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Copenhagen Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Copenhagen Travel Deals

A – Overview

Copenhagen is a city with much charm, as reflected in its canals, narrow streets, and charming houses that have stood for hundreds of years.The country of Denmark consists of one peninsula and more than 400 islands. Copenhagen is situated on the east coast of Denmark’s largest island, Zealand. Copenhagen has been the capital of Denmark for nearly 600 years and is also the largest city in Scandinavia.

Bicycles spin alongside automobile traffic, and in the early morning in the pedestrian streets of the city the air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread and newly scrubbed storefronts. A prominent point of orientation in the city is the main rail station, Central Station, which is bordered on the west by the primary hotel district and to the northeast by the ever popular Tivoli Gardens. Just north of Tivoli is Rådhuspladsen, the central city square and the main terminus for the local bus network. To the east is the city’s waterfront, including the canal district of Christianshavn.

The flat terrain of the city center of Copenhagen invites walking or bicycling. The tangles of cobbled one-way streets are interesting in themselves! Between April and September, the city provides over 2000 bicycles which can be borrowed from one of the over 150 racks located at strategic points. A coin deposit unlocks the rack. The coin is refunded when the cycle is returned.

Copenhagen is not divided into single-purpose districts, so people work, play, shop, and live throughout the central core of this multi layered, densely populated capital. Most sights lie within this one square-mile center. Copenhagen, has the longest pedestrian mall on earth. The mall, Strøget, (pronounced ‘stroll’ and meaning ‘stripe’) was completed in 1962 and serves as a model for pedestrian malls all over the world. It is an amalgamation of five streets: Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, Amagertorv and Ostergade. It runs through the center of the city between Rådhuspladsen and Kongens Nytorv, the square at the head of the Nyhavn canal. The mall is filled with fascinating reminders of Denmark’s past as well as department stores, shops, restaurants, theaters and museums.

The most affordable way to see Copenhagen is with a Copenhagen card. Choose one for a 24, 48 or 72 hour period and enjoy free travel by public transportation and free entry into more than 60 museums and attractions in the greater Copenhagen area, as well as discounts on many others.

For sightseeing beyond the city there is an excellent and efficient public transportation system. Trains and buses operate from 5 am to midnight. After that, night buses run every half hour from the main bus station at Rådhus Pladsen to most areas of the city and surroundings.

There are many green spaces within and around the city center, with large parks and gardens in which to relax and enjoy the day. Be sure to try a cruise through the canals of Christianshavn, and give a nod in the direction of the Little Mermaid. Architecturally, Copenhagen has more than its share of interesting sights, from the administrative palace of Christianborg Slot on the island of Slotsholmen to the fascinating steeple of the Gothic style Vor Frelsers Kirke.

Denmark and its capital, Copenhagen, have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Copenhagen is a family friendly city of excellence. It is a city with museums, cultural attractions, a lively nightlife, cafés, restaurants, and entertainment of the highest caliber. It is among the finest of European capitals

B – City information

35 sq mi



Danish is a difficult language for visitors, (except for those from Norway and Sweden), to understand, and to speak. Danes are excellent linguists, however, and almost everyone, except perhaps elderly people in rural areas, speaks English well.

Time Zone:
Denmark operates on Central European Time–1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (+2 in summer) This translates to Copenhagen being 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. . When it is noon in Copenhagen; it is 6am in New York City. Daylight Savings Time is observed from the end of March to the end of September.

Telephone area code:
none; the country code is 45. This two-digit number should precede any call made to Denmark from another country. Danish phones are fully automatic. Dial the eight-digit number; there are no city area codes. At public telephone booths, use two 50-øre coins or a 1-krone or 5-krone coin only. Don’t insert any coins until your party answers. You can make more than one call on the same payment if your time hasn’t run out. Remember that it can be expensive to telephone from your hotel room. Emergency calls are free.

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):

  High Low
January – March 41F 28F
April – June 66F 36F
July – September 68F 50F
October – December 52F 32F

When to Go:
Most travelers visit Denmark during the warmest months, July and August, but there are advantages to going in May, June, or September, when the city is less crowded and many establishments offer off-season discounts. However, few places in Denmark are ever unpleasantly crowded, and when the Danes make their annual exodus to the beaches the cities have even more breathing space. Many visitors avoid the winter months, when days are short and dark and when important attractions, including Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, are closed for most of the season. It’s worth noting, however, that winter holidays are beautiful and Tivoli does re-open for a time with its special Christmas market.

It is wise to pack a folding umbrella and a lightweight raincoat, as unexpected showers are the norm year round. Pack casual clothes. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. If you have trouble sleeping when it is light or are sensitive to strong sun, bring an eye mask for sleeping and dark sunglasses for outdoors. Summer provides extra hours of light, extending into nighttime hours.

Passports & Visas:
All U.S. citizens, even infants, need only a valid passport to enter any Scandinavian country for stays of up to three months.

National Holidays:
New Year’s Day Jan. 1
March or April (varies) Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday
April 25 Common Prayer (Great Prayer Day)
May (date varies) Feast of the Ascension
May (date varies) Pentecost Monday
June 5 Constitution Day (shops close at noon)
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephen’s Day Dec. 24, 25, 26.

Denmark is part of the European Union, but the unit of exchange is still the krone (DKK)

Changing Money:
Almost all banks (including the Danske Bank at the airport) exchange money. After normal banking hours, Den Danske Bank exchange is open at the main railway station, daily June to August 7 am-10 pm, and daily September to May, 7 am-9 pm.

Internet access is provided in hotels and at many cybercafés in the area:

Upon leaving Denmark, U.S. citizens who have been outside their home country for 48 hours or more are allowed to take home $400 worth of merchandise duty free, if they have claimed no similar exemption within the past 30 days. If you make purchases in Denmark, keep your receipts.

All hotel, restaurant, and departure taxes and VAT. In Denmark these taxes are known as MOMS (pronounced mumps). These are automatically included in prices. VAT is 25%; non-EU citizens can obtain a refund of roughly 20%. The more than 1,500 shops that participate in the tax-free plan have a white tax free sticker on their windows. Purchases must be at least DKr300 in purchases per store, but need not necessarily be purchased all at the same time. Items must be sealed and unused in Denmark. At the shop, you’ll be asked to fill out a form and to show your passport. The form can then be turned in at any airport or ferry customs desk, where you can choose a check or charge-card credit. Keep all your receipts and tags; occasionally, customs authorities do ask to see purchases, so pack them where they will be accessible.

A 25% MOMS is included in your hotel and restaurant bills, service charges, and entrance fees, as well as on repair of foreign-registered cars. No refunds are possible on these items.

During regular business hours, ask your hotel to call the nearest English-speaking dentist. For emergency dental treatment, go to Tandlægevagten, Oslo Plads 14 ( 35-38-02-51), near Østerport Station and the U.S. Embassy. It’ is open Monday to Friday from 8am -9:30pm and on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from l0am – noon. Be prepared to pay in cash.

To reach a doctor, dial 33-93-63-00 from 9am – 4pm, or 38-88-60-41 after hours. The doctor’s fee is payable in cash. Virtually every doctor speaks English.

Drug Laws:
There are severe penalties in Denmark for the possession, use, purchase, sale, or manufacturing of drugs.

To use your U.S.-purchased electric-powered equipment, bring a converter and an adapter. The electrical current in Scandinavia is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.

All embassies are in Copenhagen. The embassy of the United States is located at Dag Hammarsjölds Allé 24, DK-2100 København ( 35-55-31-44

Dial 112 to report a fire or to call the police or an ambulance. State your phone number and address. Emergency calls from public telephones are free (no coins needed).

Hospital Emergency Rooms:
Rigshospitalet (Blegdamsvej 9, tel. 35/45-35-45). Frederiksberg Hospital (Nordre Fasanvej 57, tel. 38/34-77-11).

Late-Night Pharmacies:
Steno Apotek (Vesterbrogade 6C, tel. 33/14-82-66) and Sønderbro Apotek (Amangerbrogade 158, tel. 31/58-01-40) are open 24 hours a day.

Eyeglass Repair:
The largest and oldest optical chain in Denmark is Synoptik, Købmagergade 22 ( 33-15-05-38), with 80 other branches throughout Denmark.

Laundry/Dry Cleaning:
There are laundromats in all neighborhoods, some independent, others part of the Vascomat and Möntvask chains.

Try the Københavns Bibliotek (Copenhagen Library), located at Krystalgade 15 ( 33-73-60-60). Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, has a large collection of English-language publications.

Foreign newspapers, particularly the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, are available at the Central Railroad Station in front of the Palladium movie theater on Vesterbrogade, on Strøget, and at the newsstands of big hotels.

Radio & TV:
There are no English-language radio or TV stations broadcasting from Denmark. Only radios and TVs with satellite reception can receive signals from countries such as Britain. News programs in English are broadcast Monday to Saturday at 8:30am on Radio Denmark, 93.85 MHz. Radio 1 (at 90.8 MHz VHF) features news and classical music. Channels 2 and 3 (96.5/93.9 MHz) broadcast some entertainment, light news items, and light music. Most TV stations transmit from 7:30am to 11:30pm. Most films (many of which are American) are shown in their original languages, with Danish subtitles.

Religious Services:
Please telephone for hours of services:

St. Ansgar’s Roman Catholic Church
Bredgade 64

The English Church of St. Alban’s (Anglo-Episcopalian)
on Langelinie

The American Church (Protestant and interdenominational)
at the U.S. Embassy, Dag Hammarskjølds Allé 24

The Synagogue at Krystalgade 12.

The International Church of Copenhagen
(affiliated with the American Lutheran church) holds services at
Vartov Church
Farvergade 27
Across from the Town Hall.

International Calls:
Dial 00, then the country code (1 for the United States and Canada, 44 for Great Britain), the area code, and the number. It’s very expensive to telephone or fax from hotels, although the regional phone companies offer a discount after 7:30 PM. It’s more economical to make calls from either the Copenhagen main rail station or the airports.

For an international operator, dial 113; for a directory-assisted international call, dial 115. To reach an AT&T operator dial 80-01-0010; for MCI, 80-01-0022; for Sprint, 80-01-0877.

Tipping is not expected in Denmark. A service charge is included in bills for hotels, bars, and restaurants. Taxi drivers round up the fare to the next euro but expect no tip. Tip hotel porters, per bag.

Tap water is safe to drink throughout Denmark. Mineral water is readily available.

Arriving & Departing:

By Plane
Copenhagen (formerly Kastrup) Airport (32-54-17-01), is 7 1/4 miles from the center of Copenhagen. Air-rail trains link the airport with the Central Railway Station in the center of Copenhagen. The ride takes only 11 minutes, and is reasonably priced. Located underneath the airport’s arrivals and departure halls, the Air Rail Terminal is a short escalator ride from the gates. It is equipped with more than 30 check-in counters, ticketing offices, information desks, restaurants, and fast-food chains. You can also take an SAS bus to the city terminal. Even cheaper is a local bus, no. 250S, which leaves from the international arrivals terminal every 15 or 20 minutes for Town Hall Square in central Copenhagen. Taxis are also available.

From New York, flights to Copenhagen take 7 hours, 40 minutes.
From London to Copenhagen the flight takes 1 hour, 55 minutes.

By Car
The E-66 highway, via bridges and ferry routes, connects Fredericia (on Jylland) with Middelfart (on Fyn), a distance of 10 miles and farther on to Copenhagen, another 120 miles east. Farther north, from århus (in Jylland), there is direct ferry service to Kalundborg (on Sjælland). From there, Route 23 leads to Roskilde, about 45 miles east. Take Route 21 east and follow the signs to Copenhagen, another 25 miles. Make reservations for the ferry in advance through DSB (tel. 33/14-88-80).

By Ferry
From Sweden there are frequent ferry connections to Copenhagen, including several daily ships from Malmö, Limhamn, Landskrona, and Helsingborg. There is also a high-speed craft from Malmö.

By Train
Hovedbanegården (central station) is the hub of the DSB network and is connected to most major cities in Europe. Intercity trains leave every hour, usually on the hour, from 6am to 10 pm for principal towns in Fyn and Jylland. Find out more from DSB Information (tel. 33/14-17-01). You can make reservations at the central station and at most other stations.

Getting Around:
Copenhagen is small, with most sights within its square-mile center. Wear comfortable shoes and explore it on foot. Or rent a bike. An efficient mass transit system is available.

By Bicycle
Bicycles are well suited to Copenhagen’s flat terrain and are popular among Danes as well as visitors.

Københavns Cyclebørs (Track 12, Copenhagen main train station, tel. 33/14-07-17),
Danwheel-Rent-a-Bike (Colbjørnsensgade 3, tel. 31/21-22-27), or
Urania Cykler (Gammel Kongevej 1, tel. 31/21-80-88).

By Car
A car is not the best means of transportation for enjoying the sights of central Copenhagen. Parking spaces are at a premium and, when available, are expensive. A maze of one-way streets, somewhat aggressive drivers, and bicycle lanes make it even more complicated. If you are going to drive, choose a small car that’s easy to parallel park, bring a lot of small change to feed the meters, and be very careful of the cyclists on your right-hand side: They always have the right-of-way.


Mass Transit
The Copenhagen Card offers unlimited travel on buses and suburban trains, admission to more than 40 museums and sights around Sjælland, and a reduction on the ferry crossing to Sweden. You can buy a card, valid for either 24 or 48 hours, at tourist offices and hotels.

Trains and buses operate from 5 am (Sunday 6 am) to midnight. After that, night buses run every half hour from 1 am to 4:30 am from the main bus station at Rådhus Pladsen to most areas of the city and surroundings. Trains and buses operate on the same ticket system and divide Copenhagen and surrounding areas into three zones. Tickets are validated on a time basis: On the basic ticket, you can travel anywhere in the zone in which you started. A discount klip kort, good for 10 rides, costs DKr75 and must be stamped in the automatic ticket machines on buses or at stations. Get zone details from the 24-hour information service (tel. 36/45-45-45 for buses, 33/14-17-01 for S trains).

By Taxi
The computer-metered Mercedes and Volvo cabs are available when they display the sign fri (free); Taxis can be hailed or picked up in front of the main train station or at taxi stands, or by calling 31/35-35-35.

A joint zone fare system includes Copenhagen Transport buses and State Railway and S-tog trains in Copenhagen and North Zealand, plus some private railway routes within a 25-mile radius of the capital, enabling you to transfer from train to bus and vice versa with the same ticket. Basic Fares–A grundbillet (basic ticket) works for both buses and You can buy 10 tickets for a reduced rate. Children 11 and under ride for half fare; those 4 and under go free on local trains; and those 6 and under go free on buses. You can alsopurchase a ticket allowing 24-hour bus and train travel through nearly half of Zealand; it’s half price for children 7 to 11, and free for children 6 and under.

Discount Passes
The Copenhagen Card entitles you to free and unlimited travel by bus and rail throughout the metropolitan area (including North Zealand), 25% to 50% discounts on crossings to and from Sweden, and free admission to many sights and museums. The card is available for 1, 2, or 3 days. Children 11 and under are given a 50% discount. For more information, contact the Copenhagen Tourist Information Center.

Eurail passes (which must be purchased in the U.S.) and Nordturist Pass tickets (which can be purchased at any train station in Scandinavia) can be used on local trains in Copenhagen.

Students who have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) are entitled to a number of travel breaks in Copenhagen. A card can be purchased in the United States at any Council Travel office (for the office nearest you, call 1- 800/GET-AN-ID).

For information about low-cost train, ferry, and plane trips, go to Wasteels, Skoubogade 6 ( 33-14-46-33), in Copenhagen. Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm.


Tivoli Gardens
These amusement gardens were built on the site of former fortifications in the heart of Copenhagen, on the south side of Rådhuspladsen. Some 160,000 flowers and 110,000 electric lights set the scene. Built in 1843, Tivoli is made up of a collection of restaurants, dance halls, theaters, beer gardens, and lakes.

This pedestrians-only street begins at Rådhuspladsen. The most interesting parts are Gammeltorv and Nytorv, old and new squares, lying on either side of Strxget. They’re the sites of fruit and vegetable markets, as well as stalls selling bric-a-brac and handmade jewelry. The word Strxget doesn’t appear on any maps. Instead, Strøget encompasses five streets: Frederiksbrerggade, Nygade, Villelskaftet, Amagertorv, and Øtergade.

This is the harbor area, now one of the most elegant sections of the city. It is the site of the deluxe hotel d’Angleterre and many prestigious restaurants. The Royal Theater stands on Kongens Nytorv.

Indre By
This is the name given to the Old Town, the heart of Copenhagen. Once filled with monasteries, it is a maze of old streets, alleyways, and squares. If you cross Gammeltorv and Nørregade, you’ll be in the university area, nicknamed the Latin Quarter, as in Paris. The Vor Frue Kirke (cathedral of Copenhagen) is found here, as is the Rundetern (Round Tower).

This island, site of Christiansborg Palace, was where Bishop Absalon built the first fortress in the city in 1167. Today it’s the seat of the Danish parliament and the site of Thorvaldsen’s Museum, among others. Slotsholmen is linked to Indre by bridges. You can also visit the Royal Library, the Theater Museum, and the Royal Stables. The 17th-century Børsen (stock exchange) is also here.

This was the new town ordered by master builder Christian IV in the early 1500s. The town was originally constructed to house workers in the shipbuilding industry. Visitors come here today mainly to see the Danish Film Museum on Store Søndervoldstræde, and Vors Frelsers Kirke, on the corner of Prinsessegade and Skt. Annfgade. Sightseers can climb the spire of this old church for a panoramic view.

An anarchists’ commune founded in 1971, when students occupied army barracks; it is now a peaceful community of nonconformists who run a number of businesses, including a bike shop, bakery, rock club, and communal bathhouse.

The main street of this district, Istedgade, runs west from the main rail depot in the center of town. It passes through various neighborhoods. At first, the blocks are lined with rather respectable hotels but they soon give way to Copenhagen’s red-light district.. In the 1990s, many immigrants to Copenhagen, especially those from Turkey and Pakistan, settled in the neighborhood, filling it with indigenous craft shops and ethnic restaurants.

Adjacent to Vesterbro , Nørrebro is also rich in artisan shops and ethnic restaurants, especially Turkish and Pakistani. This area has been a blue collar neighborhood since the middle of the 19th century. However, the original Danish settlers have long since departed, replaced by immigrants who are not always greeted with a friendly reception in Copenhagen. The area also abounds in artists, students, and musicians. There are many second-hand clothing stores in this area, especially around Sankt Hans Torv. Antique shops offering an often unidentified mix of authentic antiquities and reproductions also fill the area.. On Saturday mornings a popular flea market opens along the wall of Assistens Kirkegerd, to the west of Nxrrebrogade.

If you head west from the inner city along Vesterbrogade, you will reach the residential and business district of Frederiksberg. It grew up around Frederiksberg Palace, constructed in the Italianate style with an ocher façade. A park, Frederiksberg Have, surrounds the palace. To the west of the palace is the Zoologisk Have, one of the largest zoos in Europe.

Dragør is a fishing village south of the city that dates from the 16th century. Along with Tivoli, this seems to be everybody’s favorite spot. Walk its cobblestone streets and enjoy its 65 old red-roofed houses, which have been designated as national landmarks.

Øresund Region
On July 1, 2000 Denmark and Sweden finally put centuries of rivalry, war and national differences behind them with the opening of the Øresund Fixed Link. The project consists of a 10 mile long bridge, tunnel and man made island connecting Copenhagen and Malmö, on the south coast of Sweden. The emerging Øresund Region can be viewed as a pilot project for the accelerating European integration process. The new Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden is set to generate further growth on both sides of the Øresund Straits. There has been discussion of a separate town, Ørestad, to be established in the area, but much more work remains before matters of governance, cost and responsibility for services, and taxation can be determined. However, the project will become a reality step by step, and will evolve as the third largest city development project in Europe

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Carlsberg Brewery Visit
100, Vesterfælledvej
45 33 27 13 14
Bus 6 from Rådhuspladsen
Free 90 minute tours are offered Mon-Fri at 11am and 2pm.
Visitors are escorted through the brew houses and along the production line. Each tour ends with guests sampling the products. The factory produces 3 million bottles of beer a day.

The Little Mermaid
Langelinie on the harbor
Bus 1,6, or 9.
A life-size statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Little Mermaid, one of the world’s most famous fairy tales. The statue was sculpted by Edward Eriksen and rests on rocks just off the shore. In 1964 and in 1998, the mermaid’s head was stolen. The original mold still exists, and it is possible to recast the bronze and restore missing body parts. In the latest assault, this was not necessary. The missing head turned up at a local TV station, delivered by a masked figure. The mermaid is without question one of the most photographed women in Copenhagen.

Arbejdemuseet (The Workers Museum)
Rømersgade 22
July 1-Nov 1 daily 10am-6pm. Off-season Tues-Sun 10am-6pm
Bus: 5, 7, 14, 16, 17, 24, 43, or 84
Admission charged.
This museum traces the working class of Denmark from their struggles beginning around 1850 up to the present day. It’s not just about the labor movement, however; it recreates various times and eras. For example, there is a reconstruction of a Danish street in the 1800s, complete with a tram. There’s also the re-creation of an apartment that was once inhabited by a worker in a brewery, along with his wife and eight children. The furnishings and artifacts are authentic. The museum is a tribute to the working class, depicting the struggle of laborers to make a living and provide for their families. The museum also has a 19th-century-style restaurant serving old-fashioned Danish specialties and a ’50s-style coffee shop.

Amalienborg (Amalia’s Castle)
Amalienborg Castle
Dkr 40. Jan.-Apr. and Nov.-Dec., Tues.-Sun. 11-4; May-Oct., daily 10-4.
The four identical Rococo buildings occupying this square have housed the royals since 1784. The Christian VIII palace across from the queen’s residence houses the Amalienborg Museum, which displays the second division of the Royal Collection (the first is at Rosenborg Slot). In the square’s center is a magnificent equestrian statue of King Frederik V, which reputedly cost as much as all the buildings combined.

Changing of the Guard (At Noon)
Amalienborg (in Danish only)
Every day at noon, the Royal Guard and band march from Rosenborg Slot through the city for the changing of the guard. At noon on Queen Margrethe’s birthday, April 16, crowds of Danes gather to cheer their monarch, who stands and waves from her balcony. On Amalienborg’s harbor side are the trees, gardens, and fountains of Amalienhaven.

Prinsesseg. and Badsmandsstr.
An anarchists’ commune founded in 1971, when students occupied army barracks, it is now a peaceful community of nonconformists who run a number of businesses, including a bike shop, bakery, rock club, and communal bathhouse.

Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Castle)
Admission charged.
May-Sept., daily 9:30-3:30, Oct.-Apr., Tues., Thurs, and weekends 9:30-3.
Bordered by canals on three sides, this massive granite castle is where the queen officially receives guests. From 1441 until the fire of 1795, it was used as the royal residence. Even though the first two castles on the site were burned, Christiansborg remains an impressive Baroque compound. The castle’s best known feature during the Middle Ages was the Blå Tårn (Blue Tower) which was used to house prisoners of note. One of the best known was Eleonore Christine, daughter of Christian IV, who was suspected of being part of her husband’s treason plot.

The present-day copper roofed structure with its neo-baroque granite and concrete façade, looks more like a town hall than a castle. Its central tower is the tallest in Denmark at 358 feet.

Free, open to the public
Sun. 12-4.
While the castle was being rebuilt at the turn of the century, the Nationalmuseet excavated the ruins beneath it. This dark, subterranean maze contains fascinating models and architectural relics.

Folketinget (Parliament House)
Admission free
May-Sept., Mon.-Sat., tours hourly (except noon) 10-4; Oct.-Apr., Tues., Thurs., and Sat., tours hourly (except noon) 10-4

Kongelige Repræsantationlokaler (Royal Reception Chambers)
Admission charged: guided tours only.
May-Sept., English tours daily at 11, 1 and 3; Oct.-Dec. and Feb.-Apr., Tues., Thurs., Sat. and Sun., tours at 11 and 3
You’ll be asked to remove shoes or boots and put on slippers furnished by the Museum, to protect the floors

Højesteret (Supreme Court)
Call first to double-check the opening hours, which vary.
The governmental buildings are on the site of the city’s first fortress which was commissioned by Bishop Absalon in 1167. The guards at the entrance are knowledgeable and willing to answer questions.

Den Kongelige Afstøbningssamling (The Royal Cast Collection)
Vestindisk Pakhus
Toldbodgade 40
Bus: 1, 6, or 9
Admission charged. Free Wed.
Wed-Tues 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 1-4pm Closed on other days
Founded in 1895 as part of the Royal Museum for Fine Arts, the Royal Cast Collection was moved in 1984. Its permanent home is in the Vestindisk Pakhus, a rebuilt warehouse overlooking the harbor of Copenhagen, close to Amalienborg Palace. It is one of the largest and oldest cast collections in the world, comprising arouund2,000 plaster-casts modeled after famous sculptures from the past 4,000 years of western culture. The best known original works from antiquity and the Renaissance are now scattered all over the museums of the world, but here they are represented by their casts. Egyptian sphinxes, gold from Atreus’ treasury, Venus de Milo, the Pergamon altar, and marble sculpture from the temples of the Acropolis in Athens are among the treasures. Most of the collection was made between 1870 and 1915 by leading European plaster workshops.

Frederikskirken (better known as Marmorkirken: the Marble Church)
Frederiksgade 4
The Church is open: Mon-Tues and Thurs-Fri 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm, Sun noon-4pm.
The Dome is open: June 15-Sept 1 daily 11am-12:45pm; Oct-May, Sat-Sun 11am-12:45pm
Bus: 1, 6, or 9
Admission free to church.
Admission charged to dome.
This two hundred year-old circular church, with its green copper dome, one of the largest in the world, is a short walk from Amalienborg Palace. After an unsuccessful start during Denmark’s neo-classical revival in the 1750s, the church was finally completed in Roman baroque style in 1894. Its exterior was begun in Norwegian marble, but finished in Danish limestone to conserve funds. Outside, the church is surrounded by statues of notable Danes including Grundtvig and Kierkegaard.

Frihedsmuseet (Resistance Museum)
May-Sept. 15, Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 10-5; Sept. 16-Apr., Tues.-Sat. 11-3, Sun. 11-4.
Evocative, moving displays commemorate the heroic Danish resistance movement, which saved 7,000 Jews from the Nazis by hiding them and then smuggling them to Sweden. The homemade tank outside was used to spread the news of the Nazi surrender after World War II

at Holmens Kanal
May 15-Sept 15 Mon-Fri 9am-2pm, Sat 9am-noon
Bus: 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 37, or 43
Admission free
Built in 1619, this royal chapel and naval church lies across the canal from Slotsholmen, next to the National Bank of Denmark. Although the structure was converted into a church for the royal navy in 1619, its nave was originally built in 1562 when it was first used as an anchor smithy. By 1641 the ever-changing church became predominantly Dutch Renaissance in style, an architectural style that is maintained to this day. main doorway was brought here from Roskilde Cathedral in the 19th century.

Inside, is a baroque altar of unpainted oak and a carved pulpit by Abel Schrøder the Younger. Both of these artifacts date from the mid-17th century. In the burial chamber are the tombs of some of Denmark’s best known sea heroes. This is the church in which Queen Margrethe II chose to take her wedding vows in 1967.

Københavns Bymuseum (Copenhagen City Museum and Soren Kierkegaard Collection)
Vesterbrog. 59
Bus: 6, 16, 27, or 28
Admission charged, except free on Fri.
May-Sept., Wed.-Mon. 10-4; Oct.-Apr.,Wed.-Sun. 1-4.
A collection in which Copenhagen’s history is set forth, is found in this 17th-century building in the heart of Vesterbro. Outside is a meticulously maintained model of medieval Copenhagen. The permanent exhibition presents the history of Copenhagen in artifacts and pictures. A smaller separate department is devoted to the father of existentialism, Sören Kierkegaard ‘s (1813-55) drawings, letters, books, photographs, and personal belongings.

Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square)
This square has lost much of its charm due to an outbreak of Dutch Elm disease in 1998 that felled its trees. It is, however, still lined with some of the city’s finest buildings. The square was built on the site of the former ramparts that ringed the city in an arc all the way from Rådhuspladsen.

A mounted statue of Christian V dominates the square. Crafted in 1688 by the French sculptor Lamoureux, he is ludicrously depicted as a Roman emperor astride his horse. Every year, at the end of June, graduating high school students arrive in horse-drawn carriages and dance beneath the statue.

Kongelige Bibliotek (Royal Library, library annex, and Concert Hall)
Christians Brygge 8
Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-7pm ; closed Sun.
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, or 9.
Main building: Admission free
Exhibits: Admission charged.
Charge for concerts varies.
The Royal Library, which reopened in late 1998, dates from the 1600s and is the largest library in Scandinavia. Housed in a classic building with high-ceilinged reading rooms and columned hallways, it is a grand and impressive place. It holds some 2 million volumes, everything from sagas of Viking journeys to America ( before Columbus allegedly discovered the already inhabited continent), and enough prints, maps, and manuscripts to keep the most intense scholar busy for several lifetimes. The library owns original manuscripts by such beloved Danish writers as Hans Christian Andersen and Karen Blixen (more widely known as Isak Dinesen).

The library was closed while a vast black granite annex(known locally as “The Black Diamond”) was added to accommodate the output of Danish works since World War II. Today the library stretches all the way to the waterfront. As a national library, Kongelige Bibliotek owns the world’s most complete collection of works printed in Danish, some going as far back as 1482. After viewing the interior of the library, enjoy a stroll through its formal gardens, which contain a fish pond and a statue of philosopher Sören Kierkegaard.

Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst (Louisiana Museum for Modern Art)
Gammel Strandvej 13, 49/19-07-19.
Drive north on motorway E47/E55, or take the train and walk 10 min. north of the station.
Combined train and admission tickets available at the station
Daily 10-5, Wed. until 10.
The elegant seaside town of Humlebæk, located 19 mi. north of Copenhagen, is home of this outstanding modern art museum famed for its stunning location and architecture as much as for its collection. It is surrounded by a large park. Housed in a 19th-century villa surrounded by dramatic views of the Øresund waters, the permanent collection includes modern American paintings and Danish paintings from the COBRA (a trend in northern European painting that took its name from its active locations, COpenhagen, BRussels, and Amsterdam) and constructivist movements. Paintings are displayed from several of Picasso’s periods, as well as many from the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s. Be sure to see the haunting collection of Giacomettis backdropped by picture windows overlooking the Sound.

In the gardens are sculptures by Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Giacometti. The gardens are very popular with children, who also enjoy the special exhibit area called Bornehuset (The Children’s House), which was designed just for them.

The Louisiana holds regular lectures, film screenings, and concerts, and is known for its outstanding “superstar” exhibits six times a year.

Musikhistorisk Museum og Carl Claudius’ Samling
(Musical History Museum and Carl Claudius’ Collection)
Åbenrå 30
Fri-Wed 1-3pm
Bus: 5, 7, 14, 16, 17, 24, 31, 42, 43, 50, 84, or 184
Admission charged
The museum is contained in three 18th century houses and offers a journey through the history of musical instruments in Europe from 1000 to 1900. Exhibits are grouped around a theme, and as you view them you’re treated to special recordings. The overall emphasis of the museum is on the effect music has had on Danish culture. Sometimes the museum is the venue of special concerts.

Nationalmuseet (National Museum)
Ny Vesterg. 10
Admission charged.
Tues.-Sun. 10-5.
This brilliantly restored 18th-century royal residence, contains some of the finest rooms in the city. It was extensively modernized in recent years. It has housed what is regarded as one of the best national museums in Europe since the 1930s. Extensive collections chronicle Danish cultural history from prehistoric to modern times . Included is one of the largest collections of Stone Age tools in the world. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities are on display. All exhibits have English captions.

The children’s museum, with replicas of period clothing and “please touch” exhibits condenses the rest of the museum into something understandable to children 4- 12. In addition to their special area, children enjoy the whole museum, as it is engaging throughout.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (New Carlsberg Sculpture Collection)
Dantes Plads 7
Tues-Sun 10am-4pm
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, or 10
Admission charged for adults; free for children; free for everyone Wed and Sun
On Sundays from October to March, the museum hosts a variety of musical events. The Glyptotek, behind Tivoli, is one of the most important art museums in Scandinavia. Founded by the 19th-century art collector Carl Jacobsen, of the Carlsberg Brewery family, the museum comprises two distinct areas: modern and antiquities. The modern section has both French and Danish art, mainly from the 19th century. Sculpture, including works by Rodin, is on the ground floor, and works of the impressionists and related artists, including van Gogh’s Landscape from St. Rémy, are on the upper floors. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art are on the main floor, and Etruscan, Greek, and Cypriot art are on the lower floor. A conservatory separates the two areas.

The Egyptian collection is outstanding. A favorite of many is a prehistoric rendering of a hippopotamus. Fine Greek originals (headless Apollo, Niobe’s tragic children) and Roman copies of original Greek bronzes (4th-century Hercules) are also displayed, as are some of the noblest Roman busts–Pompey, Virgil, Augustus, and Trajan. The Erruscan art display (sarcophagi, a winged lion, bronzes, and pottery)

In 1996 the Ny Glyptotek added a French Masters’ wing. This wing, constructed of white marble and granite, is situated in the inner courtyard, which can only be reached through the Conservatory. In a climate- and light-controlled environment, there is a collection of French masterpieces that includes works by Manet, Monet, Degas, and Renoir, as well as an impressive collection of French sculpture, such as Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, and one of only three complete sets of Degas bronzes. The display features Cézanne’s famous Portrait of the Artist, as well as about 35 paintings by, Paul Gauguin who married a Danish woman in 1873.

Nyhavn (New Harbor)
This harbor-front neighborhood was built 300 years ago to attract traffic and commerce to the city center. Until 1970, the area was a favorite haunt of sailors. Now the bustling, colorful, Dutch-style canal is lined with cafés, bars and restaurants and old time sailing ships from the Nationalmuseet’s collection. Many of the old buildings have been well preserved and help to retain the harbor’s authentic 18th-century maritime atmosphere.. Hans Christian Andersen lived at various times in the Nyhavn houses at numbers 18, 20, and 67.

Orlogsmuseet (Royal Naval Museum)
Overgaden Oven Vandet 58
Tues-Sun noon-4pm
Bus: 2, 8, 9, 28, 31, or 350S
Admission charged.
This museum in Sökvasthuset, the former naval hospital, opens onto Christianshavn Kanal. It traces the history of the Danish navy, and, in fact, of this whole maritime nation. More than 300 model ships, many based on designs that date from as early as the 1500s, are on display. Some of these model vessels were designed and constructed by naval engineers as prototypes for the construction of ships that were later launched into the North Sea. The models are wide ranging: some are fully dressed, with working sails, whereas others are cross-sectional with their frames outlined. Many naval artifacts are also displayed. There is a display of navigational instruments and the propeller from the German U-Boat that sank the Lusitania. Also displayed are naval uniforms worn by Danish officers and sailors over the decades.

Rådhus (City Hall)
Completed in 1905, the mock-Renaissance building dominates Rådhus Pladsen (City Hall Square), the hub of Copenhagen’s commercial district.

Rådhus Place
Weekdays 9:30-4, Sat. 9:30-1. Tours in English weekdays at 3, Sat. at 10.
Tower tours Mon.-Sat. at 3, also June-Sept. at 10 and 11.
Call to confirm hours.
Completed in 1905, Rådhuset has been the site of numerous elections; home to many governmental administrations; the site of occupation by the Germans during World War II; and the center of welcome for the returning football heroes from the 1992 European Championships.

Besides being an important ceremonial meeting place for Danish officials, the intricately decorated Rådhus (the façade and roof are lined with statues, gargoyles, and individually crafted stone and iron figures) contains the first World Clock. The multidialed, superaccurate astronomical timepiece has a 570,000 year calendar and took inventor Jens Olsen Verdensur 27 years to complete before it was put into action in 1955.

The interior of the building is beautifully decorated. Higghlights include busts of HC Andersen, the physicist, Niels Bohr, Professor Nyrop, and sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. The library, banquet hall, the mosaic floors, chandeliers, reliefs, intricate brickwork and painted ceilings all merit attention.

Diagonally across Rådhus Pladsen, on top of a corner office building are a neon thermometer and a gilded barometer. On sunny days there’s a golden sculpture of a girl on a bicycle; if it will rain, a girl with an umbrella appears.

Rådhuset is also a venue for exhibitions and concerts.

Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle)
Øster Voldg. 4A,
Admission charged.
Jan.-Apr. and Nov.-Dec., Tues.-Sun. 11-2;
May – Sept., daily 10-4; Oct., daily 11-3.
This Dutch Renaissance castle contains ballrooms, halls, and reception chambers, yet has a feeling of “home.” It was the favorite residence of King Christian IV. Denmark was going through a period of economic depression toward the end of his reign, so the King literally pulled up the drawbridge and escaped the harsh realities of the outside world.

Thousands of objects are displayed inside: toys, architectural tricks, inventions, art objects and jewelry, gathered from around the world. the castle basement was a source of pride to the King. In it, his personal orchestra would perform, their music rising through a complex system of pipes connected to his living quarters. The basement now contains the Treasury, the repository of the Crown Jewels.

Rosenborg was a royal residence up until 1838, when these collections were opened to the public, along with many rooms which had remained intact over several generations from the time of Christian IV (1588-1648) to Frederik IV (1699-1730). The 24 rooms currently on display offer an insight into the lives of Renaissance kings that is perhaps unparalleled in Europe. In recent years, electricity has been installed. This has dispelled some of the natural gloom that one associates with castles, but doe illuminate the treasures to advantage.

The castle’s setting is equally welcoming: it is in the middle of the Kongens Have (King’s Garden), amid lawns, park benches, and shady walking paths. In 1849, when the absolute monarchy was abolished, the royal castles became state property, except for Rosenborg, which is still passed down from monarch to monarch.

Rundetårn. (Round Tower)
Købmagerg. 52A,
June-Aug., Mon.-Sat. 10-8, Sun. noon-8; Sept.-May, Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. noon-5.
Observatory and telescope mid-Oct.-Mar., Tues.-Wed. 7 PM-10 PM; mid-June-mid-Aug., Sun. 1-4.
Down one of the side streets (Købmagergade) of the Stroget is the Rundetårn. Built in 1642 under the direction of Christian !V for the astronomer Tycho Brahe, the red brick tower was originally intended as an observatory for the nearby university. It is still the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The Round Tower is unique for its cobbled spiral walkway which winds 686 feet almost to the top of the tower, 114 feet above the city. There are only a few stairs at the very top. Halfway up is an exhibition space. Trinitatiskirke was built in 1637 and has a baroque altar by Friedrich Ehbisch as well as a three faced rococo clock. The observatory at the top of the tower is often open with an astronomer on hand to explain what is seen through the telescope.

Instead of climbing the stout Round Tower’s stairs, visitors scale a smooth, 600-ft spiral ramp on From its top, you enjoy a panoramic view of the twisted streets and crooked roofs of Copenhagen.

Statens Museum for Kunst (The National Gallery of Art)
Sølvgade 48-50
33 74 84 94
10-5 Tues., Thurs.-Sun. 10-8 Wed. closed Mon.
Free to all Wed.
Admission charged other than Wed. for visitors 16 and older.
Founded in 1824, the national Gallery had its origins in royal collections from centuries earlier. During the 19th century, the collection was based in Christiansborg Slot, until a fire necessitated moving it to the currently specially designed building designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup. The museum’s main focus is Danish art. This is well represented from the Golden Age of the early 19th century , back through the works of its 15th – 18th century forerunners. On the ground floor is the children’s art museum with hands-on displays.

Christiansborg Ridebane
18 33-11-51-76
Wed 2-4, Sat-Sun noon-4pm
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 37, or 43
Admission charged.
Theater buffs flock to this museum in the Old Royal Court Theater, which dates from 1767. King Christian VII had it constructed as the first court theater in Copenhagen. At one time Hans Christian Andersen was once a ballet student here. In 1842 the theater was modernized and given its present look, but the curtain went down on it for the last time in 1881.

It opened as a museum in 1992. The museum traces the history of the Danish theater from the 18th century until modern times. The public has access to the theater boxes, the stage, and the old dressing rooms. Some of the great theatrical performances of Europe, from Italian opera to pantomime, reportedly took place on the stage here. Photographs, prints, theatrical costumes, and even old stage programs tell the story, beginning with Ludvig Holberg and going up to the present day.

Tivoli Gardens
Vesterbrogade 3
Daily 11am-midnight Seasonal Info: Closed mid-Sept to Apr
Bus: 1, 16, or 29
Admission charged. Rides extra.
Since it opened in 1843, this 20 acre garden and amusement park in the center of Copenhagen has been a resounding success. It is, in fact, the jewel of Copenhagen’s family attractions, and Denmark’s biggest tourist draw. It features thousands of flowers, a merry-go-round of tiny Viking ships, games of chance and skill (pinball arcades, slot machines, shooting galleries), and a Ferris wheel of hot-air balloons and cabin seats. There’s even a playground for children.

An Arabian-style fantasy palace, with towers and arches, houses more than two dozen restaurants in all price ranges, from a lakeside inn to a beer garden. Take a walk around the edge of the tiny lake with its ducks, swans, and boats.

A parade of the red-uniformed Tivoli Boys Guard takes place on weekends at 6:30 and 8:30pm, and their regimental band gives concerts on Saturday at 3pm on the open-air stage. The oldest building at Tivoli, the Chinese-style Pantomime Theater with its peacock curtain, stages pantomimes in the evening.

Copenhagen’s best-known attraction, conveniently located next to its main train station, attracts an astounding number of visitors: 4 million people from May to September. Tivoli is more sophisticated than a mere funfair among its many attractions, are frequent classical, jazz, and rock concerts. Fantastic flower exhibits color the lush gardens and float on the swan-filled ponds. Try to see Tivoli at least once by night, when 100,000 colored lanterns illuminate the Chinese pagoda and the main fountain.

The park was established in the 1840s, when Danish architect George Carstensen persuaded King Christian VIII to let him build an amusement park, rationalizing that when people amuse themselves, they forget politics.

Tivoli Museum
Vesterbrogade 3
Apr 24-Sept 13 daily 11am-6pm. Off-season Tues-Sun 10am-4pm S-train to Central Station
Admission charged.
Some 150 years of Europe’s most famous amusement park are revealed in this offbeat museum spread across three floors. Models, films, 3D displays, pictures, posters, and original artifacts reveal how the Danes and their foreign visitors had harmless fun over the decades. Opening in 1993, the museum became an instant hit with Tivoli devotees. It’s a great idea to come here if you have only one chance to visit Copenhagen in a lifetime, and Tivoli has shut down for the year at the time of your visit. Tivoli has hosted many legendary performers over the years: everyone from Marlene Dietrich to a flea circus that ran for 65 years. Their appearances are documented in the museum. Children will delight in the rides of yesterday.

Vor Frue Kirke (Copenhagen Cathedral)
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Bus: 5
Free admission
This Greek Renaissance-style church, built in the early 19th century near Copenhagen University, features Bertel Thorvaldsen’s white marble neoclassical works including Christ and the Apostles. The funeral of Hans Christian Andersen took place here in 1875, and that of Sören Kierkegaard in 1855.

Von Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Savior)
Skt. Annægade 29
Mar-Aug daily 9am-4pm; Sept-Nov daily 9am-3pm; Dec-Feb daily 10am-2pm
Admission charged to tower;
Church admission: free
This Palladian Dutch baroque church with an external tower staircase was built by architect Lambert van Haven for Christian V in 1682. The 295 foot high copper and gold spire can be seen from most parts of the city center, and is a Copenhagen landmark, dominating the Christianshavn area. Inside, is a splendid baroque altar, richly adorned with cherubs and other figures. There is also a lovely font and richly carved organ case. The spire is open to anyone who wants to navigate the 400 or more steps, which spiral narrower and narrower as they reach the summit

D – Family Fun Attractions


Art galleries have never been particularly child friendly, or even interesting for children. In Copenhagen, this problem has been addressed and corrected. Many attractions are family oriented, and most contain a special area of interest to children. Copenhagen is a perfect city for visiting children.

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to Tivoli (it’s open from mid April to mid September). Right in the middle of town, Tivoli offers both the fun of the fair, the peace and tranquility of a park and the ambience of the many open air cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a real wonderland for children of all ages, with its marooned pirate ship, roller coaster rides, shooting galleries, and the Valhala Castle, home of The Nordic God, Odin, who welcomes children to the Valhala Restaurant.

For more rides and amusements, just out of town lies Bakken, (open from late March to late August, with free admission). A well established pleasure park situated on the wooded outskirts of Dyrehaven. The child friendly restaurant is the perfect place to relax after Bakken’s notorious roller coaster.

As a visitor with children in Copenhagen it’s not difficult to keep both yourself and them entertained. There are now many children friendly museums, where it’s designed to be interesting both for you and the kids. The National Museum for example features a special children’s section.

National Gallery’s (Statens Museum for Kunst) new Children’s Gallery. The idea behind the new addition of the art museum is to teach children the values in art, but on their own terms. Featuring selected original works from the permanent collections, workshops and a theater, the Children’s Gallery gives children an insight into various creative processes.

For the more scientifically minded there’s the Experimentarium, a collection of hands-on installations and exhibitions demonstrating the wonders of natural science. Crazy mirrors, water wheels, computer rooms, logic puzzles, and so on.

The Kids´ Pavillion is for children aged 3-6. Continuing the scientific theme, there’s the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. In it’s impressive building at the end of the city’s string of lakes, the Planetarium boasts an Omnimax theatre, which projects a hemispherical image within its dome. As you sit in the reclining seats, it’s impossible not to physically experience the movie; be it an underwater safari or a trip on a roller coaster.

Copenhagen is also the proud owner of a major Zoo. Probably the most popular are the Monkey House, Children’s Zoo and the Night Zoo where day is turned into night. Just outside the city lies

Denmark’s Aquarium with it’s spectacular tropical and sea-water landscape tanks filled with fish and aquatic mammals from all over the world.

If you take one of the Water Buses, you can hop off at Langelinie for a closer look at the grand cruise liners moored there and the Little Mermaid.

A spectacular trip along the North coast leads to Lousiana Museum of Modern Art. Situated right on the coast, the gardens, beach and the special children’s house, make it an ideal destination.

A perfect way to round off the day could be a visit to Vandkulturhuset in DGI-town, Copenhagen’s new sports and cultural centre. Vandkulturhuset includes a new swimming pool with lots of fun for children: young and old. Take a swim in the pool formed as a super-ellipse, play in the children’ s pool or the water park with diving and climbing areas, or relax in hot water baths with spa, etc.

Among Copenhagen’s many parks, Frederiksberg Have is particularly suitable for children. It’s a park for football, rounders, kites and general fun. There’s even a boat trip around the park’s canal system. In the center of town are: Kongens Have (Rosenborg Castle) and the Botanic Gardens. They are peaceful places to take an ice-cream or a hot dog from one of the street stalls. Close to the international Football Stadium is another park, Fælledparken, with its outdoor pavilion café and wide open spaces.


Bakken Amusement Park
Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg
Daily 1pm-midnight Closed late Aug to late Mar
S-tog: Klampenborg train from the Central Railroad Station to the Klampenborg station (about a 20-minute ride); then walk through the Deer Park or take a horse-drawn cab
Free admission
On the northern edge of Copenhagen, about 7 1/2 miles from the city center, this amusement park was created years ago. It’s a local favorite, featuring roller coasters, dancing, the tunnel of love, and a merry-go-round. Open-air restaurants are plentiful, as are snack bars and ice-cream booths. Proceeds from the amusements support this unspoiled natural preserve. There are no cars allowed: only bicycles and horse-drawn carriages.

Denmark’s Aquarium
Strandvejen, in Charlottenlund Fort Park, Charlottenlund
Mar-Oct, daily 10am-6pm; Feb, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
S-tog: Line C to Charlottenlund.
Bus: 6
Admission charged.
Opened in 1939 north of Copenhagen along the Øresund coast, this is one of the most extensive aquariums in Europe. Its large tanks are famous for their decoration. Hundreds of salt- and freshwater-species are exhibited. One tank houses piranha from South America.

Eskperimentarium (Hands-On Science Center)
Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup
Daily 10am-5pm
S-tog: Hellerup or Svanemøllen.
Bus: 6, 21, or 23
Admission Charged; free for children 3 and under
Located in the old mineral water-bottling hall of Tuborg breweries, this museum has a hands-on approach to science.. Visitors use not only their hands but all of their senses as they participate in some 300 exhibitions and demonstrations divided into three themes: Humans, Nature, and The Interaction Between Humans and Nature. Visitors hear what all the world’s languages sound like, make a wind machine blow up to hurricane force, check their skin to test how much sun it can take, dance in an inverted disco, or visit a slimming machine. Families can work as a team to examine enzymes, make a camera from paper, or test perfume. Exhibits change frequently.

Louis Tussaud Wax Museum
H. C. Andersens Blvd. 22
Apr 29-Sept 13, daily 10am-11pm; Sept 14-Apr 28, daily 10am-6pm
Bus: 1, 2, 16, 28, 29, or 41
Admission charged.
Now a part of Tivoli, the Louis Tussaud Wax Museum is a major commercial attraction in Copenhagen. It features more than 200 wax figures–everybody from Danish kings and queens to Leonardo da Vinci. Children can visit the Snow Queen’s Castle, or watch Frankenstein and Dracula guard the monsters and vampires.

Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Gammel Kongevej 10
Daily 10:30am-9:30pm
Bus: 1 or 14
Admission charged, depending on the show, for Omnimax films
The marvel of the night sky, with its planets, galaxies, star clusters, and comets, is created by a star projector using the planetarium dome as a screen and space theater. Named after the famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the planetarium also stages Omnimax film productions. There’s an information center and a restaurant.

Zoologisk Have (Copenhagen Zoo)
Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg
Daily 9am-6pm
S-tog: Valby.
Bus: 6, 18, 28, 39, or 550S
Admission charged.
With more than 2,000 animals from Greenland to Africa, this zoo boasts spacious new habitats for reindeer and musk oxen as well as an open roaming area for lions. Take a ride up the small wooden Eiffel Tower, or walk across the street and let your kids enjoy the petting zoo. The zoo is mobbed on Sundays.

10, Ny Vestergade
45 33 13 44 11
This brilliantly restored 18th-century royal residence, contains some of the finest rooms in the city. It was extensively modernized in recent years. It has housed what is regarded as one of the best national museums in Europe since the 1930s. Extensive collections chronicle Danish cultural history from prehistoric to modern times . Included is one of the largest collections of Stone Age tools in the world. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities are on display. All exhibits have English captions.

The children’s museum, with replicas of period clothing and “please touch” exhibits condenses the rest of the museum into something understandable to children 4- 12.

In addition to their special area, children enjoy the whole museum, as it is engaging throughout.

Louisiana – Museum of Modern Art
13, Gl. Strandvej
45 49 19 07 19
The elegant seaside town of Humlebæk, located 19 mi. north of Copenhagen, is home of this outstanding modern art museum famed for its stunning location and architecture as much as for its collection. It is surrounded by a large park. Housed in a 19th-century villa surrounded by dramatic views of the Øresund waters, the permanent collection includes modern American paintings and Danish paintings from the COBRA (a trend in northern European painting that took its name from its active locations, COpenhagen, BRussels, and Amsterdam) and constructivist movements. Paintings are displayed from several of Picasso’s periods, as well as many from the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s. Be sure to see the haunting collection of Giacomettis backdropped by picture windows overlooking the Sound.

In the gardens are sculptures by Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Giacometti. The gardens are very popular with children, who also enjoy the special exhibit area called Bornehuset (The Children’s House), which was designed just for them.

Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup
39 27 33 33
9-5 Mon,Wed.-Fri. 9-9 Tues., 11-5 Sat., Sun.
Admission charged.
Bus 6,21,650S
Located in the former mineral water bottling plant of the Tuborg Brewery, this museum has a hands on approach to science. Untamed forces such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes demonstrate that the Earth is alive and constantly changing. Dynamic Earth is a new. exhibition on this Amazing and Turbulent Planet that provides us with both food and energy

E – Events & Entertainments

The Night Film Festival takes place in Copenhagen from late March-mid-April and features a vast number of films in their original language.

Denmark has a proud tradition as a film nation. In recent years, international attention has particularly been focused on such outstanding directors as Bille August and the founders of the much-acclaimed Dogme films; directors Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, and Kristian Levring The flourishing Danish film world is centered on Copenhagen, which is the base for most film companies and major first-class cinemas.

At this festival, audiences can watch handpicked top-quality films from countries that rarely feature in cinemas, such as Asian films, which are always well represented. The festival also screens a number of new films that are premiered later in the cinemas, and also re-runs old classics and cult films.

April 16:
The Queen’s Birthday is celebrated with the royal guard in full ceremonial dress as the royal family appears before the public on the balcony of Amalienborg Castle.

Copenhagen Fashion & Design Festival; Copenhagen City Center (33 55 74 80). Every year, the city’s leading fashion shops and designers take over the city to celebrate the very best in Danish and foreign fashion design

Late May:
Swingin’ Copenhagen jazz festival in Swingin’ Copenhagen focuses on more traditional jazz and also takes place in the clubs, concert halls, streets, and squares of the city. Further information is available on

Copenhagen Carnival includes boat parades in Nyhavn and costumed revelers in the streets.

The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen open with rides, concerts, and entertainment. Special activities and concerts are planned for the 145th anniversary of the Tivoli Guard.

The Roskilde Festival is held on the last weekend in June in a huge field near the city of Roskilde, half an hour’s drive from Copenhagen City. It is becoming more and more popular. The 70,000 tickets available are usually sold out long before the program is published. It is one of the biggest rock events in the world.

The Roskilde Festival is a huge party, where people eat and drink in vast quantities. Apart from the concerts, there are hundreds of stalls selling everything from jewelry and clothes to massage and tattoos. There is a computer café, cinema, theatre, dance hall, and much more. The festival mainly attracts a young crowd from all over Europe.

In recent years, more attention has been given to safety and security.

Images of Asia is a cultural festival taking place in Denmark in the second half of 2002 in the cities of Copenhagen, Århus, Odense and Ålborg. The festival aims at fostering cultural understanding and cooperation between Denmark and partners in Asia, and will address the issue of Images by providing a platform for dialogue among makers and creators of images, artists, scholars, critics, NGOs, educators, media, business and the general public.

The festival continues a tradition of Images festivals in Denmark, based on a concept where art institutions, NGOs, media and cities work jointly to develop the project with partners outside Denmark. Previous festivals include Images of Africa (1991, ’93 and ’96) and Images of the World (2000).

Images of Asia will coincide with the ASEMIV, which also takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the second half of 2002, where Denmark chairs the European Union’s Council of Ministers.

The Copenhagen Jazz Festivals. This festival is held for ten days in July. Copenhagen has a long tradition as a jazz metropolis. Over the years, many of the great international jazz musicians have been based permanently in Copenhagen. Together with the city’s own wealth of skilled professional jazz musicians, this has created a unique environment for jazz that can be experienced live every day, all year round, in Copenhagen. During the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, jazz comes bubbling out of every corner of the city.

Squares, parks and a wide range of cafes and clubs are involved in the biggest jazz event of the year, featuring around 450 concerts. Many of the concerts are free. The festival has become immensely popular and attracts jazz fans not only from Denmark and its neighboring countries, but also from countries as far away as China and Australia. Throughout the years, Copenhagen Jazz Festival has presented a line of important international artists. (33 93 20 13, fax 33 93 20 24)

Between the 7th and 10th, the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Race brings more than 100 ships to the Copenhagen harbor.

The Copenhagen International Ballet Festival is held every summer in Frederiksberg, a few minutes outside the city of Copenhagen. This is the venue for the annual summer festival, featuring the Copenhagen International Ballet Group, founded by Danish ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin, with principals and members from the New York City Ballet, Ballet Béjart, Lyon Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and the Hamburg Ballet. The ballets are always staged outdoors in beautiful surroundings in the atrium courtyard of The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. Here audiences can experience the well-loved classics as well as completely new works, under the wonderful night sky. (33 32 52 52)

The Kulturbro 2002 biennial. To celebrate the birth of the new Danish-Swedish region – the Øresund Region, an extensive cultural biennial has been founded. This biennial was launched in 2000 as a celebration of art, design, music, theatre, and dance in the Øresund Region. More than a hundred Danish and Swedish museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, and dance stages hosted a vast number of special exhibitions, plays, and performances, whose common aim was to draw international attention to the cultural potential of this new region. The next celebration will be in 2002.

For further information on Kulturbro 2002, contact:
Wonderful Copenhagen
tel: 33 55 74 00
fax: 33 55 74 10
or by visiting

First week of November:
A few years ago the Copenhagen Jazz Festival gave rise to an offshoot, which has become another important part of the city’s musical scene; Copenhagen Autumn Jazz. Includes indoor jazz concerts at a number of the city’s best venues.

December and January:
Tivoli’s Christmas Market

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Prague Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Prague Travel Deals

Prague is the capital city of the relatively small Czech Republic which lies in the heart of Europe, bordering Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.

prague overview

Prague (Praha) has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. No other European capital contains six hundred years of architecture so completely untouched by natural disaster or war. Prague’s rich collection of Gothic, baroque, and Renaissance buildings has emerged unscathed from centuries of strife.

Prague has been called ‘the Rome of the North’. Rome was built on seven hills, and Prague was built on nine hills: Letna, Vitkov, Opys, Vetrov, Skalka, Emauzy, Vysehrad, Karlov and the highest of all, Petrin. The mountains, forests and lakes surrounding Prague are enchanting and ideal for outdoor holidays as well as winter sports.

Central Prague is made up of four towns, joined together in 1784. The River Vltava (Moldau in German) divides the capital into two unequal halves: on the steeply inclined left bank, are Hradcany and Malá Strana (the Lesser Quarter). The more gentle, sprawling right bank includes Staré Mesto, Josefov and Nové Mesto.

Hradcany, on the hill, contains the most sights: the castle itself, the cathedral and the former palaces of the aristocracy. Below Hradcany, Malá Strana (Little Quarter), with its narrow eighteenth-century streets, is the city’s ministerial and diplomatic quarter, with attractive Baroque gardens for all to enjoy. Over the river, on the right bank, Staré Mesto (Old Town) is a web of alleys and passageways centered on the city’s most beautiful square, Staromestské námesti. Enclosed within the boundaries of Staré Mesto is Josefov, the old Jewish quarter, now containing only a few synagogues and a cemetery. Nové Mesto (New Town), the focus of the modern city, covers the largest area, laid out in long wide boulevards, the most famous of which is Wenceslas Square. These boulevards stretch south and east of the old town.

In the years since students took to the streets and the communist regime ended, Prague has enjoyed an unparalleled cultural renaissance. Amid Prague’s cobblestone streets and gold-tipped spires, new galleries, cafés, and clubs serve “expatriates.” Prague has somehow emerged as Eastern Europe’s new Left Bank

Prague Castle has stood on the hill overlooking the Old Town since the 10th century. The city grew around the castle over the centuries. A good way to begin exploration of the wonders of Prague is to take a ride on tram #22 for a free sightseeing tour of downtown Prague. From Vinohrady in the west, it will travel across the river, around several hair-pin bends, finishing up outside Prague Castle.

Then walk or ride the Royal Route downhill from Prague Castle, through Malá Strana (Lesser Town), and across Charles Bridge to Old Town Square. The crossing of the 1,700 foot span of the bridge is an adventure in itself! The bridge is lined with more than 30 sculptures and serves as a venue for performances of puppeteers and musicians. The trip retraces the route taken by the carriages of the Bohemian kings, with the difference that today the way is lined with galleries, shops, and cafés. Be sure to glance up on the hour as the Astronomical Clock of the Old Town Hall on Staromestské námestí comes to life with its procession of mechanical figures.

Take all the time you can to wander through the narrow winding streets of Staré Mêsto (Old Town). This is the moment to be wearing a comfortable pair of broken – in walking shoes. The cobblestones and hills of Prague require that careful attention be paid to preparing the feet for the journey.

When it is time to rest, numerous cafés offering food, coffee, tea, and fine varieties of locally brewed beer are readily available. Another activity providing relaxation as well as a fascinating afternoon or evening, is a tourboat trip down the Vltava past the castles and palaces of the region. Some tours provide a meal as well. For the more adventurous, there is the possibility of a “do it yourself ” boat tour via rowboat. Lanterns are added at night to create an aura of romance in and around the rented dinghies. Visitors to Charles Bridge after dark will encounter a lively scene, as musicians and street performers congregate to celebrate the night.

An afternoon with the family in the park at the site of the Citadel on Vyserhad also provides a break from the bustle of the city.

A 30-minute train ride south of Prague leads to the most visited Czech landmark in the area around Prague, Karlstejn Castle built by Charles IV in the 14th century to protect the Holy Roman Empire’s crown jewels. This Romanesque hilltop fortress is of interest to adults and children alike.

Mozart experienced moderate success in Vienna, but he triumphed in Prague! Classical music still seems to be everywhere in the city. Tickets are reasonably priced, and the musical performances are superb.

Food in Prague is often based on Austro-Hungarian dishes. Specialties include bramborak, a potato pancake filled with garlic and herbs, and Prague ham. However, a wide range of culinary options exists. Among these are American, Italian, Lebanese, and Japanese cuisine.

Shopping is a favorite pastime also. Arcades under the buildings of Wenceslas Square, along the pedestrian only street of Na Príkope and also along Narodní tríada shoppers discover a variety of quality products ranging from books to antiques, to crystal. There are interesting craft shops on Karlova, near the Charles Bridge. Puppets and marionettes that are works of art can also be discovered in these areas.

The beauty and classical elegance of the buildings, streets, passageways and alleys of this “Golden City” will provide a colorful mosaic of memories that will remain long after the visit has concluded


496 sq km

235 m (average)

Time Zone:
Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour (two hours in summer): Time in Prague is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in New York. (7 hours ahead of central time in Chicago, etc.) Prague uses the 24 hour clock, so the numeral 1 on a US watch would be read as 1 in the early morning or 13 in the afternoon, etc. Transportation timetables and schedules will use this method of representation of time. (designations of AM and PM are unnecessary)

Czech, a Slavic language closely related to Slovak and Polish, is the official language of the Czech Republic. Learning English is popular among young people, but German is still the most useful language for tourists. Don’t be surprised if you get a response in German to a question asked in English.

The country code for the Czech Republic is 42.
The city code for Prague is 02.

Entertainment Listings:
To find out what’s on for the month and to get the latest tips for shopping, dining, and entertainment, consult Prague’s weekly English-language newspaper, The Prague Post. It prints comprehensive entertainment listings and can be bought at most downtown newsstands as well as in major North American and European cities. The monthly Prague Guide, available at newsstands and tourist offices provides an overview of major cultural events and has listings of restaurants, hotels, and organizations offering traveler assistance.

Emergency Numbers:
Police (158).
Ambulance (155).
Breakdowns (154 or 123).


Take a pair of sturdy walking shoes and be prepared to use them. Dress shoes will present considerable problems on the cobblestone streets of Prague.

Many items that you take for granted at home are occasionally unavailable or of questionable quality. Take your own toiletries and personal hygiene products with you. Few places provide sports equipment for rent; an alternative to bringing your own equipment would be to buy what you need locally and take it home with you. In general, sporting goods are relatively cheap and of good quality.

Bring an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses in your carry-on luggage. Contact lens wearers should bring enough saline and disinfecting solution with them, as they are expensive and in short supply

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):




January – March



April – June



July – September



October – December



When to Go:
The tourist season runs from April or May through October; spring and fall combine good weather with a more bearable level of tourism. Bear in mind that many attractions are closed November through March. Prague is beautiful year-round, but it might be wise to avoid midsummer (especially July and August) and the Christmas and Easter holidays, when the city is crowded with visitors, provided there is flexibility in the travel schedule.


Czech Republic Holidays:
1 January – New Year, Independent Czech State Renewal Day
March or April (varies) Easter Monday
1 May – Labor Day
8 May – Liberation Day (1945)
5 July – Cyril and Methodius Day – the Slavic Christianity Prophets
6 July – Master John Hus burning at the stake (1415)
28 September – Czech Statehood Day
28 October – Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day (1918)
17 November – Day of Fight for Freedom and Democracy
24 December – Christmas Eve
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – St. Stephen’s Day

Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz Electrical sockets take plugs with two round prongs or sometimes three. American appliances will need a plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability. Most hotels will supply guests with an ironing board and iron if requested.

The unit of the Czech money is Ceska Koruna, or Crown, abbreviated KCZ or CZK (for Koruna Ceska). The crown is divided into 100 Haler, or Heller (h). Notes come in 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 KCZ denominations and coins in 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 KCZ and 50 h sizes. All old notes from the days of the united Czechoslovakia ceased to be a legal tender in the Czech Republic in October 1993, so beware of being offered Czechoslovak currency. The Czech crown is now freely convertible on world currency markets; exchange rates are fixed daily on the Prague Stock market.

Changing Money:
The best place to exchange is at bank counters, where the commissions average 1%-3%, or at ATMs. The koruna is fully convertible and can be purchased outside the country and exchanged into other currencies. Ask about current regulations when you change money, however, and keep your receipts.


Between the airport and town by bus:
The Cedaz minibus shuttle links the airport with Námestí Republiky (a square just off the Old Town). It runs hourly, more often at peak periods, between 6 AM and 9:30 PM daily and makes an intermediate stop at the Dejvická metro station.

The Czech complex of regional bus lines known collectively as CSAD operates its dense network from the sprawling main bus station on Krizíkova (metro stop: Florenc, lines B or C). For information about routes and schedules call 02/2421-1060, consult the timetables posted at the station, or visit the information window, situated at the bus unloading area (open weekdays 6 AM-7:45 PM, Sat. 6-4, Sun. 8-6). The helpful private travel agency Tourbus, in the pedestrian overpass above the station, dispenses bus information daily until 8 PM. If the ticket windows are closed, you can usually buy a ticket from the driver.


Traveling by Train:

Because European countries are compact, it often takes less time to travel city-to-city by train than by plane. Prague is about 5 hours by train from Munich, Berlin, and Vienna. The European East Pass is good for first-class unlimited rail access in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Also available is the Czech Flexipass, good for rail travel within the Czech Republic for 5 days of travel within a 15-day period.

Passengers traveling to Prague by train typically pull into one of two central stations: Hlavní nádrazí (Main Station) or Nádrazí Holesovice (Holesovice Station). Both are on line C of the metro system and offer a number of services, including money exchange, a post office, and a luggage-storage area.

Hlavní nádrazí
Wilsonova trída, Praha 2
02/2422 3887

Nádrazí Holesovice
Partyzánská at Vrbenského, Praha 7
02/2461 7265
Prague’s second train station, is usually the terminus for trains from Berlin and other points north. Although it’s not as centrally located as the main station, its more manageable size and location at the end of metro line C make it almost as convenient.

Prague contains two smaller rail stations.

Masaryk Station
Hybernská ulice at Havlíckova
02/2461 7260
Is primarily for travelers arriving on trains originating from other Bohemian cities or from Brno or Bratislava. Situated about 10 minutes by foot from the main train station, Masaryk is near Staré Mesto, just a stone’s throw from Námestí Republiky metro station.

Smíchov Station
Nádrazní ulice at Rozkosného
02/2461 7686
Is the terminus for commuter trains from western and southern Bohemia, though an occasional international train pulls in here. The station contains a 24-hour baggage check and is serviced by metro line B.


Getting Around:

Prague City Transport Fares
Traveling by city transport is only possible with a valid ticket. Passengers have to obtain their tickets before boarding the vehicle or entering the Metro system. Tickets can be bought at selected Metro stations or in Dopravni podnik Information Centers, hotels, at news stands, travel bureaus, department stores, etc. Single tickets can also be bought from the slot machines located at Metro stations or near some stops of surface transport. To see Prague properly, there is no alternative to walking, especially since much of the city center is off-limits to automobiles. And the walking couldn’t be more pleasant-most of it along the beautiful bridges and cobblestone streets of the city’s historic core. Before venturing out, however, be sure you have a good map.

By Bicycle
Prague is a particularly fun city to bike in, when the crowds are thin. Vehicular traffic is limited in the center, where small, winding streets seem especially suited to two-wheeled vehicles. Surprisingly, few people take advantage of this opportunity; cyclists are largely limited to the few foreigners who have imported their own bikes. The city’s ubiquitous cobblestones make mountain bikes the natural choice. Check with your hotel about a possible rental or try Cyklocentrum at Karlovo nám. 29, New Town and fax 02/294 312

By Public Transportation
Prague’s public transportation network is still remarkably affordable. In central Prague, metro (subway) stations abound. You can buy tickets from yellow coin-operated machines in metro stations or at most newsstands marked Tabák Or Trafika. Hold on to your validated ticket throughout your ride–you’ll need to show it if a plainclothes ticket collector asks you.

By Bus \& Tram
The 24 electric tram (streetcar) lines run practically everywhere, and there’s always another tram with the same number traveling back. You never have to hail trams, for they make every stop. The most popular trams, nos. 22 and 23 (the “tourist trams” and the “pickpocket express”), run past top sights like the National Theater and Prague Castle. Regular bus and tram service stops at midnight, after which selected routes run reduced schedules, usually only once per hour. Schedules are posted at stops. If you miss a night connection, expect a long wait for the next. Buses tend to be used only outside the older districts of Prague and have three-digit numbers. Both the buses and tram lines (which have two digits) begin their morning runs around 4:30am.

By Metro & Light Rail
Metro trains operate daily from 5am to midnight and run every 2 to 6 minutes. On the three lettered lines (A, B, and C, color coded green, yellow, and red, respectively) the most convenient central stations are Mustek, at the foot of Václavské námestí (Wenceslas Square); Staromestska, for Old Town Square and Charles Bridge; and Malostranská, serving Malá Strana and the Castle District. The Prague Metro network consists of 3 lines designated by letters and differentiated in colour: green colour (Skalka station – Dejvicka station), yellow colour (Cerny most station – Zlicin station), red colour (Nadrazi Holesovice station – Haje station), with transfers possible at Museum station (lines A and C), Mustek station (lines A and B), Florenc station (lines B and C). Metro operates daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.. The time interval between train departures is approximately 2 minutes during the rush hours and 4 to 10 minutes during off-peak hours.

By Taxi
AAA Taxi ( 02/3399) and Sedop ( 02/6731-4184). Many firms have English-speaking operators.

The Funicular
The Funicular onto Petrin Hill operates along the route Ujezd – Nebozizek – Petrin. The Funicular operates daily from 9:15 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. with traffic intervals from 10 to 15 minutes

Areas of the historical center:
Hradcany, Mala Strana (Lesser Town)
Stare Mesto (Old Town) including Josefov, Nove Mesto (New Town) and Vysehrad

The main attraction for many is simply walking along the winding cobblestone streets and enjoying the unique atmosphere. Exquisite examples from the history of European architecture–from Romanesque to Renaissance, baroque to art nouveau and cubist–are crammed next to one another on twisting narrow streets.

Alfons Mucha Museum (Muzeum A. Muchy):
Panská 7, Praha 1.
02/628 4162.
Daily 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Mustek.
This museum opened in early 1998 near Wenceslas Square to honor the high priest of art nouveau, Alphonse (Alfons in Czech) Mucha. The new museum, around the corner from the Palace Hotel, combines examples of his graphic works, posters, and paintings as well as shows his influence in jewelry, fashion, and advertising.

Bedr[av]ich Smetana Museum (Muzeum B. Smetany):
Novotného lávka 1, Praha 1.
02/2422 9075.
Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Starome[av]stská; tram 17 or 18.
Concerts are held here, and you can buy tickets on site or at Prague Information Service, Na Pr[av]íkope[av] 20, Praha 1 (187 in Prague or 02/264 022 outside Prague). This museum, opened in 1936 (in what was the former Old Town waterworks) jutting out into the Vltava next to Charles Bridge, pays tribute to the deepest traditions of Czech classical music and its most patriotic composer, Bedr[av]ich Smetana.

Bertramka (W. A. Mozart Museum):

Mozartova 169, Praha 5.
02/543 893
Daily 9:30am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 2, 6, 7, 9, 14, or 16 from Ande[av]l metro station.
Chamber concerts are often held here, usually starting at 5pm. Tickets are available on site or at Prague Information Service, Na Pr[av]íkope[av] 20, Praha 1. Mozart loved Prague, and when he visited, the composer often stayed at this villa owned by the Dus[av]ek family. Now a museum, it contains displays with his written work and his harpsichord. There’s also a lock of Mozart’s hair, encased in a cube of glass. Much of the Bertramka villa was destroyed by fire in the 1870s, but Mozart’s rooms, where he finished composing the opera Don Giovanni, have miraculously remained untouched.

Bethlehem Chapel (Betlémská kaple):
Betlémské nám. 4,
Praha 1. (Praha 1).
Apr-Oct, daily 9am-6pm; Nov-Mar, daily 9am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line B to Národní trída.
This is the site where, in the early 15th century, the Czech Protestant theologian Jan Hus angered the Catholic hierarchy with sermons critical of the establishment. He was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415 at Konstanz in present-day Germany and became a martyr for the Czech Protestant and later nationalist cause. A memorial to Hus dominates the center of Old Town Square. The chapel was completed in 1394 but reconstructed in the early 1950s. In the main hall you can still see the original stone floors and the pulpit from where Hus preached; it’s used as a ceremonial hall for Czech national events.

Church of Our Lady Victorious–Holy Child of Prague (Kláster Prazského):
Karmelitská 9, Praha 1.
Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun 1-5:30pm.
Fee for occasional concerts.
Museum of the Infant Jesus: Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská.
This 1613 early baroque home of the Carmelite order is famous throughout Italy and Latino countries for the wax statue of Jesus displayed on an altar of the right wing of the church. The Bambini di Praga (Baby of Prague) was presented to the Carmelites by the Habsburg patron Polyxena of Lobkowicz in 1628 and is revered as a valuable Catholic relic from Spain. Copies of the Bambini are sold frequently on the Lesser Town streets outside the church, angering some of the faithful.

Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel sv. Mikulás[av]e):
Malostranské nám. 1,Praha 1.
Free admission.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská.
This church is one of the best examples of high baroque architecture north of the Alps. However, K. I. Dienzenhofer’s 1711 design didn’t have the massive dome that now dominates the Lesser Town skyline below Prague Castle. Dienzenhofer’s son, Krys[av]tof, added the 260-foot-high dome during additional work completed in 1752. The gilded interior is stunning. Gold-capped marble-veneered columns frame altars packed with statuary and frescoes added through the centuries. A giant statue of the church’s namesake looks down from the high altar, as the midday sun strains through the domes, lighting it and the frescoes.

Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel sv. Mikuláse):
Old Town Square at Parízská, Praha 1.
Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
Free admission, except for occasional concerts.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
At the site of a former Gothic church begun by German merchants, this St. Nicholas church was designed in 1735 by the principal architect of Czech baroque, K. I. Dienzenhofer. He’s the same Dienzenhofer who designed Prague’s other St. Nicholas Church, in Lesser Town (see above). This church isn’t as ornate as the other but has a more tumultuous history. The Catholic monastery was closed in 1787, and the church was handed over for use as a concert hall in 1865. The city’s Russian Orthodox community began using it in 1871, but in 1920 management was handed to the Protestant Hussites. One notable piece inside is the 19th-century crystal chandelier with glass brought from the town of Harrachov. Concerts are still held here.

Dvor[av]ák Museum (Muzeum A. Dvor[av]áka):
Ke Karlovu 20, Praha 2.
02/298 214
Tues-Sun 10-5.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line C to I. P. Pavlova.
Built in 1712, the two-story rococo building, tucked away on a Nové Me[av]sto side street, was Dvor[av]ák’s home for 24 years until his death in 1901. In the 18th century when the building was erected, this part of Prague was frontier land. Czechs willing to open businesses so far from the center were called “Americans” for their pioneer spirit. This building came to be known as America. Opened in 1932, the museum shows an extensive collection, including the composer’s piano, spectacles, Cambridge cap and gown, photographs, and sculptures. Several rooms are furnished as they were around 1900.

Kinsk‡ Palace (Palác Kinsk‡ch):
Staromestské námestí, Praha 1.
02/2481 0758.
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
The rococo Kinsk‡ Palace houses graphic works from the National Gallery collection, including pieces by Georges Braque, André Derain, and other modern masters. Pablo Picasso’s 1907 Self-Portrait is here and has virtually been adopted as the National Gallery’s logo. Good-quality international exhibits have included Max Ernst and Rembrandt retrospectives, as well as shows on functional arts and crafts.

Loreto Palace (Loreta):
Loretánské nám. 7, Praha 1.
Tues-Sun 9am-12:15pm and 1-4:30pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 22 from Malostranská.
Loreto Palace was named after the town of Loreto, Italy, where the dwelling of the Virgin Mary was said to have been brought by angels from Palestine in the 13th century. After the Roman Catholics defeated the Protestant Bohemians in 1620, the Loreto cult was chosen as the device for a re-Catholicization of Bohemia. The Loreto legend holds that a cottage in which the Virgin Mary lived had been miraculously transferred from Nazareth to Loreto, an Italian city near Ancona. The Loreto Palace is thought to be an imitation of this cottage, and more than 50 copies have been constructed throughout the Czech lands. The Loreto’s facade is decorated with 18th-century statues of the four writers of the Gospel–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–along with a lone female, St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary.

Mu[ao]stek Metro Station:
The street follows the line of the old fortifications all the way down to the Gothic Powder Tower at náme[av]stí Republiky.
Václavské náme[av]stí, Praha 1.
Metro: Line A or B.
It’s not the metro station itself, which is hardly 20 years old, that warrants an entry here. Descending Mu[ao]stek’s lower escalators, the illuminated stone remains of what was once a bridge that connected the fortifications of Prague’s Old and New Towns can be seen.

Museum of the City of Prague (Muzeum hlavního me[av]sta Prahy):
The museum is 1 block north of the Florenc metro station.
Na por[av]íc[av]í 52, Praha 8.
02/2481 6772
Tues-Sun 9am-6pm, Thurs 9am-8pm.
Admission Charged
This delightfully upbeat museum encompasses Prague’s illustrious past.
Permanent exhibition: Ancient Prague – the history of the city and its inhabitants from prehistoric times to 1620. Prague between the Middle and New Ages. Langweil´s model of Prague created during 1826 – 1837 – a unique three dimensional representation of the city made of paper and wood.

Alfons Mucha Museum (Muzeum A. Muchy):
Panská 7, Praha 1. Phone 02/628 4162 E-mail
Daily 10am-6pm
Metro: Mustek
Admission charged.
This museum opened in early 1998 near Wenceslas Square to honor the art nouveau master, Alphonse (Alfons in Czech) Mucha. Though the Moravian born turn of the 20th century master spent most of his creative years in Paris drawing luminaries like actress Sarah Bernhardt, Mucha’s influence can still be seen throughout his home country. The new museum, around the corner from the Palace Hotel, combines examples of his graphic works, posters, and paintings and highlights his influence in jewelry, fashion, and advertising.

Petr[av]ín Tower (Rozhledna):
Atop Petr[av]ín Hill, Praha 1.
Apr-Oct, daily 9:30am-8pm; Nov-Mar, Sat-Sun only 9:30am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 12 or 22 to Újezd, then ride the funicular to the top.
A one-fifth scale copy of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Prague’s Petr[av]ín Tower was constructed out of recycled railway track for the 1891 Prague Exhibition. It functioned as the city’s primary telecommunications tower until the Emir Hoffman tower opened. Today the Eiffel replica exists solely as a tourist attraction. Those who climb the 195 feet to the top are treated to striking views, particularly at night.

Powder Tower (Pras[av]ná brána, literally Powder Gate):
Náme[av]stí Republiky, Praha 1.
Metro: Line B to Náme[av]stí Republiky
Once part of Staré Me[av]sto’s system of fortifications, the Old Town Powder Tower (as opposed to the Powder Tower in Prague Castle) was built in 1475 as one of the walled city’s major gateways. The 140-foot-tall tower marks the beginning of the Royal Route, the traditional 3/4-mile-long route along which medieval Bohemian monarchs paraded on their way to being crowned in Prague Castle’s St. Vitus Cathedral. It also was the east gate to the Old Town on the road to Kutná Hora. The tower was acutely damaged during the Prussian invasion of Prague in 1737. The present-day name derived from the 18th century, when the development of Nové Me[av]sto rendered this protective tower obsolete; it was then used as a gunpowder storehouse.

Old Town Hall (Starome[av]stská radnice) and Astronomical Clock (orloj):
Starome[av]stské náme[av]stí, Praha 1.
02/2422 8456
May-Oct, Mon 11am-6pm, Tues-Sun 9am-6pm; Nov-Apr, Mon 11am-5pm, Tues-Sun 9am-5pm.
Admission charged to Town Hall tower.
Metro: Line A to Starome[av]stská.
Crowds congregate in front of Old Town Hall’s Astronomical Clock (orloj) to watch the glockenspiel spectacle that occurs hourly from 8am to 8pm. Built in 1410, the clock has long been an important symbol of Prague. According to legend, after the timepiece was remodeled at the end of the 15th century, clock artist Master Hanus[av] was blinded by the Municipal Council so that he couldn’t repeat his fine work elsewhere. In retribution, Hanus[av] threw himself into the clock mechanism and promptly died.

S[av]ternberk Palace Art Museum (of the National Gallery) (S[av]ternbersk‡ palác):
Hradc[av]anské nám. 15, Praha 1.
02/2051 4599
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská or Hradc[av]anská.
The jewel in the National Gallery crown (also known as the European Art Museum), the gallery at S[av]ternberk Palace, adjacent to the main gate of Prague Castle, displays a wide menu of European art throughout the ages. It features six centuries of everything from oils to sculptures. The permanent collection is divided chronologically into pre-19th-century art, 19th- and 20th-century art, and 20th-century French painting and sculpture. Also included is a good selection of cubist paintings by Braque and Picasso, among others. Temporary exhibits, such as Italian Renaissance bronzes, are always on show. The Veletrz[av]ní Palace now houses most of the National Gallery’s 20th-century art collection. The rest of the national collection is divided between Kinsk‡ Palace on Old Town Square and St. Agnes Convent near the river.

St. Agnes Convent (Klás[av]ter sv. Anez[av]ky C[av]eské):
The convent is at the end of Anez[av]ka, off Has[av]talské náme[av]stí.
U milosrdn‡ch 17, Praha 1.
02/2481 0628
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Starome[av]stská.
A complex of early Gothic buildings and churches dating from the 13th century, the convent, tucked in a corner of Staré Me[av]sto, was once home to the Order of the Poor Clares. It was established in 1234 by St. Agnes of Bohemia, sister of Wenceslas I. The Blessed Agnes became St. Agnes when Pope John Paul II paid his first visit to Prague in 1990 for her canonization. The convent is now home to the National Gallery’s collection of 19th- and 20th-century Czech art. In addition to rooms of contemplative oils, the museum contains many bronze studies that preceded the casting of some of the city’s greatest public monuments, including the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas atop the National Theater. Downstairs, a Children’s Workshop offers hands-on art activities, most of which incorporate religious themes. The grounds surrounding the convent are inviting.

St. George’s Convent at Prague Castle (Kláster sv. Jirího na Prazském hrade):
Jirské nám. 33.
02/5732 0536
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská or Hradcanská
Dedicated to displaying old Czech art, the castle convent is especially packed with Gothic and baroque Bohemian iconography as well as portraits of patron saints. The most famous among the unique collection of Czech Gothic panel paintings are those by the Master of the Hohenfurth Altarpiece and the Master Theodoricus. The collections are arranged into special exhibits usually revolving around a specific place, person, or time in history.

Strahov Monastery and Library (Strahovsk‡ kláster):
Strahovské nádvorí, Praha 1.
02/2051 6671
Tues-Sun 9am-noon and 1-5pm.
Admission 40Kc adults, 20Kc students.
Tram: 22 from Malostranská metro station.
The second oldest monastery in Prague, Strahov was founded high above Malá Strana in 1143 by Vladislav II. It’s still home to Premonstratensian monks, a scholarly order closely related to the Jesuits, and their dormitories and refectory are off-limits. What draws visitors are the monastery’s ornate libraries, holding more than 125,000 volumes. Over the centuries, the monks have assembled one of the world’s best collections of philosophical and theological texts, including illuminated manuscripts and first editions.

T‡n Church or the Church of Our Lady Before T‡n (Kostel paní Marie pred T‡nem):
Staromestské námestí, Praha 1, entrance from Stupartská.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
Huge double square towers with multiple black steeples make this church the most distinctive standout of Old Town Square. The “T‡n” was the fence marking the border of the central marketplace in the 13th century. The church’s present configuration was completed mostly in the 1380s, and it became the main church of the Protestant Hussite movement in the 15th century (though the small Bethlehem Chapel in Old Town where Hus preached is the cradle of the Czech Protestant reformation.

Veletrzní Palace (National Gallery):
Veletrzní at Dukelsk‡ch hrdinu 47, Praha 7.
02/2430 1111
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm (Thurs to 9pm)
Admission charged.
Metro: Line C to Vltavská or tram 17.
This 1925 constructionist palace, built for trade fairs, was remodeled and reopened in December 1995 to hold the bulk of the National Gallery’s collection of 20th-century works by Czech and other European artists. .


Doors open 7.30am. Tram #5, #9 or #26.
Kubelíkova 27, Zízkov.
Decent live arts/gig venue in the backstreets of seedy Zízkov

Agharta, Jazz Centrum,
Krakovská 5, Nové Mesto.
Open until 1am.
Metro Muzeum
jazz club with a good mix of foreigners and locals.

Radost FX
Belehradská 120, Vinohrady.
Open until 6am. Metro I.P. Pavlova.
Known as the best dance club in Prague, with a great veggie café attached

Národní 20, Nové Mesto
Open Mon-Fri until 2am, though the music stops at midnight.
Prague’s oldest-established jazz club, serving up anything from traditional to modern

James Joyce Pub
Liliová 10
is authentically Irish (it has Irish owners), with Guinness on tap and excellent fish-and-chips.

Jo’s Bar
Malostranské nám. 7
no phone
is a haven for younger expats, serving bottled beer, mixed drinks, and good Mexican food.

Petrín Hill:
The funicular departs from a small house in the park just above the middle of újezd in Malá Strana
tram 12, 22, or 23 will take you to újezd.
open April to August, daily from 10am to 6pm.
Admission charged (nominal).
Children will enjoy the funicular ride to the top of Petrín Hill, capped by the Petrín Tower, a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower. Once there, look for the Labyrinth (Bludiste), a mirror maze that you walk through. Like the tower replica, the Labyrinth was built for the 1891 Prague Exhibition, an expo that highlighted the beauty and accomplishments of Bohemia and Moravia.Inside the Labyrinth is a gigantic painting/installation depicting the battle between Praguers and Swedes on the Charles Bridge in 1648, a commemoration of the fighting that ended the Thirty Years’ War. In 1892, the building’s other historic exhibits were replaced with mirrors, turning the Labyrinth into the fun house we know today.

Also in the park is the Stefánik Observatory, built in 1930 expressly for public stargazing through a 90-year-old telescope. Open in fall and winter, Tuesday to Friday from 7am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to noon, 2 to 6pm, and 7 to 9pm. In spring and summer spend Tuesday to Friday 6 to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am till noon and 2 to 9pm. Admission charged (nominal)

Havel’s Market (Havelsk‡ trh):
The market is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
On Havelská ulice, a short street running perpendicular to the main route connecting Staromestské námestí with Václavské námestí, is a great open-air place to shop for picnic supplies. Here you’ll find seasonal home-grown fruits and vegetables at inexpensive prices.

in Stromovka Park
02/371 746
To reach the planetarium, take tram 5, 12, or 17 to V‡staviste and walk through the park to your left about 350 yards. charged.
Monday to Thursday from 8am to noon and 1pm until the end of the last program, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am to noon and 1pm until the end of the evening program. There are shows daily under the dark dome, including one where highlighted constellations are set to music and another that displays that night’s sky. The shows are in Czech, but the sky is still the same.

Krizík’s Fountain (Krizíkova fontána):
In the V‡staviste fairgrounds adjacent to Stromovka park
02/2010 3280
The water/music program runs April to October from 7 to 11pm.
Admission charged for various performances at 7, 8, and 9pm, sometimes 10pm.
Take tram 5, 12, or 17 to V‡staviste.
A massive system of water spigots spout tall and delicate streams of color-lit water in a spectacular light show set to recorded classical and popular music. Small children are especially fascinated. There’s also a small amusement park on the fairgrounds

The Czech government publishes an annual “Calendar of Tourist Events” in English, available from Cedok or the Prague Information Service.

Prague City of Music Festival; Czech Alpine Skiing Championships (Tourist Information Center, Box 24, 543 51 Spindlerùv Ml‡n, 0438/93330).

Prague Spring Music Festival (Hellichova 18, 118 00 Prague 1, 02/533473); Prague Marathon; Prague Writers’ Festival (Viola Theater, Národní 7, Prague 1, 02/2422-0844) offers dramatic readings by major writers from around the world.

Classical concerts take place throughout the year in concert halls and churches, the biggest event being the Prague Spring (Prazské jaro) international music festival, which traditionally begins on May 12, the day of Smetana’s death, with a performance of Má vlast, and finishes on June 2 with a rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth. As well as the main venues, watch for concerts in the churches and palaces, especially in summer.

Prague International Film Festival.

Prague Summer Culture Festival.

Prague Autumn International Music Festival (Sekaninova 26, 120 00 Prague 2, 02/692-7470).

Agharta International Jazz Festival; Festival of 20th Century Music (Festa Arts Agency, Dlouhá 10, 110 00 Prague 1, 02/232-1086).

Mozart in Prague 02/643 7560 Studio Forum Praha. A month long celebration.

November 17
Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which took place on November 17, 1989.

Christmas Market in the Old Town Square. Mid-November- December.

December 5-26
Christmas in Prague is celebrated with many events. Santa, dressed in a white bishop’s robes starts it off on 12/5 with treats for the children who are well behaved, and coal and potatoes to the rowdy ones.

December 31
Enjoying New Year’s Eve in Cesk‡ Krumlov: At midnight in Bohemia’s Cesk‡ Krumlov, the Na plásti bridge at the castle overlooking the town turns into a mini-United Nations, as revelers from all over gather to watch and light fireworks, see who can uncork the champagne the fastest, and just plain celebrate

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Brussels Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Brussels Travel Deals

Brussels is an exciting, modern city, yet it is rich in strikingly beautiful medieval and art nouveau buildings. It has outstanding museums and galleries and a vibrant cultural life. The heart of the capital city of Belgium lies inside a circle of main roads. The inner city can easily be explored within this circle on foot, by bus, or by tram. For areas outside it, there is an excellent subway system.

brussels overview

Over the centuries, Brussels (Bruxelles in French; Brussel in Flemish) has been ruled by every major power at or near its boundaries from the Romans to the Spanish to the Germans. Its colonial history provided a fitting prelude to its current status. Brussels has become an international business community composed of diplomats, lobbyists, and euro-politicians connected with NATO and the European Union. International business arrived in the past three decades, resulting in blocks lined with steel-and-glass office buildings. However, these modern edifices are only a few steps from the cobbled streets, splendid cafés, and graceful art nouveau architecture that speak to the city’s eventful past.

Belgium’s unique languages date back to the time when the Franks were forcing Celts and Gauls into the land’s southern regions, making an early form of the Dutch language the norm in the north. French (with Dutch influence), is the accepted language in the south. Brussels, located in the middle, is one of the world’s few officially bilingual capitals. Residents of Brussels tend to be politically and religiously conservative and to cling to family and national traditions. The vast majority of Belgians are Roman Catholics, and despite a decline in church attendance, religious customs still flavor much of Belgium’s daily life.

Until the late 19th century, Brussels was a riverside city, built along the banks of the River Senne. At that time, a decision was made to brick over the river and thus eliminate it as a source of flooding and any other annoyance it might cause. The river still flows under the bricked boulevard that covers it. In order to photograph the Senne,however, one must travel outside the city.

Early Belgian artists are credited with inventing oil painting, and the country has produced many masterpieces. The Flemish primitive Jan Van Eyck started the tradition in the 15th century. Pieter Brueghel followed with his portrayals of peasant life in the 16th century, and Pieter Paul Rubens dominated early 17th century art as the leading artist of the Baroque period. For most of the 18th century, while Brussels was under Austrian rule, buildings were designed in a modest rational, neoclassical style. After the war of independence ended in 1831 Brussels built with a new exuberance in an effort to catch up with and surpass the extravagant structures of London and Paris. The first covered shopping gallery was a product of this period. The glass covered Galeries Saint Hubert is still open today, and is as astounding as when it was built!

The most dramatic post World War II structure is the Atomium, which is modeled on a molecule of iron. It was built for the Belgian metal industry as the showpiece for the 1958 World’s Fair. The 300 foot tall steel structure consists of nine separate spheres linked by cylindrical columns.

Throughout the years Brussels has been a world leader not only in architecture but also in literature, music, dance, painting, sculpture, and of course textiles. The city contains a wealth of examples showing excellence in each of these areas.

“One of the most beautiful town squares in Europe, if not in the world”, is a phrase often heard when visitors in Brussels try to describe the beauty of this central market square. French speakers refer to it as the ‘Grand-Place’, and in Dutch it is called ‘de Grote Markt’. Writers over the years, including Victor Hugo and Baudelaire were struck by the charm of the market square with its rows of guild houses set against the backdrop of the Town Hall and the king’s house.

The origins of the Grand-Place were humble. The site began as a sand bank between two brooks that ran downhill to the river Senne. The “niedermerckt”, or ‘lower market’ was built along it first. By the 12th century, Brussels had become a commercial crossroads between Bruges (in Flanders) , Cologne , and France. English wool, French wines and German beer were sold in the harbour and at the market.

During the early Middle Ages small wooden houses were scattered around the market. Beginning in the 14th century, wealthy families constructed stone mansions. Gradually the market turned into the main commercial and administrative center of the city. Between 1402 and 1455 the Town Hall was built. The square had by then become the political center where meetings were held, where executions took place and where dukes, kings and emperors where officially received. In the centuries that followed most wooden houses where replaced with beautifully decorated stone ones, owned by the powerful Brussels trade guilds.

The Grand Sablon is an elegant square surrounded by restaurants, cafés, and exclusive antique shops. Every Saturday and Sunday morning a lively antiques market takes over the upper part of the square. The petit Sablon, the other half of the square, is surrounded by a magnificent wrought-iron fence topped by 48 small bronze statues representing the city’s guilds.

Belgian food is highly regarded throughout Europe. Some say it’s second only to French cuisine. Combining French and German styles, meat and seafood are the main raw ingredients. The Belgians claim to be the inventors of frites (potato chips, or fries), and judging by availability, it’s a claim few would contest. These crisp delights rank in popularity with Belgian chocolate and Belgian beer. Mussels are another favorite.

There are many attractions the whole family will enjoy. One that is sure to please is Brupark, an outstanding theme park in the city’s northern suburbs. There the Atomium can be viewed from the ground by going inside the structure. There is a 24 theater complex, a planetarium, a water park, and a miniature re-creation of Europe that has several hands – on components.

Shopping in Brussels is a favorite occupation. Though there are no longer 22,000 lace makers as there were in the 17th century, visitors will have at least 40 lace makers’ shops from which to choose. Much lace is now machine made, but handmade lace can still be found. Art and antique shops are also abundant. Boutiques feature the latest fashions on several of the city’s streets.

Popular sports to be enjoyed in Brussels are soccer (voetbal in Flemish), archery, horse-ball, golf, and tennis. Nightly entertainment offers everything from discos to classical music to jazz and rock. Some clubs feature Latin music. Opera, ballet, and theater are all part of the cultural life of this outstanding city.


Brussels is in the valley of the Senne River in southeastern Belgium in Flemish Brabandt Province.

Time zone:
Belgium’s clocks are 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States, and 1 hour ahead of Greenwich mean time in the winter and 2 hours ahead in the summer under daylight saving time.

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):

  High Low
January – March 51F 30F
April – June 72F 41F
July – September 73F 51F
October – December 60F 32f

When to go:
Many residents of Brussels take vacations in July and August. This makes the city less crowded, but also means that some shops and restaurants will be closed. Belgium’s climate is temperate: never too hot or too cold; never too wet or too dry. Spring and autumn are cooler than summer and more changeable. A shower can spring up at any time.

It is advisable to bring a wool sweater, even in summer; if you happen to be there duirng a rainy spell, a raincoat and umbrella will be essential. Practical walking shoes are important, for rough cobblestones or for forest trails. Women wear skirts more frequently than do women in the United States, especially those over 35. Men would be wise to include a jacket and tie, especially if planning to visit one of the better restaurants.

Useful measurements:
Equivalent weights and measures
1 cm – 0.39 inches
1 meter – 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km – 0.62 miles
1 liter – 0.26 gallons
1 inch – 2.54 cm
1 foot – 0.39 meters
1 yard – 0.91 meters
1 mile – 1.60 km
1 gallon – 3.78 liters


local calls
Pay phones work with telecards, available in a number of denominations, starting at bf200. These cards can be purchased at any post office and at many newsstands. Most phone booths that accept telecards have a list indicating where cards can be bought.

International calls
Telephones are operated by Belgacom.
The country code is 32.
The Brussels city code is 02.
To dial abroad, 00+ the country code + the area code, + subscriber number.
Information 1207/1307 (local) or 1204;1304 (International.)

The least expensive way is to buy a high-denomination telecard and make a direct call from a phone booth. Most hotel rooms are equipped with direct-call telephones, but nearly all add a service charge that can be substantial. It’s better to ask beforehand what service charges are applied.

A service charge is included in restaurant and hotel bills, and tips are also included in the amount shown on the meter in taxis. Additional tipping is unnecessary unless you wish to say thank you for very good service

Visitor information:
Tourist information Brussels (TIB: tel. 02/513-8940 in the Hôtel De Ville On The Grand’place, is daily 9-6 during the main tourist season (off-season, Sunday 10-2; December through February, closed Sunday).

Belgium is a predominantly Roman-Catholic country. Most churches in Brussels are Roman-Catholic. In the Saint-Nicholas church off Grand’place services are held in other languages than French and Dutch. Most other religions also have prayer houses in Brussels. Check the phone directory to find the nearest mosque, synagogue, pPotestant church, orthodox church that is closest to your hotel or apartment.

Most movies in Brussels run in two different versions. 1. The original version with Dutch subtitles, 2. The version dubbed in French. If you want to see the original version look out for the films marked VO (version originale) at the entrance of the movie theaterue

Most international newspapers are available in Brussels on the day of publishing. The largest choice will be available in the newspaper shops around the Grand’place, stock exchange and Place de Brouckère.

The local press consists of French-language and Dutch-language newspapers and magazines. There is an English-language magazine about Brussels called The Bulletin . It is published weekly and focuses on ‘political, cultural and social news about Belgium and Brussels’ for English-speaking residents. It also comes with a list of the TV programs on the Brussels cable network.

Internet access:
Cyber Theater Avenue de la Toison-d’Or is a large café where, for a fee, you can access the internet. Some hotels have internet access also.

To use U.S. purchased electric powered equipment, bring a converter and an adapterue The electrical current in Belgium is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.

All U.S. citizens, even infants, need a valid passport to enter Belgium for stays of up to 90 days.

U.S. and Canadian residents do not require visas to visit Belgium for pleasure or business trips not exceeding three months.

U.S. Embassy (Boulevard du régent 27 tel. 02/513-3830

January 1 – New Year’s Day
March or April (varies) – Easter and Easter Monday
May 1 – Labor Day
May (varies) – Feast of the Ascension,
May (varies) – Whitsunday, Pentecost Monday
August 15 – Assumption of the Virgin
December 25 – Christmas day
December 26 – St. Stephen Day

police 101;
accident and ambulance 100
Doctor 02/479-1818.
Dentist 02/426-1026.

Late-night pharmacies:
One pharmacy in each district stays 24 hours; the roster is posted in all pharmacy windows. In an emergency call 02/479-1818.

Brussels is the official bi-lingual capital of Belgium. All official notices such as names of streets and traffic indications, fire prevention notices, fire exits, etc…are given in two languages: French and Dutch. The majority of the people in Brussels speak French. The French language in Brussels has sometimes been influenced by Dutch phase-structures that the people in France wouldn’t understand.

The other language is Dutch. Dutch in Belgium is also sometimes called Flemish but it is the same language as the one spoken in Holland, with differences in accent, vocabulary and influences from French phrase structures. Visitors will have no problem finding English speakers.

Currency is the Euro (EUR). The notes are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 euro. The denominations of coins are 2 euro, 1 euro, 50 euro cent, 20 euro cent, 10 euro cent, 5 euro cent, 2 euro cent, and 1 euro cent.

In Belgium, VAT ranges from 6% on food and clothing to 33% on luxury goods. Restaurants are in between; 21% VAT is included in quoted prices. Many shops advertise that goods are available tax-free. At the time of purchase, by credit card, you pay the price without VAT and you also sign a guarantee in the amount of the sales tax. You are given two invoices: one is your record and the other must be stamped by customs when you leave Belgium (or the last EU country on your itinerary). You must return the stamped invoice to the store within three months, or you forfeit the guarantee.

Arriving in Brussels:
By air Most flights arrive at and depart from Zaventem 02/732-3111 Brussels’s national airport.

Belgium has two international airports, the main one being Zaventem, 14km northeast of Brussels. The other one, Deurne, is close to Antwerp and has less frequent flights to Amsterdam, London, Liverpool and Dublin only. Depending on when you leave, flights to London can be cheaper from Deurne. If you’re in Europe already, a bus or train is the best option. Eurolines and Hoverspeed Citysprint operate international bus services to and from Belgium.

Brussels has three main railway stations and is the central hub, with lines in all directions. Two companies operate car/passenger ferries to and from Britain: north sea ferries (overnight from Zeebrugge to Hull) and Ostende lines/ ferries (six boats daily between Ostend and Ramsgate).

Sample flying times are as follows: 6 hours, 50 minutes from New York to Brussels; seven hours from boston to Brussels. Return flights are about an hour longer

Getting around:

Courtesy buses serve airport hotels and a few downtown hotels. Inquire when making reservations.

Express trains leave the airport for the Gare Du Nord and Gare Centrale stations every 20 minutes (one train an hour continues to the Gare du Midi). The trip takes 20 minutes The trains operate from 6 am to midnight. Taxis are plentiful. A taxi to the city center takes about half an hour . You can save 25% on the fare by buying a voucher for the return trip if you use the Autolux taxi company. Beware of freelance taxi drivers. You have to go to a taxi stand (taxi’s won’t stop for you if you try to make them stop by waving in the middle of the street) Taxi’s can be of all different colors and car makes. Official taxis have an illuminated panel on top of the roof (called ‘sputnik’ by the cab-drivers) with the slogan ” Brussels gewest – taxi – région de Bruxelles”. There is a starting price (which depends on the time of day). If you go outside of the city limits, the rate goes up.

By car
Belgium is covered by an extensive network of four-lane highways. Brussels is 122 miles from Amsterdam on E19; 138 miles from Düsseldorf on E40; 133 miles from Luxembourg City on E411; and 185 miles from Paris. Brussels is surrounded by a beltway, marked “The Ring.” Exits to the city are marked “center.” There are several large underground parking facilities The one close to the Grand’place is particularly convenient for patrons of downtown hotels.

Drivers must carry a warning triangle, to be placed well behind the car in case of a breakdown. There are emergency telephones at intervals along the motorways. The speed limit is 130 kph (80 mph) on highways, 90 kph (56 mph) on secondary roads, and 50 kph (31 mph) in built-up areas. Driving with the flow may mean higher speeds than most U.S. drivers are accustomed to. At intersections, always check traffic from the right even if you’re on a thoroughfare; Belgian drivers can be reckless in insisting on “priority on the right.” Gas costs about the same as in other European countries, which means quite a bit more than in the United States.

Requirements: Your own driver’s license is acceptable. An international driver’s permit, available from the American or Canadian Automobile Association, is a good idea.

By Bus
Eurolines offers up to three daily express bus services from Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, and London. The Eurolines coach station is located at CCN Gare du Nord Rue du progrès 80 tel. 02/203-0707.

The metro, trams, and buses operate as part of the same system. All three are clean and efficient, and a single ticket can be used on all three. The best buy is a 10 trip ticket or a one day card. You need to stamp your ticket in the appropriate machine on the bus or tram; in the metro, your card is stamped as you pass through the automatic barrier. You can purchase these tickets in any metro station or at newsstands. Single tickets can be purchased on the bus.

Detailed maps of the Brussels public transportation network are available in most Metro stations and at the Brussels tourist office in the Grand’place 02/513-8940. You get a map free with a tourist passport (also available at the tourist office), which, for bf220 allows you a one-day transport card and bf1000 worth of museum admissions.

By train
Eurostar trains from London (Waterloo) use the channel tunnel to cut travel time to Brussels (Gare du Midi) to 3 1/4 hours. Trains stop at Ashford (Kent) and Lille (France). There are seven daily services. First and second class seats are available. A number of promotional fares are offered. Brussels is linked with Paris, Amsterdam, and Liège by new high-speed trains, which operate at full TGV speed on French tracks. In Belgium and Holland, until new tracks have been laid, they provide a slower but comfortable ride. Belgian National Railways (SNCB; tel. 02/203-3640 is the National rail line.

Some travel times:
Brussels-Bruges = 1h, Brussels-Ghent = 40 min, Brussels – Antwerp = 35 min, Brussels – liège = 1 h, Brussels – Amsterdam = 3h, Brussels – Cologne = 2h.

There are very few public toilets in Brussels. If you find one, expect to having to pay a fee, so always carry some small change with you. You can always find public toilets in the train stations and in some metro stations.

Quite a few people smoke in Belgium in general and in Brussels in particular. Smoking is forbidden in public spaces (trams, buses, railway station, airport, metro, churches, ..) In most cafés and restaurant there are separate sections for smokers and non-smokers.

The most frequently purchased souvenirs are : chocolates, beer, and lace.

Belgium is the best beer country in the world. There are nowadays numerous beer shops around the ‘Grand’place’ where you can buy most of the Belgian beers. Sample packs of beer are available which contain a few bottles of one specific kind of beer together with the matching beer glass ( in Belgium every beer has its own specially designed glass. It is said that Belgian beers do not taste good when drunk from a non-matching glass. Fruit beers (cherry, raspberry, peach, etc.) are specialties of the Brussels region

The Art and History Museum:
Jubelpark / parc du cinquantenaire, 10
1040 Brussels
Metro station: schumann or merode
From 9.30 – 5 pm (closed on Mondays)
From 10 -5 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Admission charged
This Museum has an important collection of art objects from civilizations all over the world. It offers an overview of the history of human settlement in the five continents from prehistoric times until today. The Museum was founded in 1835 and was located in the Hallepoort/Porte de Hal, one of the last remaining medieval city gates of Brussels. In 1889 it was transferred to the newly built pavilions in the Cinquantenaire Park.. The Museum is part of the Royal Museums of Art and History.

Autoworld Museum:

brussels autoworld
Jubelpark / Parc du Cinquantenaire, 11
Metro station: Schumann or Merode
10- 5 (closed on Mondays) (November -March)
10 – 6 (closed on Mondays) (April – October)
Admission charged
The more than 400 cars in this museum comprise one of the world’s top collections of vintage and classic cars. On display also is the history of the automobile from 1886 up to the 1970’s. There is, first of all, an exhibit of Belgian automobiles. Belgian car manufacturers no longer exist, but names such as Minerva, FN, Imperia, Nagant, Germain and Vivinus are names that are familiar to those who are lovers of the automobile. These cars came out of Belgian factories in the pre-world war II era. There are also cars from the United States, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. There are also special models which belonged to the Belgian royal family and to US presidents Franklin Roosevelt and J.F.Kennedy.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart:
Blvd. Leopold II near the Bruparck.
8-5 daily
Metro: Simonis; then bus 87.
For a fee, climb up into the dome for a spectacular view of the city.
When standing on one of the hills surrounding the center of Brussels, one can always see the dome of the Basilica to the west. The Basilica was built to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence. In 1905 king Leopold II laid the first stone. According to the plans of architect Langerock it was to become a gigantic neo-Gothic church. The initial plans were stopped at the beginning of World War I. By the time construction resumed, a new architect, named Van Nuffel, was asked to construct a modern house of prayer. He changed the style from neo-Gothic to art deco. The result seems discordant to many. Construction of the church depended entirely on donations made by believers and these donations did not always yield the expected funds. The church was eventually finished in the late 1960’s with the construction of a dome and dedicated to the War Victories of 1918 and 1944.

The Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art:
Center Belge De La Bande Dessinée
Rue des Sables 20
tel. 02/219-1980.
Admission charged.
Tues.-Sunday 10-6.
Metro: Rogier/Botaniqu
Trams 90 92 and 93; bus 38.
An art nouveau building houses the world’s first Comic Strip Museum which exhibits over 400 original Tintin plates created by Hergé, as well as 25, 000 other cartoon works. The Waucquez warehouses are considered to be one of the masterpieces of the famous Belgian art nouveau architect, Victor Horta. Horta built the house in 1906 for the Waucquez family who used it for a wholesale cloth business. The building illustrates the principles of Horta’s architectural style: sunlight filters from the glass ceiling into the central hall, lighting the rest of the warehouse in a natural way. One of the most popular new art forms for Belgium is the comic strip. Since World War II, most Belgians have grown up with Belgian comic strips. Herge stands out as the most important writer He is the father of the best known Belgian comic strip: Tintin. Tintin has been delighting children since 1929, when he began his adventures as a boy reporter traveling the world and setting wrongs to right. Tintin’s adventures became one of the greatest early examples of the European strip cartoon. Willy Vandersteen is the best known name of the Flemish school. His most important creation is Suske and Wiske (in English known as Willy and Wanda). Since the 1950’s, however, the entire comic strips scene has boomed in Belgium. This museum illustrates this “9th Art” in Belgium, with sets of enlarged drawings, three-dimensional recreations, etc. One can also learn everything about the birth and the development of a comic strip series. The Museum also has a shop with albums and memorabilia of the different Belgian comic strip heroes.

Cathédrale Saint-Michel et Sainte-Gudule (Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule):
Parvis Ste-Gudule
tel. 02/217-8345
Nov.-March, daily 7-6; April-Oct., Mon.-Sat. 7-7 Sunday 8-7.
The city’s principal church is a 13th-century edifice with twin Gothic towers and outstanding stained-glass windows. This church can be found at the Treurenberg hill on the edge between lower and upper town. Already at the beginning of the 11th century a church was situated here. In 1047 the duke of Brabant, Lambert II, had the relics of Saint Gudula transferred from the Saint Gorik church in downtown Brussels to the new church at Treurenberg hill. From that moment on the Saint Gudula and Saint Michael church took the lead over all the other churches in Brussels. Lambert II also gave the church a chapter of 12 canons (= priests who took care of the services and possessions of the church).

Because of its growing importance, the first St. Gudula church originally built in romanesque style was transformed in Gothic style as from the 13th century. The foundations of the first church can still be seen under the crypt of the Gothic cathedral. The Gothic choir was constructed between 1226 and 1276 nave and transept in the middle of the 15th century. The western facade, completed between 1450 and 1490 follows the example of the French Gothic facades. Via a large staircase (built in 1861 the three gates of the entrance can be reached. Inside, 12 pillars clearly determine the interior of the cathedral, whereas the triforia and glass-stained windows accentuate the later Gothic style which allowed more light to fall in to the church. The choir is darker because of the smaller window openings. In the northern chapel on the left side of the choir, one can see the portraits of several kings and emperors who bestowed the richly decorated glass-stained windows: Joao III of portugal, Louis of Hungary, François I of France and Ferdinand I. In the choir the windows of the following rulers can be seen: Maximilian of Austria, Philip the Beautiful, Charles V, Philip II of Spain, Philibert of Savoy with his wife Margaret of Austria. All through the 20th century the cathedral was almost continuously renovated. The renovation was completed in December 1999 when the marriage of the Belgian crown prince Philippe with his bride Princess Mathilda took place there, on the 4th of December.


The Chinese Pavilion and The Japanese Tower:
Avenue van Praet/ van Praetlaan 44
Tues-Sun. 10-5 Closed Monday
Admission charged.

The two monuments are located on the northern corner of the Royal Park .After his visit to the 1900 universal exhibition in Paris king Leopold II decided to have his park embellished with exotic monuments. He ordered the Parisian architect Alexandre Marcel to construct the Japanese tower and the Chinese pavilion. The entrance to the Japanese tower was built as a replica of the Japanese Pavilion at the Paris exhibitionthat had been constructed by a Japanese carpenter. The woodwork of both buildings was constructed by specialists from Yokohama and Shanghai.

The Heysel Exhibition Park (Bruparck):
A theme park in Brussels’ northern suburbs.
Metro 1A (Heizel/Heyzel)
In the 1930’s Belgium wanted to organize a world exhibition to show its prosperity after the disasters of World War I and also to celebrate the centenary of its independence. The exhibition surface in the Central Cinquantenaire Park had become too small. Therefore, it was decided that the Expo of 1935 was to take place north of the center of Brussels, in the Heizel/Heysel plains. This major event took 10 years to organize. The results were impressive. More than 20 million visitors came to Brussels, 182 buildings were constructed, 25 countries participated. More than 300 congresses, parades, festivals and concerts were organized. Each country was represented in a National pavilion where national products and accomplishments were shown to the rest of the world. Belgium also built a colonial pavilion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Congo freestate. A giant attraction park and a reconstruction of “old Brussels” drew large crowds to the Heysel. The result of restoration and additions to the site is Bruparck
Among its components are:

Daily shows: 258,10:30pm
Admission charged.
Said to be the world’s largest cinema complex, Kinepolis has 24 wide screen theaters and an IMAX screen seven stories high. All have a THX sound system. Films are shown in their original language (usually English) with Dutch and French subtitles.

March 25-June 30 and Sept. 1-November 1: 9:30-6 daily.
July 21-August 20 9:30-midmight daily.
July 1-August 31: 9:30-8 daily.
November 7-January 7 10-6 daily.
Admission charged.
A miniature world displaying models of major events in the history of Europe. Some are hands-on such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Visitors can make it happen. There are even scaled down replicas of the Channel Tunnel and the Ariane rocket.

April-June Tues-Thurs. 10- 6 Friday-Sunday 10-10
July and August: daily 10-10
Sept.-March Wed-Fri. 10-6 Sat., Sun. 10-10
Admission charged.
An indoor and outdoor aquatic paradise with giant flumes, wave machine, plastic beaches and palm trees. While in the area, the visitor pretends to be on a two hour Carribean holiday. Even in winter; swimming in a heated pool is offered while snow falls outside the fantasy world. Children seem to love it at any time of the year Adults can also relax in the sauna complex.

The Village
Open daily
An imitation Flemish style village. There are restaurants, cafés, all of which are convenient to Bruparck’s many attractions. there is also a well appointed children’s playground and a full program of events for families.

The Planetarium
Avenue de Bouchout/Bouchoutlaan 10
Call for hours.
Admision charged.
Situated just outside the Bruparck.

The Atomium
Blvd. du Centenaire
Daily (Summer) 9-8
Fall and winter: Daily 10-6
Metro: Heizel/Heysel
This monument from 1958 has become the Eiffel tower of Brussels. The Atomium is the visual representation of the concept of an “atom”. It symbolizes an elementary iron crystal with its 9 atoms and magnified 150 billion times. It honored the metal and iron industry and the belief in atomic power. The architect was André Waterkeyn. It took 18 months to conceive and another 18 months to construct. The monument is coated with aluminum, weighs 2.400 tons and is 102 meters high. Each sphere has a diameter of 18 meters. An elevator takes visitors to the upper sphere where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Heysel area and (if the weather is clear) the city of Brussels.

The Guild Houses:
In medieval Belgium, traders and craftsmen formed groups known as guilds in order to set standards for their craft and establish a trade monopoly in their geographic area. The guilds were run by wealthy families who also tried to exert political influence and control town or city governments. During the 16th century, they began building headquarters, first of wood and then of stone. The guild leaders met regularly in these houses to discuss new rules or regulations within their specific trade or area of commerce.

In Brussels the guilds built their houses around the main town square. After the French bombardment of August 1695 the city ordered the guilds to submit the restoration plans of the houses before a final approval could be given for the construction. Because of this decision, the unity of style has been preserved and former irregularities done away with. In the Middle Ages no house numbers were given, only names. There were so few stone houses that most people could locate a house just by its name. On the Grand-Place the names of the houses are often indicated by a little statue or some part of the decoration. Here follows a list of the houses with their names and eventual specific historic details. The list starts at the group of houses on the left side of the Town Hall and continues clockwise: The mountain of Thabor – the rose -the golden tree – the swan (now an upscale restaurant “La Maison du Cygne (House of the Swan). The star (in the middle ages this house was occupied by the amman, the duke’s representative in the city. Under the arcade is a statue of Everard ‘t Serclaes, a medieval Brussels hero. Legend has it that hitting the arm of the statue brings luck. ) (The Town Hall)- the fox (house of the Traders Guild with the statue of St. Nicolas on top) – the horn (House of the Sailors. The upper floor looks like the rear end of a ship) – the She-wolf – the Sack – the Wheelbarrow The King of Spain (house of the Guild of the Bakers ) – the Mule – Saint Barbara – the Samaritan – the oak – the peacock – the helmet – (the king’s house) – – the Merchand of Gold – the pigeon – the golden sloop – the angel – Joseph and Anna – the deer

The Horn
This house of the Sailor’s Guild has a gable that is in the form of the stern of a 17th century sailing ship.

Brewers’ Guild House Grand-Place/Grote Markt 10
Daily 10-5
Admission charged.
The headquarters of the brewers’ trade association and their guild, the Knights of the Marsh Staff. There is also a museum of brewing. Belgium poroduces more than 400 kinds of beer. For a small entrance fee, a tour is given and beer can be sampled.

The Pigeon
Grand-Place 26-27
Victor Hugo lived here in 1851 above what is now a shop selling lace.

Horta Museum
Amerikaanse straat / Rue américaine, 23-25
From 2pm to 5.30pm (closed on Mondays and holidays)
Admission charged
tram 91 or 92 to Ma Campagne
This is not a Museum in the traditional sense. It is not a building in which the objects displayed draw all the attention. In this case, the building itself is the object displayed. The Horta Museum was actually the house that Victor Horta built for himself in the late 1890’s. It provides an excellent example of the style that made Horta one of the most acclaimed architects in Belgium.

The art nouveau style was popular in Europe, and especially in Brussels, between 1893 and 1918. The characteristics are: the use of industrial materials like steel and iron in the visible parts of houses, new movement of design asinspired by nature (e.g. the famous whiplash motive, which occurs very often in the Art nouveau style and especially in the work of Horta), decorative mosaics or sgraffito on the façades of houses, etc… Most of these principles can be seen applied in the Horta Museum’s structure. This house also shows one of the great innovations of Horta: the rooms are built around a central hall. From the beautiful glass ceiling light falls into the house thereby creating a much more natural illumination of the building than was the case in the traditional late 19th century houses in Brussels and Belgium.

The King’s House
32(022794350 fax: 32(022794362
Admission charged.
Mon -Thurs 10 – 12:30, 1:30 – 5 ( 1 October – 31 March until 4)
Closed on Fridays and bank holidays
Saturday and Sunday: 10 – 1
At the market place, opposite the Town Hall, stands another of the remarkable historical buildings of Brussels. The beautiful neo-Gothic building with its many decorative statues is the “Maison du roi” in French or “Broodhuis” in Dutch. It contains the City Museum.

The Dutch name “Broodhuis” (I.e. bread house) clearly shows the origins of this building. In the beginning of the 13th century a wooden building stood in this spot from which the bakers sold their bread. In 1405 a stone building replaced the original wooden bread hall. During the early 15th century the bakers turned to selling their products from house to house, and the ancient bread hall was used more and more for administrative purposes by the duke of Brabant. It became known then as “Maison du roi” (the King’s House). During the reign of Emperor Charles V, the king’s house was rebuilt in Gothic style from 1515 until 1536.

After the French bombardment of 1695 the building was restored only as far as was necessary to keep it from collapsing. In the following centuries it was used for different purposes. In 1860 the mayor of Brussels, Jules Anspach convinced the city authorities to buy the old king’s house which by then was in a sorry state. The entire building had to be rebuilt. The restoration was done in the then fashionable neo-Gothic style. On June the 2nd 1887 the king’s house became the city Museum of Brussels. On exhibition are original statues from the Town Hall, as well as paintings, wall tapestries and artifacts which relate to the history of the city.

The City Museum:
Monday – Thursday (April to October): 10 -12.30 and 1.30 – 5 (Nov.-Mar.until 4pm)
Weekends 10 – 1
Admission charged
Grote Markt / Grand’place
32 -02-279 43 58
The City Museum is situated in the king’s house on the Grand’place of Brussels. In 1884 Brussels established a museum dedicated to presenting details of the city’s rich past. The Museum opened in 1887. The beginnings were modest. The small collection was housed on the second floor of the building. The collection has continued to grow over the intervening years. . A plan to use the entire building for the City Museum collection in 1935 was interrupted during World War II. Finally, in 1960, the City Museum space was enlarged to utilize the entire building. On the ground level is a collection of art objects showing: wall tapestries (some based on paintings made by Barend Van Orley and Peter Paul Rubens): The typical elements of a Brussels wall tapestry are the use of the colours red, blue and brown and the presence of a border which was decorated with fruits or plant motives. The scenes represented could be religious as well as historical. The tapestries were woven based on sketches made by important painters (e.g. Van Orley, Rubens, etc) Sometimes the Brussels origin of a tapestry can be detected through the presence of the initials b.b on the lower border. This initials were used as the Brussels trade mark and meant ‘Brussels in Brabant’, Brabant being the dukedom of which Brussels was the capital. Brussels wall tapestries are now spread all over the world. Tapestries wereoriginally meant for the decoration (and also insulation) of the immense, drafty rooms in the different European castles and courts.

In addition to tapestries there are also many paintings displayed (among them a Wedding Procession attributed to Brueghel the elder), altar pieces, and goldsmith work. On the second floor one can see a collection of documents and miniature scale models which outline the development and growth of the city. The third floor shows the cultural, economic and social development of Brussels through historical documents, paintings, engravings, scientific documents and manuscripts. On this floor the wardrobe of Manneken pis can be seen. The little boy already possesses a collection of more than 650 costumes.

The David and Alice Van Buuren Museum:
Avenue Léo Errera, 41
House and garden : Sunday 1 -5.15 Monday 2 – 5.15
Garden only : Daily 2 -5
Admission Charged
The museum is located in the house in which David and Slice Van Buuren lived. It opened in 1973. In 1970 Mrs.Van Buuren had established the “Friends of the Museum of David and Alice Van Buuren” society, to which she left by will the house, the garden, the works of art as well as a substantial donation which would serve as an endowment to insure the continued availability of funds in years to come. During his life, Mr. David Van Buuren, was a fervent collector of fine works of art. The Van Buurens turned their property into a living museum. The house itself was built in 1928. It was constructed in a typical Dutch style and decorated by well known Belgian, French and Dutch designers. In the various rooms of the house the visitor can view the sculptures and paintings displayed within an exquisite setting of rare and precious furniture, luxurious woodwork and signed tapestries. The entire “art deco” setting in which the Van Buurens lived,has been carefully preserved. The surrounding gardens never ceases to amaze the visitor. The gardens are laid out in three sections. First, there is the “picturesque garden” designed by Jules Buyssens (1924 ). A masterpiece of art deco design, it recalls the spirit of the “roaring twenties”. Second, the “labyrinth” by René Pechère, constructed in 1968. Its 300 elms lead to 7 rooms of plantings selected to illustrate the “Song of Solomon”. The last section is the “garden of the heart” by René Pechère, built in 1969-1970.

The Grand’place:
(Grote Markt – Market Square)
The Grand-Place is the main tourist attraction of the city of Brussels. All through the year it is visited by thousands who like to spend some time wandering around and admiring the beautiful buildings, or sitting down on one of the many terraces having a good Belgian beer Concerts and musical happenings are organized all through the year on the square. The most famous events that take place here are the annual Ommegang (an historical procession at the beginning of July) and the biennial flower carpet.

Manneken pis. (Also known as Petit Julien):
Corner of Rue de l’etuve and Rue du chêne.
This small bronze statue of a chubby boy urinating into a fountain is known as “Brussels’ oldest citizen.” The first mention of the statue came from documents dating back to about 1377, but the current version is a copy; the original was kidnapped by French soldiers in 1747. In restitution King Louis XV of France presented the statue with a gold-embroidered suit, the first of a collection of ceremonial costumes that now numbers over 500.

Musée d’Art ancien (Part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts):
rue de la régence 3. This Museum lies next to the Museum of Modern Art.
Tues.-Sunday 10-noon and 1-5. (closed on Mondays)
Admission charged. Artists united to form powerful guilds in the 15th century. They turned the cities in the low countries into centers of European Art. Most of their work was done using wooden panels. After having made the representation on the panel, they applied the colourful paint. Through this procedure thin layers of unmixed, pure mineral paint were applied on top of each other. These optically mixed colours gave their work a unique depth as can be seen in the works of Van Eyck, Rogier Van der Weyden, Dirk Bouts, Hugo Van der Goes, Petrus Christus, Gerard David and Hans Memling. They also experimented with perspective. In many of the earliest works of the 15th century perfection had not been achieved. Also the setting of the (mostly) religious scenes started to change. Until the beginning of the 15th century, most religious scenes were set against a colored background. In the first decades of the 15th century, the divine personae were painted against a contemporary and very realistic background (such as typical Flemish landscapes, typical Gothic living-rooms and church interiors).

This Museum contains an extensive collection of excellent paintings from the low countries and the world. In the entrance hall several sculptures can be seen of Belgian and international sculptors (for example: Meunier, Lambeau, Rodin, etc.) The main accent, however, is on the collection of old masters with its 1200 paintings. On the first floor are the masterpieces of the 15th and 16th century. Among the famous names are: the Master of Flémalle, Rogier Van der Weyden, the Master of Aix, Barend Van Orley, Dirk Bouts, Hieronymus Bosch, Lucas Cranach and Quentin Metsys. The pride of the Museum is the Bruegel collection, of which the “Landscape With the Fall of Icarus” is considered to be one of the seven wonders of Belgium. Most visitors go directly to the Bruegel and Rubens rooms, but there are also works by Van Dyck, Bosch, the great Flemish primitives of the 15th century, and a fine collection of 19th-century works.

The Museum of Modern Art (Part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts):
Koningsplein / place royale, 1-2
1000 Brussels.
Admission free.
Tues.-Sunday 10-1 and 2-5. (closed on Mondays and public holidays).
Admission charged
Housed in a building that is an amazing feat of modern architecture that burrows seven floors underground around a central light well, this collection holds mainly Belgian and French Art of the past 100 years. Highlights include works by the Belgian surrealists Delvaux and Magritte. In 1984 a new Museum complex was opened near the royal square. In this complex, the collection of modern masters of the Museum of the fine arts is now housed. The entrance, situated in a neo-classical building at Place Royal, leads to the underground Museum, built around a central light well, where the displays are arranged in chronological order.

The ‘modern masters’ of the 19th century are located on the ground level of the Museum of Ancient Art , which can be reached via an underground passage between the two Museums. In the collection of the 20th century the following are represented : fauvism ( Wouters, Spilliaert, Auguste Oleffe, Ferdinand Shirren, Jean Brusselmans), surrealism: (Rene Magritte with 26 major works, Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Tanguy, etc), Futurism (Schmalzigaug, Prosper de Troyer), abstractionism (Peters, Victor Servranckx, Flouquet), young Belgian painters: (Louis Van Lint, Bonnet, Mendelson, Mortier, Delahaut), the Cobra Movement (with Karel Appel, Pierre Aleschinsky) and others such as Pol Dury, Christian Dotremont, Lacomblez. Among the modern sculptors whose works are displayed are: Wouters, Jespers, Cantré, Puvrez, Bury, Leplae, George Segal, Tony Cragg, Strebelle, Ubac.

Natural Science Museum:
rue Vautier 29
9:30-4:45 Tues-Sat 9:30-6 on Sunday
Admission charged.
Bus 34,80
The Museum of the Royal Institute for Natural Sciences of Belgium gives a fascinating overview of natural life over the course of time. This large complex is on a hill overlooking Parc Léopold. It is an excellent place to visit with children. The major attraction of the Museum is its collection of the so-called “iguanadons of Bernissart”. Skeletons of these dinosaurs were found in the late 19th century in the small village of Bernissart in the south of Belgium. The beautifully reconstructed skeletons draw many people every year This is an ideal Museum to visit with children.

Other permanent collections are:
The inhabitants of the seas of the jurassic and cretaceous eras; “Of Men and Mammoths” – The evolution of mankind, with special focus on ice-age men and their environment; The insect world (e.g. an animated termite mound); Whales – 18 skeletons; Mammals – on display are 80 of the 107 existing mammal families; The fauna in Belgium – with dioramas; Mineralogy – (also fragments of moon rock and meteorites). The new Arctic and Antarctic galleries are well presented and lead into the whale room where the skeleton of a blue whale is suspended from the ceiling.

The Notre Dame Church of Laken:
Laken is the name of one of the suburbs of Brussels. It is also the community where the royal family of Belgium lives in the royal residence, near the Notre Dame church. Not far away is the Heysel area with the Atomium and mini-Europe. The church was built in 1854 during the reign of King Leopold I, to commemorate the death of his wife Louise-Marie of Orléans, Belgium’s first queen . The construction continued until 1908. The Notre Dame church was designed by Joseph Poelaert, the architect of the Brussels Palace Of Justice. Behind the church, in the cemetery of Laken, can be seen the choir of the old Medieval church which used to stand here. This cemetery is certainly worth a visit because of the magnificent late 19th century tombstones

Children’s Museum
Rue du Bourgmestre 15
Weekends; Wednesday, and school holidays 2:30-5:30
Admission charged.
Exibitions and displays on the changing patterns of children’s lives in Belgium and abroad.

Toy Museum
Rue de l”Association/Verenigingsstraat 24 Brussels
Daily 10-6
Admission charged
Metro: Madou
Historical toys and other aspects of children’s lives over years past.

Natural History Museum
29 rue Vautier/Vautierstraat
Tues-Sat. 9:30-4:45 Sun.: 9:30-6
Admission charged.
Leopold District Railroad Station
Dinosaur skeletons, dioramas of prehistoric life and displays of the natural world are featured.

Museum of Transport
Avenue de Tervuren/Tevurenlaan 364b, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Brussels
First Saturday in April-first Sunday in October weekends and holidays only: 1:30-7
Admission and excursion charge.
Tram 39 or 44 from Metro: Montgomery
Vintage horse drawn and electric trams are on display at this fascinating museum. Featured are historical excursions on various interesting modes of transportation. There is also a book shop.

April-August daily and weekends in Sept. 10-6
Admission charged.
Exit 6 from E411 Brussels-Namur motorway. By train: Bierges-Walibi station (walk 500 feet to park)
An outstanding amusement park near Brussels. Fun for all ages. Includes the Kangaroo Walibi Boat Trip to the land of Tintin (popular Belgian cartoon character); Lucky Luke City, with a gold mine, saloon, and bank in the style of the Old West; and the terrifying 250 ft. high Skydive ride.

Boulevard du Centenaire
April 1 – August 31 daily 9-8
Sept. 1-March 31 daily 10-6.
Admission charged.
Metro: Heizel/Heysel
Nine giant metal spheres are linked by tubular rods to represent the atomic structure of iron. The Atomium opened in 1958 for the World Expo in Brussels. Inside the topmost sphere is an observation deck that gives a superb circular panorama of the city. Most of the interior is devoted to a self guided display on the Atomium presented via comic strips.

A theme park in Brussels’ northern suburbs.
Metro 1A (Heizel/Heyzel)
Among its components are:
Daily shows: 258,10:30pm
Admission charged.
Said to be the world’s largest cinema complex, Kinepolis has 24 wide screen theaters and an IMAX screen seven stories high. All have a THX sound system. Films are shown in their original language (usually English) with Dutch and French subtitles.

March 25-June 30 and Sept. 1-November 1: 9:30-6 daily.
July 21-August 20 9:30-midmight daily.
July 1-August 31: 9:30-8 daily
November 7-January 7 10-6 daily.
Admission charged.
A miniature world displaying models of major events in the history of Europe. Some are hands-on such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Visitors can make it happen. There are even scaled down replicas of the Channel Tunnel and the Ariane rocket.

April-June Tues-Thurs. 10- 6 Friday-Sunday 10-10
July and August: daily 10-10
Sept.-March Wed-Fri. 10-6 Sat., Sun. 10-10
Admission charged.
An indoor and outdoor aquatic paradise with giant flumes, wave machine, plastic beaches and palm trees. While in the area, the visitor pretends to be on a two hour Carribean holiday. Even in winter; swimming in a heated pool is offered while snow falls outside the fantasy world. Children seem to love it at any time of the year Adults can also relax in the sauna complex.

The Village
Open daily
An imitation Flemish style village. There are restaurants, cafés, all of which are convenient to Bruparck’s many attractions. there is also a well appointed children’s playground and a full program of events for families.

The Planetarium
Avenue de Bouchout/Bouchoutlaan 10
Call for hours.
Admision charged
Situated just outside the Bruparck.

Exhibitions Park
Place de Belgique/Belgiëplein
Open daily
Admission charged.
Belgium’s main exhibition center where prestige events are held such as the Car Show; Travel Fair; and Ideal Homes Exhibition

International Film Festival
This festival has been held for over 30 years. It features first release independent US and European films. It takes place at the Palais des Congrès 02/513-4130.

Antique Fair
The annual 10 day event is held at Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts in late January. It offers the best from antique dealers in Belgium and neighboring countries and is eagerly anticipated each year.

International Cartoon and Animated Film Festival
This festival is a world premier of feature length films and about 100 shorts produced in Belgium and elsewhere.

Chocolate Passion Fair
Held on St. Valentine’s weekend at Place du Grand Sablon. The theme is chocolate.

Celebrated throughout Belgium with the largest and most popular celebration occurring one hour southwest of Brussels in Binche. The highlight is on Shrove Tuesday when the elaborately costumed local men dance in the town’s central square.

Late April-early May:
The Royal Greenhouses
02/513-0770 at Laeken Palace near Brussels, with superb flower and plant arrangements, are open to the public for a limited period of about 10 days.

Festival van Vlaanderen
Brussels hosts this classical music festival, which continues until October.

The Queen Elisabeth international music competition
02/513-0099 is one of the most demanding events of its kind. The categories rotate: in 2000 the theme was piano; in 2001 voice and in 2002 violin

The Kunsten Festival des Arts
02/512-7450 is a month-long international celebration of contemporary drama, dance, and music.

Late May:
The Brussels Jazz Marathon
0900/00606 The last weekend in May brings jazz bands and enthusiasts to the stages all over the city for a series of concerts. Gigs and informal sessions in more than 50 clubs and pubs, plus outdoor concerts in the Grand’place and Grand Sablon featuring leading jazz musicians. One ticket for all events, includes free shuttle between venues and public transport.

Brussels 20km Run
Annual competition held in the streets of the capital on a Sunday in mid -May which attracts about 20,000 runners.

Battle of Waterloo
Every 5 years in mid-June the battle of Waterloo is re-enacted. The next scheduled re-enactment is in 2005.

Couleur Café
During the last weekend in June, world music, dance, rap and drums come together for a three day festival.

Late June or early July:
02/512-1961 takes over Brussels’s Grand’place. It’s a sumptuous and stately pageant reenacting a procession that honored Emperor Charles V in 1549. Book early.

Festival of Wallonia
Young Belgian musicians perform classical concerts throughout Brussels and Wallonia until October.

Foire du Midi
This huge, annual month long fun fair runs from mid-July on the Blvd. du Midi. Large crowds, a ferris wheel, roller coasters, Belgian waffles, are all part of the enjoyment of the event.

July 21:
Belgium’s National Day
is celebrated in Brussels with a military March, followed by a popular feast in the parc de Bruxelles and brilliant fireworks.

August 9:
A procession of “giants” parades from the Sablon to the Grand -Place and a maypole is planted there.

A flower carpet, painstakingly laid out, covers and transforms the entire Grand’place of Brussels for two days. Even years only; next in 2002.

Every other year, the Europalia festival honors a different country with exhibitions, concerts, and other events amounting to a thorough inventory of its cultural heritage. In 2001 a country will be thus honored in Brussels and in other European cities .02/507-8550.

Les Nuits Botanique
A week of celebrating rock, international music and pop is held in the Botanique in mid-September.

2nd weekend in September:
On National Heritage Day on selected weekends in September 02/511-1840 buildings and monuments of architectural or historical interest throughout Belgium, that are not normally accessible to the public, are opened to all.

2nd weekend in December:
The European Christmas Market in the Grand’place in Brussels features the traditions and products of many different European Union countries

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