Laeken

A Brief Visitor's Guide

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The Royal Greenhouses are located at Avenue du Park Royale 61.
For more information, call 011-22-1-551-3401.

Getting There:
It's a snap to get to Laeken: a cab ride from the Grand Place to the Royal Greenhouses takes 15 to 20 minutes and costs about $14. (Tips are included in the fare, so don't bow to aggressive cabbies who may want to charge you an extra tip.) You can also get to Laeken, which lies in the northern part of the city, by tram numbers 92 and 52, by bus number 53 and by metro. If you take the metro, get off at the Haysel stop on the 1A line and plan to walk another 15 minutes to reach the greenhouses. Or, of course, you can travel by private car. Should you choose to drive, parking is available at Avenue de la Dynastie facing Chateau de Laeken.

Admission:

  • Daytime: General admission is 50 francs (about $1.15); children 18 and under are free. The fees go toward the restoration and acquisition of artworks for the Royal Collection.
  • Evening: The gardens are open Friday to Sunday evenings and admission is 100 francs (about $2.30). Overhead music accompanies quiet meanderings through the Winter Garden and the Orangerie. Listen to Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert and Handel while viewing camellias, fuchsias, hydrangeas and other flowers in full bloom. Proceeds from the evening visits go to the Oeuvres de la Reine (the Queen's Works/Masterpieces).

Touring the Grounds:
During 2001, the greenhouses are open every day from April 20 to May 6 except Monday. Entrance to the gardens is through the gates at Avenue du Park Royal. Since this is a special once a year exhibition, plan on a long wait to get into the greenhouses. Once you are in, the walk is a comfortable one, as the greenhouses—nearly a kilometer long—are on a slight downward slope. Besides the greenhouses, you can also visit the studio of Queen Elizabeth, and the stables, which were built for King Leopold II in the beginning of the 20th century and were designed by the French architect Charles Girault.

While it may be tempting to explore the expansive grounds of Laeken after your visit to the greenhouses, don't try. Laeken is the residence of members of the royal family, so security is tight by necessity.

On April 24 visits are reserved exclusively for disabled persons. Visitors in wheelchairs must be accompanied by two companions.

2001 Hours of Operation:
DATE  DAY  EVENING

Friday, April 20  8-11a.m.  closed
Saturday, April 21  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Sunday, April 22  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Monday, April 23  closed  closed
Tuesday, April 24  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  (exclusively for the disabled)
Wednesday, April 25  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  closed
Thursday, April 26  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  closed
Friday, April 27  1-4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Saturday, April 28  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Sunday, April 29  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Monday, April 30  closed  closed
Tuesday, May 1  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  closed
Wednesday, May 2  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  closed
Thursday, May 3  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  closed
Friday, May 4  1-4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Saturday, May 5  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11p.m.
Sunday, May 6  9:30a.m. - 4p.m.  8-11 p.m.

It's Good to Know:

  • Laeken sits in a residential part of the city where there are no cafés within walking distance, so have lunch or dinner before you visit.
  • Brussels is quite pleasant during the spring with temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 degrees F. But it can be rainy, so bring an umbrella.
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