Hidden Belgium: Arlequin

Hidden Belgium: Arlequin

No one thought that record stores would survive the rise of the internet. But they did in Brussels. The city now has some of the best stocked dens of retro vinyl in Europe.

Located near the Manneken Pis statue, Arlequin takes you back to the golden age of vinyl records in arty sleeves. The store has squirrelled away a disparate stock of 1960s rock, moody French chanson, film scores, disco, electro, indie rock and rare stuff you will not find anywhere else.

The shop façade is covered with stencil graffiti portraits of famous rock singers such as John Lennon and Bob Dylan. They were sprayed by French street artist Jef Aérosol in 2008.

A second branch of Arlequin in Saint Gilles puts the focus on reggae, classical and world music.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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