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Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg 4th Ed.: 4th Edition [Paperback]

Mark Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, June 1 2010 --  
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Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg 5th Ed.: 5th Edition Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg 5th Ed.: 5th Edition 4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

June 1 2010 Lonely Planet Belgium & Luxembourg
Experience the best of Belgium and Luxembourg with Lonely Planet. Seek out the perfect mussels and twice-crisped frites, explore a gallery of surrealist art, cycle and hike in the Ardennes and undertake a systematic evaluation of Belgian chocolate. Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip. In this Guide: The best drinking spots, rated and reviewed for any mood or time of day Top Sleeps include a royal castle, a former church and a fiberglass copy of a human body part Immerse yourself in a local party with our Events Calendar

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About the Author

Mark Elliott is best known as a travel writer and tourism consultant and he specialize in Iran's neighbour, Azerbaijan, about which he has written three books.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful May 10 2011
By Lucy N.
Format:Paperback
I used this guide in Luxembourg City, and driving back to Brussels. It made for a few nice unexpected road trip stops. I think the Belgium guide has an advantage that Belgium is very small, and so it can include a lot of content and various cities that a guidebook likely just wouldn't include otherwise.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version is terrible, the hard copy is great! June 30 2011
By D. Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased the Kindle version at first hoping not to have to lug a heavy book to Belgium. But the Kindle version is so poorly formatted that it makes the guide almost useless. It's practically like a long word document. Even with the 'search' function, it's hard to find things because of the formatting.

The information is still fantastic! But beware the Kindle version, and splurge for the hardcopy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ebook format is pathetic Oct. 5 2013
By AussieJimbo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Lonely Planet guide books, I've travelled all over the world, and they are my go to guidebooks. This is the first ebook that I've bought though, and I will never buy another one unless the layout is dramatically changed. It is hopeless to navigate and find what you're after.
And the maps. Really. I don't understand why the maps can't be easily accessible. I have a kindle because I don't want to carry printouts of maps and travel notes with me.
I've used Lonely Planet PDFs on my kindle before, and they are much much better. Actual books are by far the easiest to navigate, but I'm trying to minimise what I carry with me.
It really seems like no effort at all was made in trying to make this ebook user friendly, and I wouldn't recommend to anybody to buy it, go with the PDFs.
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition is poorly indexed and diffcult to navigate. July 9 2014
By aldella - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love lonely planet paper editions from many years on the road. This is my first experience with the Kindle version. The information in the guide is good, if a bit outdated. We have been in Belgium for a month and have mostly done our traveling as tag-alongs with friends who are Flanders natives. They concurred with listings and highlights. The real let-down is that this book is very difficult to use as a kindle edition since it lacks any city listing or index in the table of contents. Finding an entry, even for for major cities like Gent or Antwerp, requires a laborious search and page through. A serious annoyance that happened every single time we wanted to use the guide. Not sure if i would purchase again.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book! May 1 2014
By Hannah Fraser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love the lonely planet series and this book is no exception! I used the book only for travel in brussels, Ghent and Bruges and was impressed by the tips provided for each city. I only complaint about this book is that the maps were confusing and not at all helpful. The maps were oriented strangely and the keys were on opposite pages than the actual maps. That being said, the information was accurate and there was a great history section about each location.
30 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great, if all you seek in Belgium is gay sex Sept. 10 2011
By Clare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're gay and looking for some Belgian action, this book was obviously written especially for you. There are as many index entries under "gay" as there are for the city of "Ghent," perhaps because Ghent isn't particularly exciting ("if you're looking for a raunchier scene," we're advised on p. 124, "go to Antwerp.") The largest section of the book is of course about Brussels, and in the long list of recommended hotels there, the only one dubbed "our pick" has a "target market [of] 'married' gay couples, [but] the charming owners are hetero-friendly" (95). Elsewhere, the author takes pains to criticize the repainting of a Brussels' mural, citing "creeping homophobia" (81), because the female half of the couple in the original version had looked more "ambiguous."

The lion's share of gay tips are in the Antwerp section (which is "raunchy," remember?), providing contact info for "inexpensive gay lodgings with shared bathrooms," including one with "a four-bed 'encounter' dorm" (181). Another suggestion, on the same page, "has rooms devoted to fulfilling almost every imaginable sexual fantasy," as it is designed "for a full-on fetish experience."

If, however, you are a typical Lonely Planet user (like a group of college students or a young married couple), who actually want to tour Belgium to see what it looks like without spending a lot of money, you will find that unlike most LP's, this book is full of holes, particularly the section on Brussels. The "eating" section of a standard LP normally mentions some supermarkets, but this one suggests that in the entire capital city, there is only one, off in the northwest. (Hint: there are two big ones right near the Bourse, smack in the center; and at least a million "Carrefour Express" food-shops everywhere you turn.) Two separate historic churches are both described on p. 80 as "rarely open," when in fact I discovered they're open EVERY DAY for 6-7 hours! It's true, prices and opening-hours often change after a tour-guide has gone to print--but do you seriously think these schedules morphed from "rarely open" to "constantly open" overnight?

The Brussels-author at times displays a disdain for Belgium's history that he doesn't try hard to mask. The historical figure of Godefroid de Bouillon rates an entire paragraph of scorn on p. 239; and the huge church directly behind his statue--one of the most distinctive buildings on the skyline near the Royal Palace--doesn't even get noted on the map! (Note to author: you don't have to like Belgium's history or its Catholic background; you just need to describe it.) There's a fountain in Sablon (a zone of Brussels), with an inscription noting that it had been erected by a British ex-pat; a single sentence of explanation would have been great but it's not even noted in the book. Similarly ignored is a medieval tower nearby, built into what appear to be ruins of an old city wall, which has been lovingly preserved but in this LP does not even exist.

At the same time, the section on the part of Brussels called St-Gilles (88) simply HAS to be a practical joke. Its town hall, a typical period building with a couple of gilded statues on top, is touted as "one of Brussels' overlooked architectural wonders." Compared with the architecture of GRAND PLACE?! You have GOT to be kidding! The same page lists "Ave. Ducpetiaux 18-24" as "fine archetypal townhouses," which obviously suggests that they're worth viewing; three of them have a slightly unusual window in their front doors, while #20 is a plain white row-house like anything you'll find here in Washington DC. Wow, I'm sure glad I walked two hours out of my way to see THAT!

To be fair, the section of the book on the city of Bruges proved to be quite accurate and helpful, and without a single sneering cheap-shot at Belgium's past. I concluded that it must have been written by someone else.

I've used LP guides to travel all over the world and loved them, but this is by far the worst I've seen. If you want to write a book specifically for gay travellers, go ahead! But identify it as such, you know? DON'T market it as a standard Lonely Planet guide that ought to be of use to everyone. This one definitely isn't.
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