Visiting the Royal Military Museum – Brussels

Brussels has so many unique museums to visit, and we definitely recommend a stop at the Royal Military Museum if you’re interested in aviation, military history, and learning a bit about the history of Europe and Belgium in general.

We had visited quite a few great art and history museums on this Europe trip, but this one definitely stood out for its unique exhibits containing old jets and tanks, a ton of old weaponry and military memorabilia, and in-depth info presented in intriguing displays. Furthermore, the museum also has terraces that offer great views over the neighboring Parc du Cinquantenaire and surrounding areas of Brussels. Following are some details to help you plan a visit to the Royal Military Museum.

Royal Military Museum

Getting to the Royal Military Museum

The Royal Military Museum sits just near the beautiful arches of Monument du Cinquantenaire. The Merode station is the nearest transport hub, which serves metro lines 1 and 5 and tram line 81. However, there are other metro, tram, and bus stops around Parc du Cinquantenaire. Check the lines and timetables here.

From Merode or other surrounding stations, you’ll have to walk into Parc du Cinquantenaire towards the triumphal arch. The entrance to the museum sits on the east side of the monument. You’ll see some old weaponry sitting outside.

Sunrise at Parc du Cinquantenaire
Sunrise at Parc du Cinquantenaire


The Royal Military Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last entry is at 4 p.m.

The museum is closed on Mondays and on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st, and December 25th. Alternate hours and additional closures may occur, so check the website before your visit.

There is a little café inside the museum that is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The kitchen closes at 2 p.m.


Beginning in 2024, tickets cost €12 per adult. There are discounts for children, family visits, holders of various cards, the disabled, etc. Check the website to see if you qualify for a discounted rate. Tickets can be purchased on site with card only. You can also buy standard tickets for adults and children online in advance and pick a timeslot.

Visits are free on the first Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. until close.


Admission to the Royal Military Museum is covered by the Brussels Card. Upon arrival, simply present your pass to be scanned.

We were spending a few days in Brussels and intended to see a variety of highlights covered by the Brussels Card. So, for this visit to Belgium, it was worth it. We opted for the 48-hour pass, which begins at €42.

An intricate metal container with painted battle scenes.

Visiting the Royal Military Museum

We’ll start off by saying this museum is huge and contains so many exhibits with a lot of information and details to look at. You could really spend several hours here. However, if you’re limited on time, we recommend planning your visit ahead of time to be able to hit the exhibits you want to see. We arrived at open and spent a couple hours in here. We didn’t nearly see everything by the time we had to leave to make our Atomium reservation that afternoon.

Equipment in the Navy section
Equipment in the Navy section


If you want a well-structured visit with curated insight, you can reach out to the staff via email to inquire about organizing a tour through the museum.

If you’d rather visit the museum at your own leisure, don’t worry – the exhibits contain plenty of information! There were plaques with information displayed in different languages, some (but not all) provided in English. There were signs indicating the use of audio guides; however, we were told that they didn’t offer them at the moment.

Tanks and guns with information plaques

Royal Military Museum Exhibits

There are several different exhibits contained in the museum, including the Aviation Hall, Historic Gallery, Arms and Armour Gallery, Technical Gallery, Russian Gallery, Bordiau Gallery, ’14-’18 Gallery, Antarctica, the Navy, and French Empire. You can learn more about the individual galleries here. As mentioned above, you may consider picking only a few of the exhibits if you are limited on time.

Just beyond the museum reception/ticketing area, you’ll find yourself in the Historic Gallery. This exhibit was opened in 1923 and is the museum’s oldest! Pretty instantly, we were almost overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to look at. This room is full of thousands of items, including busts, military uniforms, guns, art, and more.

The Historic Gallery
The Historic Gallery
Old items kept by soldiers
Old items kept by soldiers

We wound our way through the ground level, eventually making our way to the Aviation Hall. Despite not being aviation enthusiasts, this was possibly our favorite of the exhibits as it was something quite unique that we hadn’t experienced before. This massive hall is filled with many planes and copters from various eras. You can even step into the interior of one of the old planes!

Matt checking out the inside of a plane
Matt checking out the inside of a plane

We found the ’14-’18 Gallery to also be quite interesting. It contains the largest and most diverse collection covering WWI in the world. Housed here are various machine guns, other weaponry, uniforms and gear from different countries, old photos, and more.

Honestly, we found it all quite interesting, resulting in it taking a long while for us to take in all the information and exhibits. By the time we made it to the upper levels we had to rush through some exhibits and weren’t even able to reach them all before we left. Next time!

Royal Military Museum

The Sky Café

If you are spending much of the day inside the Royal Military Museum, it’s worth noting that there is a café inside. The Sky Café serves some salads, pasta dishes, snacks, cake, and drinks.

Take in the Views from the Arcades

The Jubilee Park Arcades are two terraces that sit around the triumphal arch. From inside the Royal Military Museum, you can take the elevator or stairs up to the terrace to take in the views of Parc du Cinquantenaire and city surrounding it. The access to the viewing platform is included in the museum entrance ticket.

Sadly, the Arcades were closed during our visit! Luckily we got some great city views from the Atomium just after visiting the Royal Military Museum.

Royal Military Museum Pin

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