The castle burned down!! That is quite the exciting part of the story to tell young children. Back in the day, when Brussels had a huge medieval wall fortifying it, the castle-palace sat where the present day Royal Palace sits now. But then it burned. And the construction engineers of the time thought it was better to just throw earth on top of the ruins, flatten out the land and start from scratch. Then in the 1980s archeologists dug up the remains and turned it into an underground museum, cool.
You have two choices if you are going with children. You can make a reservation and do a treasure hunt trip, or, you can go on your own. There is no guided tour (hooray!) but there are plenty of signs with information, in English, around the museum. If you choose to do the reservation treasure hunt, it will cost 4 euros for the kids.
Address: Entrance via BELvue museum, Place des Palais 7, 1000 Brussels
Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 to 17.00, Weekend : 10.00 à 18.00
Cost: Free for children under 18! (unless you make a reservation to do a treasure hunt, then 4 euro)
5 Euro for adults
Know before you go
This is probably not a place I would take very young children, like under 4. Unless they are better behaved than my kids. There are a few places that they could get hurt (gaps between boards etc.) but that isn’t the main reason. It can be a little scary down there. The ceilings are quite low, it echos and you can hear the people above you (along with rattling buses).
We thought our kids would enjoy a cave when they were 3 and thought wrong. They were terrified the whole time. But, you know your kids so chose on your own.
For food, there is a nice cafe in the Belvue that serves kid friendly and wallet friendly food and can help eliminate the stress of, where are my kids going to eat down in the Sablon if they get hungry?
No flash photography