Guidebook Updates for Belgium

When we learn of important changes to the information in our guidebooks on Belgium, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Antwerp

For books printed before June 2013, the following may also apply:

  • The numbering system for the Antwerp trams has changed. When arriving at Antwerp's Central Station, follow the Metro signs and take underground lines #3, #9, or #15 in the direction of Linkeroever; get off at the Groenplaats stop for the historic city center. Purchase a ticket from the machines on the tram platform.
  • The Diamond Museum (Diamantmuseum) near the train station has closed.

Bruges

  • The Church of Our Lady is undergoing a major, years-long renovation, during which different parts of the interior will be closed to visitors.
  • The Lace Center is now located across from the Folklore Museum, at Balstraat 16.
For books printed before August 2014, the following may apply:
  • We’re sad to report the death of our friend and local guide Christian Scharlé. His wife Daniëlle Janssens continues to offer tours of Bruges.
  • Hotel B (also formerly Hotel Nicolas) is now called Hotel Marcel; its new email address is info@hotelmarcel.be (its phone number remains the same).
  • Royal Stewart B&B has reopened under new ownership as Hamiltons B&B, with two luxury suites (D/Db-€110, this price valid when you book direct and mention Rick Steves, cash preferred, mobile 0479-445-134, nicola@hamiltons.be).
  • Hotel Imperial has been renamed Hotel Blabla — really (info@hotelblabla.com; phone number remains the same).
  • The Laurenzino gelato shop has been renamed "Oyya," with the same management and same lineup of deliciousness.
  • The Canal Festival (Reiefeest) isn’t happening in 2014; it happens every five years, with the next festival planned for 2018.
For books printed before June 2013, the following may also apply:
  • The buses serving the center from the train station have changed numbers: Buses from the station to the Markt are now #1, #3, #4, #6, #11, #13, #14, and #16. On-board fares are now €2.
  • The city’s Museumpas now costs €20 (still valid for any 5 museums in 3 days).
  • The Begijnhof now closes in the evening (open daily 6:30–18:30).
  • The correct email for the lovely folks at Gastenhuis Sint-Andriescruyse is luc.cloet@telenet.be (without the second U). Also, in some copies of Rick Steves’ Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels, 8th edition, the map on page 392 incorrectly shows the B&B’s location; the dot for it (#13) should be farther south, near the K in "Verversdijk."
  • Hotel Cavilier’s triple rooms are now €90 if you book direct.
  • Bistro de Bekoring restaurant, near Minnewater, has closed.

Brussels

  • The Royal Museum for Central Africa is closed for renovation until mid-2017.
  • Bruegel Hostel is incorrectly placed on the map on page 511 of the ninth edition of Rick Steves Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels. It is located directly behind the Chapelle church, at Rue du Saint-Esprit 2.

For books printed before June 2013, the following may also apply:

  • The city's tourist information offices no longer book rooms at a discount for individual tourists. They are happy to recommend hotels, but visitors need to book direct for their accommodations.
  • Bus #95, which connects the city center to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and the European Parliament, no longer stops at the Bourse. The most convenient downtown stop is called "Plattesteen" and is located on Rue du Lombard a few blocks southwest of Grand Place.
  • USE-IT has moved to Quai à la Houille/Steenkoolkaai 9B (Metro: Ste. Catherine).
  • The Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts has closed. Much of its collection will be found in the new Fin de Siècle Museum at the same site.
  • The Royal Museum of Art and History has been renamed the Cinquantenaire Museum (same collection, hours, contact info, etc.).
  • Hotel Ibis Centre Ste. Catherine no longer offers its €50 summer rate.

Ghent

  • B&B King has closed.
  • The restaurant Bij den Wijzen en den Zot has closed.
For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:
  • The Veldstraat tram stop, mentioned at the beginning of our Ghent City Walk, has changed to "Korenmarkt."