Brussels

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Belgium

Brussels is the capital of Belgium. Brussels Capital Region consists of 19 independent municipalities (like Brussels-city, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek and Anderlecht,...) The population is about a million people. It's officially bilangual (french & dutch), but you'll hear everything!

Transport

Find info on hitchhiking at Hitchwiki.

Vilo! bicycle system

There's a Villo bicycle system. There are plenty of stations all around the city and it's a fast, cheap and nice way of getting around the city. You can sign up for it on almost every station. Sometimes a card reader on a station doesn't work, then just try another one. To use it you need a subscription, a 24 hour one is 1,60 and a 7 day one is around 7 Euro. With this subscription you can take out from any station, the fist 30 minutes of each ride are always free and then they starting charging you. However you can just return your bike after 29 minutes and take out another one and don't pay for the trip.

Unfortunately you need a credit card to sign up for it.

Public transport in Brussels

A single ticket is 2,10 if you buy it on the machine and 2,50 if you buy it inside the tram or bus. If you stay longer in Brussels it makes sense to get a MOBIB card (5€), this is a reusable card and you can get 10 ride for only 13 Euro.

Most metro and some tram station use a barrier system which makes blackriding very hard. Buses and trams can be blackriden fairly easy though. Controls do happen but are not frequent. If you have a phone connected to the internet, you can check for controls on the website controlestib.be.

Companies


Accommodation

Find info on hosp ex at Couchwiki.

Expensive.

The BXL a louer group on Facebook is useful for finding sublets. So is the float or room in Brussels group on CouchSurfing.

Meet fellow travellers on hospitality exchange networks: Trustroots, BeWelcome


Food

Find info on dumpster diving at Trashwiki.

A lot of snack places and supermarkets. Also many late night corner stores.

Tâble d'Hôtes

There are several locations organizing community/peoples kitchens. The term for it in French is 'Tâble d'hôtes':

Every Saturday from 18h you can get a tasty vegetarian dish for free contribution at Allee Du Kaai, Avenue du Port 53, 1000 Bruxelles. This is their website: http://toestand.be/en/alleedukaai/activiteiten/ Allee du Kaai is the result of a concept which makes the abandoned buildings along the Canal a meeting place for social and creative projects and activities, for a temporary time (in 2018 they have to leave!). Barlok is one of the buildings ('hangars') where they organise concerts, they have a hacklab, artist residences and a freeshop. More infos on their website barlok.be (in french). Magasin4 is a concert venue in another 'hangar'. See program: magasin4.be

On some days they serve a vegetarian meal in the underground bar of Cinema Nova: look for 'Table d'hôte' on their program. Website: http://www.nova-cinema.org The cinema is almost completely run by volunteers. There is a very friendly atmosphere, interesting screenings and festivals, sometimes little exhibitions and concerts, and downstairs healthy juices and good beers. I think the meal is 5euros. And there is more for lovers of cinema: Cinematek has a huge film archive, including silent films with live piano. Furthermore there is: Actor's studio, Cinema Aventure and Cinema Galleries with quality film but for full price All 5 cinemas are in the city center!

Markets

There are markets on several days of the week in several parts of the city.

  • On Sunday there is the great Marché du Midi, if you go there around 1-2pm they will start closing and prices are very cheap then! They often also throw away some ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • Friday-Saturday-Sunday there is a big fresh market in the former cattle market and slaughterhouse, so address is Abattoir d' Anderlecht, and closes around 2pm. At Sunday closing time they throw away a lot of ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • If you are interested in local and organic fresh markets, there is a tiny one at Place St.-Catherine on Wednesday mornings and a good one is Marché bio des Tanneurs, in a building, Rue des Tanneurs 60, open in the afternoon, closed on Mondays.
  • On Thursday there is a fresh market in Molenbeek, Parvis de Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Place Communale Molenbeek, market closes around 1pm.
  • On Place Flagey there is a market Saturday morning, it's somewhat more on the pricey side though.

Free lunch

If you want to get some free food around lunch you can go the either one of the big two universities in the south-eastern part of Brussels. The French speaking ULB (Université libre de Bruxelles) in Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50, Ixelles or the Dutch speaking VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) in Boulevard de la Plaine 2, Etterbeek. Ask for the restaurant and take a seat and look for people not finishing their plates and their ask them if you can have their leftovers or take it from the trolleys. User guee_no is having lunch like this often. The VUB restaurant is way better to do skipping and the food is much better there too. Watch out for people working in the restaurant, they will yell at you if they catch you.

Dumpster diving

see Trashwiki and dumpstermap.org


Internet connectivity

Hackerspaces around Brussels.

A lot of FON wifi spots.

  • Café Belga, Place Flagey, password: mojitomojito

Most cafés have wifi now

Busking

You need a permission. Musicians have to go to an audition. You can play just in the even hours between 10am and 9pm. There is no busking allowed at the Grande-Place/Grote Markt. Police send you away, but around I never had problems. (no music)


Travel destinations

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