There’s a saying in Belgium that locals are ‘born with a brick in their stomach’. In a country famous for its moules, frites, beer and chocolate, you might not think that’s at all surprising. But the phrase has nothing to do with these culinary delicacies and everything to do with what, to Belgians, is the most important thing in life: their homes.

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Around 80 per cent of Belgians own their properties (more than many of their European neighbours – the UK included) and the culture is very much aimed at entertaining at home rather than going out. As such, they spend a lot of time and money on their decor, meaning there are some fabulous shops to discover.

Brussels, the country’s capital, is a case in point, with two whole streets devoted almost exclusively to interiors shops packed with vintage and antique pieces – not to mention a weekly antiques market and some exciting, unique shops so good they justify a trip across the Channel all on their own. And if you're heading to this year's BRAFA (see our fair preview here), it's the perfect excuse to head to some of the city's best antiques hotspots.

We've carefully selected 10 of the best antiques shops in Brussels we'd recommend visiting on your travels...

Best antiques and vintage shops in Brussels

Ciel Mes Bijoux!

Address: 10 rue Ernest Allard, Brussels, Belgium

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 6.30pm

It’s easy to imagine the aristocrats who once browsed beneath the vaulted glass of the elegant Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, built in 1847. Now the galleries are much more democratic, although a touch of decadance remains in this gem of a shop, Ciel Mes Bijoux, filled with vintage haute couture jewellery from the likes of Dior and Chanel.

Costermans

Address: Costermans, 5 place du Grand Sablon. 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 6pm

Top-end furniture, paintings and mantelpieces are the order of the day at Costermans, all beautifully displayed in an imposing house dating back to 1839 – sneak a peek upstairs to see the original silk wallpaper. Don’t miss the leafy courtyard either, where dozens of decorative cast-iron backplates, replicas of antique originals, are lined up in the shade.

Place du Jeu de Balle Market

Address: Marolles district

Opening hours: Every day 7am - 2pm

Accompanied by the whiff of pipesmoke, accordion music and backgammon-playing dealers, the Place du Jeu de Balle Market offers everything from old cameras and telephones to silver cutlery and scary-looking voodoo dolls complete with nails – via, somewhat comically, a kitchen sink.


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Place du Grand Antiques Market

Best antiques shops Brussels

Address: Place du Grand Sablon

Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday mornings

Don’t expect such radical drops over at the red-and-green-striped tents of the antiques market, where well-heeled locals park up their sports cars and jostle for a pavement table at one of the many bars and restaurants. Having spent nearly €50 on vintage chocolate moulds in a bout of over-excitement, we eventually managed to get €5 knocked off a wooden mould for speculoos (the local spiced biscuits), bringing it down to €35 – not bad for a souvenir with a real flavour of history.

Sablon Antiques Centre

Address: Place du Grand Sablon, 39, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Every day 10am - 6pm

Located right in the centre of Brussels, family-run Sablon Antiques Centre has been a hub for antiques shoppers since 2003. Inside you'll find antiques shops, dealers, wholesalers, exporters and auctioneers, as well as fairs and flea markets, where you're likely to find a hidden gem. If you're looking for somewhere to shop that offers variety, it's definitely worth dedicating some time to visit.


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Haute Antiques 207

Address: 207 rue Haute, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Every day 10am - 6pm

Another group location, Haute Antiques is a gallery of 24 dealers sharing a space, offering a range of antiques including fine furniture, art, lighting and collectables, just to name a few. Spaces here are beautifully curated so you can see pieces set up in situ, and if you fall in love with something that won't fit in your suitcase, they can organise worldwide shipping for you!

Passage 125

Best antiques shops Brussels

Address: 125 rue Blaes, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday and Sunday 10am - 5:30pm, Saturday 10am - 6pm

One of Brussels' largest galleries, Passage 125 is home to four floors of exhibition space, where antiques shops and dealers come together to share their finds. Here you'll find a wonderful variety of stock, from furniture and stained-glass windows to ancient weapons and crystalware.

Galerie des Minimes

Address: Rue des Minimes 23, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Every day 10am - 6pm

You can really shop the eras at Galerie des Minimes, with antiques here ranging from 15th-century all the way to mid-century modern. Think beautiful Victorian writing desks, Venetian chandeliers, Regency fireplaces and Art Deco jewellery, just to name a few of the antiques on show here. The owners of this antiques store also have a contact list of trustworthy transporters should you need them.


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L'Egide Antiques

Address: Place Saint Jean n°5, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm

An antiques shop located in the heart of Brussels, just a short walk from central station, L'Egide Antiques has been trading since 1989 specialising in 18th to early 20th-century European antiques and fine arts. As well as selling, they also buy and value antiques, so if you've got something in your possession you'd like to pass on or find out the value of, this is the shop to visit!

Via Antica

Address: Rue Blaes 40, 1000 Brussels

Opening hours: Every day 10am - 6pm

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Another antiques shopping spot run by multiple dealers, Via Antica specialises in 20th-century furniture, but you will find other pieces including mirrors, lighting and art objects. There are usually around 20 dealers selling here at any time, so you can be sure to see a varied collection and have a high chance of finding the perfect antique for your home, whether you're searching for the perfect accent chair, a sturdy cabinet, or a beautiful painting.

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