Mannekin Pis

Address: Corner of Rue de l’Étuve and Rue du Chêne, Brussels, 1000, Belgium

- Free


Brussels’s infamous peeing-boy statue.

A short walk from the Grand Place, Brussels’s statue of a small boy peeing is a ‘must-see’. Locals love him because he perfectly encapsulates the city’s irreverent joie de vivre attitude. The identity of the little boy has become the stuff of legends: one story tells the tale of a hero boy who put out a firebomb by peeing on it; another relates the discovery of a lost nobleman’s son eventually found peeing at this spot. It’s been stolen on a number of occasions; the last time was in 1817 when an ex-convict stole the statue for its bronze. The thief was apprehended, but not before poor Manneken had been smashed into smithereens. The culprit didn’t get away lightly: he was publicly branded on the Grand’ Place and given a life sentence in a forced labour camp. A cast for the new Manneken Pis (the one that stands today) was forged from the broken pieces.

Value for money

Expert tips

Mannekin Pis has a girlfriend! A statue of the less-adored Jeanneke Pis can be found on Impasse de la Fidelité, off Rue de Bouchers.

Time your visit to coincide with one of the formal changing-of-the-costume ceremonies, when a small parade marches from the Grand Place and dresses the little chap up in costumes donated by various dignitaries. The Elvis Presley outfit is fitted on 8 January, Christopher Colombus fitted 12 October and between 21–25 December he is dressed as Père Nöel.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with younger children
  • First-time travellers
  • Singles
  • Stag / hen parties
  • Sightseeing
  • History