What to do in Brussels this weekend: 25 - 27 November

What to do in Brussels this weekend: 25 - 27 November

This weekend marks the start of Brussels' official Christmas festivities, there are plenty of other things going on in the Belgian capital in the coming days, from exploring cityscapes through dance to the city's iconic jazz festival.

Arts, culture and music

Mriya International Film Festival, Cinema RITCS, Friday 25 November 

This festival hosted by the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound has two main purposes: to promote cinematography and young talent within this art form and to support humanitarian aid organisations in war-torn Ukraine. To unite artists, and provide hope to those who are in need of it.

Credit: MRIYA Film Festival

Throughout the three-day festival, a wide range of films are put on show, from documentaries to fiction films and animated short films from all around the world. The closing event on Friday will include a screening of a range of international shorts, the screening of "A house made of splinters" by Simon Lereng Wilmont, and will close with a ceremony.

Find more information and tickets here.

United Music of Brussels 2022, various locations, Thursday 24 to Saturday to 26 November

Three iconic institutions on the Brussels art scene — the Belgian National Orchestra, la Monnaie and Bozar — are joining forces to once again bring music to the streets of the Brussels city centre in the fifth edition of the United Music event, a musical adventure that brings artists from various backgrounds together across different atmospheres, in front of the general public.

Credit: United Music of Brussels

For three days, a variety of free intimate concerts will be organised across the Belgian capital in both established and lesser-known venues. The event also includes a free symphonic concert by the Belgian National Orchestra with the world premiere of Jean-Luc Fafchamps' First Symphony (Ombres Célestes) in Bozar's Henry le Boeuf Hall.

Find more information here, and register for the Belgian National Orchestra's free concert here.

Out and about

Winter Fun, various locations across Brussels, until 1 January 2023

Brussels' Christmas festival, converged under the name Winter Fun, has been ranked in first place on the list of the world's best Christmas markets; all the more reason to attend this year's edition. As every year, the market will once again transform the centre of Brussels into a cosy Christmas village for all ages.

The light and audio show on Grand Place. Credit: Plaisirs d'Hiver

This year's edition promises the festivities' classic components such as the ice rink, the iconic Christmas tree and the 250 wooden chalets selling soul-warming foods and drinks to newer additions such as the Christmas light show. The celebration will be spread over 160 streets (including eight new ones) meaning there is plenty to discover in the coming weeks. May all your days be merry!

Nocturnes du Sablon, Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 November

The Sablon and Marolles, widely known for their antique shops, are once again joining forces to organise the famous Nocturnes, a four-day celebration jam-packed with music, shopping and entertainment for the whole family with the aim of highlighting the districts' unique characters.

Cosy nights under the lights on the Sablon. Credit: Visit Brussels

Whether you scour the gourmet market, enjoy an outdoor concert or marvel at unique light displays, the 31st edition of this festive journey through the Sablon and the Marolles is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Find more information and tickets here.

Urban Pass, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Friday 25 November to Saturday 3 December

Talk about value for money! A ticket for Urban Pass gives you access to three dance shows inspired by urban culture, showcasing various techniques from Hip Hop to Krumping, a style of street dance described as Afro-diasporic dance, characterized by expressive and exaggerated movements.

Credit: Les Halles de Schaerbeek

This weekend, Silent Legacy, a dancing duo consisting of an 8-year-old krump dance prodigy and a grown adult, question cultural transmission, identity and the conditions of sharing symbolic heritage. In Les Autres, Kader Attou encounters non-typical musical instruments that become one with their performers, while Oüm pays tribute to the confluence of the talents of Egyptian diva Oüm Kalthoum and Persian poet Omar Khayyám.

Find more information and tickets here.

Further afield

River Jazz Festival, various locations in Brussels, Thursday 24 November to Saturday 10 December

A stream of music that connects three venues in Brussels that have close associations with the 'blue note' (the Marni, the Jazz Station and the Senghor) flows throughout this year's River Jazz Festival programme, featuring 14 concerts, an exhibition, and — for the first time — a swing party.

The Jazz Station. Credit: Visit Brussels

From artists starting out their careers to musicians who have established themselves on the national stage and further afield, this year's programme perfectly mirrors today's jazz scene. The world's smallest big band, Trio Grande, and the Scottish Jazz night – with a performance by rising jazz star and pianist Fergus McCreadie – are on our radar.

Find more information and tickets here.

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