The 5 best bookstores Brussels

TROPISMES

Galerie des Princes 11
Central Brussels
+32 (0)2 512 88 52
www.tropismes.be

This beautiful bookshop occupies a former restaurant in a 19th century arcade. The ornate ceilings and high mirrors are still in place, creating a spectacular setting for browsing. Most of the books are in French, but they have a small section of English books next to the staircase.

WATERSTONES

Boulevard Adolph Max 71
Central Brussels
+32 (0)2 219 27 08

Originally a branch of WH Smith’s, this English-language bookshop was founded in 1921. Now owned by Waterstones, the shop has thick carpets, knowledgeable staff and an inspiring range of books, magazines and newspapers. The neighbourhood, unfortunately, is not as smart as it was back in 1921.

Bozar Bookshop

Rue Ravenstein 23

Central Brussels

+32 (0)2 502 34 68

www.bozar.be

Ghent architects Robbrecht en Daem have created a striking new bookshop inside the Bozar centre. It's run by art publisher Walther König, who already manages sleek stores in art galleries across Europe. The Brussels shop sells beautiful art books, along with exhibition catalogues, photo books, novels, design objects and toys.

PEINTURE FRAICHE

Rue du Tabellion 10
Ixelles
+32 (0)2 537 11 05
www.peinture-fraiche.be

This is a beautiful calm art bookshop in the shadow of an old baroque church. The shelves are lined with gorgeous books on art, architecture and fashion, many of them in English. Students come here from the city’s art and design schools to pick up textbooks at reduced price. The shop also stocks international art magazines that are hard to find anywhere else in Brussels.

Passa Porta

Rue Dansaert 46
Dansaert Quarter
+32 (0)2 502 94 60
www.passaporta.be

A narrow passage off the fashionable Rue Dansaert leads to the international literature centre Passa Porta. Its bookshop has an inspiring selection of world literature, including a small selection of modern English fiction in the back room. International writers regularly pass this way to give readings or reside in a luxurious writer’s flat around the corner.

part of 70 places to shop

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels