale de l’Armée et d’Histoire Royale (Royal Museum of the Army and Military History) (Parc du Cinquantenaire 3; tel: +32 2 737 78 33;; open: Tues—Sun 9am—12pm & 1pm—4.45pm, closed Mon, 1 January, 1 May, 1 November, 25 December; free admission, audio guide 3 euros).

Expert tips: 
During summer, on Friday and Saturday evenings, the park is turned into a drive-in movie theatre showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
Nearest metro stations are Schuman and Merode.

More information on Parc du Cinquantenaire:

Price guide:
Landmark / monument, Museum, Park / garden
Avenue de la Joyeuse Entrée, Brussels
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
October—April 8am—6pm, May—September 8am—9pm.

Have you been to Parc du Cinquantenaire? Would you recommended it?