Brussels has several top-class museums and the Royal Fine Arts Museum is foremost among them. The four main galleries are adjacent to each other in the place Royale; these comprise the Musée Old Masters, Musée Modern and the Musée Fin-de-Siècle, connected underground to the Musée Magritte.
The revamped, spacious galleries show off Belgian art from the 14th-century Flemish Primitives to the 20th-century Surrealists. Star turns in the Old Masters include Hans Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Lucas Cranach. Next door, the modern art galleries are currently being re-organized, so a tiny percentage of collection’s treasures – such as Van Gogh or Delvaux – are on revolving display.
Musée Magritte opened in 2009 and holds the world’s biggest collection of more than 200 works by the Belgian surrealist master René Magritte, including his seminal The Dominion of Light as well as sculptures, sketches, photos and musical scores. The Musée Fin-de-Siècle is the newest kid on the block and showcases elegant Art Nouveau furniture as well as the sublime still lives of late-19th-century Belgian Realist James Ensor.
Set aside at least an afternoon when visiting, while dedicated art lovers could loose themselves at the Royal Fine Arts Museums for days. The two outposts of the museum found elsewhere in Brussels are the Musée Meunier, dedicated to sculptor Constantin Meunier, at rue de l’Abbaye 59, and the Musée Wiertz at rue Vatier 62, celebrating the work of Belgian Romantic artist Antoine Joseph Wiertz.
Place Royale 1–3. Admission per museum €8 adults, €6 seniors and students, €2 aged 6–26. Combo tickets for entry to all four place Royale museums cost €13 for adults; €9 for seniors and students and €3 for those ages 6-26. The museums are free to all on the first Wednesday afternoon of the month. The site is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm.