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Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)
Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)

Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)

Tue-Fri 9:30am-5pm Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; Jul-Aug Daily 10am-6pm
Place des Palais 7, Bruxelles, 1000

The basics

Built in the 12th century, the Coudenberg developed into one of Europe’s most important royal palaces, eventually becoming the main residence of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the 16th century. Soon after its destruction by fire in 1731, the palace was razed to make room for a new city layout, and, later, the current Royal Palace.

Visitors can explore the Coudenberg on self-guided tours independently or aided by audio guide or free mobile app. Along the way, roam subterranean rooms that served as kitchens and cellars; walk along the former Rue Isabelle; and see recovered artifacts at a small museum. The Coudenberg is also a stop-off on some Brussel tours—including select bike excursions and private tours that look beyond the city’s most obvious tourist sights. The Brussels Card grants access to the ruins.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Coudenberg is great for history and archaeology fans.
  • The site is partially wheelchair-accessible, and the museum almost fully accessible.
  • Entry is via the BELvue Museum on Brussels’ Place de Palais.
  • The Coudenberg offers restrooms, while the BELvue has a café-restaurant and gift shop.
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How to get there

The Coudenberg is situated on the Place de Palais and best reached by public transit. Visitors can take trains to Brussels Central Station and make the short walk from there; catch a #92 or #93 tram to the Palais or Royale (Koning) stops; or take a #27, #38, #71, or #95 bus to the Royale. Both stops are a 5-minute stroll from the BELvue entrance.

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When to get there

The Coudenberg is open daily, excluding Mondays and key public holidays. As one of Brussels’ lower-profile sights, it’s rarely busy, so there are no good or bad times to visit. Allow about 90 minutes to explore and a little more time to visit the BELvue shop and café-restaurant.

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The Coudenberg for Kids

If you’re visiting the Coudenberg with kids, consider booking one of the in-house treasure hunt tours to bring the palace and its story to life. Aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds, the tour tasks them with locating Charles V’s hidden treasure chest using a map, torch, and clues—and rewards them with a gift when they find it.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)?
A:
Attractions near Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Brussels?
A:
As well as visiting the Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: