Hasselt

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Hasselt [1] is the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By train[edit]

Hasselt is an IC station. Train information: Hasselt NMBS Station, Tel. +32 11 29 60 00 or www.nmbs.be. The station has an information office.

By bus[edit]

Good connections link Hasselt to all municipalities in Limburg and Maastricht. Bus information: De Lijn Limburg, Tel. +32 70 22 02 00. De Lijn has a shop at the Station Square.

By car[edit]

Hasselt and its car parks are easily accessible by motorways E313 (exits 27 - 28 - 29) and E314 (exit 29).

Get around[edit]

Since Januari of 2014, the free bus service has been abolished. Bus service is quite expensive when paid on the bus itself (around 3 euros for a single trip), but a lot cheaper when paid by SMS (check the information on the bus stop), or bought from pre-sale points (like the Lijnwinkel at the station, or several press-shops around Hasselt). Check the website (www.delijn.be) for your best tariff.

There are rental bicycles available at the station (www.blue-bike.be), which are probably the most interesting way to see the city as it is quite small and car traffic through the city center is discouraged.

Hasselt is a pretty safe and small city so it's most likely the best way to get you around on a budget.

Taxis are quite expensive, charging around 20 euro's for a trip from the edge of town to the center. They are readily available at the station, and at night (in the weekends) at the Kolonel Dusartplein to get partygoers home safely. There are multiple taxi companies like HGT (+32 (0)11 / 74 06 40), Alphacab (+32 (0)11 25 53 35), Axi-Taxi (+32 (0)471 50 05 00), Taxi-V (+32 (0)495 30 30 30) and Taxi-Luc (+32 (0)497 70 01 01) (and more) which have pretty much the same tariffs but all are pretty expensive compared to other countries.

See[edit][add listing]

The town centre of Hasselt is not large but very sociable. The centre is mostly car-free and contains a number of historical buildings. Among the oldest buildings in the town centre are the St. Quentin's Cathedral (11th to 18th C.) and the "Herkenrode Abbey refuge house" (1542). The "Grote Markt" (large central market square) and the nearby streets are lined with pubs, restaurants and taverns.

  • Monuments, parks and public fields include
    • The abbey of Herkenrode in Kuringen
    • The Airfield of Kiewit
    • The different historical buildings and museums in the city
    • The Japanese garden
    • The Kapermolenpark
    • The National Bank of architect Henri van Dievoet.
    • The nature field Kiewit
    • The Refugehuis of the abbey of Herkenrode
    • The St. Quentin's Cathedral [9],[10],[11],[12]
    • The town park, to the cultural centre
    • The Virga Jesse Basilica [13],[14]
  • Museums
    • National jenever (Dutch/Belgian version of gin) museum
    • Urban Fashion museum
    • Municipal Carillon Museum
    • Museum of the 'Heilig Paterke'

Do[edit][add listing]

Visit the recently renewed Jenever museum and the Japanese Gardens. The people are very friendly. Make sure to spend at least 2 days in the town.

There are a lot of shopping opportunities, especially in the Koning Albertstraat and the Demerstraat, but the side of the Aldestraat, Lombaardstraat and Havermarkt is known for it's high-end boutiques and designer clothing.

Another place to go see is the also recently reopened Modemuseum (fashion museum) if you're into fashion.

If you want to go party, Thursday (student night), Friday and Saturday are the busiest, on other nights, the bars, pubs, cafés close around 02:00 AM. There are several cosy pubs around the city hall, if you prefer sitting, drinking and meeting people (Mon Café, Hooghuis, Ecziteria). Café Café in the Meldertstraat has the longest bar in Hasselt and plays contemporary and classical rock music, as well as having live shows at least weekly.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Demerstraat and the Koning Albertstraat are the most important shopping streets. In the Kapelstraat and the Hoogstraat are expensive shops with the most famous brands. Another major religious building, besides the cathedral, is the Virga Jesse Basilica. Both have to cede domination of the skyline of the city to the twin towers of the "TT-wijk", however; the renovation of this complex (now including a shopping mall and a hotel) in 2003 gave the centre a new boost. In 2004, Hasselt was the first Belgian city to receive the title "most sociable city of Flanders", and has since claimed the title of "Capital of Good Taste"; likewise, Hasselt is also considered an exemplary city regarding pedestrian facilities in the centre.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Mussels in the restaurants on the main streets. Try the chocolate ice cream store in the city center.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Kolonel Dusart square is where most young people go out, in one of the several trendy bars/cafés like Van Gogh [15], De Wijzen [16] or Koestal [17]. The most crowded place at night, especially during the weekends. Has big terraces that are quite packed with young people when the weather is good. Also some fastfood venues nearby.
  • The Linck is one of the last "real" bars in Hasselt, some might argue. Strong beers for 3€, discounts on shots or cocktails, and a good rock playlist make this a place for people looking to have fun. It seems to be popular with erasmus students too. Live band evenings happen regularly, usually with multiple rock, psychobilly, punk ... bands per night (sometimes free, sometimes around 5€ entrance fee). Open from around noon until the early hours, usually one of the last places still open. Goodhearted friendly people work the bar.
  • The Irish Times pub is just next to the cathedral that marks the center of Hasselt. Fun place, though a bit of a "franchise" feeling to it. Has karaoke nights, indoor smoking area. They have big screen TVs to show soccer games. Live music in the weekends. Quite expensive beers compared to some other places. [18]
  • De Egel (which means hedgehog in Dutch) is an Irish pub, runned by a Belgian. It is sometimes jokingly said that it is "more Irish" than the Irish times pub. A bit cramped but that gives it a cozy and authentic feeling. Has an indoor smoking area. Has a lot of whisky (Irish, Scottish, Bourbon), and an ample selection of Belgian beers on offer. Very close to the Kolonel Dusart square. [19]
  • De Witte Non is a rock and metal café. Quite small, crowded in the evening and nights. [20]
  • Ecziteria is a small, trendy place that hip people frequent. Across from the old city hall.
  • Café Cambrinus is claimed to be the oldest café in Hasselt, mostly older regulars here, except in the weekends before midnight when some young people gather. Just across from hotel Ibis on the inner ring of Hasselt.
  • Het Hemelrijkif you like Belgian beers. with its 650 different kind of beers the most divers beerbar in Hasselt. The owner is very friendly but can be a bit weird.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • YUP hotel[21] is a hotel on the inner ring of Hasselt. Prices start at around 60€ per night.
  • Holiday Inn[22] also on the inner ring near the yacht docks. Prices start at around 120€ per night.
  • Hostel H[23] openened in 2015 and is located right at the trainstation. Has 120 beds in 40 rooms. Private rooms (30€/person) and shared rooms (20€/person).
  • Mezzo[24] This hotel is easily accessible and located close to the E313 and E314 intersection. It is a new hotel (open since 2015) that focuses on business clients. There are 51 rooms, all with free Wifi. Rooms start at 75 EUR. The hotel also offers workspace and meeting rooms.

Get out[edit]

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