The European Parliament Hemicycle
The Hemicycle is the vibrant heart of European democracy, where Members of the European Parliament gather during plenary sessions to hold the largest and most important debates. It also provides the setting for historic votes that change the way people live across the European Union.
The visit can take place in any of the European Union’s 24 official languages. Visits are free of charge. Advance booking is required for groups. It is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities.
Individual visitors can visit the Hemicycle with a multimedia guide, join a personalised talk or follow plenary sessions. Visits are available for individuals, families and small groups of up to 9 people. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
During your visit to the Hemicycle you will also have the opportunity to discover the ‘United in diversity art exhibition’ which is part of the European Parliament’s art collection with art works from all Member States. Follow this link to learn more about the art collection.
Visit the Hemicycle at your own pace with a multimedia guide and learn how the European Parliament works. Visits with multimedia guides are available in the 24 official languages of the EU and last around 60 minutes. Please note that multimedia guided visits are not possible during plenary sessions.
Put your questions to one of our speakers as you follow a talk on the work and role of the European Parliament. Hemicycle talks last around 60 minutes and are available in English and French (other languages are subject to availability).
Follow the plenary session
During plenary sessions, a limited number of places are available for individual visitors to follow the session for 30 minutes. Admission depends on the availability of places. Check the visiting times for the dates of plenary sessions in Brussels.
Visits are not possible at weekends and on office closing days or public holidays. In 2023: 02/01, 06-07/04, 10/04, 01/05, 18-19/05, 29/05, 21/07, 14-15/08, 01-02/11, 25-29/12, 02/01/2024.
|Multimedia guides¹||Monday − Thursday||Friday|
|9:00 − 17:00||9:00 − 13:00|
- Last entry 30 minutes before closing time.
Visits of the Hemicycle can be organised for groups of 20 to 80 people and should be booked 2 months in advance. Requests are subject to the availability of rooms and speakers.
Group visits last 1-2 hours and consist of a personalised talk 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. They are available in all 24 European Union languages, from Monday to Friday. 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 not possible at weekends and on office closing days or public holidays.
Group leaders can book a visit by filling in the online request form.
Combined visits to several facilities
Please mention if you want to combine your visit to the Hemicycle with the Parlamentarium and/or the House of Europe History when filling in the reservation request. Advance notice will ensure a smooth visit.
There is a canteen in the visitors area of the Paul-Henri Spaak building, but it is available only to groups by reservation via email@example.com.
For visitors with reduced mobility, the hemicycle visitor facility offers full wheelchair access, and our staff is on hand to provide assistance.
During visits, our staff is 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.
Security and safety are priorities for the European Parliament. For that reason, a number of security measures are in place in and around our buildings. In order to ensure a safe visit for all, we invite you to read and comply with these measures:
- A valid identity document (national ID card or passport) is required to access European Parliament buildings. If you registered in advance and you provided your ID document details, you must bring this same document to the Parliament on the day of your visit.
- 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 national legislation, certain prohibited items may be handed over to the police.
- No trolleys, suitcases, or other large luggage are allowed into the buildings.
- If an access pass has been issued, visitors must visibly wear it whilst in the Parliament buildings.
- Photography and filming are permitted inside the visitor area, but are prohibited in the security area and in the Hemicycle gallery during plenary sessions as well as in restaurants and bars. For more information, please consult the Rules Governing Recordings on the Premises of the European Parliament.
- If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately without running and follow the instructions given by the security staff and evacuation volunteers.
- For any safety emergency, call 85112 from any internal phone.
- Some areas are subject to video surveillance in accordance with the European Parliament Video Protection Policy.
- If you feel unwell, please stay at home and postpone your visit. We will be happy to welcome you back when you are feeling better.
Last update: 08.2023
Brussels-Luxembourg serves the European Parliament
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 Zweig 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.
The nearest stops are Maelbeek and Schuman on lines 1 and 5, and Trone on lines 2 and 6.