Solys Hotel

Boulevard du midi 81-82, Brussels, 1000, Belgium
Solys Hotel
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28%

Satisfaction Terrible
Excellent
4%
1
Very Good
8%
2
Average
16%
4
Poor
25%
6
Terrible
45%
11

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  • Business14

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Forum Posts

Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by Sonia123

Hi guys

This is my very first post. Me and my friend are backpacking around Europe for 2.5 weeks from july 19- to aug 6. I am starting my trip from Brussels- I will be there from 10am to 7pm. Then i am moving onto Amsterdam by evening. I am big war history junkie so I want to go to Bruges to go check out the WWI battlefields. My question is: since i am only in brussels for 9 hrs should I just catch a train to Bruges and visit the sites myself OR should i sign up for a day tour (which cost around 50 euros)? Which one would you guys suggest?

Thank you

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by hawkhead

You will have to do a day tour, as you won't have enough time to do the same tour by yourself. Once you arrive in Bruges you would then have to get yourself around to the various sites. I am just wondering if you have to go to Bruges to 'catch' the tour? If so, then you will have to find a shorter tour, as most of them are for the full day and start around 9.00 and end around 18.00.

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by leics

Welcome to VT!

Yes, I agree. You won't have time to visit the sites from Brussels by yourself. I'm not sure if you'll find a tour starting after 10am.

There are no specific WWl sites in Brugge and the battlefields are really quite some distance away.

You could get the train to Ypres and visit the Menin Gate and the superb 'In Flanders' Fields' museum. The journey from Brussels Central takes around 1h 45m, with some direct departures.

Train times, details and info in English here:

http://www.b-rail.be/main/E/

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by Sonia123

Thanks you guys. You guys have been very helpful. I guess i will sign with a day tour group.

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by Saar123

Being a war history fan, you do not need to go to Bruges, but indeed to Ypres.
In the few hours you have, it will not be possible.
So if possible, I would advise you to book some extra time in belgium.
There is a great first world war museum in Ypres, and in the villages around, there are many, many authentic war-semataries. The most famous one is Tyn Cot in Passendale
If you would go there, try to combine it with a visit to the "Meense poort", where they every night "do" the "Last Post", a genuine tribute for the casualties during the war. I think it's at 20h.

www.inflandersfields.be

to visit the cemetries, you will need a car ( or maybe book a tour, but do not know if this is possible. Check the site

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by leics

I agree entirely about Ypres and the museum. That's why I suggested it earlier in the thread.

It would certainly be my choice in the OP's situation, unless it is possible to find a tour leaving after 10am.

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by fietslogies

Should I book a tour? Rather a silly question for someone who's backpacking. Get yourself a printed guide for about 15 euro, read it and choose the things you'd like to see.

E.g.: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bruges-Insight-Compact-Guide-Guides/dp/9814137421

And by the way, there's so much history in our country, I can't really understand why you will spend only 9 hours in it.

Re: Should i tour Bruges by myself OR sign my with a tour group?

by leics

The OP is thinking of a tour of the battlefields from Brussels, I think, rather than of Brugge itself.

But I agree that 9 hours is far too little for Belgium.....or even Brussels.

Travel Tips for Brussels

Manneken Pis (the famous little boy statue)

by Elainehead

This statue is probably outrageous to some people but he seems to entertain a lot of tourists in Brussels and makes a lot of souvenirs shops richer and richer every day!

Address: On the corner of Rue de L'Etuve and Rue du Chêne.

Check my travelogues for more photos.

More info about this little boy:
http://www.mannekenpis.be

SAY "FRITES" NOT "FRIES".

by breughel

When visiting Brussels try to be kind with the natives. We are a bit depressive as we don't know if our country will still exist at the end of this year.
So avoid upsetting genuine Brusseleirs like me by writing here repeatedly about "fries" or worse 'French fries".
The "frites" (in French) "fritten or frieten" (in Flemish) originate from Belgium. All most serious historical, gastronomical studies agree on this. "French fries" are fake products; they are an infringement of Belgian proprietary rights!
By the way, have you ever heard a Frenchman use the term "French fries" "Frites Françaises"? The French, although well known for their chauvinism, recognize that Belgium is the champion of the frites. In France the nickname for Belgians is … "frites"!

This being said and understood I will explain here how we Belgians prepare our FRITES-FRIETEN.
Potatoes should be of the "Bintje" type. This species exists since a century and was developed in the north of the Netherlands (Friesland).
There are two possibilities for frying: in ox fat ("blanc de boeuf" "ossewit") or in groundnut ("arachide") oil. The (white) ox fat is generally used in the shops and restaurants. The oil is often used at home (can be filtered when cold). It is essential to renew frequently the fat or oil in order to avoid the occurrence of carbonised particles and the chemical degradation of the fat or oil by the heating at high temperature. In Belgium there is a regulation concerning the choice and use of the frying fat. A two phase process at different temperatures is essential. A first cooking at a fat or oil temperature of 150°-160 C for some minutes. This first stage takes the water out of the potato, then immersion at a higher temperature of 180-190°C to get the frites crusty.
Is that enough to have good frites? Absolutely not! Belgian expertise is needed otherwise you have french fries, english chips, american, spanish, italian, greek more or less fried potatoes but no "frites".

You might want to consider...

by Pegasus74

You might want to consider getting a un jour travel card to visit the many more attractions in Laeken and the Heysel Plateau regions, located north-west of the city center. Particularly the Atomium, a 102m high outsized model of an iron molecule, which was intended to symbolize the potential of the country's industry. And the next door Mini-Europe theme park which displays the important landmarks of the 15 EU countries in miniature. (The EU is currently made up of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Greece.) There are some other interesting places in the vicinity which I had not got the time to visit. The Royal Greenhouses, Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower to name a few.

A beautiful evening at Grande Place

by sabsi

We were sitting outside a cafe on Grande Place on a saturday night when the lights went out and music started. The illumination of the flowers of the Tapis des Fleurs took place and it was an atmosphere to die for. A hot summer night, a cold drink, beautiful music and lights....

Brussels, Apr.25-May 3 or same period each year?

by Norali

Between April 25 and May 3, 2003:

If you plan to visit (return to) Brussels during Apri. 25 - May 3 2003, this is the time to see the festival as it's only held once a year, seemingly at the same period... so ...

Take a time to assist Brussels European Film Festival at Flagey. Presented films are European indie ones: first and second European directors' releases. Also for 2003 edition: an ode to Jacques Brel (Belgian artist and especially known as a great singer), by showing his first director film: Franz.

Apart from the film festival, the building itself is worthseeing. It also "hosts" the Belga café, one of hypest spots in Brussels nowadays. Besides, it is nicely located, across Etangs d'Ixelles (or Ixelles ponds).

The boat-shaped building is also called "Le Paquebot" and hosted Belgium National Radios and Televisions for decades. It is now designed for Culture, Music, Film making, Artists where they may record, reside in many studios... Concerts, shows also take place there.

+32 2 6411020
www.flagey.be

or +32 2 5333420
http://www.fffb.be/

NB: Picture taken by Thierry Willemsens Great and outstanding architecture. Brussels is known for its architects, Art Nouveau style and other COBRA's. Le Paquebot (the Big boat) is another monument in Belgian heritage. It is now involved in supporting and promoting artistic creation... that is not a bad stuff!

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 Solys Hotel

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Solys Hotel Brussels

Address: Boulevard du midi 81-82, Brussels, 1000, Belgium