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non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

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sheffield yorkshire...
posts: 6
reviews: 1
non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

have booked 3 nights in Brussels, but i am 3/4 through chemotherapy and get tired very easily, so want to make it as relaxing as possible, while being able to see as many good things as possible. I'm not interested in lager, nightclubs and anything too energetic are out of the questions, we both like history, art and fun things like comics and odd little museums, but I can't walk too far or uphill much, and I cant do floor after floor of paintings, and we're not rich enough to go everywhere by taxi so will be using trams, buses, metros etc

any suggestions for lazy things to do, things that I don't need to see, what I do need to see in Brussels, and anywhere where its OK to stop and rest for an hour or so without being charged a fortune during the day? am looking up as much as possible, but any suggestions before we go on 22nd May would be very welcome

East Worldham...
posts: 328
reviews: 8
1. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

If there's one thing you should do, take a hop on hop off city bus tour. You get to see the city with a commentary (by headphone usually) and can get off the bus wherever you want. That way you get to relax a bit between visits

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 19,389
reviews: 3
2. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

It would have helped to know where you are staying, but here goes:

You can get a 3-day STIB card for €9 that will allow you to ride around on any STIB tram, bus (except the airport bus) or metro. 1-day ticket if you are doing the HOHO one day (these start outside the Central Station, btw) is €4.

You probably don't want to go inside the Atomium, as although there is a lift to the top and from there, escalators down to some of the spheres, there are only stairs down to the exit. If you go to look at it from the outside, DON'T do it by metro, as at Heysel you have either a longish staircase or an even longer ramp to reach the surface. Do it by 23 (from e.g. Montgomery) or 81 (from e.g. Bourse, De Brouckère, Rogier) tram instead - they both terminate up there, and almost level with the surface.

You also probably don't want to go to any of the Cinquantenaire Museums; unless you arrive on a HOHO bus which drives right into the courtyard between Autoworld and the military museum. The latter is free and also has a lift to the top of the Cinquantenaire Arch, although there is still a final staircase. Otherwise all these museums are a bit of a walk from public transport and there is a large flight of steps up to the Art and History Museum.

If you go to the Musical Instrument Museum, which I highly recommend, try to approach from Place Royale when you can walk down and not up the hill, and before buying a ticket, ask if the lift is working (I have been there when it isn't and they wouldn't let people use the staff lift!): it is best to take the lift to the top - where there is a rooftop café - then work down, that way if there are any lift problems at least you are walking down. If you carry a sectional walking cane this might help staff understand the problem.

There is seating in all the public parks (Parc de Bruxelles, between the Palace and the Parliament, is fairly flat) and some other places like Place de le Monnaie where the opera house is. If you sit in most hotel lobbies (Hilton, Méridien, Plaza..) they will want to serve you something and prices are very high there, so have a good excuse e.g. waiting for someone. The Sheraton at Rogier is an exception, you can lounge around there without being bothered, and also take the escalator up to the restaurant for the toilets (turning left at the top).

In most cafés except perhaps the Grand' Place, the price of a "consommation" (drink, ice cream) buys you about an hour's tolerance although places differ, also depending on how busy they are. If you visit the Manneken Pis, turn your back on the statue and walk down the street ahead of you, on the right is the Cercle des Voyageurs with nice leather armchairs (closed Tuesdays). They are also quite tolerant at the brand new café at the Fine Arts Museum - if you go there there are a few less steps if you go in from Place Royale (walk past the restaurant, bookshop, toilets and ticket desk, into a large hall on the right and then turn left) rather than the main entrance.

Finally, I always recommend Dandoy in rue de l'Etuve - street leading from GP to Manneken Pis - opposite the Amigo Hotel, for the best waffles in Brussels, and if you don't want to climb the staircase to the café there are a few stools at a counter downstairs.

New York City, New...
posts: 378
reviews: 206
3. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

I would also recommend the music museum. Also the Musee des Beaux Arts (literally across the street). Definitely approach from Parc metro as mentioned (a long block away, but Parc Bruxelles is a nice place, plenty of chairs). Le Botanique is free, it's a little garden with some nice flowers, a little bit of an up and down to enter.

Grand Place and Mannequin Pis are probably must sees.

Dandoy's has nice cookies in addition to the waffles.

At MIM (music museum), go to the top and work your way down. There are often concerts included with admission. At Beaux Arts, pick your fave (impressionists, modern art, or Bruegel) and stick to those areas. The museum is bigger than it looks (to me).

Cinq is a nice park, too, I thought.

The STIB card is key. Cheap, and it's good for up to six people, I think. You will also quickly realize that many people cheat on the fare in Brussels.

Depending on what kind of chemo you're on, I would be very careful with seafood. Nothing raw, I would suggest.

Hope this helps...

Bridgewater
posts: 979
reviews: 69
4. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

The nice thing about Brussels for you is that there is quite a lot of interesting things clustered around a relatively small area near Grand Place--all the cafes, interesting buildings of Grand Place, all the chocolate shops, ice cream places and other interesting shops in the streets closely surrounding Grand Place. And right nearby is the Galeries St. Hubert (with fantastic shops and cafe tables) and r. d. bouchers with lots of restaurants. So sitting at a cafe, getting something to drink or light to eat in either Grand Place, G. St. Hubert or R. d. Bouchers is very nice ambience and just interesting to see the people go by without a lot of exertion. The area around Grand Place is quite flat, but I was surprised to see parts of Brussels were quite hilly--around Gare Central and from there to Park de Bruxelles, although close, its a bit of a climb. Also the metro is quite easy to use, although sometimes the stations are a fair distance apart.

Shelton, Washington
posts: 358
reviews: 16
5. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

The Belgian Comic Strip Centre is a a two for one. The building-lovingly restored - is an art nouveau gem built by Victor Horta. It has restaurants to sit when tired and the complete history of comic books to delight you. Just outside of the grand place area on rue des sables. www.cbbd.be

sheffield yorkshire...
posts: 6
reviews: 1
6. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

thanks for everyone's help. sorry would have replied before but been a bit zonked from last treatment - just building up to the trip now. have booked the hop on hop off tour, and passes, and looked up the cartoon trail, and will gladly take your tips on getting round as lazily as possible! still time before tues if there are any more tips...

7. Re: non-tiring places/essential places/places to miss

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