Chez moi, c'est près de ma Stella
November 23, 2010 8:53 AM Subscribe
Brussels, Belgium on business for a month. What can I do in the evenings and weekends?
posted by xiaolongbao to travel & transportation around Brussels, Belgium (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am embarking on a month-long trip to Brussels, Belgium from the end of November to mid-December. This will be my second visit lasting a month, and given my failure towards the end of my last trip to find interesting things to fill my time, I turn to Metafilter for some suggestions.
Evenings. I started to go out of my skull in the evenings. I'll work 9-6 or so, but as I don't yet have any outside-work friends in the area, I'm looking for ways to get out and about. My coworkers do take me out from time to time, but I'd like to meet new people, preferably through activities and not bars, because my hearing's not too good and my tolerance not too high. Restaurant suggestions would also be welcome so I can avoid dining chez Carrefour Express and Quick.
My interests: rock climbing, guitar, reading, cycling, and uh, fortunately enough, trying new things. I have books covered, but suggestions on the other fronts are welcome. Specifically:
Guitar. In all likelihood, I won't be bringing my cheap acoustic or less cheap electric guitar with me, as Jet Airways wants $150 each way. Has anyone ever rented a guitar in Brussels? Is craigslist viable in this town? Any suggestions, including music stores to check out, would be greatly appreciated as I love to play.
Climbing. Can anyone suggest climbing gyms or ways to get involved in the local climbing scene? I'm willing to cross borders if need be, but would prefer to explore locally.
Cycling. The weather may not to be too fit for safe cycling, in all likelihood, but has anyone ever rented a bike for a period longer than a day or weekend for a reasonable rate? Where? I see those sweetly cheap Velo bikes everywhere, but apparently I need a Belgian bank account to rent one. I don't think that's a strong possibility for me, but hey, advice on getting one of those is also welcome.
I've seen all the touristy things, and done a trip to Amsterdam, but I'd love suggestions for weekends, too! I know Bruges is mandatory, and I have no idea how I didn't end up there last time :o)
I speak French and basic Dutch, and communication hasn't proved to be a big issue. Feel free to go nuts with off-the-wall suggestions...I'm game.
Last thing: Beer. I know this is a crazy question, but can anyone recommend a Belgian beer that tastes like PBR? Unsurprisingly, I find myself in a lot of situations where drinking is pretty much mandatory, and don't really like any beers but this one (I know, I know), so I'd really appreciate the advice of someone with a higher beer IQ than mine. I can handle the fruit beers, too, (krieks, lambics, what-have-you) but they're way too heavy and sweet for the quantities I'm expected to consume :o)