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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in brussels
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in brussels, Bed and Breakfast!
Grand'Place/Grote Markt, Brussels
, Dutch: Brussel
) is the capital of Belgium
and also - unofficially - of the European Union
. Lying at the crossroads of cultures (the Germanic in the north and the Romanic in the South) and playing an important role in Europe
it fits the definition of the so-called "melting pot" but still retains a character of its own.
High-rise and construction in Brussels
The main airport is Zaventem (http://www.brusselsairport.be/), IATA code BRU. There is a train (2.60 ?) running every 15 minutes to Brussels centre taking 25 minutes, and a bus line number 12 and 11 (3 ?) every 20 to 30 minutes to the Schumann (European Parliament (http://www.europarl.eu.int/)) district. A taxi to the centre costs around 20 ? (as of 2004) when booked in advance, otherwise around 30 ?. Taxis bleus: 02 268 0000, Taxi Brussels: 02 411 4142, Taxis verts: 02 349 4343.
There are several budget airlines flying to Charleroi (http://www.charleroi-airport.com/)'s airport (see an updated list here (http://www.flylc.com/to/en/ap-crl.htm)), IATA code CRL, which is an hour away from Brussels by coach (10 ? in 2004) or by bus to Charleroi station and then by train.
Antwerp (http://www.antwerpairport.be/) airport, IATA code ANR, also has a good train connection to Brussels.
The high speed Thalys (http://www.thalys.com/) train connects Brussels with Cologne (2h30), Paris (1h30), Marseille (5h00) and Amsterdam (3h00). There are numerous rebates for travellers under 25 years or those who book two weeks in advance, or during promotions. Prices to Paris are from 50 ? return in advance, to over 150 ? single on the day.
The Eurostar (http://www.eurostar.com) train line links Brussels Midi with Lille (39m from 22 ?), Ashford (Kent) (1h38m from 40 ?) and Waterloo Station, London (2h27m from 40 ?).
Eurolines (http://www.eurolines.be/) (Tel: 02 274.13.50 Fax. 02 201.11.40, Tel UK +44 (0)220.127.116.11.11) offers bus travel from many countries to Brussels, for example 8 hours from London Victoria station at 39 ?.
Gulliver's (http://www.gulliver.de/) (Tel: +49 30 311 0 211) offers bus travel from Germany to many countries, for example 11 hours from Hamburg at 19 ? in advance, 46 ? normal price.
Brussels has 3 metro lines, many buses and some tramways, all run by STIB/MIVB (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/).
A card that can be used for ten rides with public transport costs 10,00 ?.
One hour tickets cost 1,50 ? and are available from the driver. One, five and ten ride tickets are available at almost all metro and train stations, and possibly at newspaper kiosks. You validate the ticket in the orange box on the bus, or at the orange boxes at the metro and tramway stations before entering the platform. The orange boxes time-stamp the ticket, both in ink and magnetically, and it will be valid for one hour. You can interrupt your ride and interchangeably use any STIB/MIVB transport. You should revalidate your ticket for each new ride.
There are also one-day tickets available, for 3,80 ?.
On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays you can take another person with you.
- Home page of the STIB : French (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/FR/01000F.htm) | Dutch (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/NL/01000N.htm)
- Prices : French (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/FR/22000F.htm) | Dutch (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/NL/22000N.htm)
- Track map : French (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/FR/31000F.htm) | Dutch (http://www.stib.irisnet.be/NL/31000N.htm)
Other forms of transport are:
Brussels is a funny mixture of old and new.
- Go see the Grand Place. At night. Awesome. Some evenings a music and light show is provided with the buildings serving as a canvas.
- At the Grand Place, have a "Gauffre Liegoise" (Belgian waffle with caramelized sugar) -- the best ones are available from the little shops off the northeast corner of the Grand Place.
- Manneken Pis: just a short walk from the Grand Place is the Mannekin Pis, a small bronze statue thought to represent the "irreverent spirit" of Brussels. http://www.manneken-pis.com/
- Definitely check out the Arc de Triomphe on the east side of town. It's in the Cinquantenaire Park. Take Metro line 1 east, exit Schumann and walk east or exit Merode and walk west.
- The Atomium (http://www.atomium.be/) and Europe in miniature (http://www.minieurope.com/) are worth a trip. Take Metro line 1A direction Heysel. The Atomium is closed until January of 2006 for renovation work.
- Brave the tourist-trap restaurant gauntlet of the rue des Bouchers.
- See the history of film-making at Musée du Cinéma, it's free to look around, and classic and cult films are shown at low prices. Rue Baron Horta-str., walk from Gare Centrale.
- Musées Royaux d'Art et d'histoire (http://www.kmkg-mrah.be/) The Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts show historical art and modern art in one building. Opening hours: Museum of Historical Art Tues-Sun 10am-noon and 1-5pm; Museum of Modern Art Tue-Sun 10am-1pm and 2-5pm. Address: Rue de la Régence 3, at place Royale, Phone: 02/508-32-11, Prices: 5.00? adults, 2.50? students/seniors/disabled visitors, 1.25? children 12-18, under 12 free. Description: In a vast museum of several buildings, this complex combines the Musée d'Art Ancien and the Musée d'Art Moderne under one roof (connected by a passage). The collection shows off works, most of them Belgian, from the 14th to the 20th century, starting in the historical section, with Hans Memling's portraits from the late 15th century, which are marked by sharp lifelike details, works by Hieronymus Bosch, and Lucas Cranach's Adam and Eve. You should particularly seek out the subsequent rooms featuring Pieter Brueghel, including his Adoration of the Magi. Don't miss his unusual Fall of the Rebel Angels, with grotesque faces and beasts. But don't fear -- many of Brueghel's paintings, like those depicting Flemish village life, are of a less fiery nature. Later artists represented include Rubens, van Dyck, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt. Next door, in a circular building connected to the main entrance, the modern art section has an emphasis on underground works - if only because the museum's eight floors are all below ground level. The collection includes works by van Gogh, Matisse, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Chagall, Miró, and local boys Magritte, Delvaux, De Braekeleer, and Permeke.
- Musée BD (http://www.jije.org/) is located in Europes earliest Shopping-Mall (a shine Jugendstil palais). There is a permanent exposition featuring the early beginning of comics as well as it's development. There is enough room for other varying expositions. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Prices: 6.00? adults, 4.00? students/seniors. The librarie Bd at the ground floor sells many different comics.
- Snapping up a Bargain at the Flea Market. Each day, from 7am to 2pm, the Marché-aux-Puces in place du Jeu de Balle offers everything from the weird to the wonderful at rock-bottom prices.
- Taking a Ferry Trip. The ferry in question is a tiny, electrically operated pontoon that makes a 1-minute crossing to Robinson's Island in the lake at the heart of Bois de la Cambre.
- Shopping at Galeries Royales St-Hubert. The world's first shopping mall, opened in 1847, is a light and airy triple-gallery enclosing boutiques, bookshops, cafés, restaurants, and a theater and cinema.
- FOSDEM (http://www.fosdem.org/) is an annual event of the Free Software / Open Source community. Many renowned speakers talk about their projects. Any attendee may be able to take part of tutorials or to meet lead developers of the many different open source fields (Linux distributions: Debian, Gentoo,..; desktop applications: Gnome, Mozilla, Opengroupware; Programming Languages: Perl, Php, Tcl..). The entrance and attendance are free.
- The Cooperative nouveau cinema (http://www.cnc-cinema.be/) plays the Actors Studio and the Styx. Both cinemas are screening interesting films in their original version with French and Flemish subtitles. Actor's studio, 16 petite rue des bouchers, bruxelles 1000, tel: 025121696. Cinéma Styx, 72 rue de l'Arbre Bénit, 1050 Bruxelles.
- Hydra-breaks (http://hydra-breaks.net/) organises "Next Level" and "Caliente" drum and bass parties at various locations. Next level is a midsize party with international headliners. Caliente is a smaller club night with Belgian DJs.
- Gays and Lesbians may want to check out the Next (http://next-party.be/) parties. They organize a free party bus from Brussels center.
- boups.com (http://boups.com/agenda/) and noctis.com will keep you updated on the coming parties in Brussels and all over Belgium.
- Beer Mania (http://www.beermania.be/) claims to have a stock of over 400 beers.
- Books :
- Comic books and rare books. De Slegte on rue des Grands Carmes, FNAC on rue Neuve.
- Brusel (http://www.brusel.com/), 100 Boulevard Anspach. Right in the center and one of the most up to date store when it comes to contemporary comics.
- Filigrane (http://www.filigranes.be/), largest bookshop in Brussels, open 7 days a week, features a small bar/café inside and quite often live music, located at 39 Avenue des Arts.
- Pele-Mele, Bld.M.Lemonnier, 55 & 59 (Metro "Anneessens") - maze-like, second-hand bookshop with huge selection of used books at bargain prices. Bookworm's paradise! You can't afford to miss it!
- General shopping along rue Neuve with GB supermarket at City 2 accessed from rue Neuve and Metro Rogier.
- Frites! Belgian fries are usually of high quality and served with a choice of sauces, common is "Frites avec Mayonnaise".
- Pig out on Belgian Chocolates. Those devilish little creations--handmade Belgian pralines--are so addictive they should be sold with a government health warning. Try the Wittamer chocolatier in place du Grand Sablon, and eat your fill. Passion Chocolat (http://www.passionchocolat.be/) is a bit out of the way but its artisanal chocolate is worth a visit, & you can taste lots of it for free at the entrance. Pierre Marcolini (http://www.marcolini.be/) in Place Sablon is also worth a visit; the take-away cakes are something special.
- Falstaff (http://www.ebru.be/Restaurants/RstFalstaff.html) has decent food and is open every day until 02:00, around 20-30 Euros. Rue Henri Mausstraat 19 by the Bourse.
- Aux Armes de Bruxelles, 13 rue des Bouchers Telephone +32 25115550. Closed Mondays (as of 2001). Basic honest food. Crowded. From 5 Euros upwards (as of 2001).
- Resto.be (http://www.resto.be/) will help you find almost any restaurant in Belgium, comments and appreciations must not be taken literally.
- Taverne du Passage (http://www.tavernedupassage.com/) is an old-style luxurious restaurant in the Galerie de la reine (see aboves). Tel.: +32 2512 3731
- Léon 1893 (http://chezleon.be/) is in middle of many others Restaurant around de la rue des Bouchers 18 proposing typical Belgium food like moule et frites. Tel: +42 2511 1415
- Insider-Tip: Le Beau Soleil. This very little restaurant (approx. 14 seats) is located in Rue Lebeau 7. The interior looks like a violin workshop, so you sit next to all the tools and half finished violins. Unlike other Belgian restaurants, it is open from 9am to 5pm (Mo-Fr), 9am to 6pm (Sat,Sun), closed on Wednesday. The menu is small, really delicious. (I had the best quiche and cheese cake of my life!). The atmosphere is informal, so do not expect a formal restaurant atmosphere. It is more like being invited by friends. Tel.: 0479420382.
- Les Brassins (http://www.lesbrassins.com/) is located in Ixelles rue Keyenveld 36. It's audience is mostly made out of young couples or students. Rich choice of beer, good quality of food. Tel.: +32 2512 6999
Belgium has a lot to offer for beer lovers.
- Bier Circus (http://www.biercircus.be/) no 89 (moves to no 57 March 2005) , rue de l'Enseignement/Onderrichtstraat, tel: 218-00-34 have an impressive selection of beers.
- A La Becase serves a typical Brussels product this slightly sweetened Lambic beer, white beer based on Lambic, Kiek Lambic and so on. It's entrance is not that easy to find. rue de Tabora 11, Bruxelles 1000, Tel: 02 511 0006.
- BXL Cafe/Bar is a stylish, friendly internet cafe in the center of Brussels. Offering high speed internet access, occasional live music/DJ, latest movies shown on video screens around the bar, regular art exhibitions. Gay friendly space with women's night every Wednesday from 20h00. Open 7/7 12h00>24h00 (Fri/Sat>01h00). Place de la Vieille Halle aux Bles 46, Bruxelles 1000, Tel: 02/502 9980.
- Hostel Jacques Brel (http://www.laj.be/html/en/hostels/brel/aubergesbrel_en01.htm) is centrally located and within walking distance of the Beer Circus.
- The hostel Generation Europe offers beds for budget travelling.
- Hotel A La Grande Cloche - cheap rates, decent rooms, decent location halfway between Gare Du Midi and the Grand Place (about a 10-minute walk to either). Address: 10/12 Place Roupe, 1000 Brussels, price around 70 Euros.
- Hotel Opera is centrally placed on Rue Grétry 53, Brussels. Quoted price of 73 Euros may be negotiated downwards if booking a off-peak weekend or 3 or more days.
- Sofitel Brussels Toison d'Or 1 (http://www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/fichehotel/gb/sof/1071/fiche_hotel.shtml), 40, avenue de la Toison d'Or (subway station Louisa, turn to the right towards the Hilton - it's right across the street), +32 2 5142200 (fax: +32 2 5145744, email: H1071@accor-hotels.com). Open daily 24h. A rather nice Sofitel with good rooms, conveniently located close to the very heart of the city in the fashionable Luisa district. ?99 - ?495 per person per night (breakfast ?25/person - but there is a Quick fast food restaurant right next door).