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37
4.1 out of 5 stars
Lonely Planet Pocket Bruges & Brussels (Travel Guide)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2013
In contrast to other Lonely Planet guide books I've used, this is pretty rubbish. I only used the Brussels section, but found it lacking in useful or interesting information, disjointed (the same 'attraction' covered in numerous different places without adequate cross-referencing) and only too happy to advise that you attend rip-off tourist traps! To give some examples....
1. If you're interested in Art Nouveau, you'll probably want to follow the suggested walk to look at the beautuful buildings. This would be a whole lot easier if the guide book included the addresses, rather than a map lacking in road names with only vague, often incorrect, directions (e.g. turn left down such-and-such street, when in fact this is two streets away!) and a blob indicating the location somewhere between up to four streets. The main information about Horta's house (probably the main art nouveau attraction in Brussels) was covered elsewhere in the guidebook (only mentioned vaguely in the Art Nouveau walk and no address given), as was the suggested day out to La Marolles, even though this IS the region where many Art Nouveau buildings are located.
2. The Grand Place is surrounded by beautiful buildings, many of which are guildhouses. The book neglects to tell you which guild was housed where, so you're left playing a guessing game based on the architecture.
3. The Museum of Chocolate and Cocoa is listed as a main attraction. This is possibly the biggest rip-off it's ever been my misfortune to fall foul of. Four floors on which they will repeat four facts about chocolate production ad nauseam with a few crummy displays. The 'chocolate making demonstration' is actually some fella stirring a vat of chocolate then pouring it into a mould. I suspect there is more to making a praline.
4. Many of the large touristy bars/restaurants are recommended. These are only a stones-throw from smaller, much nicer and more reasonable estabishments. Don't, for example, bother with Falstaff unless you're a fan of Wetherspoons/Harvesters and the like.
5. You are provided with a pull-out map, which has street names but no detail on the location of sights, and small maps in the book with information on sights but very few road names. Basically to find anywhere you have to use a combination of the two. Brussels is often wet and windy and pretty light on plaques with street names so a decent map is essential. The large map doesn't cover all of Brussels.
Fortunately my friend took the Berlitz pocket guide, which is much better than this one and had a lot more historical information! We also picked up an excellent map in the hotel, which I'd recommend doing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2013
As you'd expect from the Lonely Planet guides, this one is also very informative, but written in an informal and friendly way. Easy to use, and reasonably priced!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2014
Was a life saver when I was travelling arounf Bruges and areas of Brussels - really interesting and informative with accurate details. As it is samll it is handy for putting into a larger coat pocket descretely, if you don't want to stand out as a tourist. The map is a life-saver with good detail and enables you to navigate yourself around well - I travelled alone and having this on me was very reasurring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2013
Recommend for anyone, so helpful for finding the best places in Bruges. Exactly what i was looking for. The pop out map was brilliant.
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on 25 August 2015
Bought this after liking the very useful Lonely Planet Rome Pocket Guide. This is similar but not up to the same standard. Snippets of information about different sites etc. but considerably shorter than your average city guide book (perhaps this is a reflection of the cities themselves having fewer attractions, perhaps not). A number of sites were not mentioned at all, for example the Atomium and nearby Waterloo. The fold-out map is useful but some streets are not named and it doesn't show where tourist attractions are on the map itself. It could also do with a bit more information about the surprisingly complicated journey from Brussels South-Charleroi Airport into Brussels itself, which includes a bus, train and potentially a Metro journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2013
Neat, compact and useful resource for a short trip to Bruges and Brussels. Also contains handy maps of both centres.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2014
Arrived on times as stated very informative detailed map useful used it on holiday in Bruges and very satisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent pocket size book with lots of info and detachable map at the back of book. Would recommend this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2014
took it to Belgium with us, perfect companion for finding where to go and what to do. Invaluable little book
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2013
This has a confusing, mish-mash of information on both Brussels and Bruges, very poorly structured. On our long weekend in Bruges, we ended up leaving it in the hotel room and using the much better organised and informative Insight Guide for Bruges.
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