Time Out Brussels
Best for: People who like Time Out guides, I’m guessing.
In a nutshell: Mostly your standard travel guide, but with really tiny print.
Worth quoting: Not so much a quote, but apparently the women didn’t get the vote in Belgium didn’t get it until 1949?
Why I chose it: We’re going to Brussels this weekend, and this looked to be one of the better options for guidebooks at the shop I went to.
I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a Time Out guide, and now I know why. I’m not a fan. This one isn’t bad, it’s just not good. The 2-star rating probably suggests its worse than it is, but for me, 3-star reviews are for books I’d still recommend generally, and I can’t recommend this one.
I generally don’t have an issue with small fonts, but this book seems to be pushing it, especially in the large blocks of text that start each new neighborhood / section. I get the need for an overview, but I didn’t like how these ones were done. They were hard to get through, and I don’t generally feel like I retained any good information from them.
The sections on different attractions / shops / restaurants are useful, and I especially appreciate the mentions of places that don’t accept cards. There seem to be a LOT of cash-only establishments. My partner really doesn’t like using cash, and sort of side-eyes me when I insist of getting some from the ATM so we have some, but at least now when we get there I have proof that to do the things we want to do, we’ll need some Euros.
I appreciate there is a history section, but I tend to like that up front, not shoved in the back. I also liked that it included some detailed information on the main architecture and art movements in the area. The maps aren’t great and are oriented in the book oddly, which makes them hard to read and hard to use.
I’m usually not this critical of travel books, but this one just really didn’t work for me, and I’m assuming it’s an issue with the layout and style choices of the Time Out brand, not this one author.