Brussels with Nastia Gladushchenko

Brussels is a city for urban exploring, for art, food, and shopping. We asked artist and creative, Nastia Gladushchenko (@nastiagladu), for her favourite things to do when she’s in town. Here we tour Brussels’ ancient architecture, museums and galleries, an obscure flea market and a 180-year-old Belgian biscuit store.

Abbaye de la Cambre

Abbaye de la Cambre is a stunning little old Abbey within a very zen park and garden and is made up of gorgeous ancient buildings.

Galeries de la Reine

Galeries de la Reine is a shopping mall from the 19th Century but it’s one of the most magical spots (apart from all the touristy chocolate shops inside), there’s a super cute cinema in there too for rainy days.

Place Jeu de Balle

Place Jeu de Balle is the most epic flea market you will ever see, I’ve found so many inspiring pieces here and it really feels like a museum.

Maison Dandoy

Maison Dandoy at the Grand Place is a tiny store but is so special and is the place where the whole empire started. I definitely live for speculoos and they make the best version of it, even baking it into intricate and fragile shapes.

MiMa Museum

MiMa Museum is a new space that presents contemporary and quirky shows. The last time I visited there was a group show of comic artists which represents the Bruxellois culture well but is also extremely relevant in the context of contemporary art.

BOZAR

BOZAR is the contemporary museum in the centre but my favourite part of it is the Cinematek where they screen cult and obscure vintage films.
Want more of Nastia’s Brussels recommendations?

Food

Nordzee is a Brussels institution for seafood where the beautiful place Saint Catherine is filled with bar tables and people enjoy their croquettes with wine standing up in the sun at lunch. It’s a great place for people-watching too.
KWINT is a restaurant but I’ve never actually eaten here… I just come for drinks and to perve on the amazing copper installation they have inside.
Sunday Market at Gare du Midi – no Sunday in Brussels is complete for us without a visit to the Moroccan stand for crepes with cheese, olives and honey with a crazy sweet mint tea. The market is loud and super busy but it’s inspiring and disorienting to see all the amazing cultures colliding there.

Drinks

The Belga is in Place Flagey and is a cool bar to sit in deckchairs when the sun comes out or to get cosy with a beer when it’s raining (all the time). We’ve spent many a day and night here as it has a super relaxed atmosphere and great interior. It is also just beneath the Flagey venue which hosts some amazing concerts and festivals.

Urban Exploring

Palais de Justice is the law court of Brussels and is an amazing, brutal structure with an epic view over the city but also a fantastic forecourt and interior (highly recommend you guys sneak in and explore around inside, it’s very special and my favourite place in Brussels).
The public swimming pool at Place Jeu de Balle is a surprising and very cool retro place that floats above the dense part of the city. So strange but so cool, like a lot of the things I love in Brussels.

Art

Maison Cauchie and Horta Museum are both Art Deco houses that we’ve explored and done shoots in and are such special examples of the wild, over-the-top interiors of the time. Also, keep a look out for the beautiful art deco facades all over the city.
Alice Gallery is installation space and apartments (stay here if you can it is super cute), a collection of inspiring spaces that present surprising works and rotating experiential exhibitions.

Shopping

Isabelle Bajart’s store is a very carefully curated designer vintage clothing store with some of the most unusual and special pieces. Colour co-ordinated and backing onto a secret garden it is a little oasis in the touristy centre of Brussels.
Hunting and Collecting is a store with a very cool selection of Belgian and international designers that I usually can’t afford, and they also create gorgeous window displays.

 

Images: Matt Dempsey and Kylie McDowell

Up next, Paris with Marta Bevacqua.

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