Brussels hosts the main offices of the Members of the European Parliament. A visit to the Hemicycle is a great way to soak up the exciting atmosphere of the world’s largest transnational parliament and find out about its powers and role.
The Hemicycle can seat all 751 Members of the European Parliament. During plenary sessions it is used for Parliament’s largest and most important debates, providing the setting for many historic votes. Visits are organised for both individuals and groups free of charge.
Individual visitors use an interactive multimedia guide that provides video and audio commentary during their visit to the Hemicycle. Visits are available for individuals, families and small groups of up to 10 people. There is no age limit, although children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
The multimedia guides are available in all 24 official languages of the European Union; the visit lasts around 30 minutes. Advance booking is not necessary, but an identity document (ID card or passport) must be shown.
Our staff members are also available to respond to your questions and give a more personalised briefing. Briefings take place on Mondays at 10.00 and 15.00 and are held in English or French (other languages depend on availability of speakers). In July and August, briefings take place at 10.00, 11.00, 14.00 and 15.00 from Monday to Thursday and at 10.00 and 11.00 on Friday.
Visitors should arrive at the visitors’ entrance of the Paul-Henri Spaak building 15 minutes before the start of the visit.
Admission times are shown in the table on the right.
During plenary sessions, a very limited number of places are available for individual visitors to follow the session for an hour. Admission depends on the availability of places. An identity document is required, and visitors must be at least 14 years old.
To attend a plenary session, come to the visitors’ entrance at the following times:
Wednesday: 15.00 – 17.30
Thursday: 9.00 − 12.00
Check the calendar on the right for the dates of plenary sessions in Brussels.
Visits of the Hemicycle can be organised for groups of 10 to 50 people (larger groups can be accommodated on request) and must be booked 2-3 months in advance. Requests are subject to the availability of rooms and speakers.
Group visits last 1-2 hours and consist of a briefing by a staff member on the role and powers of the European Parliament, a question-and-answer session and a visit to the Hemicycle gallery. Depending on the European Parliament’s calendar, groups may also be able to follow the plenary session from the gallery for an hour.
Visits are conducted in all 24 official languages of the European Union and take place from Monday to Friday.
Visitors must be at least 14 years old (children under 14 may visit with prior authorisation). Group leaders can book a visit by filling in the online request form.
Visitors to the Hemicycle can also see parts of the European Parliament Art Collection.
This collection is made up of 387 works of modern art from around the European Union, with a focus on promising young artists. The European Parliament has also accepted more than 120 donations, and regularly houses loans.
The European Parliament has a new welcome point in Rue d’Ardenne. The Atrium is the ideal place to get your bearings and take a moment to relax before visiting the Hemicycle, the Parlamentarium or the House of European History.
A valid identity document (ID card or passport) is required to access European Parliament buildings.
All visitors and bags are subject to airport-style security checks before entry. Firearms, explosive or inflammable substances, pepper sprays, sharp items and other objects that could be considered weapons are prohibited. In accordance with Belgian national legislation, certain prohibited items may be handed over to the police.
Photography and filming are permitted inside the visitors’ area, but are prohibited in the security area and in the Hemicycle gallery during plenary sessions.
The European Parliament is committed to constantly improving access for people with special needs. All our facilities and activities are fully accessible for visitors with reduced mobility and special needs, including wheelchair users.
During visits, our staff are happy to work with sign-language interpreters. It is up to group leaders to arrange for the services of such interpreters.Should you require special assistance, please notify us in advance.
There is a canteen in the Paul-Henri Spaak building, but it is available only to groups by reservation. The Parlamentarium has a gift shop and a café with a selection of refreshing drinks and tasty snacks.
Multimedia guided visits are not possible at weekends, during Brussels plenary sessions and on office closing days or public holidays (in 2017: 2/1, 1/2, 2/2, 1/3, 2/3, 13/4, 14/4, 17/4, 26/4, 27/4, 1/5, 9/5, 25/5, 26/5, 31/5, 1/6, 5/6).
BRIEFING AND HEMICYCLE VISITS
Paul Henri Spaak building
Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
Lines 22, 27, 34, 38, 64, 80 and 95 all stop at the European Parliament.
Lines 12 and 21 also connect to Brussels Airport.
The nearest stops are Maelbeek and Schuman on lines 1 and 5, and Trone on lines 2 and 6.
The Atrium entrance in Rue D'Ardenne allows for pick-up and drop-off by bus and for visitors to get their bearings before starting the visit.
Admission is free of charge
Booking is only required for group visits. We recommend that you apply for a visit 2-3 months in advance.