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During those gorgeous sunny days everyone in Brussels is looking for the perfect terrace to soak up the sun, enjoy drinks and celebrate summer. I have already shared with you the best terraces in town, so now I’m revealing one of its most secret terraces!

Both locals and visitors in Brussels would typically stop by the historic Mont des Arts / Kunstberg (“Mount of the Arts”) that boasts one of the most beautiful views in Brussels. Very few people know however the existence of this terrace on the rooftop of the Royal Library of Belgium just a few steps away. This well-kept secret proves right my theory that Brussels is a city full of little gems that one has to discover on his own: there’s no sign around disclosing the presence of this secret terrace; you just need to know how to get there. Enter the National Library, admire the old typographers as you walk up the stairs and take the elevator up to the 5th floor. There it is, an oasis of calmness in the middle of the city.

As you step into the spacious cafeteria it seems as if it’s been untouched by time; some would say it’s neglected but I kind of liked its retro feeling. The large glass windows of the indoor space let plenty of light in and offer a fine view of the buildings in the Grand Place – the perfect spot to read a book or enjoy some quiet time with a cup of coffee. All the way in the back lies the best part though: a sunny terrace overlooking the Palais de Justice dome with colorful chairs and umbrellas providing shelter from the burning sun. Don’t expect a fancy menu and speedy service – here it’s all about enjoying the view in a calm and beautiful setting. And there’s one more surprise: a small eco-garden, where organic fruits, veggies and herbs are cultivated and sold during the week. 

The cafe on the rooftop of the Royal Library of Belgium is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00. There’s no need to pay an entrance fee if you just wish to access the cafe; just be sure to make it on time and enjoy!

Address: Boulevard de l’Empereur 2, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 5195311

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)