An April 2000 trip
to Brussels by kimca
Quote: Brussels is famous for it's beer, chocolates and lace-I'm not sure about the lace but the other two make it worth a visit!
The famous Mannekin-Pis-the world famous statue of the peeing boy.
Like every large city, Brussels has its fair share of main shopping streets. Buy gifts for those who didn't get to come to Brussels or just for yourself!
Don't leave without trying a fresh Belgian waffle. You will see stands set up everywhere and the smell will guide you to them.
Take a daytrip to nearby cities such as Ghent or Antwerpen.
The room itself was small with two twin beds. The bathroom was located in the hall and I give the shower pressure two thumbs up.
The annoying part was the strict 10am-4pm lockout. There was one day, we felt like we were going to freeze to death outside and couldn''t come in. The doors lock automatically and you are unable to get in until exactly 4pm. They don''t seem to clean the rooms during the day so I''m not sure what purpose the lockout serves. Make sure you don''t forget anything in your room, you won''t be able to get back in.
You will find a lot of school groups and younger people stay here and often it is pretty noisy when you are trying to sleep.
The breakfast in the morning was cereal and bread, your typical hostel breakfast, which was fine. There is a TV room combination bar area downstairs.
The location is good and central, within walking distance to most sights.
This is one of those weigh the pros and cons kind of place but like I said before it was $30!
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 23, 2001
Rue du Damier, 23 B-1000
32 2 218 50 50
Attraction | "Manneken-Pis"
There are many legends to why the statue is there but noone actually knows what the true story is. He has been stolen on and off through out the years but definately has a home in Brussels.
The Manneken-Pis was naked the day we first saw him and the next day when we went back, he was in a military uniform. Different groups sponser outfits for him and there is a timetable up beside him saying what the next outfit will be and when it will be changed. To see pictures of a collection of his outfits, visit my post on the City Museum of Brussels.
The Manneken-Pis is located on the corner of Stoofstraat/Rue de L'Etuve and the Eikstraat/Rue du Chene.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 23, 2001
Manneken Pis Fountain Sculpture
Rue De L'etuve/Stoofstraat
Brussels, Belgium 1000
Attraction | "City Museum of Brussels/Manneken-Pis Costumes"
The first few floors of the museum were very dull, historical displays laid out like a middle school science fair.
When we finally got to the top floor of where the costumes were located, I was very impressed. There was every costume imaginable from different countries to different sports. They were all in glass cases and very detailed, with a stratagic hole cut out in just the right place.
I enjoyed that part of the museum but don't know if I could say that it was worth the 100 franc admission fee.
City Museum of Brussels
The train ride to Ghent will take you less than an hour and makes a great daytrip.
If you enjoy museums, there is a surplus in Ghent. Everything from the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design to the Museum on the History of Medecine
Walking throught Ghent, you will most likely see what is called the Three Towers of Ghent. The steeples of buildings that make up this view are the Belfort, Saint Baaf Cathedral, Saint Nicholas Church and the Post Office. It is probably Ghent's most photographed sight.
We enjoyed walking through Gravesteen Castle as well. The views from the top of Ghent are outstanding. Inside, you can walk through the rooms as well as view their exhibit on torture through the ages. This isn't extremely graphic but might be a bit much for children.
It is the diamond center of the world and you can visit a variety of diamond musuems, which are basically stores trying to sell you jewellery with a few exhibits.
While we were in Antwerp, we visited the Antwerp Zoo that houses over 4000 animals. It cost us 460 BF each and we spent a few hours looking at everything. We were disappointed we didn't get to see the koalas but the weather was too cold at that point for them.
The Grote Markt in Antwerk is surrounded by the Town Hall and the Houses of the Guilds. It's a nice area to wander around, filled with plenty of little shops to browse through. You will find everything from clothing to windchimes and of course, the standard Belgian waffle vendors.
We actually stayed in Antwerp but I would recommend it more as a day trip. If you are travelling from Brussels, it's less than a hour on the train.
I do want to suggest a great hostel if you do end up staying there. It is small and run by a couple and has 1 double room, 1 four share room and 1 dorm room. It's called the Globetrotters Nest and is located at Vlagstraat 25 in Antwerp. Their phone number is 03 236 9928 and their webpage is located here. Our room had beautiful hardwood floors, a gas fire place, a table, and a bed as well as a futon. They have a kitchen but no fridge and their prices include breakfast.
Victoria, British Columbia