Select a city
Select a date
Select your tickets
(12+ years)
(4-12 years)

International museum day : everything you need to know

International museum day : everything you need to know

The International museum day, what is it?

Every year on 18 May, the International Museum Day gathers thousands of museums around the world, and has done so since 1977. Organised by ICOM, this day aims to raise awareness of the important role of museums in the development of society in general, and more specifically in cultural exchange, knowledge, understanding and peace between populations. This is done through free activities and exhibitions, organised by each museum.

The event is becoming increasingly popular: last year, 37,000 museums in 156 countries took part.

What are the goals for this year?

This year's event is based on the theme "Museums, sustainability and well-being". Behind this topic are important themes and issues:

  • Goal 3 Global health and well-being: Ensuring a healthy and fulfilling life for all, with a special focus on mental health and prevention of social isolation.
  • Goal 13 Climate action: Helping in the fight against climate change by reducing the carbon footprint in the North and South.
  • Goal 15 Life on Earth: Safeguarding the earth's ecosystems and their sustainable use by giving voice to indigenous leaders and raising awareness of biodiversity decline.

In short, museums know they can make a difference and are determined to contribute to a better and more responsible future in their own way.

What is the programme for this day?

On 18 May (it can be even before and it can continue a little after), the museums offer free activities. Videos, challenges, exhibitions, concerts, face-to-face or in remote mode, the activities are diverse and varied.

Regarding the programme, each museum draws up its own programme with its own activities. Don't hesitate to search for information for the museums you are interested in to find out what to expect!

It will also be a good opportunity to discover (or rediscover) museums you have never visited before.

Which are the museums to see in Brussels?

For the occasion, let’s take a look at five of the most beautiful museums in Brussels:

1. Royal Museums of Fine Arts

This is a group of five museums (the Old Masters Museum, the Musée Wiertz,the Musée Meunier, the Magritte Museum and the Fin-de-Siècle Museum) considered to be the most famous in Belgium, with over 20,000 artworks dating back to the 15th century.

2. Museum of Musical Instruments

This is a magnificent museum with more than 7,000 musical instruments from the Middle Ages to the present day.

3. Magritte Museum

The Magritte Museum is entirely dedicated to the artist Magritte and his evolution, with a collection of more than 250 works exhibited in beautiful surroundings.

4. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

At the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, you can discover an incredible collection of dinosaur skeletons and other animals in the biodiversity section. You will be amazed by the immensity of the fauna!

5. Royal Army Museum and Military History

This museum, ranked among the best in the world in its category, traces the history of the Belgian army from the 1700s to the present day. You can see a multitude of planes, tanks, uniforms and weapons.


Would you like to discover more about Brussels and its museums? With the Tootwalk feature of the Tootbus app, you can explore the city with three free guided walking tours. Enjoy, for example, a wonderful "Royal Galleries and Statues" walk to learn more about Brussels' past.