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“Check it out before the huge renovation!”

Royal Museum for Central Africa
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Ranked #74 of 400 things to do in Brussels
Certificate of Excellence
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Lulea, Sweden
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Check it out before the huge renovation!”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

The museum is a quite big distance from the city centre but very well connected from the Montgomery station.

Located in a beautiful park, must be very scenic during late spring and early summer.

The museum contains a great deal of exhibits from Central Africa, letting us know a bit better what is the reality of people living in that region: their habits, traditions, surrounding area.

A separate part of museum is showing a historical reality of colonisation of Congo and it's way to liberty.

They are also holding a temporary exhibition of tropical spiders and scorpios, but if it is not your cup of tea, you can tour without missing any other part of museum but this one.

At cafeteria there is a chance to purchase a warm tea from central Africa. Naturally fair-trade.

Check the news on the website because the museum is closing somewhere around summer for a 2 year renovation.

A very unique place, I wanna come back there after it gets refreshed and see the new materials.

Visited March 2013
Thank Poro_mies5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

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Tallinn, Estonia
Level Contributor
138 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Lovely park, old-style collection”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Although the museum looks quite outdated, it´s still lovely in its own way. The outdoors setting is really nice. I visited the place in February and it looked somehow truly majestic and grand with grey-cloud and gloomy background. The building of the Palace of the Colonies is really nice and the park around Musee de l´Afrique is also very lovely. I´m planning to visit the place in summer - I believe it will be especially pretty.

The museum itself is located in the grand old building. The collection is impressive, but definitely needs some update. The signs are in French and Flamish only, therefore requiring at least some knowledge of either language. Although I don´t like stuffed animals etc, the ones in museum were quite interesting. There´s a good collection introducing the history of Congo and some self-critical materials on the issue of Belgian colonization of Congo.

There´s a small cafeteria in the museum. Not much for the choice and quite pricey.

From my point of view, the place is well worth a visit. I really liked it.

Visited February 2013
Thank JullyTheTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“visit soon before another treasure of the past bites the dust”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I had the pleasure of making the interesting but out of the way visit to this museum in spring 2012. I arrived 2 hours before closing thinking i'd have time to see it all but I was truly blown away by the ornate beauty of the building itself and the charming old fashiondness of the collections. It was more than atrip to a museum , it was like actually stepping back in time. They had a cafe that looked straight out of Africa and I promised myself next time in Brussels I'd make time for a snack break in the lovely atmospheric surroundings. They also had some good temporary exhibits but walking the grand hallways itself was alone worth the trip. I was thinking of a trip back this year and was beyond disappointed to find that this treasure will be permanently closed by mid 2013 for modernization all the unique collections will be replaced by a bunch of ultra modern stuff in an amazing new glass building almost as charming as the average airport. I imagine most of the collection will just be a collection of computer terminals. If you have the chance visit soon , otherwise it might not be worth the journey.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank ruth n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shropshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Somewhat dated and poor narratives”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

The museum is a bit of a mixed bag of interesting exhibits and dated items, however I belive it is to go through some modernisation.
There is little that one probably hasn't seen elsewhere if your are a regular natural history museum visitor.
The narratives associated with exhibits are brief and in some cases not present, with all in Dutch/French but with English translations somewhat sporadic.
On the plus side, entry fees are modest and the grounds are an excellent place to walk and/or picnic.

Visited September 2012
Thank AnIdiotAnywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level Contributor
134 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Go there before the renovation Mid 2013, to see the old fashioned museum”
Reviewed November 29, 2012

This museum is worth your visit for so many reasons, and you need to be quick as it will close for a major renovation in 2013. Why visit:
- The place is situated in a nice park and palatial building with grand halls full of decorations that make the visit worthwile on its own (and only 4 EUROS entry!!)
- The collection is diverse and quite unique, particularly the large wildlife panoramas full of all manner of animals. Also note the large variety of ethnographic stuff (a huge dug out canoe, musical instruments etc)
- The easy and 'logical' way the museum is organized, no complicated things just grouping of items along themes

But most importantly you should visit the museum because it unabashedly old-fashioned. The museum has a distinct 19th century feel with almost not electronics and little political correctness. Though this paternalistic view of Africa can be a bit over the top its a rare thing to see. The museum probably tells you in equal measure something about Central Africa but also a lot about how generations of Belgians saw Africa (full of wild animals and 'wild people'). I'd imagine the renovation will take away most of the oldfashioned-ness of this place so visit now!

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Martijn t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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