Explore.Brussels is a network of associations that organise top-quality guided tours in the Brussels-Capital Region.
It was created in 1994 and became a non-profit association in 2015. Its member associations are ARAU, Arkadia, Brussels Chatterguides and Pro Velo.
La Fonderie (2020) and Korei (2021) join the network as a partner association.
Explore.Brussels is an information hub for the associations: it combines their programmed guided tours for individuals and their ranges of guided tours for groups and publishes one centralised resource for individuals and groups looking for guided tours, enabling them to find information more easily than by consulting the individual associations, and ensuring they are offered the full range of themes available at no extra cost and without generating unnecessary competition between the associations. The overall shared objective is to promote the tangible and intangible heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Explore.Brussels and its member associations also develop and promote larger events featuring guided tours of interiors that no single association could develop and promote alone. The annual Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival is the best-known of these events.
Explore.Brussels is a specialist in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage of Brussels and also a pioneer in the promotion of its Neo-Classical heritage. It is also developing other events and projects linked to these themes.
Besides the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Neo-Classical styles, the wide range of guided tours on the Explore.Brussels platform includes parks and green spaces, art, strip cartoons, food and drink, folklore, history, heritage and the European institutions. The more than 500 themes available include old favourites such as the Grand-Place, beer and chocolate, as well as the unexpected, the unusual and hidden gems.
The programmed tours for individuals covers the calendar year and includes guided tours in French, Dutch, English and German.
The tours take place on foot, by bicycle, by coach and by boat.
All of these guided tours can also be organised for groups throughout the year and in many different languages.
In addition, some tours can be tailored to the requirements of school or college groups and reduced-mobility participants.
Events and Projects
The main events organised by Explore.Brussels are centred on guided tours of extraordinary interiors not usually open to the public.
Around them are organised other events that promote architectural heritage, in collaboration with many partners: exhibitions, seminars, outdoor guided tours, concerts, themed evenings and activities for families, etc.
The Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco (BANAD) Festival promotes these two styles of architecture every year in March.
The Brussels Neo-Classical Biennial (BNB) will promote this architectural style, featuring buildings from throughout the nineteenth century, as well as its influence on urban development in the Region, the principles of which still influence planners today.
The Brussels Biennale of Eclectic Architecture (BBEA) addresses this architectural style which lasted from 1840 to Modernism, through the Art Nouveau period.
The programme of interior guided tours of Art Nouveau Mansions includes tours for individuals every first Saturday of the month and tours by prior reservation for groups throughout the year.
In addition to these guided tours, Explore.Brussels organises training sessions for guides, the Heritage Building Owners’ Club and the Friends of Explore.Brussels. It also publishes a map of Art Nouveau walking tours.
Values of Explore.Brussels
Respect: for the buildings visited, for heritage, for partners, for members of the public and for the environment
Professionalism and expertise: ensuring the quality of tours and activities, of content, of guides, of the welcome made to participants and of partners
Synergy and team-spirit: collaboration and communication with partners, working in the best possible way in teams (e.g the permanent staff, temporary staff, guides and students)
Enthusiasm and passion: among all our staff, collaborators and partners in implementing our projects
Freedom and autonomy: giving full rein to individual creativity in both internal and external projects