Photo by Frank Dhooghe
We bet “sun” and “sand” are two words you don’t readily associate with Brussels, but an afternoon at the city’s free “beach” will change that. Each summer in the city of chocolate and comic strips, from mid-July to mid-August, a stretch of the Rue de la Dyle (north of the city center) is converted into a virtual beach.
And, like the best beaches, Brussels’ waterside resort is completely free. City officials affectionately refer to the sandy oasis, stretched out along one of the city’s canals, as Bruxelles les Bains (Brussels Spa), or “an urban beach scene.”
Just what makes for such a scene? Well, after tons of sand are dumped onto the street, free outdoor concerts abound (check out the drums in the photo above), as well as ”beachy” activities like volleyball, group yoga, and ultimate Frisbee. Street vendors provide inexpensive food and drink.
Bruxelles Les Bains is open from 11a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, except Mondays. The beach stays open an hour later on Friday and Saturday nights. The summer spectacle is within walking distance of both the Ribaucourt and Yser metro stops and is located at Place Sainctelette at the Quai des Peniches.
The whole experience is just like a day at the shore except that when you’re done, you can hit up the Grand Place or check out a local museum. So, nab a spot on the fresh sand, lay back, and catch some rays.
Stay tuned, Cheapos, as we travel to Budapest tomorrow and lend you more free tips!