BY CAR, BIKE, AND THUMB. Belgium honors most foreign driver’s licenses, IBral§lij including those from Australia, Canada, the EU, and the US. Speed limits are 120kph on motorways, 90kph on main roads, and 50kph elsewhere Fuel costs about 1 per liter. Biking is popular, and many roads have bike lanes (which you are required to use). In addition to being illegal, hitchhiking is not common in Bel gium, and Let’s Go does not recommend it as a safe means of transport.
TOURIST SERVICES AND MONEY
TOURIST OFFICES. Bureaux de Tourisme, marked by green-and-white or blue signs labelled “i,” are supplemented by Infor-Jeuneslnfo-Jeugd, a service that helps young people secure accommodations. For info, contact the main office of the Belgian Tourist Office, Grasmarkt 63 (025 04 30 90; www.visitbel- gium.com). The weekly English-language Bulletin (2.15 at newsstands) lists everything from movies to job openings.
MONEY. On January 1, 2002, the euro () replaced the Belgian Franc as the unit of currency in Belgium. The Belgian Franc can still be exchanged at a rate of 44.34BF to 1. For exchange rates and more info on the euro, see 14. Expect to pay 13-16 for a hostel bed, 23-50 for a hotel room, 7-13 for a day’s gro ceries, and 5-13 for a cheap restaurant meal. A barebones day in Belgium might cost 19-30; a slightly more comfortable day might cost 32-45. The European Union imposes a value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services pur chased within the EU, which is included in the price (16). Restaurants and taxis usually include a service charge (16%) in the price, but tip for exceptional service. Rounding up is also common practice.
BUSINESS HOURS. Banks are generally open Monday through Friday 9am-4pm, but some take a lunch break noon-2pm. Stores are open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6 or 7pm; during the summer some shops are open Sunday. Most sights are open Sundays but closed Mondays except in Bruges and Toumai, where museums are closed Tuesday or Wednesday. Most stores close on holidays; museums stay open during all except for Christmas, New Year’s, and Armistice Day (Nov. 11).