Pissing the Night Away in Brussels

Anyone who knows much of anything about Brussels has likely heard of the Manneken Pis (or “Pissing Boy”), and those who have not would quickly become familiar with the fountain upon visiting the city. Its image is everywhere in gift shops there: printed on shirts, decorating steins, and in the form of miniature figurines each with a corkscrew for a penis. As for the full-scale, authentic statue, he is located near the Grand Place, perched high and urinating into a basin.

Less famous however are the two other piddle themed statues nearby. A few blocks and a turn from the Mannekin Pis, perhaps stopping along the way to sample beer at the renowned Nuëtnigenough, you could come across the Zinnike Pis, a sculpted dog on a street corner with one of its hind legs hoisted. Taking some turns from there, with an optional detour through a narrow blue-lit passage for a drink at Au Bon Vieux Temps, one of the oldest bars in Brussels, through an impasse you might finally find the Jeanneke-Pis squatting mid-stream behind a barred alcove built into the alley wall. Immediately next to her, in the evening you might venture within a doorway leading to the Floris Bar, where more than 400 types of absinthe are served.

Walking from bar to bar and from one peeing effigy to another is one way to spend a night in Brussels, and in fact all I can vouch for having stayed but a single sleep at a hostel in the city. As for food in the aforementioned area, I can also say that easy to find without direction were places serving steaming pots of mussels, bags of chocolate treats, or thick and fresh hot sugary waffles loaded with strawberries, syrup, and all kinds of toppings.

If hungry, in search of a good buzz, or to see some unique works of bronze committing washroom acts, Brussels is a place worth visiting by if Belgium bound.

– Cory Stumpf

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