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specifics of getting to places in Brussels

We plan to be in Brussels this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and head to Bruges on Friday. Am I correct that it might be slightly less crowded on a Friday then it would be on the weekend?

I have a couple of things set but everything else is up in the air.

On Thursday, at 2:00 PM, we will be meeting at Les Ateliers des Tanneurs – Rue des Tanneurs-Huidevettersstraat, 58-62 – Bruxelles 1000 Brussel - for a four-hour (electric) bicycle tour. I know it might rain but we will be dressed appropriately

On Saturday, we have two options for a hands-on chocolate class. One is offered at 2:00 PM at Zaabar at Chaussée de Charleroi 125 - 1060 Bruxelles. Alternatively, there is one at Lauren Gebaud's at 11:30 AM at Rue de l'Aqueduc 171 - Waterleidingstraat. Does anyone have an opinion based on quality of class or location as to which would be preferable?

Among the other things we intend to do are the following:
• Daily 10AM tour at the EC Parliament which we could do on any of the days we are in town. I am not sure this is true – I found it at one point but can’t find it now.

• Magritte Museum
• Horta Museum
• Musee des Instruments de Musique
• Grande Place
• Mannekken Pis
• Musee Royaux des Beaux Arts (to see the museum or perhaps for a Saturday evening or Sunday mid-morning musical performance)

Any recommendations you can provide on how to structure the places I want to visit around the stuff that is set (e.g., bike tour, chocolate workshop) would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking for a downloadable commentary walking tour on Art Nouveau in the Saint Gilles area. Does anyone know if this exists?

Finally, if you have any recommendations for restaurants that are not super-expensive but good, I would appreciate that information too.

Posted by
4684 posts

Both those chocolate places are a little way south of the city centre, so you would probably be best to get a tram. I haven't been to the classes, but they are good producers.

The Horta museum is in the same area as the chocolate places, so it would be good to do that before or after. I highly recommend it, you can see the house Horta built for himself complete with personally-designed radiators.

There are two "Magritte Museums". One is actually within the Musee des Beaux Arts, and covered by that. The other is in Magritte's former home in Jette and has less of his works on display, but is more about his life. It's interesting if you are a fan, but if you only have a mild interest in him it's a bit too long a journey imo.

I haven't been to Brussels for a couple of years (planning to go back next year), but I enjoyed the restaurants La Grande Porte in the Marolles and Le Pre Sale near St Catherines.

Posted by
14067 posts

I am not an expert on Brussels but from my visit in June I recommend Grand Place and Mannekin Pis early in the AM. We were staying in the Ibis off Grand Place so had gone in late afternoon when there were tons of tour groups. The next AM around 7 we strolled thru looking for breakfast and enjoyed having it to ourselves along with the guy setting up his flower stall and the delivery trucks.

It looks like sunrise is around 8 and you may not have as many tourists this time of year but I would still say early at least once if that is convenient to where you are staying.

Posted by
11 posts

mbarbanell did you do one of the chocolate classes? How was it. I am going to Brussels this summer and I have a teen that would be thrilled to take a class.

Posted by
2 posts

We did do a chocolate class. We went to Zabars Chocolate Workshop : Chaussée de Charleroi 125 - 1060 Bruxelles. It was fun. They actually make the chocolate but you get to form it into different things. It was only an hour or so but it was a good time. Zabar's is near the Horta Museum which was also cool. We also looked at Brussels Chocolate Workshop & tour (4 Hours) – 9 AM from Grand Place (offered Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)
It might be worth finding out more about that.

Posted by
8293 posts

Prepare to be totally underwhelmed by Mannekin Pis. It has to be the most disappointing attraction In the whole of Europe.