Brussels Journals

It's not about the Waffles - Brussels

Best of IgoUgo

A March 2005 trip to Brussels by jenandfrank

Stanhope Hotel - Brussels  Photo, Brussels, Belgium More Photos
Quote: A beautiful city with delicious food and a lot more to see than most people would expect.

Stanhope Hotel - Brussels

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Stanhope Hotel - Brussels  Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Hotel Stanhope Brussels - Rue du Commerce 9, Square de Meeûs 4, Brussels, 32-02-506-91-11, http://www.stanhope.be/home.html Located a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, Avenue Louise and five minutes from Central Station, this 95-room hotel typically caters to diplomats during the week. With a simple front entrance and blue awning and a spacious lobby (for a European hotel) that is pristine yet understated. We found the service to be very friendly and helpful--that is, when we could actually find someone. The main problem with this hotel is that during the weekends the staff is cut by 3/4. It’s also fair to mention that this hotel does not have a bell boy or concierge - ever. The front des...Read More

Brussels Dining

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Grand Sablon Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Aux Armes de Bruxelles – Rue des Bouchers 13, Brussels, 32-2-511-55-98, http://www.armebrux.be/ Located in the heart of Old Brussels, steps away from the Grand Place, this family-owned restaurant has been serving Belgium cuisine since 1921. We sat in the Rotunda Room, which is off to the left of the entrance. I liked this room much better because it was away from the door and had a nicer, quieter setting. The front room had mostly booths and was on top of the revolving door. We sat and were served a loaf of bread that was delicious and very fresh – crumbs were everywhere. The menu was also available in English, which was nice because we found that most restaurants here only had menus in French...Read More

Double-Decker Tour Bus - Brussels

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Double Decker Tour Bus - Brussels  Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
To me, this is the best way to see any major city when time is short, Brussels not being any different. For a one-time fee of 16€, we were able to hop on and off either the blue or red double-decker buses. It was great because we were able to get our bearings in the city, and we got some great pictures and learned some facts along the way. As with most of our trip in Belgium, the weather wasn’t great, but the seating on the top deck was covered, and we just made the most of it. There are 12 stops, and if you chose to sit through the entire route, it takes about an hour and a half. The bus departs every 30 minutes from each stop. The tickets are valid for 24 hours from first use (so if you start th...Read More

Ghent

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ghent  Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
The city of Ghent, pronounced "Gent", is the capital town of Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders) province. Many people say it’s the "wanna be" Bruges or the poor sister town to Bruges, but I disagree. I think this town has so many wonderful things to see and is so different from Bruges and Brussels in so many ways. I mean, okay - overall it is not as pretty as Bruges and certainly not as busy as Brussels, but it’s still very nice. We booked a day trip through Viator. Viator is an Internet site that books tours throughout Europe. They don’t actually give any tours. In Brussels, Viator uses De Boeck Tours. They picked us up at our hotel at 9am and drove us to Central Station, where we met a large coach ...Read More

Notes & Thoughts - Brussels

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Grand Place Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
To be perfectly honest, this trip turned out to be much more fun than we were expecting. We didn’t have high expectations. This trip was simply a quick getaway from home. We definitely did not think there was going to be as much to see as there was. Overall, the city is very pretty and filled with lots of old and interesting buildings, similar to the rest of Europe. Ninety percent of the natives here speak French, and the rest speak Flemish. I would say there was a portion who spoke English (as well), but far less than other major cities we have visited, like Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, etc. In addition, generally speaking, most of the menus were in French, with only a few places having an ...Read More

Bruges

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Bruges  Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
We booked a day trip through Viator Tour Company, which included Ghent and Bruges (Brugge). First, a word about Viator. Viator is an Internet booking company. They only book tours; they do not give any. De Boeck is the tour company that is associated with Viator in Brussels. A small van picked us up at our hotel (in Brussels) at 9am and drove us to Central Station, where we met a large coach bus. The whole trip was about 10 hours: 3 hours/transportation, 2 hours/Ghent, and 4 hours/Bruges. In Ghent, the weather was foggy and overcast, yet in Bruges, it cleared up and turned out to be quite a beautiful day. What a lovely, quaint city. It is almost like the land that time forgot - with no modern b...Read More