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Originally developed on the historic trade route from Cologne to Bruges, Brussels is still easy to reach over land from just about any Western European city. Amsterdam, Paris, London and Cologne are all 3 hours or less by (high-speed) train. This convenient location, and the fact that a lot of hotels lower their prices between Friday and Sunday, make Brussels especially popular as a weekend getaway.
The statue of Manneken Pis that we see today was placed in 1619, and crafted by Jerome Duquesnoy. It replaced a statue that had stood on the same place, with a similar statue that was made of stone, and that had stood there since the middle ages. The statue was stolen no less than 7 times, during the years. On some days the little guy is peeing beer! that is served to the people that are passing. Another custom is to dress up the little guy. He has collected an impressive wardrobe during the years. The statue can be found on the crossing of the Stoofstraat and the Eikstraat (or in French: Rue de l'Étuve and Rue du Chêne). Since 1987 there is also a female counterpart, called Jeanneke Pis.
The most popular time to visit Brussels is between May and September when weather is at its' best. Temperatures are generally around 22 °C during the day from June to August and nights around 15 °C. Like most of the European capitals, this is also the busiest time of the year so booking in advance is recommended, especially during July and August. The winter months are a much quieter time to visit Brussels, but you will have to come prepared for colder conditions with temperatures just around zero. Snow is possible but not really common. Most of Brussels' rain falls during these months as well, though summers can see heavy rainshowers after hot conditions during the day.
|Avg Max||5.6 °C||6.4 °C||9.9 °C||13.1 °C||17.7 °C||20 °C||22.4 °C||22.5 °C||18.7 °C||14.4 °C||9.1 °C||6.5 °C|
|Avg Min||0.7 °C||0.6 °C||2.9 °C||4.8 °C||8.9 °C||11.5 °C||13.6 °C||13.4 °C||10.8 °C||7.6 °C||3.7 °C||1.9 °C|
|Rainfall||71.2 mm||53 mm||72.9 mm||53.8 mm||69.5 mm||77.6 mm||69.1 mm||63.7 mm||63 mm||68.1 mm||79.4 mm||79 mm|
Brussels International airport (BRU), located 11 kilometres from Brussels in Zaventem, is to the northeast of Brussels. The airport is well served by a number of airlines with flights across Europe and internationally.
To/from the airport
The second major airport is Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL), which is used primarily for Ryanair, and WizzAir flights, although in summer also other charters leave from this airport, which is actually nearer to Charleroi than Brussels. There are however buses going in a frequency of about once every 30 minutes to and from the airport, and to and from the Brussel-Zuid train station. For a complete shedule, check the website of the Airport.
To/from the airport
Brussels has multiple rail stations serving destinations across Europe. Brussels has three main train stations. Brussels South (Bruxelles Midi-Brussel Zuid, often referred to by English speakers as Brussels Midi) is in the south of the on Metro line 2. This station is the primary stop for high-speed trains from France, Amsterdam and England. The other two main stations are Brussels Central (Bruxelles Central-Brussel Centraal), which is right next to the city centre, and Brussels North (Bruxelles Nord/Brussel Noord), near Place Rogier. Brussels Luxembourg station, near the European Parliament has services to Luxembourg and Switzerland, though these trains can be caught at Brussels Midi station as well.
For travelling to and from London check the Eurostar website for details, including connections to Paris. A Eurostar ticket is valid to any Belgian train station at no additional cost if travelling within 24 hours of your Eurostar trip.
The Thalys has connections to Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne. From Brussels with the TGV you can travel further south to Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Nice, some of them directly. Sometimes it is cheaper to go to Lille first, and connect there to the TGV southwards.
Brussels public transport is run by MIVB/STIB. Brussels has 6 metro lines, as well as an extensive tram and bus network. The tram network runs underground through the centre of Brussels.
Fares are €1.70 (purchased from a machine) or €2 (purchased on the transit vehicle), you can get a JUMP ticket, allowing you 1 journey on the STIB metro, bus and tram network and also travel on the intra-city portions of the commuter trains run by DE LIJN and TEC and SNCB in Brussels. The Jump fares also exclude the special fares for the NATO-Brussels Airport section of lines 12 and 21 and the Noctis night network. Discounts can be had by purchasing multiple tickets at once. Note that in general the machines at metro and tram stops only take coins, and don't take credit or debit cards from outside Belgium.
Single day passes cost €4.50, and 3 day passes cost €9.50. Both passes exclude the airport line and the night buses. The airport line fares are €3 for a single journey purchased outside transit vehicle in advance or 4,00 € if purchased on the bus. Tickets for the night buses are €3.
Check the MIVB?STIB website for more information with a journey planner, maps and timetables.
Most of the sights are located close to the Grand Palace, and are easy to walk to. The European Parliament is close to the Trône/Troon or Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro stops.
Definitely try some Belgian beers! For example check the Beerparadise website.
|2GO4 Quality Hostel||Emile Jacqmainlaan 99||Hostel||84|
|Albert Inn||176 Avenue Albert||guesthouse||89|
|Aparthotel Wellington||154 Chaussee de Vleurgat||Hotel||-|
|Beau Site||76, rue de la Longue Haie 1000||Hotel||81|
|Brussels Hello Hostel||Rue de l'Armistice 1||Hostel||79|
|Brussels Royotel||312 Rue Royale 1210 Brussels||Hotel||75|
|Génération Europe Youth Hostel||Rue de l'Eléphant 4||HOSTEL||79|
|Gîte d'Etape - Youth Hostel Jacques Brel||Rue de la Sablonnière 30||HOSTEL||82|
|Hostel Grand Place||Haringstraat 6-8||Hostel||85|
|Belmont Hotel||Boulevard d'anvers 10||HOTEL||78|
|Hotel de France||Boulevard Jamar, 21-23||Hotel||74|
|Hotel des Colonies||8 Rue des Croisade||Hotel||-|
|Hotel du Congres||rue du congres 38/42||Hotel||79|
|Hotel Francois||Rue Borgval, 15||HOTEL||69|
|Hotel La Madeleine||Rue de la Montagne 20-22 1000 Brussels||Hotel||72|
|Hotel Manhattan||Boulevard Adolphe Max, 132-140||hotel||67|
|Hotel Mirabeau||18 Place Fontainas||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Mozart||23 rue Marche aux Fromages||HOTEL||78|
|Hotel Opera||Rue Gretry 53 1000 Brussels||Hotel||79|
|Hotel Queen Anne||Boulevard Emile Jacqmain 110 1000||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Sabina **||Rue du nord, 78||Hotel||79|
|Hotel Saint Nicolas||Marche aux Poulets 32||Hotel||78|
|Hotel the Moon||Rue de la Montagne 4 BIS||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Van Belle||39 Chaussée de Mons||Hotel||66|
|La Vieille Lanterne||29 rue des grands carmes||Hotel||80|
|Le Frederiksborg||Avenue Broustin 118||hotel||84|
|Monty Small Design Hotel||101 Boulevard Brand Whitloc 1200 Brussels||Hotel||83|
|New Prince de Liege Hotel||Chaussee de Ninove 664||Hotel||-|
|Residence les Ecrins||Rue du Rouleau 15 B-1000 Brussels||Hotel||85|
|Sleephere||82 rue de la Source (Saint-Gilles) 1060||Hostel||88|
|Sun Hotel||Rue du Berger, 38||Hotel||78|
|The Progress Hotel||9 rue du progres||hotel||-|
|Vanderstraeten-Bryxis||Beigemsesteenweg 320 BEIGEN-Grimbergen||Guesthouse||79|
|Welcome to my Place||Place Quetelet 1||Guesthouse||-|
|Youth Hostel Van Gogh (Chab)||rue Traversiere 8 1210 Bruxelles||Hostel||74|
|Scandinavia Hotel||Chaussee de Mons 115-117||Hotel||-|
|Hotel L'Auberge du Souverain||Avenue de la Fauconnerie, 1-5||Hotel||77|
|Bed & Breakfast Valentine||Av. Georges Eekhoud 5 Brussels||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Housingbrussels Hotel||Louis Scutenairestraat 3||Hotel||78|
|Auberge des 3 Fontaines||Chaussée de Wavre 2057||Hostel||76|
|B&B La CalmbreMidi||Zuidlaan 41 bus 2||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Scandinavia||115 Chaussée de Mons Anderlecht||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Auberge Van Strombeek||Temselaan 6 Strombeek-Bever||Hotel||77|
|Le Lys d'Or||96 Avenue Henri Jaspar||Guesthouse||79|
|Studio Rempart||1 and 2, 9 Rue du Rempart des Moines||Apartment||-|
|Studio 3 Rempart du Sablon||17 rue de Rollebeek 1000 Brussels Belgium||Apartment||-|
|B&B Terre Neuve||Rue Terre-Neuve 30 1000 Brussels||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Villa Zarin||53 Rue D'Anderlecht||Guesthouse||-|
|B3 GuestHouse||75 Rue d'andennne 1060 Bruxelles||Guesthouse||79|
|Hotel 322 Lambermont||Boulevard Lambermont 322||HOTEL||-|
|Ambiorix B&B in Brussels EU Quarter||88 rue Van Campenhout||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Studio 45||Rue des Drapiers 45||APARTMENT||-|
|IZAN Avenue Louise||RUE BLANCHE N 4||Hotel||83|
|The Theater Hotel Brussels||Rue Van Gaver 23||HOTEL||79|
|Hotel Cafe Pacific||57, rue Antoine Dansaert / B-1000||HOTEL||77|
|Villa delle Ortensie||Chaussée de Gand 324||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|SOUBAN||Avenue de Tervueren 171||APARTMENT||-|
|B&B Phileas Fogg||Van Bemmelstraat 6 Brussels||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Brokantie||Korte Kamstraat 32 Roosdaal, Pamel||APARTMENT||-|
|Sablon Antiques||Place du Grand Sablon 44 Brussels Center||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel De Fierlant||rue de Fierlant 67||HOTEL||79|
|Hotel Continental||Place de la constitution 18-B||Hotel||79|
|Sleep Well||23 rue Damier 1000 Brussels||HOSTEL||-|
|Pantone Hotel||1 PLACE LOIX||Hotel||-|
|MEININGER Brussels City Center||Quai du Hainut / Henegouwenkaai 33 1080 Brussels||HOSTEL||85|
|A Taste of Belgium||Rue Nestor de Tiere, 17||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|RentByNight||Rue des bouchers 61||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Auberge Autrichienne||Avenue Stalingrad 122,||HOTEL||77|
|Hotel Iris Aubepine||Rue de Rochefort 27||HOTEL||-|
|Shelter Studio||Pallieterweidestraat 69 1501 Buizingen||HOTEL||-|
|Appart Anspach||Boulevard Anspach 145 Bruxelles||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Phenix||Chaussée de Ninove 685 Anderlecht||HOTEL||78|
|Hotel Les Bluets||124 Rue Berckmans||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Internet is widely available in Belgium, but internet cafés are not common, because most people have internet access at home or through wifi. There are multiple internet access points in all cities and it is free in most libraries. Also in multiple gas stations, train stations and diners on the highways there is Wi-Fi available. Many cafés offer free Wi-Fi nowadays and if you can't find any you can always fall back on Quick or McDonalds which both offer free Wi-Fi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Belgium is: + 32. To make an international call from Belgium, the code is 00.
Belgium has a modern telephone system with nationwide cellular telephone coverage. Belgium uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are three main companies (Proximus, Mobistar and Base, and a large number of MVNOs) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free. You can get sim cards for the three main companies in dedicated phone shops. Sim cards from the MVNOs are readily available at supermarkets (Carrefour, Aldi, Colruyt to name a few all have their own brand). All networks provide UMTS and HSDPA (3G) mobile internet coverage, and are rolling out a 4G network, mainly in the big cities and eventually in the whole country.
De Post is the national postal service of Belgium, with Dutch, French and German versions. They offer generally fast, reliable services. It's a relatively expensive service though, with normal domestic post (cards, letters etc) up to 50 grams costing €0.61. To other European countries it costs €1.03 and outside Europe it's €1.34. At the post offices, you can buy stamps and they have other services as well, including international money transfers. The opening times of post offices are 9:00am or 10:00am until 4:00pm or 5:00pm, depending on whether it's the main central one or a smaller branch or in towns. Some of them might be open on Saturday mornings, and remember that quite a few still close for lunch break! De Post also offers the sending of parcels, but you could also use private international companies like UPS, TNT or DHL, as they offer roughly the same services and prices, but are generally faster.
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