Molenbeek: 5 reasons why you should visit
Brussels is known for its flourishing hip-hop scene. Icons like Damso, Roméo Elvis & Le Motel and Zwanger Guy all sprouted from this city. Especially the commune Molenbeek (read: VK concerts) is the place to be for hip-hop gigs. Unfortunately, its reputation took a big hit from the media after the terrorist attacks in 2016. In that same year we launched our Chase team in Brussels and quickly discovered some gems Molenbeek has hidden under its cobblestones. Keep on reading to discover what you have been missing out on all along.
Written by Fleur Timmerman
MIMA - Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art
This museum, known for street/contemporary art, is near the canal and resides in the former Belle Vue Brewery. Its mission is to reflect on yesterday and lead the way for tomorrow. Currently, the must-see exhibition is ‘Wonderland’ by Akay and Olabo. This exhibition reveals the world of urban adventure, exploring forbidden locations and the delights of not getting caught. If you like urban exploring, you’ll love this.
VK concerts - Vaartkapoen
Since 1989, this venue has been inviting many artists to take the stage. As a fixture in the Brussels underground scene, this place has earned its stripes and shifted more towards the hip-hop genre. The VK is part of multiple collaborations like VK art, VK concerts, Caleidoscoop and VK Yallah. The latter is an initiative that aspires the creation of an experimental green space that brings the Molenbeek community together.
Bel Mundo - Atelier Groot Eiland
A beautiful place by people for people. This sustainable restaurant by Atelier Groot Eiland trains people with little work experience to make sure they find a job in the future. They cook, waiter and look after their own vegetable garden. Everything in this place is a learning opportunity. Even the furniture of the restaurant gets fabricated by employees. Are you looking for a cozy and heartfelt atmosphere while supporting Molenbeek’s community? Bel Mundo is the place to eat.
Brussel Les Bains/ Brussel Bad
Craving for some exotic vibes during summer time? No need to travel to the equator. From July till August, Brussels has its own sweet spot on both sides of the canal. This piece of paradise offers all kinds of leisure activities to escape the bustling metropole. Stroll along the little (food)stalls, get sun kissed while lounging in a deckchair or work up some sweat with a match of beach volleyball. Also make sure to keep an eye on their event page, as there are some chill parties too.
You can roam around this diverse marketplace every Friday to Sunday from 7 AM till 2 PM. With a broad range of fresh veggies, meat and fish, you can stock up on staples or new ingredients to start the week. Want the whole experience? Join the cooking tour by FOODMET. This experience includes a guided tour of the market while doing grocery shopping for a mystery three course recipe. Afterwards you can boost your culinary skills in a group cooking class. There is also a visit to the rooftop garden of FOODMET (one of the biggest in Europe!). Talk about the icing on the cake!
As you can see Molenbeek has lots of fun stuff to offer. What's your favourite hidden gem or neighbourhood in the Brussels area?