The streets of Brussels are getting hotter and hotter and summer holidays are almost here! The city vibrates with events, festivals and concerts and it’s almost impossible not to stay outside and enjoy the warmth and sun light.
Wandering around the city centre on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, we noticed some incredible places that were absolutely worth the visit. In fact, we spotted five bookstores with a quiet, relaxed and unique environment, that could offer a nice break from the heat and suggest you new readings for the summer. Whether you are looking for a travel guide, classic French poetry or the latest English masterpiece published, we have you covered! Here is the second list of bookstores you shouldn’t miss in Brussels!
Close to Place Sainte Catherine, Tulitu welcomes the visitor with lots of light, soft colors and a vast choice of books in French, that covers almost everything from LGBT topics to literature from Quebec. The bookstore, small but well furnished, is organized in two floors and puts the guests at ease as soon they walk in. In fact, the soft music, the narrow wooden staircase and the wallpaper reproducing birches’ bark make you feel like in the middle of the woods, letting you relax and merge in the reading. The shop also organizes several cultural events, such as book presentations and meetings with writers.
Very close to Tulitu there is Passa Porta, a bookstore stuck at the end of a long gallery. If you are lost in your thoughts, while walking in the street, you may even miss the entrance, but once you spot it you’re good to go! Passa Porta focuses mostly on books in Dutch and French, but it also has some books in German and a good English section, with some classics and many contemporary authors. The space is modern and chill, and pretty eclectic: it organizes talks with authors, an important book festival every two years and it coordinates reading clubs. The ideal to get to know fellow bookworms and literature enthusiasts!
Libraries are usually magical and surreal places, in which time may disappear and reality may lose consistency. Tropismes embodies this concepts perfectly and mesmerizes the visitor from the very first glance! Located in Galleries des Princes, it once used to host the jazz club “Blue Note”, famous for the Belgian and international artists performing there. The place is characterized by big mirrors on the walls, incredible stucco decorations and a mezzanine, which offers a nice view from above and hosts a pretty big children section. From up there, the images and shapes reflect endlessly in the mirrors, creating a curious optical illusion; you may have the impression of been ended up “on the other side of the mirror”, where reality doesn’t make sense anymore. The bookstore is specialized in human sciences, art and literature, mostly in French, but it’s worth the visit even just for aesthetical and architectural reasons.
Behind place de la Monnaie there’s a bookstore specialized on travels and trips. Its shelves are covered in tour-guides, books on foreign countries in several languages and gadgets related to travelling. It is a pretty simple and discreet environment, no incredible architecture or unusual details, but it has its own magic. After passing few minutes checking books on possible destinations, you feel inspired and motivated and the Wanderlust feeling gets you. Definitively the place to visit to discover your next destination!
In front of Anticyclone des Açores there’s Sterling Books, an English-only bookstore. It has a great choice of books -both for children and adults- and cool editions; umbrellas hang upside-down from the ceiling and the lovely staff is always ready to help you and give you suggestions. Every once and then the shop organizes events or contests for the clients, setting rare/limited editions as prize. Moreover, for the readers with a sweet-tooth there’s a surprise: the bookstore sells sweets and some special marmalades based on fruit and alcoholic drinks (champagne, brandy…)!