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Brussels - reduced to a shoestring

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Apr 18th, 2016, 10:56 PM
  #1
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Brussels - reduced to a shoestring

Need help here folks!
ALL our cash (a lot of it) was stolen in the Thalys from Paris to Brussels yesterday. So from what could have been a no holds barred luxury holiday, we need to count our cents and watch our coffees.
We are a couple with a 7 year old, so please could you tell us, what is the best we can do in terms of doing Brussels on a REALLY tight budget of say 150Euros per day? Our airbnb is paid for so we have a place to stay. We also need to buy an intercity ticket to Amsterdam for Saturday, so that is around 92euros for 3 of us.
Are there any combined passes I can get for entry etc?Surely want to do the Atomium and the Mini Europe for my kid. I'm placed closed to the Grand Palace so can walk to most places around here.
Your suggestions will be most helpful.
Warm regards
ST
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Apr 19th, 2016, 01:38 AM
  #2
 
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That's really terrible, and I know just how it feels. The same thing happened to me years ago, in the days before ATMs, when I was traveling in Ireland with my two small children. We completely changed the style of our trip, staying in youth hostels instead of B&Bs. We cooked our dinners in their communal kitchens and packed sandwiches for lunch. I saved money for one nice dinner, and one pizza dinner. Anyway, we met so many nice people at the youth hostels, and it turned out to be one of our best vacations ever. I hope yours turns out well, also!

How did the theft happen? It might help others to avoid the same fate.

I don't really know Brussels very well, so I can't help with advice there. I just wanted to express my sympathy and best wishes.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 02:04 AM
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That is really terrible!
Good for you that you don't let it bring you down to much.

Since you stay close to Grand Place:
Why not ask the official Brussels Tourist Information in City Hall for ideas?
They have all the info on free or bargain sights. And obviously also all the info on combined passes. I am usually a bit sceptical of those "city passports" which include transport and entrances as they often come with "benefits" I don't need. But YMMV and you may want to check those offers carefully if they really fit your needs.

I *think* that there are combo tickets for Atomium and Mini Europe.
You can also go to Pl Luxembourg and take a look at the EU parlament and visit - for free - the Parlamentarium. It's the visitor center which may sound a bit dull, but it's pretty interactive. And they have audio guides especially for kids, as well.

The historic center of Brussels can be a bit pricey, but there are budget alternatives, e.g. fixed lunch menus or inexpensive eateries like Exki (all over town).

IME, costs for eating out drop once you steer away from Grand Place and the European quartier. One popular place for locals is Place St Bonfiface, for example. With many not too expensive restaurants. Or around Flagey.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 02:05 AM
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typo.. Pl St Boniface - not Bonfiface
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Apr 19th, 2016, 11:04 PM
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Thank you, friends. I shall check Pl St Boniface
We did Atomium and Mini Europe yday, atomium i felt like totally not worth the cash we paid for the entry fee, just a view from the top Esp when we are counting our euros, it felt like a let down. Mini Europe on the other hand was a good experience for my kid.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 11:51 PM
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Visit the grand place and le Sablon (don't miss the small park there with all statues of people wearing attires and tools of old jobs).

Eat in a greek pitta restaurant close to grand place (there is one street full of them, on your left when you see 'la maison du cygne' (swan house) - 15 meters from grand-place.
I did it for years - you can eat for small money.

Go to palais royal if you want a nice park to spend some time in.
Visit cathedral of Saint Michel and from there stroll in the old 'quartier des marolles' a very popular place.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 06:29 AM
  #7
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Thank you @whathello
saffrontrail is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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Are you really stuck? Was ALL of your money in cash?

I know it's not part of your plan but as long s you're there can;t you bite the bullet and just charge things on your CC? Of pull money from your checking account at an ATM?

So sorry this happened - but it's one of the risks in dealing with so much cash.
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