With one of the world’s largest collections of military uniforms, medals, vehicles and weapons, this free attraction is the perfect solution for a rainy afternoon in Brussels.
Belgium’s rich military history is displayed and explained in relation to world events – specifically the Great War – so expect to see British caterpillar tanks, American infantry vehicles and German zeppelins alongside Belgian memorabilia.
Though hands-on activities are few and far between, the Little Guide to the Museum of Armed Forces can be purchased in the gift shop – so stop at the shop first! – and includes plenty of activities and challenges to keep children entertained during their visit.
Originally installed in the Abbaye du Cambre, the museum moved to the North Halls of the Cinquantenaire Complex in 1923 and was later joined by Autoworld which has occupied the south section since 1985. A combined visit to the two makes for an exciting and informative day out, with restaurants in both museums and a picnic area outside serving as suitable places to stop for a bite to eat and rest little legs between museums.
The triumphal arch which forms the centrepiece of the complex provides amazing views of the city and is a fantastic attraction in its own right or as part of a trip to the museum. Visitors must go through the Museum of Military History to gain access, where elevators are on hand if you don’t fancy scaling the stairs to the top – just make sure you arrive at least an hour and a half before the museum closes to guarantee access.