museum is contemplated. The Handbook renders the services of
commissionnaires and guides entirely superfluous (half-a-day 2-3,
whole day 4-5 fr.), and the traveller is particularly cautioned
against employing those of an inferior class by whom he is impor¬
tuned in the streets.
II. Money and Travelling Expenses.
Money. The Monetary System of France was introduced into
Belgium in 1833 ; and by the Convention of Paris of 1865 Belgium
belongs to a monetary league with France, Switzerland, and Italy.
One franc, 100 centimes, 80 German pfennings, 40 Austrian kreu-
zers, 47 Dutch cents, 20 American cents, and 93/4 pence are all
nearly equivalent (see the money-table at the beginning of the
book). The coins in common circulation are French Napoleons
(20 fr.) in gold; 5, 2y2, 1, l/%, and Vsfr- pieces in silver; 10, 5, 2,
1 c. in copper; 20, 10, 5 c. in nickel. English and French bank¬
notes and English gold are received at all the principal towns,
hotels, and railway-stations at their full value (ll. = 25 fr.).
Belgian notes from 20 to 1000 fr. are current in all parts of Belgium,
but do not realise their full value in France or elsewhere. English
circular notes are recommended for the transport of large sums, in
preference to banknotes or gold, as they always realise a favourable
exchange, and as, if lost, their value is recoverable.
Expenses. Hotels of the highest class are somewhat expensive
at Brussels and the principal Belgian watering-places, but in most
other parts of the country they will be found cheaper than in Eng¬
land. The average charges are as follows : bed 3 fr., coffee and rolls
iy2 fr., dinner 4-5 fr., 1/2 bottle of Bordeaux IV2-2 fr-, atten¬
dance 1 fr. — The table d'hote dinner in the larger towns is generally
at 4.30 or 5 p.m. — Supper may be ordered at a fixed charge of 2 fr.
or upwards. The charges at hotels of the second class are about
one-third lower, while the accommodation is sometimes quite as
good, although less pretending. Hotel-expenses therefore need
not exceed 10-15 fr. per day; the fees payable at picture-gal¬
leries, museums, and churches amount to 3-4 fr. per day, and
travelling expenses to 8-10 fr. ; so that most travellers should be
prepared for a daily expenditure of at least 25-30 fr. each. On
the other hand the 'voyageur en garcon', the artist, the student, and
the pedestrian may easily reduce their expenditure to half that sum
without much diminution of comfort.
III. Passports. Custom House.
Passports. These documents are now dispensed with in
Belgium, but they are occasionally useful in proving the traveller's
identity, procuring admission to private collections, etc., and they
must be shown in order to obtain delivery of registered letters.