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A young boy, peeing? This iconic Belgian statue is a must-see if you’ve never been to Brussels.

The origin story of the Manneken Pis varies depending on who you’re asking. But we think that the most famous folklore story is the best. The story goes that the statue was built to commemorate Duke Godfrey III of Leuven, a two-year-old lord whose troops fought against the troops of the Berthouts. During the battle, the young lord was placed into a basket atop an oak tree. When he noticed his troops growing weaker, he stood and urinated on the troops of the Berthouts to give them a boost of energy. Turns out it worked as he led his troops to an eventual victory.

Manneken Pis is an iconic symbol of Brussels. Drop by for a quick photo on your city adventure! It is a total tourist trap and try to go at off-peak times, but we still think it’s a must-see if you’ve never been.

Now that’s a look

There’s even more to this quirky statue. He wears clothes! It’s not just any regular outfit either; to date, the Manneken Pis has worn over 1,000 outfits! The outfits are managed by The Friends of Manneken Pis, a non-profit organisation. They review outfit design ideas and make the final selections. You’re guaranteed to see something a little bit different every time you visit.

  • If you like the statue, then you should take the time to look for the other peeing statues in Brussels: for Jeanneke Pis (the peeing girl) and Zinneke Pis (the peeing dog).
  • The statue was built on a water fountain that played a significant role in water distribution around Brussels. Over time, the fountain lost its importance but the statue remained and slowly became a popular tourist attraction.
Updated on 8 November 2021

Tips and Tricks

  • You can find the monthly costume calendar online so you can choose which outfit you’d like to see before going for a visit!
  • Brussels is famous for its waffles, which happen to be sold in various shops around the statue.
  • Brussels is also famous for its chocolate, and the chocolate museum is only a short distance away from the statue.
  • The statue you see today is not the original! The original one can be found inside the City Museum (which is free on the first Sunday of every month).
  • Around the corner from the other tourist hot-spot (but also very pretty) Grand-Place

Getting there

  • By Car: various public parking options are available (prices vary)
  • By Bus: close to bus stop grand place. Buses 95, 48, and 33 stop here
  • By Train: close to train stop Brussel-centraal. Trains s2, s3, s6, s8, and many more stop here
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