Where can you find a Military Museum in the middle of a beautiful park? In Brussels!
During a visit to the Belgian capital we took a trip to the Parc du Cinquantenaire which is the most stunningly beautiful park, located in the European Quarter of Brussels. The park is home to the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. The museum is situated to one side of the Arcade de Cinquantenaire, the other side is a large car museum called Auto World.
We decided to visit the Armed Forces museum as I knew that there was a large aviation hall, L is planes mad so I knew it was a winner. As today was the first Wednesday of the month entry was free after 1pm (not planned but…bonus!). Prices are usually from €1- €5 (entry costs).
We heading straight for the aviation hall which has an incredible collection of full size aircraft, both military and civilian. There is a large section detailing the history of Sabena, Belgiums National airline (now Brussels Airlines).
The museum details ten centuries of Belgian military history as well as exhibits about Antarctic explorations, naval history and conservation. Throughout the museum there are collections of military memorabilia such as uniforms, medals, weaponry, paintings and heavy artillery. L particularly loved the snow plane and vehicle as well as the impressive collection of models in the aviation hall.
We stopped in at the Sky Cafe for a coffee, this is situated within the aviation hall and offers a good range of meals, snacks and drinks at quite reasonable prices.
We spent around two hours exploring different halls. Now being a 5 years old L started to get a bit fidgety so we decided to head home. Not before visiting the shop, which you conveniently have to enter in order to exit. The was a large range of aviation based books and models as well as military books, toys and touristy items (magnets, postcards). Being plane mad L made a beeline to the plane models….we are now the proud owners of a Boeing 747.
Would we recommend the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History? Yes absolutely! Entry prices are very reasonable and there is something for everyone. We will definitely be making another visit at some point as there were things that we didn’t see. I would recommend getting an audio guide if your Dutch and French are rusty (like mine).
If you are visiting Brussels this is definitely one for the list.
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