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Mons en famille

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Où dormir ?

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L'Art habite la Ville

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La région de Mons

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You MUST visit Mons, Belgium | So, here’s your guide to Mons

  • September 15, 2021

I was invited to experience Mons by the province of Hainaut. All opinion are my own.

Have you heard of Mons, Belgium? I hadn’t until recently, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if you hadn’t, either. 

If you’re like me, you’ve mostly only heard of Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges in Belgium…all of which are in the northern part of Belgium where they speak Flemish (the Belgian version of Dutch). The southern part, Hainaut, is the French speaking part and was completely unknown to me until we traveled there ourselves.

We partnered up with Visit Hainaut to explore their province in Wallonia and was hit with a big ping of guilt and confusion when we left. Why aren’t more people visiting Mons? It was so easy to get to from Amsterdam (and other well-connected cities in Europe). We took the Thalys train to Brussels and then the Intercity train straight to Mons. The downtown area is postcard perfect, has great food, is walkable, and full of kind people. Not to mention, the food and drink scene is definitely up our alley!

I couldn’t wait to get home and write about our adventure because I want you to go here. I want to go back there and spend more time. If you live in Amsterdam, this is a great long weekend trip to get out of the city and enjoy a lively but not exhausting place that will help you reset.

Jessica with I love Mons sign

Things to do in Mons

Get up early and wander the streets. .

The downtown area is so beautiful. I’d be happy to get lost in them for a whole day. It’s not *that* big, but you know what I mean. It’s just relaxing to take it all in without the sounds of the city, the soft morning light, and not having to watch too closely where you are going.  

Grand Large

Outside the city center, but easy to get to by bus or bike, this lake is surrounded with things to do . You can take a lovely walk around the lake or rent bikes to explore the area. Surrounding the lake you’ll find indoor mini-golf, a small water park, and go-karting for the little adventure-seekers. 

Take a street art tour

This was one thing that surprised us about Belgium, is that the towns all seem to appreciate street art . From sculptures, to paintings and installations, various works of art come together to make the city even more inviting. There’s more to look at, more places to explore, and makes art accessible to all. 

Book a city Greeter and tour the city

Yes, really, really. I know a lot of you are probably thinking, “Why bother?” First of all, the older I get (gahhhh, I hate saying that) the more I understand that to know a city and to experience a city, some backstory is needed. Besides, we had THE BEST guide . His name is Filip and he was so great. I’m hoping he comes to Amsterdam, so we can show him around! Also, take some time to visit the Belfry , it’s also full of history and worth a quick walk-through.

Buy a gift or souvenir at Mons Où Venir

We always try to find a shop like this when we travel. Mons Où Venir specializes in all things Mons, so you’ll find art from local artists. We’re all about that art and support small local artisans and shops. 

Rent a car for a day and take a chocolate-making class at A-Chocola

Not far from Mons you’ll find Ann in her chocolate shop . If there’s one thing you do that you should go out of your way for, it’s this. Ann is a true gem and having a workshop with her was the highlight of our trip. She’s a fellow traveler who loves chocolate and gin…so much so that they have their own small batch gin brand inspired by their travels to different continents. You know we bought some! But we also made our own chocolates with a filling also made with gin. Yeah, it was a good day.

Jessica in Belgian vineyard

Go to Domaine du Chant d’Eole for lunch in the vineyards and a winery tour

Since you have a car, let’s make the most of it! Head to Domaine du Chant d’Eole to have a memorable lunch among the vineyards. How magical! Their focus is sparkling wine and a rather unique aperitif made from local gin with kumquats. So, I suggest having lunch with the aperitif and some of their sparkling wine (definitely ask for recommendations as to what to pair with). Then take a tour of the property with a final tasting after.

Places to eat in Mons

Jessica in Mons at Brasse Temps

Brasse Temps

Not in the old center but worth a visit, this brewery next to a movie theater is more than what it appears to be. The food is phenomenal, and the drinks are awesome at Brasse Temps . If you like beer, you’ll love it and you should get a flight. If you don’t, I’d encourage you to try the cherry beer and/or one of the beer cocktails. That’s what I did and loved it.

If you’re looking for quirky, simple with a touch of gourmet, plus local ingredients, then Re Belge is your place. Don’t expect anything. Be excited to be surprised by whatever you get. It’s a different kind of restaurant and I think you’ll love it.

Masu Restaurant

Masu Restaurant was awarded Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide, so you know it’s good. It’s modern and tad fancy while still being chill. If you like colorful places, this will certainly catch your eye.  

La Table du Boucher

We wandered around the street looking for a place that looked good. We ende up finding La Table du Boucher and checked Google ratings (we all do that, right?). People love it. We went in and it felt a bit old fashioned and the main clientele were older men. I felt a bit odd, but was put at ease by the server. The wine is pricey and this place (as we were later told) makes it easy to rack up quite the bill, but somehow we were fine. We got 2 bottles of water, a starter and 2 main dishes and it was about €60. It was plenty of food for us. I must recommend the croquette as a starter. If you are from the Netherlands, let me assure you that this is nothing like what is served here. 

L’Envers 

What a treat! You’ll find L’Envers on a lively street in the old town. It’s super charming, has great food, and perfect people watching spots. When here, get a G&T with the Gin d’Mons, order the Filet pur de porc a l’Berdouille and end your meal with Eau De Villée. It’s a Mons foodie event in one spot!

Craving Italian? Order take-away from Chez Theo for slow Italian food. Kind of drooling just thinking about it. It’s right across from L’Envers, so you could grab lunch there, and order Italian to take back to your accommodation for dinner if you have a little kitchen. 

Bars in Mons recommended by locals

When you’re given recommendations by locals, you take them seriously! And while I didn’t have time to go to a bar, I want to pass these recommendations to you so you can have a good time out with a good drink. They do have terraces, so a sunny day would be perfect…but then again, any day is a good day for a good bar!

Check out Mood Bar & Citizen Fox .

Mons town center

Places to stay

We stayed in two different places in Mons because we arrived in the evening and left the next morning to explore the countryside. When we came back, we stayed in the center and it was amazing. So, depending on your needs, either of these two might be just right for you.

Van der Valk hôtel Mons Congress

If you’re looking for a spot right next to the train station, or you are going for a conference, Van der Valk hotel Mons Congress is the spot. From here you can walk into the city center or outside the center to Grand Large.

Martin’s Dream Hotel

Right in the center and down the street from all the lovely restaurants and bars, the placement of Martin’s Dream Hotel could not be beat. While we had a nice and spacious room, we didn’t get one with all the details from it being a former church. Maybe you will if you stay there! But we did have a view of the Belfry which was pretty amazing.

Mons cocktails

Top foodie things to do in Mons

Try the gin d’mons.

Try this gin at many restaurants and bars in the city. We enjoyed ours at lunch when we were at L’Envers  

Enjoy Eau De Villée

This is a local lemon liqueur that’s delicious and perfect for after a good meal.

Make chocolates

Obviously! I went into more depth earlier, but this workshop was the highlight of our trip. I highly recommend you make your own chocolates in this little shop from A-Chocola . 

Eat chocolate if you can’t make chocolates

The first company to make the praline type of chocolates has a shop in Mons and it is a must-visit. Head to Neuhaus immediately. 

Eat Filet pur de porc a l’Berdouille

It’s the local dish and is oh so delicious. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t grow up loving pork, then I eat dishes like this and I feel like I missed out for most of my life.

Now that you have your Mons city guide, I hope you enjoy it! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at @awanderlustforlife if you visit so I can see which tips you used!

Wishing you joy and travels.

Jessica C.

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel .

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Home » Travel Guides » Belgium » 15 Best Things to Do in Mons (Belgium)

15 Best Things to Do in Mons (Belgium)

Up until 2015, you would rarely hear a friend or relative tell you that they were planning on a trip to Mons.

But since being crowned the European City of Culture in that particular year, Mons has put itself on the tourism map.

Although it may not be as packed full of events as 2015, the city still has a great choice for travellers including a church that is often compared to the Notre Dame in Paris and some truly different museums.

Combine these attractions with the classic atmosphere, food and drink of other Wallonian cities and you can certainly see the attraction in visiting Mons.

Lets explore the best things to do in Mons:

1. St Symphorien Military Cemetery

St Symphorien Military Cemetery

A visit to a cemetery might not sound like an ideal day out for everybody but the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons is different to an ordinary graveyard.

The cemetery is located in beautiful tranquil surroundings, nestled between farmland and woodland.

The graves here are dedicated to the memories of German and British soldiers.

A walk around the graveyard will take about half an hour to an hour and is a short drive away from the centre of Mons.

2. Mons Memorial Museum

Mons Memorial Museum

Whilst ‘new’ isn’t necessarily a quality looked for in a museum, the Mons Memorial Museum is well worth visiting.

The collections on show cover both World Wars and strike an even balance between the stories of ordinary civilians, soldier’s accounts and military history.

The museum is in a fitting location as Mons was hit hard by both World Wars being occupied by Germany in the first and again, 22 years later, in the 2nd World War.

3. Strépy-Thieu Boat Lift

Strepy-Thieu Boat Lift

A truly remarkable feat of engineering and an unforgettable sight in Mons is the Strepy-Thieu Boat Lift.

It is the tallest in the world and essentially uses giant containers of water to raise boats from one level to the next.

Visitors to the lift can watch from outdoors, or pay for the privilege of seeing the lift up close as well as the engine room, an indoor café and a half an hour video about how the lift works and how it was made.

4. Collegiale Sainte-Waudru

Collegiale Sainte-Waudru 

The Collegiale Sainte-Waudru is without a doubt the most striking church in Mons.

The exterior is an impressive 15th Century gothic masterpiece and there are plenty of objects and artefacts within to keep you interested.

Highlights within the museum include the small treasury in which you can view the alleged skull of King Dagobert, who was supposedly murdered in attempt to end the bloodline of Jesus Christ.

5. The Silex Museum

The Silex Museum

The Silex Museum just South of Mons looks at first glance like any other Belgian countryside scene dissected by a large round steel structure.

The structure is just a gateway into the vast mines beneath which have been mined for various resources since Neolithic times.

Tours of the mines take place three times a day but are very popular and need to be booked in advance through the city’s tourism board.

6. Explore the Musee du Doudou

The Musee du Doudou

The Musee du Doudou explores the exciting and intriguing festival of Ducasse which takes place in Mons every year.

The festival includes St George, dragons and a visual feast in the form of a battle re-enactment.

You will also find food and beer at the festival of course as well as audio guides, explaining the festivities, in English, French and Dutch.

  • 7. The Artotheque Museum

The Artotheque Museum

Artotheque Museum Mons breaks the mould of ordinary museums with their glass cabinets and no touching rules.

The objects on show range from pre-historic tools right up to modern works of art and cover a wide range of media from canvas to cloth.

The museum works by allowing visitors to locate objects they would like to look at using interactive screens and then finding the object within the museum for up close inspection.

You will not visit a museum like this again.

8. Hotel De Ville

Hotel De Ville

Yet another city in Europe with a striking and impressive Hotel De Ville.

The town hall in Mons is instantly recognisable as the most striking and beautiful building on the so-called Grand Place.

The common tradition with visitors to the town hall is to stroke the head of a monkey statue which supposedly results in the granting of a wish but originally was only supposed to help pregnant women.

The statues are located to the left of the buildings gateway.

9. The Beffroi de Mons

Beffroi

The Beffroi de Mons aka the Mons Belfry involves some walking to reach but it worth the trek.

The views from the top of the tower.

The building itself has recently completed an impressive restoration and has returned to its former glory.

The surroundings, the view from the tower’s summit and the building itself are equally as stunning and worth your time to visit.

BAM

The first thing that will catch your eye with BAM is the building itself.

It is a modern glass cube building, rebuilt in 2015 when Mons was the European City of Culture, which perfectly conveys the modern, contemporary art within.

The exhibits within are temporary and ever changing but there is always at least one high-profile, game changing exhibition planned for each year.

11. Musee Francois Duesberg

Musee Francois Duesberg

Right across the road from the mighty Ste-Waudru church is the impressive Musee Francois Duesberg.

This collection of art objects from the late 18th and early 19th century includes everything from rare pottery to gold and silver objects.

Aside from the nearby church this is the only other attraction in the city that has a Michelin Tourism Guide two star award.

12. Visit the “paper Google”

The Mudaneum

The Mundaneum in Mons likes to be known as the “paper Google” because of the graphs, statistics and charts on show within that highlight how research and learning was conducted before the inception of the internet.

The collections within the museum are based upon those of the 19th Century thinker Otlet who believed that information, rather than money, was the driving force of society.

13. Pop into Van Gogh’s House

Van Gogh

This fairly unassuming house has become famous for being one of the places Van Gogh lived before he became a world famous painter.

The house is fairly small but there is a film and plenty of other information about the time that the painter spent here.

If you have any interest in art or Van Gogh himself then this is a place worth visiting.

  • 14. The Sunday market

Sunday market

A weekly tradition for many residents of Mons is the Sunday market and it is also a great spot for tourists.

The atmosphere within the market is laid back and the stall holders are friendly and will not try to talk you into buying things you do not want.

The best wares on offer include preserves and dairy goods such as cheese but many will pop to the market simply to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or a cold beer in lively surroundings.

15. Food and Drinks

Grand Place

Like all of Belgiums top cities, Mons has a wide range of great places to eat and drink.

One of the best places to sample Belgian beer is La Pompe Benoit, a pub with a local following and plenty of great beers.

The pub looks quirky with the antique beer trays that adorn the walls and offers a great opportunity for souvenir photos.

For food, the Grand Place has plenty of venues, most of which serve tried and tested Wallonian grub such as mussels, steak and of course fries.

15 Best Things to Do in Mons (Belgium):

  • St Symphorien Military Cemetery
  • Mons Memorial Museum
  • Strépy-Thieu Boat Lift
  • Collegiale Sainte-Waudru
  • The Silex Museum
  • Explore the Musee du Doudou
  • Hotel De Ville
  • The Beffroi de Mons
  • Musee Francois Duesberg
  • Visit the “paper Google”
  • Pop into Van Gogh’s House
  • Food and Drinks

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Mons, Belgium One Day Itinerary- Top Tourist Attraction You Can Visit

The Grand Place, Mons Belgium

This post is also available in: French

On my recent visit to Belgium, I decided to visit Mons, a not so widely known city of Belgium but very charming full of cultural sites. I first heard of Mons in 2015 as it was declared a European Capital of Culture and wanted to visit ever since.

Mons is located in the western part of Belgium, just 21 km from the borders with France and 70 km away from  Brussels. It is built on a hill. and on the top of the hill lies the famous Belfry one of the three UNESCO sites in the small town of Mons.

I spent a full day exploring this fascinating town but I wish I had more days as there are so many things to do in and around Mons.

The Mayor's Garden, Mons

Table of Contents

What to do in Mons in a day

The grand place.

Mons has many narrow cobbled streets that lead to the historical centre and the stunning main square, the Grand Place. Around the square, you will find a number of cafes and restaurants with tables outside for the warm summer days. In the centre of the square, you will see an engraved circle that has the names of the 19 townships that make up the Greater Mons area.

The Town Hall, Grand Place, Mons - One day in Mons things to do

The buildings around the square date from the 15th century to today with the most impressive one being the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall). The Town Hall was built between 1458 and 1477 in gothic style, its tower bell was added later on, in 1717-1718. The wooden door of the Town Hall has a very beautiful lock in the form of the castle. To the left of the entrance, you will notice a small bronze statue of a monkey, pet the monkey with your left hand, make a wish and your wish will come true. In the courtyard of the Town Hall, there is a passage that leads to a beautiful garden open to the public, the Mayor’s Garden that has the famous statue of the Ropieur.

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Tip: You can access the rooms of the Town Hall by appointment only, apply at the tourist office.

The Belfry was built between 1661 and 1672 to replace the old clock tower. It stands at 87 m high and offers breathtaking views of the area. You can even see up to Brussels on a clear day. Unfortunately, the day I was there it was snowing and you couldn’t even see a meter ahead. It is the only baroque style Belfry in Belgium and is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry used to serve as a watchtower and as a clock, now it has a carillon of 49 bells that ring every 15 minutes. Inside the Belfry there is a museum that tells the story of the Belfry and the role it played through history. An elevator will take you to the top and then you can make your way down through the exhibition via the 365 steps.

Inside the Belfry, Mons Belgiumm

Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru

During my visit in Mons, I had the chance to learn the interesting story of Saint Waudru and the cannon ladies. Waudru was married to the Count of Hainaut and had four children with him. When he decided to retire to a monastery she took her daughters and created a chapel in Mons. After her death, she was declared a Saint, and her relics were associated with many miracles.

A community of noblewomen known as the Canonesses was created around her. The Canonesses were 30 in number and were members of noble families around Europe. Although these women were part of a religious community they weren’t nuns and enjoyed many freedoms. For example, they could leave the community to travel, get married, or if they wanted to become nuns. They had great power in their hands and were very influential.

mons belgium- the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru, Mons

In 1449 they decided to build a big church, the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru that took 200 years to complete. The church was built in Gothic style and its uninterrupted columns make the inside of the church look higher than it really is. Inside the church and above the altar there is a reliquary that contains the relics of the Saint.  It actually contains only the body as the head was separated and can be found in a chapel inside the church. Another highlight you shouldn’t miss at the church is the “Chariot of Gold” or “Car d’ Or” on which the reliquary of St Waudru are carried around town for the Doudou Festival (see below).

Inside the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru, Mons

At the back of the church, there is a small square where you can find a pair of golden wings that symbolise the Angels of Mons. According to the story, during World War I the German forces have encircled the outnumbered British soldiers in Mons. The British forces miraculously escaped by the help of the Angels and of Saint George who was the patron saint of both England and Mons.

The Angels of Mons

Doudou Festival

The Ducasse de Mons, know as the Doudou is a big festival in Mons that takes places every year on Trinity Day. It is said to date back to 1348-1349 when the city suffered from the plague. The Canonesses decided to take the reliquary of St Waudru, which was the patron of the city, around town. The plague miraculously disappeared and since then the reliquaries are paraded around the city every year to ensure the health and good fortune of the city.

On Saturday evening before Trinity Day, the reliquary of St Waudru is lowered from the altar of the Collegiate Church of St Waudru that are kept and are given to the mayor. Many people touch the reliquary of St Waudru with a scarf so that they are blessed for the rest of the year.

On Sunday morning the reliquary is placed on the Chariot of Gold and six horses pull it out of the church and parade it around town. On top of the Chariot, there is also a priest and choristers that accompany the reliquary. Around 60 groups of people all dressed in medieval customs that represent the Canonesses and other historic guilds take part in the parade.

the "Chariot of Gold"

When the chariot returns at the Collegiate Church a large crowd is gathered behind it to push it up the hill. It must reach the church in one push so that the good fortune remains in the city.

Then at the Grand Place takes place the battle between St George on horseback and the dragon. This battle is called Lumeçon. During the battle, the tail of the dragon is circled above the crowd as it is considered luck to pull a hair from its tail. The battle lasts about half an hour where St George attacks the dragon first with a lance then with a sword and finally with a pistol.

The Ducasse festival has been declared by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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Doudou Museum

Behind the Town Hall, there is an interesting museum dedicated to the Doudou festival and the battle of St George.

For more information: http://en.museedudoudou.mons.be/

A museum housed in a former chapel that once belonged to the Ursuline nuns now presents in an innovative way the art and cultural collections of the city.

The Artoteque, Mons

For more information: http://en.artotheque.mons.be/

Old Slaughterhouse

Another interesting place that I saw during my visit was the Old Slaughterhouse of the city, a big impressive building that hosts various exhibitions.

Old Slaughterhouse Mons

Things to see near Mons

Van gogh’s house.

At the age of 25,  Van Gogh was trained to be a priest and took a temporary post as a preacher at the Wasmes village outside of Mons but he was soon dismissed by the Church. He then rented a room at the village of Cuesmes where he spent his time reading and sketching. This house was preserved and is open to the public. There is only one original drawing left in the house called “Le Bêcheurs”.

For more information: http://en.maisonvangogh.mons.be/

Neolithic Flint Mines of  Spiennes

The Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes are the earliest and largest concentration of ancient flint mines in Europe and was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. A visit to the mines must be arranged beforehand and is limited to 5.500 people per year.

For more information: http://en.silexs.mons.be/

visit mons

Where to eat in Mons

Brasserie Oscar

During my visit in Mons, we had a great lunch in Brasserie Oscar , located in Rue de Nimy 14, very close to the Grand Place. The restaurant had a great ambience and very polite and helpful staff. I had a Belgian steak accompanied by salad and Belgian fries. My steak was cooked to my liking and was really tender and tasty. Although I was full after the main course I tried the dessert menu as well. I had a chocolate souffle with ice cream which was amazing. If you are in Mons I totally recommend that you eat at the Brasserie Oscar.

Oscar restaurant Mons 2

Where to stay in Mons

Dream Hotel

I had the pleasure of staying at Dream Hotel, a 4-star superior hotel that is housed in a neogothic style building that used to be a chapel. The hotel is located in the centre of Mons, 5 minutes away on foot from Grand Place. I stayed in a spacious room with a separate toilet and a separate bathroom. Although it used to be a chapel the hotel has been renovated and offers all the modern amenities you would expect from a 4-star hotel.

The staff at the reception were very helpful and polite and I loved the small box of chocolates and complimentary water found in my room. The breakfast buffet had a great variety of fresh and cooked food. I especially enjoyed the freshly quizzed orange juice and the pancakes.  I totally recommend that you stay in such a unique hotel as Dream is when you visit Mons.

The Dream Hotel Mons

For more information: http://www.dream-mons.be/en/

Mons is an impressive and interesting city full of cultural sights. Visit Mons offers a greeters program, where a local can show the city to groups of up to 6 people. Guided tours and excursions are also offered from the tourist office.

The Mayor's Garden Mons

During my visit in Mons. I had the pleasure of having Ms. Mirella Di Renzo a greeter and guide of Visit Mons with me. She is so knowledgeable and told me a lot of interesting things about the city that made my visit there unique. She also answered all my questions about Mons and Belgium in general and I can really say that it was the highlight of my visit.

You might also like: Things to do in Namur Things to do in Antwerp How to spend a day in Bruges How to spend a weekend in Bruges How to spend a weekend in Brussels Things to do in Brussels in winter

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15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mons (Bergen)

Written by Jess Lee Updated Dec 26, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Landmark structures and centuries-old architectural attractions, along with museums and interesting local festivals, make Mons a city worth adding to your Belgium sightseeing itinerary if you're interested in history and culture.

Mons (also known as Bergen in Flemish) stands on a ridge between the two rivers of Haine and Trouille and is an important junction town between Brussels and Paris . Its origins date back to the seventh century, when a castle was built here, and a monastery dedicated to St. Waltrude was founded here a little later.

Mons' heyday was during the 13th and 15th centuries, when it became the capital of the county of Hennegau, but the town suffered considerably during the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries and lost its prominence.

Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Mons (Bergen).

1. Admire Mons City Hall

2. climb to the top of the belfry of mons, 3. visit the church of sainte-waudru, 4. explore local history at mons memorial museum, 5. experience the festival of le lumeçon, 6. museum francois duesberg, 7. day trip to tournai, 8. tour the château de beloeil, 9. take in the interior of the collégiale saint-vincent, 10. stroll around beloeil park, 11. visit the grand hornu, 12. check out the old town district of charleroi, 13. ramble around the medieval ramparts of binche, 14. explore the parc de mariemont, 15. detour to la louvière for industrial canal history, where to stay in mons for sightseeing, mons, belgium - climate chart.

Mons' City Hall

Mons' City Hall (also called the Hôtel de Ville) presides impressively over the town's Grand Place in the central city, flanked by the ornately-decorated Toison d'Or House (1615) and the Chapel of St. George (1604).

The facade was designed by Mattheus de Layens in 1458, while the rest of the city hall buildings, grouped around the courtyard, date from the 15th to 18th centuries. Look up to the left of the main entrance to see a bronze sculpture of a monkey with a polished head – stroking it is said to bring good fortune.

Inside, the Salle des Commissions holds Brussels tapestries dating to 1707, and the Salle des Mariages has some gorgeous examples of wooden paneling.

If you walk through the courtyard, you come to the Jardins du Mayeur, the Burgomaster's garden, which has a fountain representing a street urchin of Mons. Just to your left here is the old civic prison of 1512 with a torture chamber.

The Grand-Place de Mons is the city's lively center, where you will find numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops lining the cobblestone streets.

Visitors could easily spend a relaxed afternoon here simply admiring the facades of the square's old buildings, and then people-watching at a table at one of the outdoor cafés.

Those who enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides can find coachmen lined up in the square ready to provide tours.

Address: Grand-Place, central Mons

Mons Bell Tower

One of the top things to do in Mons is to climb the 365 stairs up to the top of the city's bell tower, the most famous landmark in Mons.

Also known as El Catiau, the bell tower stands on the former castle hill above the town and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 87-meter-high tower was built between 1661 and 1672, designed by Anthony Vincent and Louis Ledoux. It is the only purely Baroque belfry in Belgium, with a carillon of 47 bells.

At the top, the belfry's observation platform is one of the best places to visit in Mons for panoramic vistas across the town and out to the countryside beyond.

Time your visit to be at the top for the turn of the hour when the bells ring.

Address: Ramp du Chateau, central Mons

Church of Sainte-Waudru

Just below Mons' castle hill with the scant remains of the old feudal castle is the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru. Building began in 1450 to plans by Mattheus de Layens, and despite construction being interrupted several times, the church reveals a remarkable unity of style in Brabant Gothic.

Inside, the first thing that will strike you are the pillars of the central nave, which stretch up into the vault of the roof without any capitals.

Once you're through the main door, turn to the left to see the "Car d'Or," a processional carriage built in 1780 for the shrine of St. Waltrude. The gilded copper shrine (built in 1887) is near the High Altar and holds the body of the saint who died in 682 and was sewn up in a skin of a stag. Her head is kept in one of the chapels in a casket.

At various points around the church (in the transept, choir, and chapels 11, 14, 20, 24, and 28) you can see the surviving remnants of the church's choir screen, made by Jacques Dubroeucq of Mons between 1535 and 1548 and destroyed by the French in 1792. This is one of the most important of Renaissance works in Belgium with a strong Italian influence.

Don't forget to visit the treasury before you leave the church. It contains a number of valuable reliquaries including that of St. Vincent by the school of Hugo d'Oignies, as well as gold and silver work from Mons and the surrounding district.

Address: Rampe du Sainte-Waudru, central Mons

Military hat exhibit at the Mons Memorial Museum

The Mons Memorial Museum (formerly the War Museum) is dedicated to exploring Mons' place in history due to its strategic importance. For anyone interested in Belgian heritage, this museum is one of the top things to do while in town.

Visitors are first introduced to an overview of the city's history from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century, learning through interactive exhibits about the complex relationship that military and civilian populations have had in the area.

Nearly one half of the museum is dedicated to World War I, a conflict that had a profound impact on the city. It was here that the British troops first fought the Germans, and the people of Mons endured four years of occupation under the oppressors before they were freed in 1918.

Another large section of the museum focuses on World War II, when the city was once again occupied, and civilians were subjected to the horrors of the Nazis.

The museum houses over 5,000 artifacts, which include uniforms and weapons of soldiers from various conflicts and sides, artwork depicting the struggles the people of Mons have endured, and numerous items that let visitors gain insight into their lives.

Address: Boulevard Dolez, 51, Mons

Official site: http://en.monsmemorialmuseum.mons.be/

Festival of Le Lumecon

On the Sunday after Whitsun (57 days after Easter), a unique eight-day festival called Lumeçon takes place in Mons. Its origins come from a processional game associated with St. George, which dates from the 14th century.

Participants (acting as St. George) leave the Church of Saint-Waudru at 12.30pm and walk in procession to the Grand Place carrying a nine-meter-long dragon known as "Doudou."

Once they've reached the Grand Place, they act out a fight between St. George and the dragon. Finally, the saint is declared the winner by two pistol shots, and the dead dragon is dragged into the courtyard of the city hall.

If your visit to Belgium isn't at the right time of year, you can get a taste of the experience by visiting the Musée du Doudou, a museum dedicated to celebrating the traditions of the festival and the local culture.

Mons' Museum Francois Duesberg is dedicated to decorative arts and is home to a collection of items that were popular among French aristocracy during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

A significant portion of the collection is made up of clocks, with a variety of ornate and rare timepieces on display that originate from Paris, Switzerland, and other European cities. Other exhibits include fine examples of porcelain, with a focus on pieces from Brussels and Paris, as well as a collection of gilt bronzes and items made from precious metals.

The museum also houses a collection of antique and rare jewelry, including a set of rare cameos.

Address: Square F. Roosevelt, 12, Mons

Official site: http://en.duesberg.mons.be/

Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Tournai

Tournai (50 kilometers northwest from Mons) is one of the oldest towns in the country, and several attractive but mostly reconstructed buildings testify to the prosperity of this old princely residence and episcopal town.

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame is the city's most grand and striking building and is a classic example of Romanesque architecture.

Inside, the magnificent marble Renaissance rood screen separates the transepts and nave from the choir. It is one of the most important works of Cornelis Floris de Vriendt, made in the years 1570-1573.

The cathedral treasury, housed in rooms to the right of the choir ambulatory, contains a number of pieces of the first order, the finest of which are two Late-Romanesque reliquary shrines.

Tournai's Grand Place (the main square) is lined by gabled houses most of which are restored and many housing museums.

On the west side of the square is the belfry, the oldest bell-tower in Belgium. The first four stories were built in 1200 and completed in 1294 with the topmost story and the spire.

Also on the square is the star-shaped building of the Musée des Beaux Arts, built in 1928 according to plans by Victor Horta. Its principal collection is that of the Tournai burgher Henry van Cutsem, and fine paintings of many periods are displayed across 14 rooms.

Tournai Map - Tourist Attractions

The little town of Beloeil lies about 30 kilometers northwest of Mons and is home to this baroque château and park, which are reputed to be the finest of their kind in Belgium.

Château de Beloeil was founded in the 13th century as a medieval fortress and transformed into a palace in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The château has been in the possession of the de Ligne family for seven hundred years. The main house burnt down in 1900 and was rebuilt in its present 18th-century style in 1920. Only the two free-standing wings and the entrance pavilions survive substantially unchanged from 1682.

Inside, the rooms of the château are superbly furnished with a wealth of period furniture belonging to the de Ligne family.

Especially noteworthy is Prince Charles-Joseph's apartment with its series of paintings depicting episodes in his life, the Salle des Médailles with its valuable coin collection, and the library with more than 20,000 volumes (including an hour-book dated 1532 and said to have belonged to Charles V).

Address: Rue du Château 11, Beloeil

Official site: http://www.chateaudebeloeil.com

This mammoth church in Soignies, dedicated to St. Vincent was built in the style of Scheldt Romanesque with construction begun in 965 but only completed in the 13th century.

Both bays of the choir contain the oldest cross-ribbed vault in Belgium (believed to date from the 11th century). The most impressive items are undoubtedly the sculpture, the Renaissance choir screen made of marble and stucco, and the Baroque choir stalls and pulpit.

The great 19th-century Shrine of Saint Vincent stands in the choir, while the church's treasury is found in the Chapel of St. Hubert in the south wall.

The old cemetery, not far from the church, is a public park with a Romanesque chapel that is now an archaeological museum.

The Collégiale Saint-Vincent is 20 kilometers northwest of Mons, in the center of the town of Soignies.

Address: Grand'Place 10, Soignies

Beloeil Park

Belgium's "Little Versailles," Beloeil Park are the gardens and estate of the Château de Beloeil, 30 kilometers northwest of Mons. The gardens were designed and laid out in the 18th century by Prince Claude Lamoral II, with the aid of the French architect Chevotet.

A series of small hedged gardens, several with pools, are arranged in typical Rococo fashion around the 460-meter-long ornamental lake known as Le Grand Pièce d'Eau.

The splendid five-kilometer Allée Grande Vue extends beyond the boundaries of the park itself.

Some years ago, various attractions were added, using land on the west side of the estate. They include Park Minibel, a 1:25 scale reconstruction of some of Belgium's most famous sights and buildings, including Liége railroad station, Brussels Town Hall, and the Bruges belfry.

A miniature train ferries tourists between here and the Château de Beloeil.

Address: Rue du Château, Beloeil

Grand Hornu

Just 13 kilometers to the west of central Mons, this 19th-century colliery complex is regarded as one of the best surviving examples of neoclassical industrial architecture in Europe. Today the buildings have been restored and revitalized to become the Museum of Contemporary Arts at Grand Hornu.

At the Grand Hornu colliery's height, it was one of Belgium's most important coal industry centers and a major factor in the country's economic development. When coal production stopped after World War II, though, the site slid into dereliction until it was saved and converted into an art museum.

The Museum of Contemporary Arts at Grand Hornu runs a rolling program of exhibitions, focused on local artists and cutting-edge conceptual design. It is well worth a visit while in Mons to admire the complex's finely restored architecture, as well as the art itself.

Address: Rue Sainte-Louise 82, Boussu

Official site: https://www.cid-grand-hornu.be/en

Charleroi

About 50 kilometers east of Mons, the city of Charleroi lies at the heart of one of Europe's oldest industrial regions.

This part of southern Belgium is almost synonymous with coal and steel production. As an industrial center, Charleroi doesn't have a plethora of sights, but the old town area does retain some historical architecture and a couple of excellent museums.

The heart of Charleroi's upper town is the Place Charles II, dominated by the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) and its towering 70-meter-high belfry with a carillon of 47 bells.

Museum-goers should check out the Institut National du Verre , which contains the Glass Museum with a display of some exceptional examples of the glassmaker's art from antiquity to the present day; and the Archaeological Museum , which displays archaeological finds mainly from the Roman and Merovingian periods.

Charleroi Center Map - Tourist Attractions

A great quick stopover on a drive between Mons and Charleroi, Binche (19 kilometers east of Mons) takes great pride in being the only town in Belgium to retain a substantial proportion of its medieval ramparts intact, including 27 towers.

Throughout its long history, those who have held the fate of Binche in their hands have frequently been women-Joanna of Constantinople, Margaret of York, and especially Mary of Hungary under whom the town enjoyed its heyday.

Apart from the 19th century, when Binche had a thriving textile industry, the town has remained something of a backwater ever since.

Each year the Carnival of Binche takes place, attracting an increasing number of visitors. This event was named one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Parc de Mariemont

Near the village of Morlanwelz, about eight kilometers from Binche (and 26 kilometers east of Mons), the Parc de Mariemont is named after Mary of Hungary, who built a hunting lodge here in 1546. The ruins here now date from only 1831 and are the remnants of the palace that burnt down in the 1960s.

The major tourist attraction within the park is the Musée royal de Mariemont, which holds the park's art and archaeology collection.

The first floor of the museum contains extensive collections of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, as well as precious jade and lacquer work from China and Japan.

On the lower ground floor are archaeological finds from Gallo-Roman and Merovingian times, although the most exciting section here is the extraordinary collection of Tournai porcelain with pieces representing four stylistic periods from between 1750 and 1799.

The surrounding park is adorned with some very fine sculptures. These include several works by the Belgian sculptor Victor Rousseau, as well as Auguste Rodin's The Burghers of Calais .

Address: Chau. de Mariemont 100, Morlanwelz

Hydraulic barge lift in La Louvière

About 12 kilometers north of Binche, and 24 kilometers east of Mons, the Canal du Centre passes by the industrial town of La Louvière.

Although the town itself has little to offer in the way of tourist attractions, anyone with an interest in industrial history should make a point of visiting, if only to see the four hydraulic barge lifts on the canal at Houdeng Goegnies and Bracquegnies on the outskirts.

These steel monsters were constructed between 1888 and 1917 to overcome a height difference of 68 meters in the space of just seven kilometers.

Afterwards, a detour west to the enormous, modern hydraulic-lift locks at Strépy-Thieu provides an interesting comparison with the old barge locks. The new locks overcome a difference in level of 73 meters.

Luxury Hotels :

  • The four-star Congres Hotel Mons Van der Valk is a modern hotel, which offers a wide range of luxury amenities, including an in-house spa, fitness center, and excellent restaurant with room service. Pet-friendly rooms and suites are equipped with a mini-fridge and free Wi-Fi, and parking is also free.
  • For those who prefer the more personal touch of a B&B, Compagnons11 is a good option, offering charming rooms and delicious breakfasts in an old mansion close to the center of town.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • An excellent mid-range option located close to the Mons Memorial Museum is Dream , a quirky and fun hotel that features individually decorated rooms with personality. This family-friendly hotel welcomes pets, and offers a spa, sauna, and hot tub, as well as fitness facilities; there is also a restaurant, and both parking and Wi-Fi are free.
  • Although it's located about 4.5 miles from the center of town near the NATO military base, the Hotel & Aparthotel Casteau Resort Mons is an excellent option for families or those here on longer stays; rooms and suites include kitchenettes, and there are a wide range of amenities, including a spa and sauna, business center, electric vehicle charging, and a fitness center.

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Belgian Battlefields : Another Belgian city that was deeply scarred by war, Ypres is visited by those who are interested in WWI history. Tours explore the numerous battlefields, beginning at the Menin Gate , and also visit several of the soldiers' cemeteries that dot the landscape. Although much of the original town was destroyed during World War I, some of the original structures remain, including the beautiful Lakenhalle in the Grote Markt.

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Strategic Position : The university town of Namur (Namen) sits at the juncture of the Meuse and Sambre Rivers, making its position important in military strategy throughout history. The impressive Citadel is a testament to this, and today tourists can explore its turrets, barracks, and tunnels, as well as enjoy exhibits in the Arms Museum. Other top tourist attractions in Namur include several beautiful churches and the city's hodgepodge of architectural styles that reflect the centuries.

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French Flanders : Although it sits over the border in France , around an hour by car from Mons, the city of Lille is heavily influenced by Flemish culture. Here, you will find typical Belgian cuisine and architecture, as well as numerous attractions, including multiple art museums, churches, and grand old Baroque buildings.

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Mons Travel Guide: 15 Best things to do in Mons, History, Attractions

December 5, 2023 | Posted in: Belgium

15 Best things to do in Mons

Mons is a historic city located in the Wallonia region of Belgium, about 45 miles southwest of Brussels. As the capital of the province of Hainaut, Mons has been an important center of commerce, politics and military conflicts throughout its long history. The area around Mons was first settled during Roman times. In the Middle Ages, Mons emerged as a prosperous trading city and was fortified with impressive city walls and gates. Much of the medieval architecture in the city center remains intact today, including the magnificent Grand Place square surrounded by ornate guildhalls and the towering belfry. The city was devastated by Louis XIV’s bombardment in the late 17th century but rebuilt in the Baroque style seen today. Mons played a pivotal role early in World War I as the location of the first clash between British and German troops in 1914. The Mons Memorial Museum chronicles the city's experiences during the World Wars through artifacts and multimedia exhibits. Mons is also known for its Doudou festival, a UNESCO-recognized celebration that brings colorful parades and reenactments of St. George slaying the dragon to the streets each year. With its blend of medieval charm, Baroque architecture and modern energy, Mons offers visitors a taste of Wallonia's history and culture.

Listed below are the things to do in Mons.

  • Grand Place. Grand Place in Mons, Belgium is a historic square surrounded by Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV buildings. It was rebuilt in the late 17th century after being destroyed by the French. Grand Place is renowned for its ornate architecture and golden illumination at night. Visitors can admire the buildings, visit museums, dine at cafesand attend events like markets and concerts. The square offers affordable sightseeing and a lively atmosphere day or night. Grand Place is located in central Mons, just a 10 minute walk from the train station. Its preservation and central location make it a top attraction when visiting Mons.
  • Belfry of Mons. The Belfry of Mons is a 17th century bell tower in Mons, Belgium, built in the Baroque architectural style. It stands 87 meters tall and was constructed with 459,000 bricks. In 1999 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can climb 365 steps to the top for panoramic views of Mons, see the 49-bell carillonand visit the museum detailing the Belfry's history. Located in central Mons, it is an iconic landmark and top attraction to appreciate Belgian heritage.
  • Mons Memorial Museum. The Mons Memorial Museum is a military history museum located in central Mons, Belgium, inside the historic La Machine à Eau building. Also known as the Musée Mémorial de Mons, it opened in 2015 with exhibits covering Mons' experiences in the World Wars. The museum focuses on personal stories of soldiers and civilians through over 5,000 artifacts, interviews, lettersand diaries. Visitors can see reconstructions, artifacts, interactive displays, projectionsand films bringing the war history to life. The museum is suitable for all ages with multimedia exhibits. Located just 10 minutes from Mons train station, tickets cost €9 for adults, making it an accessible and meaningful war history museum to visit.
  • Doudou Museum. The Doudou Museum in Mons, Belgium aims to showcase the history and traditions of Mons' Doudou festival. Located in central Mons, it contains over 5,000 artifacts related to Doudou spanning various eras. Interactive exhibits like films, reconstructions, costumesand games immerse visitors in the festival experience. Tickets cost €9 for adults, making it an accessible way to learn about this UNESCO recognized cultural heritage. The museum brings Mons' iconic celebration to life through multimedia displays.
  • Collégiale Sainte-Waudru. The Collégiale Sainte-Waudru is a collegiate church located in central Mons, Belgium. Construction began in 1450 in the Gothic Brabant style and spanned over centuries until 1621. While never fully completed, it stands out for its immense 115 meter long interior and unified architecture across eras. The church contains 16th century stained glass, sculptures by Jacques du Broeucqand many artistic and religious treasures. Its central location makes it easy to visit this architectural and artistic landmark.
  • Francois Duesberg Museum. The Francois Duesberg Museum in Mons, Belgium contains one of the world's foremost collections of decorative arts from 1775-1825. It is renowned for its collection of over 300 rare French clocks from the transition between the reigns of Louis XVI and Napoleon. The museum also houses gilded bronzes, porcelain, silverand other objets d'art. Located in central Mons, the museum offers visitors the chance to appreciate these artifacts up close. Its strength in clocks and breadth of decorative arts make it an exceptional museum to visit.
  • Artothèque. The Artothèque in Mons, Belgium is an art museum inside a historic convent chapel that opened in 2015. It contains over 50,000 digitized pieces of Mons' heritage that visitors can browse on interactive screens. The museum offers a behind-the-scenes look at preservation and research while displaying some physical artifacts. Located in central Mons, its virtual access and multimedia exhibits provide an innovative cultural experience.

1. Grand Place

Grand Place is the central square and main tourist attraction in the historic city center of Mons, Belgium. It is located in the heart of Mons, about 45 miles southwest of Brussels. The full address of Grand Place is Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium.

Grand Place is also known locally by its Dutch name Grote Markt. This beautiful cobblestone square is surrounded by historic buildings in Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV styles, including the UNESCO-listed belfry, the 16th century Town Halland elegant guildhalls.

Grand Place is renowned for its ornate gilded facades and intricate details. At night, the golden glow from the buildings' illumination creates a magical atmosphere. The whole square was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. For visitors, Grand Place offers plenty to see and do. During the day, people can admire the architectural details up close, go inside buildings like the Town Halland visit the museums around the square like the Museum of Applied Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts. There are also many cafes, chocolate shops and restaurants lining the square, perfect for sitting outside and people watching. The square often hosts festivals, concerts, markets and other events.

Grand Place

In December, Grand Place becomes a magical Christmas market and ice skating rink. The square is especially lively on summer evenings when locals and tourists alike gather to eat, drink and enjoy free concerts. Grand Place is suitable for visitors of all ages to enjoy sightseeingand kids will love exploring the little side alleys and admiring the old buildings.

Grand Place is very easy to get to, located right in the heart of Mons historic center. Mons can be reached by train from Brussels in just 30 minutes. From the Mons train station, Grand Place is only a 10 minute walk away ora short taxi ride. Within the city, walking is the best way to get around the pedestrianized streets. Limited parking is available around the square. Entry to Grand Place itself is free. Visitors only need to pay for any attractions, museums, restaurants or cafes they wish to enter.

2. Belfry of Mons

The Belfry of Mons is a historic bell tower located in the center of Mons, Belgium. It is situated in the Parc du Château at Rue du Beffroi 1, 7000 Mons. The Belfry is also referred to by its Dutch name, Belfort van Bergen. This 87 meter tall tower was originally built between 1661-1669 in the Baroque architectural style. It is the only Baroque style belfry in all of Belgium.

The entire tower was constructed out of brick, with 459,000 bricks used to build the walls. Blue limestone from Ecaussinnes was used for the exterior detailing. The tower has a square footprint and features a spiral staircase inside that leads up through multiple floors. In 1999, the Belfry was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its unique civic importance, architectureand symbolism of the growing power of medieval cities. It remains an iconic landmark overlooking Mons to this day.

For visitors, the Belfry offers the opportunity to appreciate Baroque architecture up close and take in panoramic views of Mons from the top of the tower. The Belfry contains a carillon with 49 bells spanning over five octaves. Visitors can hear concerts played on the bells at certain times. Inside the tower is also a museum detailing the history of the Belfry and its significance to Mons. The museum features interactive multimedia exhibits and displays of artifacts and objects related to the tower. Visitors can climb up the 365 steps inside the spiral staircase to reach the top viewing platform.

Belfry of Mons

The Belfry is suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. There are areas to stop and rest during the climb up the staircase. Kids in particular will enjoy exploring the tower's different floors and bells. For visitors with disabilities, there is an elevator available to reach the museum and viewing levels.

The Belfry is very conveniently located in central Mons, making it easy to reach. Mons can be reached in just 30 minutes by train from Brussels. The Parc du Château and Belfry are a short 10 minute walk from the Mons train station. Within Mons, the Belfry is best accessed on foot. Limited parking is available around the tower. This provides access to the museum, staircase, elevatorand top viewing platform. Free entry for teachers is also available. Guided tours and special events may have additional costs.

3. Mons Memorial Museum

The Mons Memorial Museum (MMM) is a military history museum located in the center of Mons, Belgium. It is situated inside the historic La Machine à Eau building at Rue de Houdain 13, 7000 Mons. The museum is also known locally by its French name Musée Mémorial de Mons. The museum opened in 2015 and its exhibits cover Mons' experience during the World Wars, especially WWI and WWII when the city was occupied by German forces.

The museum aims to personalize the history beyond just military facts and statistics. Over 5,000 artifacts are included in the collections. For visitors, the permanent exhibition at the Mons Memorial Museum chronologically guides you through Mons’ involvement in various conflicts from the Middle Ages to the World Wars. The museum also uses projections, 3D filmsand games to fully immerse visitors in the war experiences.

Mons Memorial Museum

The Mons Memorial Museum is suitable for visitors of all ages, with multimedia exhibits to engage both children and adults. Visitors should allow 1-2 hours to fully experience the museum.

The museum is conveniently located just a 10 minute walk from the Mons train station, right in the heart of the city center. Mons can be easily reached by train from Brussels in under an hour. Within Mons, the museum is best accessed by foot.

Entry tickets to the Mons Memorial Museum cost €9 ($9.85, £7.82) for adults, €6 ($6.57, £5.21) for those aged 12-25and €2 ($2.19, £1.74) for children under 12. There are also discounted family tickets available. Guided tours and special events may have additional costs. Overall, it provides an affordable experience.

4. Doudou Museum

The Doudou Museum is a museum located in the heart of Mons, Belgium dedicated to the city's famous Ducasse de Mons festival. It is situated inside the historic Jardin du Mayeur at Grand Place 22, 7000 Mons. The museum is also referred to locally by its French name “Musée du Doudou”. It opened in 2015 with the aim of explaining the history, traditionsand significance of Mons' Doudou festival which was recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005.

The museum contains over 5,000 artifacts related to the Doudou spanning various eras. Visitors can see historical objects like dragon effigies, St George's armorand relics of St Waudru. There are also reconstructions of parade floats and scenes from the mock battles. Interactive screens allow visitors to explore the legends behind Doudou characters like St George, the dragonand St Waudru in depth. Films, projectionsand recordings of festival music immerse you in the experience. The museum also examines the festival's evolution using anthropological and sociological perspectives. Overall, it provides a multi-sensory way to understand Doudou traditions.

Doudou Museum

For visitors, the Doudou Museum offers the opportunity to see artifacts up close, learn through games and multimediaand gain insight into Mons history and culture. Key highlights include climbing aboard a parade float, listening to recordings of the festival hymn, exploring the mock battles through projectionsand trying on costumes. Visitors should allow 1-2 hours to fully experience the museum.

The Doudou Museum is located right on the Grand Place in central Mons, making it very easy to access. Mons can be reached in under an hour by train from Brussels. The museum is just a 10 minute walk from Mons train station. Within the city, it can be reached on foot from anywhere in the historic center. The museum is suitable for visitors of all ages. Interactive games and films appeal to children, while adults can appreciate the cultural and anthropological information.

5. Collégiale Sainte-Waudru

The Collégiale Sainte-Waudru is a Roman Catholic collegiate church located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated on the Place du Chapitre at Parvis de la Collégiale, 7000 Mons. The church is also known locally by its Dutch name Sint-Waltrudiskerk. It was originally built as a collegiate church for a community of canonesses devoted to Saint Waltrude. Construction on the Gothic church began in 1450 and continued over the centuries until 1621. While it was never fully completed as intended, the Collégiale Sainte-Waudru stands today as one of the most significant religious buildings in Belgium.

The Collégiale also showcases a remarkable unity of Gothic Brabant style despite the different construction periods. Inside, visitors can admire the church's 16th century stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes which were donated by Emperor Maximilian of Austria. The interior contains ornate sculptures and carved wooden reliefs by the renowned Renaissance artist Jacques du Broeucq. His works portray the virtues and stand out for their intricate details. The church also houses valuable paintings, religious artifactsand the tombs of several canonesses and nobles.

Collégiale Sainte-Waudru

For visitors today, the Collégiale Sainte-Waudru offers a glimpse into Mons’ history and the chance to appreciate Belgian artwork across the centuries. The church regularly hosts concerts to highlight its grand pipe organ within the stunning architecture. Visitors can also tour the museum displaying treasures of the church and climb the tower for panoramic views of Mons.

The Collégiale Sainte-Waudru is located right in the heart of Mons, making it very easy to access. Mons can be reached in just 30 minutes by train from Brussels. The church is only a 10 minute walk from the Mons train station. Within the city itself, the Collégiale is best reached on foot.

The church is suitable for visitors of all ages to enjoy this architectural and artistic landmark at their own pace. Entry to admire the interior is free. There are extra costs for climbing the tower, visiting the museum orattending concerts. Guided tours are available by request as well.

6. Francois Duesberg Museum

The Francois Duesberg Museum is a museum of decorative arts located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated inside the historic former National Bank of Belgium building at Square Franklin Roosevelt 12, 7000 Mons. The museum is also referred to locally by its French name “Musée François Duesberg”. It was opened in 1994 to showcase the private collection of decorative arts and curiosities gathered by Baron Francois Duesberg and his wife over many decades.

The museum has over 300 rare and intricate clocks from the transition period between the reigns of Louis XVI and Napoleon Bonaparte in France. This includes exceptionally crafted mantel clocks incorporating themes of exoticism. The museum also houses a remarkable collection of 18th century gilded bronzes, porcelain pieces, silverwork, jewelryand other decorative arts.

For visitors, the Francois Duesberg Museum offers the opportunity to admire these decorative arts up close and learn about the stories behind them. Visitors can explore the themed collection rooms showcasing the clocks, bronzes, porcelainand silver pieces. Highlights for visitors include seeing the outstanding quality and detail of the clocks' craftsmanship, as well as appreciating the museum's porcelain pieces like tea sets and centerpieces.

Francois Duesberg Museum

The Francois Duesberg Museum is located right in Mons city center just a short walk from the train station, making it very easy to access. Mons can be reached in under an hour by train from Brussels. Within Mons itself, the museum is best reached on foot.

The museum is suitable for all audiences with an interest in decorative arts and antiques. Visitors should allow 1-2 hours to fully experience the collection. Guided tours are available by request. Entry tickets cost €5 for adults and the museum is open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 2pm-6pm.

7. Artothèque

The Artothèque is an art museum and heritage center located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated inside the historic former chapel of the Ursuline Convent at Rue Claude de Bettignies 1, 7000 Mons. The Artothèque is also referred to locally by its French name “L'Artothèque de Mons”. It was opened in 2015 as part of Mons being the European Capital of Culture that year. The museum is dedicated to preserving, researching, restoring and providing access to the heritage and artwork of Mons.

Artothèque contains a collection of over 50,000 pieces from Mons' heritage, but only displays a small selection physically. Instead, visitors can digitally browse the entire collection on interactive screens and virtual exhibits.

For visitors, the Artothèque offers an immersive multimedia experience. There are also some physical exhibits, artifacts and artwork to admire. Visitors can even create their own customized virtual exhibition. Another highlight is the behind-the-scenes look the Artothèque provides into museum work. Tours are available explaining the preservation, archiving and study activities happening on-site. There are also reference materials available in the documentation center for those wanting to delve deeper into certain topics or artworks.

Artotheque

The Artothèque is located right in central Mons close to the Grand Place, making it very easy to access. Mons can be reached in under an hour by train from Brussels. The museum is only a 10 minute walk from the Mons train station. Within Mons itself, the Artothèque is best reached on foot.

The interactive exhibits and virtual access to the collections make the Artothèque suitable for visitors of all ages. Tickets cost €6 ($6.57, £5.21) for adults, €4 ($4.38, £3.48) for 12-25 years oldsand free for under 12s. Guided tours are available by request as well. Visitors should allow 1-2 hours to fully experience the diversity of exhibits.

MUMONS, also known as the Musée de l'Université de Mons, is a university museum located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated at Place du Parc 24, 7000 Mons.

MUMONS opened in 2019 with the goal of showcasing and promoting the collections, researchand heritage of the University of Mons (UMons). The museum's name stands for Museum, University, Mons.

The museum contains a diverse array of artifacts related to the sciences, artsand curiosities from UMons' history. However, only a small selection is physically displayed. Visitors can browse over 50,000 digitized pieces from the university collections using interactive touchscreens and virtual exhibits. This provides an immersive multimedia experience for visitors to explore objects not typically on display.

MUMONS

MUMONS offers the opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes into museum work like preservation, restorationand research. Guided tours explain the activities happening on-site. Visitors can also admire some physical exhibits, artifactsand artwork. But a key highlight is interacting with the collections through games, films, 3D modelsand other multimedia. For example, you can create your own customized virtual exhibition.

The museum's central location makes it easily accessible for visitors. MUMONS is situated right in the historic heart of Mons, just a 5-10 minute walk from the train station. Mons can be reached in under an hour by train from Brussels.

The interactive exhibits and virtual access to UMons' heritage make MUMONS suitable for visitors of all ages. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday and tickets cost €5 ($5.47, £4.34) for adults. Guided tours are available upon request as well. Visitors should allow 1-2 hours to fully experience the diversity of interactive displays.

9. Anciens Abattoirs

Anciens Abattoirs is an art center and cultural venue located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated at Rue de la Trouille 17, 7000 Mons.

Anciens Abattoirs, which translates to “Old Slaughterhouses”, is housed inside Mons' former municipal slaughterhouses originally constructed in the mid-19th century. The large brick complex operated as the city's main slaughterhouse facility until it closed in the 1980s.

After sitting abandoned for over a decade, the old slaughterhouses were revived in the 2000s as a new home for contemporary art and culture in Mons. The buildings were renovated while retaining their industrial architectural style. The main building, La Grande Halle, features an expansive interior spanning 70 meters long by 10 meters wide. This provides a dramatic backdrop for large-scale exhibitions and events. The smaller cow shed and refrigeration buildings house additional facilities.

Anciens Abattoirs

For visitors, Anciens Abattoirs offers regularly changing exhibitions focusing on modern and contemporary art. Past shows have covered painting, sculpture, photography, video artand more by regional and international artists. The raw industrial spaces allow for bold, immersive exhibits. Anciens Abattoirs hosts performing arts, cultural events, concerts, festivalsand workshops year-round. Visitors can check the calendar of events online. Some highlights include live music nights, theater performances, dance showsand an annual graffiti jam. There are often activities for families and children as well.

Visiting Anciens Abattoirs is easy given its central location. It sits just a 10 minute walk from the Mons train station, making it convenient to reach from Brussels in under an hour by train. Within Mons itself, the art center is very walkable from downtown accommodations and attractions.

Anciens Abattoirs is open Tuesday to Sunday 12pm to 6pm. Tickets typically cost €5 ($5.47, £4.34) for exhibitions. Guided tours are available by request. The industrial architecture combined with dynamic cultural programming make Anciens Abattoirs a top destination to experience Mons' thriving arts scene.

10. Beaux-Arts Mons (BAM)

Beaux-Arts Mons, also referred to as BAM, is an art museum located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated at Rue Neuve 8, 7000 Mons. BAM opened in its current modern building in 2013, but its history traces back to the original Mons Museum of Fine Arts which was established in the early 20th century. In 2007, the old museum underwent a major renovation and was reopened as the new contemporary art institution BAM.

The museum building was designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc to combine aesthetics with functional museum spaces. It features light-filled minimalist galleries over 5,000 m2 on 3 floors, providing nearly 2,000 m2 of exhibition space. BAM hosts two major temporary exhibitions each year dedicated to modern and contemporary artists, movements orthemes related to its permanent collections. The collections span over 15,000 works from the 19th-21st centuries, with strengths in Belgian art, Pop Artand avant-garde movements. BAM also regularly organizes cultural events like concerts, film screeningsand festivals.

Beaux-Arts Mons (BAM)

For visitors, BAM offers the opportunity to discover cutting-edge artwork and immerse yourself in the cultural life of Mons. Highlights include exploring the changing exhibitions, admiring works by Magritte and other Belgian artists, attending opening events, relaxing in the museum cafeand appreciating the architecture. Guided tours are available to enhance the experience.

BAM is located right in central Mons, making it very easy to access. Mons can be reached from Brussels by train in just 30 minutes. The museum is only a 10 minute walk from the Mons train station. Within Mons, BAM is best reached on foot. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and suitable for all audiences interested in modern and contemporary art.

11. Waux-Hall Park

Waux-Hall Park (Parc du Waux-Hall) is a 5-hectare landscaped park located in the heart of Mons, Belgium. It is situated at 22 Avenue Reine Astrid, 7000 Mons. The full address is Parc du Waux-Hall, Avenue Reine Astrid 22, 7000 Mons, Belgium.

The park features 19th and 20th century sculptures scattered throughout, giving it a romantic ambience. Visitors can enjoy boating on the pond, walking the health trail, playing on the tennis courts and basketball courts orletting kids play on the playground. The park also contains a remarkable collection of plants, including some 100-year old tree specimens and beds where 100,000 flower bulbs bloom in the spring.

Visitors to Waux-Hall Park can go boating on the pond, walk the scenic paths past sculptures and flower beds, play tennis or basketball, let kids enjoy the playground orsimply find a bench and relax amidst nature. The park also has a cafeteria to get refreshments.

Waux-Hall Park

To get to Waux-Hall Park, it can be accessed by car, public transport, bike or on foot. By car, take the N90 road into central Mons and the park is located right off Avenue Reine Astrid. If coming by train, get off at Mons Railway Station and then walk about 1.2 km or take local bus 4 or 5 six stops to Waux-Hall. On foot or bike, the park is easily accessible from Mons city center in just over 10 minutes.

The activities at Waux-Hall Park are suitable for people of all ages – kids, families, couples, seniors etc. The playground, boating pond and open green spaces make it very family-friendly, while the scenic paths, sculptures and benches also appeal to couples or individuals looking for some quiet relaxation in nature. The basketball and tennis facilities additionally provide recreation for sports-lovers.

12. The Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes

The Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes are a vast underground network of galleries and tunnels where flint was mined during the Neolithic period around 4,000 BC. The mines are located on Rue du Point du Jour 30, 7032 Spiennes, Belgium between the villages of Spiennes, Havré and Harmignies.

At their peak, the mines stretched across 100 hectares with an estimated 4,000 shafts dug up to 16 meters deep into the chalk plateaus. They represent one of the largest and earliest known flint mining complexes in Europe. Archaeologists estimate two million cubic meters of chalk was extracted by ancient miners to reach the flint deposits.

For visitors, the site offers walks around the meadows and fields above ground to view the spoil heaps and dense scatterings of flint fragments that mark the locations of former mineshafts. The Silex's Museum presents exhibitions explaining the history, mining techniques, flint knapping methodsand everyday life of the prehistoric miners. Visitors can do mining gear and descend 10 meters down a Neolithic mineshaft with a guide.

The Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes

To reach The Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes, private vehicles can take the N90 road from central Mons for about 10 minutes to the site. Public transport options include bus routes 4, 5 or 15 from Mons station to the Place de Spiennes stop. The site can also be reached by bike or on foot via local walking/cycling paths from Mons.

The activities at the museum and archaeological site would appeal most to adults and older children with an interest in history, archaeology and anthropology. The visual displays, chance to view artifactsand descent into an ancient tunnel bring the Neolithic period to life. Families would also enjoy the above ground walks and museum exhibits tailored for young audiences.

13. Hydraulic Boat Lifts

The Hydraulic Boat Lifts are a series of four historic boat lifts located on Rue Raymond Cordier 5020, 7110 Houdeng-Goegnies, Belgium, along the Canal du Centre near the city of Mons in Belgium. They are situated between the towns of La Louvière and Le Roeulx within the province of Hainaut.

The Hydraulic Boat Lifts is one of the eight hydraulic boat lifts constructed during this period worldwide, these four lifts on the Canal du Centre are the only ones still operating in their original condition. The lifts allow boats to traverse a 66 meter change in elevation along a 7 km stretch of the canal. Each lift transports boats vertically between 15-17 meters. The lifts utilize basic hydraulic principles to function, with water and counterweights rather than electricity. The oldest lift, Houdeng-Goegnies, opened in 1888. The other three lifts opened between 1899 and 1917.

For visitors, the boat lifts provide a fascinating glimpse into historic industrial infrastructure. At the Houdeng-Goegnies lift, the original engine room can be visited containing the steam-driven hydraulic pumps which power the lift. The best way to experience the lifts is to take a short boat trip passing through two of the lifts.

Hydraulic Boat Lifts

To reach the Hydraulic Boat Lifts by car, take the N90 into central Mons, then follow signs for the Canal du Centre. For public transport, trains and buses run from Mons to La Louvière, from where the lifts are a 5 km taxi ride or bike ride along the canal. The lifts can also be reached on foot or bike from Mons in around 1 hour.

The boat lifts appeal most to adults and older children with an interest in industrial history, engineering and architecture. Watching the century-old lifts in operation is fascinating. The boat trip experience also suits those generally interested in boat rides.

14. Saint-Symphorien Military Cemetery

Saint-Symphorien Military Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground located in Rue Nestor Dehon 32, 7030 Mons, Belgium. It was established by the German Army in August 1914 after the Battle of Mons to serve as the final resting place for both British and German soldiers killed in that battle. The land for the cemetery was donated by Jean Houzeau de Lehaie, a Belgian botanist, on the condition that it would contain graves of soldiers from all sides without distinction.

The cemetery has a park-like design with winding paths and many trees, creating a peaceful atmosphere. It contains 229 Commonwealth burials of soldiers from the United Kingdom and 2 Canadian soldiers. There are also 284 German war graves. Some of the most notable graves belong to the first and last British soldiers killed in World War I – Private John Parr, killed on August 21, 1914 and Private George Edwin Ellison, killed 90 minutes before the armistice on November 11, 1918. In total, 105 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate some of those believed to be buried among them.

Saint-Symphorien Military Cemetery

Visitors to the cemetery can walk along the winding paths to view the different sections and read the inscriptions on the headstones. Pay respects at the Cross of Sacrifice monument and other memorials. Reflect and contemplate at one of the many benches. View the granite obelisk erected by the Germans to honor both British and German soldiers.

Saint-Symphorien cemetery is located about 2 km east of Mons city center on the N90 highway towards Charleroi. Driving from Mons, take the N90 east and exit onto Rue Nestor Dehon in Saint-Symphorien village. The cemetery entrance is about 200 meters down this road on the right. If arriving by public transport, take a train to Mons station then bus 4, 5 or 9 and get off at the Saint-Symphorien Eglise stop. From there it's about a 500 meter walk south along Rue de l'Eglise and Rue Nestor Dehon to reach the cemetery.

15. Port de Plaisance de Mons

Port de Plaisance de Mons, also known as Port de Plaisance du Grand-Large, is a marina located on 7011, Avenue du Grand Large in the town of Ghlin, just north of Mons, Belgium. It sits on the Grand Large, an artificial lake connected to the canal system.

The marina has 157 berths and a modern harbor building containing restrooms, showersand other amenities. There is also an on-site Club House restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the water, where visitors can enjoy a meal or drink with a view. The port serves as a hub connecting inland waterway networks between France, Belgiumand the Netherlands, allowing boats to access the North Sea.

Port de Plaisance de Mons offers a swimming area for cooling off in the summer. The LAGO water park is also located next to the port. Nearby attractions include the RAVeL cycling network, the historic Canal du Centre, the Strépy-Thieu boat liftand the Ronquières inclined plane.

Port de Plaisance de Mons

Visitors to the marina can go boating, swimming, enjoy a meal or drink at the Club House restaurant, walk along the promenades, cycle on nearby trails, fish, observe boatsand relax while taking in views of the water. It serves as a home base for boaters as well as a recreation spot for locals and tourists.

To get to Port de Plaisance de Mons, private vehicles or taxis can access Avenue du Grand Large directly. Public transportation options include buses from Mons city center or the local train from Brussels, which has a stop in the nearby town of Ghlin. Visitors should then follow signs for the marina from town.

Where is Mons?

Mons is a vibrant city located in the Wallonia region of southern Belgium. It serves as the capital of the Hainaut province and is a significant center for culture and history. The area surrounding Mons is populated with several cities with unique charms and attractions. These neighboring cities offer various cultural and recreational opportunities, making it a buzzing hub in the heart of Belgium. The city has been a significant player in various historical events, particularly noted for its role in the First World War. Its proximity to other prominent Belgian cities further enhances its appeal as a notable destination for travelers and locals alike, encouraging the exchange of cultures and fostering a rich, vibrant atmosphere.

What is the history of Mons?

Mons harbors a deep and varied history, marking its prominence as an important cultural hub in Belgium. In ancient times, it began as a Roman settlement around the 1st century AD. Over centuries, it has witnessed a tumultuous history, with numerous rulers and forces leaving their mark on the city. Its significance grew exponentially in the Middle Ages when it became a center of administrative and religious activities. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Mons experienced a phase of industrial prosperity, becoming a nexus for coal mining in the region. Notably, during the First World War, the Battle of Mons was where British and German forces clashed in 1914. In 2015, it was chosen as the European Capital of Culture, an honor that recognised its rich cultural heritage and its efforts to preserve and promote arts and culture. Through history, one can see Mons as a resilient city that has successfully blended its historical essence with modernity, creating a rich tapestry that continues to appeal to its residents and visitors in Belgium.

What language is spoken in Mons?

In Mons, the predominant language spoken is French. This linguistic trend is substantiated by its location in the French-speaking region of Wallonia in Belgium. Wallonia is one of the three federal regions in the country where French has been established as the official language, thereby influencing the linguistic landscape of cities within its territory, including Mons. Over the years, this predominance of French has helped shape the city's culture, educationand administrative aspects, fostering a strong Francophone community. Additionally, given Belgium's multilingual nature, one might encounter individuals who can communicate in Dutch or English, especially in academic and business environments. This linguistic diversity enhances Mons' cosmopolitan allure, making it a vibrant and inclusive city in Belgium.

What timezone is Mons on?

Mons operates in the Central European Time (CET) zone. This time zone is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1) and shifts to Central European Summer Time (CEST), UTC+2, during daylight saving time, generally from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October. This time, zoning is consistent with many central European countries, facilitating synchronous business and administrative operations with nearby regions. Being in this time zone also means that Mons experiences a significant variation in daylight hours throughout the year, with longer days during the summer and shorter days in the winter, a characteristic feature of regions with a temperate climate in central Europe. The adherence to CET plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of daily activities and aligning Mons with the broader temporal rhythms of Belgium and central Europe.

What are the most interesting facts about Mons?

Listed below are the most interesting facts about Mons.

  • Mons Currency. The primary currency used in Mons is the Euro (€), the common currency shared by many countries in the European Union. This adoption of a unified currency facilitates smoother economic transactions not just within Belgium but also across neighboring countries that are a part of the Eurozone. This currency consolidation is a testament to the region's integrated economic system. It is one of Belgium's vital facts, emphasizing the nation's collaborative spirit and commitment to a united Europe.
  • Timezone Currency. The phrase “timezone currency” seems to be a mix-up, as time zones pertain to dividing the world into zones that share the same standard time. In contrast, currency relates to the medium of exchange in terms of money. However, to address both aspects, Mons operates in the Central European Time (CET) zone, aligning its daily rhythms with many other central European cities. The currency, as mentioned, is the Euro (€), which functions as the fundamental economic unit facilitating transactions and financial activities, serving as critical facts of Belgium that underline its geographical and economic positioning in Europe.
  • Language Spoken. In Mons, the predominant language spoken is French, reflective of its location in the French-speaking region of Wallonia. This linguistic characteristic plays a significant role in shaping the cultural and educational aspects of the city. Understanding the language landscape is central to grasping the facts of Belgium, providing insights into the regional differences and the rich linguistic tapestry that characterizes the nation.
  • Power Plugs Used. In Mons, the standard voltage is 230 Vand the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets used are of type E. For tourists and newcomers, this information is vital to ensure the compatibility of electronic devices and appliances with the local power infrastructure. Knowledge of the types of power plugs used in different regions is part of acquainting yourself with the essential facts of Belgium, facilitating a smooth and hassle-free experience during one's stay in Mons or any other Belgian city.

What is Mons famous for?

Mons is famed for its rich history and cultural heritage. Being a city that has experienced diverse influences over the centuries, it holds an array of historic sites and cultural events that echo its vibrant past and present. First, it is home to the Grand Place, a central square surrounded by exquisite buildings exhibiting fine architectural details. This square is often considered the city's heart, pulsating with life and hosting various events and festivals yearly. Moreover, Mons is known for its annual Ducasse festival, the Doudou festival, recognised as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This event, steeped in tradition, offers a captivating blend of folklore, religionand community spirit, attracting visitors from various parts of the world. Mons is well-regarded for its educational institutions and has established itself as a center for learning and research. The University of Mons, for instance, contributes significantly to the intellectual landscape of the city, fostering innovation and research in various fields. Furthermore, the city's reputation as a cultural hub was solidified when it was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2015, a distinction that reflects its commitment to preserving and promoting arts and culture. These attributes collectively contribute to Mons' fame, marking it as a city of historical significance and vibrant cultural life in Belgium.

What to do in Mons for a day?

Listed below is what to do in Mons in a day.

  • Admire Mons City Hall. Spend time admiring Mons City Hall, appreciating the intricate Gothic stonework and statues on the ornate façade of this imposing 17th-century Town Hall located on the lively Grand Place.
  • Climb the Belfry Tower. Climb the Belfry Tower, ascending the 364 spiral steps to the summit of this UNESCO-listed Baroque-style belfry tower to soak in panoramic views over the terracotta rooftops of Mons and surrounding countryside.
  • Explore Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church. Explore Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church, wandering through the soaring nave and aisles of this 15th-century Gothic church to admire its pillars, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows and collection of artwork and relics.
  • Sample Local Cuisine. Sample Local Cuisine, stopping to enjoy Belgian cuisine's cosy ambience and flavours at a café on the bustling Grand Place, perfect for refuelling after the morning's explorations.
  • Stroll the Charming Streets. Stroll the Charming Streets, weaving through atmospheric cobblestone lanes and alleys to appreciate Mons' blend of Middle Age, Gothicand Baroque architecture and charming facades.
  • Learn the History. Learn the History at Mons Memorial Museum, where exhibits of artefacts and displays provide insights into key events and figures from the city's past.
  • Take in the Views. Take the Views from Belvedere Park, just outside Mons, where the elevated position provides panoramic vistas over the city below.
  • Experience the Culture. Experience the Culture by timing your visit to align with a local festival, market day orevening concert to witness Mons's charms come to life.

What is the ideal visit duration for a Mons visit?

An ideal Mons visit duration is one day. This timeframe allows visitors to absorb the city's essence, particularly if they have a well-planned itinerary covering the primary attractions. During a 1-day visit, travellers can allocate time to explore the significant landmarks and indulge in various city activities. The morning can be spent admiring architectural marvels like Mons City Hall and the Church of Sainte-Waudru, which offer visual delight and a deep dive into the city's historical narrative. As the day progresses, climbing to the top of the Belfry can provide a panoramic view of the city, adding a beautiful touch to the visit. The visit duration can be optimised by indulging in the culinary delights that Mons offers in the afternoon, followed by a stroll in the Grand Place, where one can soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Considering how long to spend in Mons, a 1-day visit seems to give a breathtaking experience and allowing people to catch a glimpse of the rich cultural and historical tapestry that characterises this Belgian city. It ensures a balanced pace, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in the city's charm without feeling rushed, thus making the most of their brief stay in Mons.

What to eat in Mons?

Mons has a variety of foods to eat. A great experience would be to try the Belgian fries, often enjoyed with a generous serving of mayonnaise or other sauces. Visitors should take advantage of the opportunity to taste the famed Belgian chocolates known for their rich texture and exquisite flavours. Waterzooi, a creamy stew made with chicken or fish, offers a warm and hearty meal for those looking to explore the local cuisine. Visitors can also eat Belgian waffles, a popular choice for a sweet treat, available in various toppings ranging from fresh fruits to a drizzle of chocolate. The culinary journey in Mons is complemented by the variety of beers that Belgium is famous for, offering a refreshing accompaniment to the meals. Experiencing the authentic food in Belgium is an important part of the journey when visiting Mons, promising a rich and satisfying experience.

What are the best restaurants in Mons?

  • Les Gribaumonts. Les Gribaumonts stands out as a top dining choice for visitors to Mons, thanks to its blend of charming ambience and expertly executed Belgian cuisine. Located just off the Grand Place, the restaurant occupies a restored 17th-century chapel, offering an atmospheric setting for an exceptional meal. Stepping inside, one is greeted by elegant stone arches, candlelit wooden tablesand antique decor touches that speak to the building's history. The friendly staff expertly guide diners through the seasonal menu, which showcases locally sourced ingredients prepared with finesse. Service strikes the perfect balance of knowledge, efficiency and warmth. With its prime location near Mons's top landmarks, Les Gribaumonts is a must-visit. The care and skill reflected in the cuisine, wineand gracious service create a special dining experience.
  • Mon Bar à Tapas. Mon Bar à Tapas is ideal for people who are looking for Spanish cuisine. Conveniently located in the city center, this spirited tapas bar has the energy of southern Spain written all over through its open kitchen, friendly dining counters and vibrant décor. The menu offers a mouthwatering array of pintxos and raciones for grazing, from classics like tortilla and gambas al ajillo to regional specialities. It combines Mon Bar à Tapas, a top choice for experiencing Spanish culture and cuisine, with Mons's signature charm. Those looking for a lively evening out with authentic tapas and drinks in an energetic Spanish-style setting need to look no further than Mon Bar à Tapas.
  • Vis à Vis. Vis à Vis deserves a spot on any discerning visitor's itinerary when in Mons. Tucked away on a quiet side street near the Grand Place, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers an oasis of refined dining. Stepping inside, one finds a sophisticated atmosphere marked by warm lighting, crisp white linens and polished service. Vis à Vis blend of talent, sophisticated surroundings and thoughtful hospitality make it an ideal choice. An evening spent experiencing its culinary artistry will create memories to last long after one's visit to Mons ends.
  • Osmose. Osmose is one of Mons’s top dining destinations for inventive cuisine in a contemporary setting that’s located near the Grand Place. Osmose is a sleek restaurant that delivers standout tasting menus that merge seasonal ingredients with dynamic gastronomic techniques. The staff are friendly and clarify different dishes to visitors and recommend the best wine pairings from the extensive list. For visitors wanting unique and flavor-rich meals, Osmose is the place to be. The cutting-edge techniques produce unforgettable dishes that linger long after one's taste of Mons itself.
  • El Camerluche. El Camerluche is a culinary gem in Monsand it never fails to impress. The restaurant's warm and welcoming atmosphere, infused with a strong Montois accent, sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. The owners are not just friendly; they are true connoisseurs who have an impeccable understanding of their locally sourced products. The chef's expertise in vegetarian cuisine is evident in every bite. Stepping into El Camerluche is like immersing yourself in the very essence of Wallonia and Mons. El Camerluche is not just a place to eat exceptional food; it's a hub for musical events, supporting budding Walloon artists and fostering camaraderie among patrons.
  • Restaurant Baalbek. Restaurant Baalbek takes diners to the Levant and Middle Eastern flavors. Located on a quiet side street near the Grand Place, this cozy eatery brings a taste of owner and chef Bassem's Lebanese heritage to Belgium. The menu takes diners through various mezze, grills and regional specialities. Highlights like tabbouleh and mutable and stuffed vine leaves showcase bold spices, herbs and tangy elements in perfect balance. Portions are generous and pricing reasonable, making Baalbeck ideal for the budget-conscious. But the true highlight is Chef Bassem, who makes the rounds of tables, enthusiastically explaining the provenance of each item and ensuring his guests feel welcome. For an authentic Middle Eastern experience in Mons, Baalbeck's warm homestyle cooking makes it a tempting choice.

Where to stay in Mons? (neighborhoods)

Listed below are neighborhoods to stay in Mons.

  • City Centre. The City Centre remains a preferred choice for many visitors due to its vibrant atmosphere and easy access to many attractions. This area harmoniously merges historical elements with modern amenities, providing dynamic visitors with a comfortable environment for vices. Jemappes offers a respite from the bustling city life, presenting a more tranquil and residential setting. It is well-suited for those seeking a relaxed environment, adorned with green spaces and located within a reasonable distance from the central attractions of Mons.
  • Cuesmes. Cuesmes stands as a peaceful retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture amidst a calm backdrop. This neighborhood allows for a more laid-back experience while retaining accessibility to the PrimMons' primary attractions. Ghlin presents itself as another enticing area to consider for your stay. This neighborhood is known for its green expanses and quieter ambience, making it an excellent option for those looking to combine relaxation with their exploration of Mons.
  • Havré. Havré is located on the outskirts, providing a serene setting for visitors. This neighborhood offers a glimpse into Mons's more rural and beautiful aspects, making it a fantastic choice for those seeking a tranquil escape amidst their travels.

What are the best hotels in Mons?

Listed below are the best hotels in Mons.

  • La Ligule. La Ligule combines modern amenities with a peaceful setting, offering guests a serene retreat amidst lush landscapes. Its rooms communicate elegance and comfortand adding top-notch amenities makes for a delightful stay. Visitors can also indulge in the wellness facilities available, adding a touch of luxury and relaxation.
  • The Paddling Bear Hotel. The Paddling Bear Hotel intrigues visitors with its blend of comfort and contemporary design. Its location provides easy access to the various attractions that dot the city, making it a preferred choice for those keen on exploring Mons in depth. The hotel, being one of the best hotels in Mons, is known for its friendly staff, who always assist guests in making the most of their stay, thus enhancing the overall experience.
  • Orange Hôtel. Orange Hôtel is a testament to contemporary luxury melded with warm hospitality. The rooms, designed with a focus on comfort and aesthetics, offer a welcoming home for visitors. Moreover, the strategic hotel's strategic location has a range of amenities.

What is the transportation like in Mons?

In Mons, the transporter-developed transportation system is convenient for travel within and outside the city. The city is served by a comprehensive public transport network, including buses and trains, ensuring seamless connectivity to various neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Additionally, Mons boasts a well-maintained road network that aids in smooth vehicular movement, making it accessible by car or bicycle. When considering traveling from Brussels to Mons, one can opt for the efficient train services that connect these two cities. The frequent trains ensure that travelers can reach Mons in approximately an hour, thus providing a swift and comfortable journey. Similarly, reaching Mons from Bruges is straightforward, with trains being popular for their speed and frequency, covering the distance in about two hours. Buses also serve this route, offering another viable option for those planning this journey. For tourists and locals alike, the city center is quite navigable on foot, allowing individuals to explore the beautiful sights leisurely. Considering the various transport options available, figuring out how to get to Mons becomes a simple task, thus promising an enjoyable and hassle-free travel experience in this vibrant Belgian city.

How do you get from Mons to Brussels?

Listed below are steps to get from Mons to Brussels.

  • First, one should research the current schedules and fares for both train services and car rental or taxi options available in Mons to reach Brussels, considering that the distance between Mons and Brussels is approximately 78 km (about 48.5 miles).
  • Second, if choosing the train service, visitors can head to Mons railway station in the city centre. For those opting to travel by car, ensure to have a vehicle ready, either a personal car or a rented one.
  • Third, if using public transport, purchase a ticket for a train bound for Brussels, which can be done at the station or in advance online through the official Belgian railway website.
  • Fourth, travellers using a car should ensure they have a GPS or a map to navigate the route to Brussels effectively, entering Brussels as the destination.
  • Fifth, if journeying by train, once the ticket is purchased, check the platform number and wait for the train to arrive.
  • Sixth, board the train and find a comfortable seat. If travelling by car, start the journey following the GPS or map directions towards Brussels, which mainly involves travelling through the E19 motorway.
  • During the car journey, adhere to the speed limits and traffic rules to ensure a safe trip. Meanwhile, train passengers can enjoy the scenic views during the journey.
  • Eighth, upon nearing Brussels, those in cars should look for appropriate parking spots in the city, as Brussels tends to have heavy traffic and limited parking spaces.
  • Ninth, train travellers will arrive at Brussels-South railway station, where they can either walk or take a taxi or public transportation to reach their destination in Brussels.
  • Lastly, whether arriving by car or train, make sure to have all personal belongings and note where the car is parked or the return train schedule for a smooth return journey to Mons later.

Are Christmas markets crowded in Mons?

Yes, the Christmas markets in Mons tend to be crowded, attracting many visitors each year. During the festive season, Mons becomes a hub of Christmas festivities, drawing in locals and tourists to partake in the joyous celebrations. The Christmas markets in Mons are a focal point of these festivities, often bustling with people keen to experience the seasonal delights. Visitors flock to the markets to indulge in the festive atmosphere, characterised by vibrant stalls offering a variety of Christmas wares, delightful Belgian treatsand splendid decorations that add a touch of magic to the surroundings. The lively atmosphere is complemented by a rich array of attractions, including fair rides, ice skating rinksand delightful food and drink stalls that serve traditional Belgian Christmas delicacies. The markets often become a meeting point where people gather to enjoy the festive cheer, engaging in merry conversations and soaking in the vibrant energy that permeates the area. However, the considerable crowds also mean that it is advisable to plan the visit carefully to avoid the peak times and enjoy a more relaxed experience. Therefore, while the crowds are a testament to the popularity and festive allure of the Mons Christmas markets , visitors are encouraged to prepare for a bustling atmosphere, which is a vibrant part of the seasonal celebrations in Mons.

What are the most visited Christmas markets in Belgium?

Listed below are the most visited Christmas markets in Belgium.

  • Brussels Winter Wonders. Brussels Winter Wonders is one of Belgium's largest and most visited Christmas markets in the heart of Brussels. It features over 200 chalets, a grand ice rinkand a mesmerising sound and light show at the Grand Place.
  • Bruges Christmas Market. Bruges Christmas Market is set in Bruges. This market offers a fairy-tale setting with its cobbled streets and historic buildings. It's particularly famous for its ice sculpture festival and the variety of handmade crafts available.
  • Ghent Christmas Market. Ghent Christmas Market is located in the historic city of Ghent; this market is known for its diverse range of stalls and activities. From traditional Belgian waffles to artisanal crafts, it offers something for everyone.
  • Antwerp Christmas Market. Antwerp Christmas Market spreads across several squares in the city. The Antwerp Christmas market is a must-visit for its international food stalls, unique giftsand a special ”Winterbar” serving seasonal drinks.
  • Leuven Christmas Market. Leuven Christmas Market is located in the university city of Leuven. This market is popular among both locals and tourists. It's smaller than other markets but offers a cosy atmosphere focusing on local products and crafts.
  • Liège Christmas Village. Liège Christmas Village is known as the oldest Christmas market in Belgium. The Liège Christmas Village offers a unique experience with its Walloon traditions. It features a wide range of food stalls, including the famous Liège waffles, making it one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium .

Is there music in Christmas markets in Belgium?

Yes, there is music at the Christmas markets in Belgium. During the festive season, the Christmas markets in Belgium are known for embodying a truly festive spiritand music plays an integral role in creating this joyful atmosphere. Visitors to these markets are greeted with the melodious strains of Christmas carols and live bands, which resonate, adding a harmonious backdrop to the festive buzz that permeates these venues. In addition to traditional carols, many markets feature live performances by bands and musicians who entertain the crowds with various music genres. These performances often include a mix of classic Christmas tunes and contemporary music, creating a vibrant and uplifting ambience that encourages visitors to immerse themselves in the festive spirit. Music enhances the overall experience, encouraging people to linger, enjoy the food and beveragesand truly soak in the festive atmosphere. Many markets also organise special musical events and concerts during this period, showcasing local talent and sometimes even attracting well-known artists to perform. This amalgamation of music, laughterand the aroma of traditional Belgian festive delicacies creates a rich and joyful tapestry of experiences, visiting the Christmas markets in Belgium a delightful and harmonious affair.

What are the best music festivals in Belgium?

Listed below are the best music festivals in Belgium .

  • Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is one of the biggest electronic and dance music festivals globally, spanning two weekends every July in Boom, Belgium, south of Antwerp. It features world-class DJs, extravagant set designsand lively crowds, numbering over 400,000 in total.
  • Rock Werchter. Rock Werchter takes place at the Festivalpark in Werchter and is Belgium's most prominent rock festival. It lasts four days in early July and has featured huge headliners like The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jamand Bruno Mars on its outdoor stages since 1975.
  • Pukkelpop. Pukkelpop, located near the city of Hasselt in eastern Belgium is an annual 3-day outdoor alternative music festival held each August showcasing major indie, electronicand hip hop acts across eight different stages.
  • Dour Festival. The Dour Festival hosts over 200 artists across diverse genres like heavy metal, techno, hip hop and more for a 5-day extravaganza every July in Dour, Belgium. It attracts music fans from all over Europe.
  • Graspop Metal Meeting. Graspop Metal Meeting is Belgium's largest heavy metal festival, annually in Dessel each June. It caters to metal, rockand punk fans, with major acts performing on five stages over four days making it one of the best Belgium music festivals.

What is the weather like in Mons?

In Mons, the weather is characterised by a temperate maritime climate, which means it experiences mild summers and cool winters. Throughout the year, the weather in Mons generally remains quite moderate, with temperatures rarely reaching extremes. During the summer months, from June to August, the temperatures hover around 18°C to 25°C, creating a pleasant atmosphere conducive to outdoor activities and sightseeing. As the city transitions into autumn, one can expect a gradual decrease in temperatures and an increase in rainfall, a pattern that persists into winter. The winter, spanning from December to February, sees temperatures dropping to an average of 1°C-6°C (33.8-42.8 F). It is not uncommon to experience frost and occasional snowfall during this period. Springtime in Mons brings a gradual warming of temperatures and a blossoming of flowers, offering a refreshing and vibrant atmosphere. During this season, which lasts from March to May, temperatures typically range between 8°C-17°C (46.4-62.6 F), with the latter part of the season witnessing a noticeable rise in temperatures, heralding the arrival of summer. Precipitation is fairly distributed throughout the year, with the city experiencing a fair amount of rainfall, sometimes accompanied by windy conditions. Therefore, visitors should check the weather forecast and be prepared with appropriate clothing to enjoy their time exploring Mons, irrespective of the season.

Is Mons worth visiting?

Yes, Mons is certainly worth visiting. Mons, a vibrant city in Belgium, offers a rich tapestry of experiences catering to various interests. Historically significant, it houses various architectural marvels that testify to its rich past. The city's heritage is beautifully reflected in its well-preserved buildings and monuments, offering a glimpse into the historical and cultural developments that have shaped the region over centuries. The city is a hub of artistic and cultural activities, featuring numerous museums and galleries celebrating traditional and contemporary art forms. The public parks and green spaces in the city offer a peaceful retreat where one can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Mons also offers a delectable culinary scene with its cultural and historical attractions, where one can indulge in a wide range of Belgian delicacies.

Is Mons expensive?

Mons is not excessively expensive, but living and travelling in the city can be considered moderate. Regarding the prices of basic goods, one can find a range of options to suit various budgets. For instance, the average cost of a litre of milk is around 0.90 to 1.10 euros, while a bottle of water typically costs about 1 euro. One can expect to pay about 6 to 7 euros for a pack if one wants to purchase cigarettes. Breakfast in a mid-range restaurant in Mons would generally cost around 10 to 15 euros per person. When considering the cost of enjoying a night out, the price for a pint of beer in Mons tends to be quite reasonable, usually between 3.5 and 5 euros, depending on the establishment. It indicates a moderate pricing level compared to other European cities, allowing visitors to enjoy the vibrant nightlife without burning a hole in their pockets. Regarding the cost of travelling within Mons, public transportation offers an economical way to explore the city. Single-journey tickets for buses and trams are priced at about 2.5 euros, with various discounts available for multi-journey passes and children, young adultsand seniors. While Mons isn't the cheapest city to live or travel in, it offers a fair balance between cost and quality of life, making it an attractive destination for residents and visitors. The prices in Mons for basic goods and services align well with the average earnings, offering a comfortable lifestyle and travel experience.

Is Mons safe?

Yes, Mons is generally considered to be a safe city. Historically, Mons maintains relatively low crime rates, particularly compared to other urban areas in Belgium. The city's criminality records indicate that serious crimes are relatively rareand the authorities are proactive in maintaining the safety and security of the area. However, like any urban area, it is not completely devoid of petty crimes such as pickpocketing and minor thefts, especially in crowded places or tourist spots. Regarding travel safety, visitors and residents can feel secure while navigating the city. The public transportation system is well-regulated and reliable, offering safe travel options. Nevertheless, it is always prudent for individuals to take standard precautions to safeguard themselves and their belongings. It includes avoiding poorly lit or secluded areas at night and being vigilant about personal belongings in crowded places to prevent opportunistic thefts. The local police force is approachable and efficient, ready to assist in any safety concerns or issues that might arise. The residents of Mons are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, contributing to the overall safe and pleasant atmosphere of the city. Therefore, while staying in Mons, one can expect a safe and secure environment, provided they adhere to common-sense safety precautions, just like in any other city worldwide.

Is Mons easy to visit with kids?

Yes, Mons is easy to visit with kids and offers a family-friendly atmosphere. The city is known for its welcoming ambience and various activities suitable for families with children. Parents can find a variety of recreational areas and parks within the city where children can play and enjoy themselves. These open spaces offer a great opportunity for families to have a leisurely day out, enjoying picnics and taking in the natural beauty that Mons has to offer. Many attractions in Mons cater to younger audiences. Places like the Mons Aquarium and the Natural History Museum provide educational yet fun experiences for children, making learning an exciting adventure. Additionally, several workshops and events around the city are designed to engage kids in various interactive and educational activities. When it comes to dining, many restaurants in Mons are family-friendly, offering menus that cater to the younger palate, making meal times hassle-free and enjoyable. The city also has the necessary facilities to make travelling with toddlers a convenient experience, including accessible public transport and well-maintained pedestrian areas. A visit to Mons with kids and toddlers can be a pleasant and enjoyable experience, as the city offers a well-rounded assortment of activities and attractions that will keep the little ones entertained and engaged.

What are the UNESCO world heritage sights in Belgium?

Listed below are the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Belgium.

  • Belfry and Cloth Hall, Ghent. In the historic city of Ghent, the Belfry and Cloth Hall stands as grand symbols of the city's economic and cultural prosperity in the past. With its towering Belfry, The majestic structure allows visitors to soak in panoramic views of the city, offering a glimpse of Ghent in all its glory. One finds an architectural marvel and a repository of the city's history within its confines, narrating tales of the glorious days of trade and commerce.
  • Saint Rumbold'sRumbold's Cathedral Tower, Mechelen. As one steps into Mechelen, the magnificence of Saint Rumbold'sRumbold's Cathedral Tower cannot be missed. The towering structure, a prominent part of Mechelen's skyline, tells a story of architectural brilliance and religious significance. A visit here promises a spiritual retreat and a journey through time, with its intricate carvings and stunning artworks narrating the tales of a bygone era.
  • Basilica of Our Lady and City Tower, Tongeren. In the ancient city of Tongeren, the Basilica of Our Lady and City Tower stand as testimony to the region's rich religious and cultural heritage. With its stunning Gothic architecture and impressive city tower, The sacred site offers visitors a tranquil retreat where history and spirituality meld to enrich the experience, leaving a lasting imprint on one's soul.
  • Belfry and Aldermen's House, Aalst. In the vibrant city of Aalst, one finds the majestic Belfry and Aldermen's House, a site embodying Belgian heritage and architecture. As one of Belgium’s UNESCO World’s Heritage sites, it serves as a beacon of the city's historical and cultural narratives, where each stone and carving holds tales of the past. A visit here promises an enriching journey, offering insights into the region's rich history and travel through time.
  • Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp. In the bustling city of Antwerp, the Cathedral of Our Lady stands as a beacon of architectural brilliance and spiritual serenity. The towering structure, adorned with stunning artworks and Gothic architecture, invites visitors to embark on a journey of spiritual enlightenment and artistic appreciation, as one of World War I. Dinant is also famous as the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the 19th-century instrument maker and saxophone inventor. With its scenic setting between the river and steep valley walls lined with rock cliffs, the town has long been a popular tourist destination. Dinant offers visitors a charming look into Belgium's past and natural beauty.

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Why you need to visit Mons/Bergen in Wallonia!

September 29, 2017 by Karen Turner 12 Comments

Mons, Belgium is one of the best day trips from Brussels for those seeking culture and history. Mons is one of the many beautiful cities in Belgium and a  great introduction to Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium).

Although I’ve visited a few cities in Wallonia, I was surprised by the many things to do in Mons and its UNESCO recognized attractions (six!).  After a trip to Brussels, it was nice to get off the beaten path in Belgium and discover other things to do in Belgium besides visiting Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Wallonia Tourism and Visit Mons, however all experiences and opinions are my own.

Mons is only 40 minutes from Brussels by train.  The city is very walkable, so it’s easy to take a day trip from Brussels if you’re seeking a bit of a slower pace.

  • 0.1 The best things to do in Mons, Belgium
  • 0.2 Learn about Mons’ feminist history
  • 0.3 Celebrate the Doudou Festival with the locals
  • 0.4 Visit the Doudou Museum
  • 0.5 Visit Grand Place (and eat!)
  • 0.6 Rub the Monkey of Mons for good luck
  • 0.7 Admire the UNESCO recognized Belfry of Mons
  • 0.8 Visit the Parc du Château
  • 0.9 Wander around the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru
  • 0.10 Find the Matchsticks of Mons
  • 0.11 Mundaneum
  • 0.12 Visit the Town Hall of Mons (L’Hôtel de Ville du Mons) [appointment only]
  • 0.13 Mayor’s garden
  • 0.14 Get lost in the cobblestone streets of the historic city of Mons
  • 1.1 Follow the trail of Vincent Van Gogh in Belgium
  • 1.2 Understand the coal mining history of the Borinage and appreciate modern design at the Grand Hornu Museum
  • 1.3 UNESCO recognized caves (SILEX)
  • 1.4 Practical travel information about Mons
  • 1.5 Cards accepted in Wallonia
  • 1.6 How to get to Mons from Brussels /​How to get to Bergen from Brussels
  • 1.7 Where to stay in Mons
  • 2.1.0.1 Van Gogh in the Borinage
  • 2.1.0.2 Cities to visit in Wallonia

The best things to do in Mons, Belgium

Learn about mons’ feminist history.

I was a bit surprised to learn about the unexpectedly feminist history of Mons. The city of Mons was founded by a woman named Waudru who separated from her husband in 670 A.D.

Both spouses went on to create separate towns.  Waudru established a convent, around which the town grew.  Waudru later became Saint Waudru in the 12th century for her miracles, including freeing prisoners.

visit mons

The women at the convent were called the canonesses of Saint Waudru.  The canonesses were noblewomen who decided to dedicate their lives to charity. Unlike many nuns at the time, the women were not forced to abdicate their wealth and were able to exert power as the functional heads of the town for many years.

After the Town Hall was established, the canonesses worked together with the town council to determine the future of Mons.  The influence of the canonesses remained for many years as they employed much of the town.

Beautiful street in Mons Belgium, one of the best day trips from Bruxelles

In 1349, several cases of the black plague appeared in Mons.  Fearful of being ravaged by the disease, the canonesses beseeched Saint Waudru to intervene and save the city. One of the canonesses organized a procession to circle the town and the adjacent towns with the shrine of Saint Waudru. Miraculously, the black plague left Mons.

So grateful was the town, this procession is now performed yearly, albeit with some changes and new additions. This was the beginning of the Doudou festival.

During to the French revolution, the canonesses were persecuted as noblewomen, resulting in the end of the canonesses of Mons. However, their legacy continues on with the continuation of the UNESCO recognized Doudou festival .

Celebrate the Doudou Festival with the locals

If you are in town for the yearly UNESCO recognized Doudou festival (also called the Ducasse de Mons), you need to celebrate it with the locals. The Doudou festival occurs every Trinity Sunday.  On the evening before the festival, the shrine of Saint Waudru (a reliquary) is lowered from the altar of the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru , a must see sight in Mons.

On the day of the procession, the shrine is placed upon the Golden Carriage (car d’or) drawn by six Belgian horses.  This is the Baroque Golden Carriage displayed in the Collegiate Church .

Starting at 9:30am, the procession begins together with 1,500 locals in costume, including some dressed as the canonesses from various time periods. Other costumes have become traditional, including a fireman’s hat and devil’s horns.

On the golden carriage, a priest recounts the miracles of Saint Waudru. The reliquary itself is surrounded by altar boys.  Once the carriage has circled the town, they must go up the hill to the church.

There is a superstition that the Rampe Sainte-Waudru must be done in one go without the carriage falling backwards or stopping.  Otherwise there will be bad luck for the town.  Luckily, the townspeople join in to help for this last section and push the carriage up the hill. Afterwards, the shrine is returned to the church until the next year.

The second part of the Doudou festival is in the afternoon and is called the Lumeçon.  The Lumeçon re-enacts the fight between Saint George and the dragon.  The battle is held in the Grand Place of the Mons with men in white holding a large dragon.

There are “devils” running around with balloons, knocking into those around the arena, as well as leaf men (men covered in ivy) helping to defend the dragon.  The moves of the battles are well practiced and (# spoileralert ) Saint George will always kill the dragon on his last attempt with a pistol.

The town celebrates for a week and there is even a little Doudou the following week with children performing the battle of Saint George and the dragon in Mons.

Visit the Doudou Museum

If you miss the Doudou festival, as we did, you can visit the Doudou Museum , to learn more about the history and the cultural traditions of the Doudou festival.

There are many interactive displays and I especially loved the 360 videos of the festival.  If you’re looking for a unique festival in Belgium, consider visiting Mons just to learn about this crazy annual Belgian festival.

Visit Grand Place (and eat!)

Waffle in Mons next to Grand Place in Mons. One of the best Brussels Day Trips!

It’s nearly impossible to visit Mons without seeing the Grand Place of Mons (la Grand-Place de Mons). Many of the town’s restaurants are here, surrounding the Grand Place.  

In particular, you’ll find many frites stands and cafes. Simply put: don’t leave mons without having a Belgian waffle, a Belgian beer, and Belgian frites.

Grand Place in Mons Belgique. One of the cutest cities in Belgium!

Foodies looking for locally produced products can visit the  Les Halles du Manège , the permanent market (open Wednesday to Saturday), as well as purchase local beer from  L’Ode à la Bière,  a local beer shop .  Alternatively, you can get a pint of Belgian beer at  Aroma Hop .

Rub the Monkey of Mons for good luck

Guardmonkey in Mons. Find out about the cultural traditions of Wallonia!

 In the front of the town hall in Grand Place , you’ll find the guardhouse monkey of Mons . This iron statue is said to bring you good luck if you rub its head with your left hand.

Nobody, including our tour guide, knows why how the monkey of Mons came to be, however it may have been a pillory.   Next to the monkey, you’ll find a replica of one of the original decorated locks on the town hall gates.

Admire the UNESCO recognized Belfry of Mons

UNESCO recognized Belfry of Mons. Find out about the best places to visit in Mons.

Belfries are part of Belgium and France’s rich history of architecture, however the Belfry of Mons is unique in its Baroque architecture. (The total height of the Belfry is 87 meters.) Belfries were used for a variety of purposes at the time, including time telling (hence the carilion of 49 bells).

You can now climb the 360+ steps of the Belfry as well as admire its onion-shaped domes (or disparage them as Victor Hugo once did).  A family of falcons now lives in one of the windows at the top, so try to spot them if you visit. The Belfry of Mons is absolutely beautiful and UNESCO recognized.

Visit the Parc du Château

VIew from Parc du Château. View of Mons Belgique

The best view of the Belfry is from below, however the Parc du Chateau gives the best overlook of the town as well as a glimpse of the original city walls of Mons. You’ll also find the abandoned castle of Mons, which is now surrounded by bushes.

Once you ascend the staircase up a street called Ruelle Cesar , you’ll end up in the park and on top of the ” mountain ”.

Mons is also known as  Bergen  (which means mountain in Dutch/Flemish).  To clarify, there’s not a mountain here, however due to the river carving out the valley, a lot of soil formed a large hill (let’s not call it a  mountain ) in what is now the city centre of Mons.

Wander around the Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru

Photo of Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru, one of the top tourist attractions in Bergen.

This stunning Gothic church dating back to 1450 found by the canonesses after they toured around Europe seeking out innovative church design.  The church has many interesting features, including beautiful carvings by Jacques Du Broeucq.  It also houses the Golden Carriage, used for the Doudou festival, as well as the shrine of Saint Waudru.

Golden Carriage of Mons. Find out more about the best festivals in Belgium, including the Doudou Festival.

 Despite its seemingly large size, the church is surprisingly small in height. The canonesses originally intended for this building to have one of the tallest towers in Europe. However, the tower was never built.  

The church remains a stunning sight and one of the top things to see in Mons for a reason. Be sure to note the ramp in front of the church​ used in the Doudou festival.

Photo of Collegiate Church of Saint Waudru in Mons, one of the best things to do in Mons.

Find the Matchsticks of Mons

Modern Matchstick Sculpture in Mons, one of the most interesting places to visit in Belgium.

  This second version of this temporary sculpture was created by a local artist. Although the first edition was not so successful (and resulted in damage to a car), you’ll find the Matchsticks of Mons a short walk from the Grand Place in Mons.

HEAJ : Mundaneum

This UNESCO recognized attraction in Belgium is one of the strangest and best things to do in Mons.   Its visionary creator,  Paul Otlet , dreamed of recording the history of the world to make it more accessible.

Using a system called the UDC (University Decimal Classification) system that Otlet and La Fontaine helped create, they attempted to categorize knowledge by the subject.  

Otlet stored over 15  million  cards (3 by 5 inches) containing bibliographic information, images, articles, and knowledge in this library, later using microfilm (revolutionary at the time).

Otlet later dreamed up a system where people could call to ask a question with their exact query answered using  electronic telescopes .  His ideas did not pan out, but Otlet and this amazing little building is credited for imaging the internet as we use it today. ( Imagine a world where you don’t get an answer to “Which emperor built the Taj Mahal” almost instantly! ) The museum hosts temporary exhibits.  ( Reference )

Visit the  Town Hall of Mons (L’Hôtel de Ville du Mons) [appointment only]

Inside the Hotel de Ville in Mons. FInd out about Belgium tourist attractions.

Only possible with a tour of Mons.   This is the actually the second town hall. The main market of the city was moved, and the town hall with it, when the original became too large for the town.

The gothic-style town hall of Mons is hard to miss in the historic Grand Place of Mons as it’s the most beautiful building.  If you plan ahead, you can visit the Town Hall, which is one of the best things to do in Mons.

 Inside L’Hôtel de Ville, you’ll find official rooms, still used to this day.  The most impressive room of all is the wood paneled hall with the coats of arms of families and portraits of the former mayors of Mons.  

Court was also held in this room and punishments were said to be doled out in this room. (The marriage room was closed for official purposes at the time of our visit.)

View from balcony in Mons, one of the best places to visit in Wallonia.

  The British royal family recently visited Mons, so we counted ourselves among the lucky ones to stand out on the balcony where Kate Middleton and Prince William stood when they visited Mons.  (Kate’s sense of style has not rubbed off on me.)

Mayor’s garden

View of Mayor's Garden in Mons. Find out more about the secret Jardin du Mayeur in Mons!

 Behind the Town Hall, you’ll find the  secret Mayor’s garden (Jardin du Mayeur) . For many years, this was a private garden kept off limits for normal citizens, however this was opened up to the public fairly recently.  

You’ll find a fountain of a mischievous boy who symbolizes the spirit of the people of Mons: friendly yet playful.  You’ll also spot the former prison of Mons behind the garden. ​

Back of the Mayor's garden in Mons, find out the best things to visit in Mons.

Get lost in the cobblestone streets of the historic city of Mons

Beautiful cobblestone streets of Mons, one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium.

Without question, my favorite thing to do in Mons was to get lost in its beautiful cobblestone streets.  After spending over one week in Brussels, I loved being able to relax while escaping the big city, which made Mons a relaxing day trip from Brussels.  There’s nothing like getting lost in a beautiful city while eating Belgian waffles/frites.

Beautiful house in Bergen. Find out more about the best day trip from Brussels!

Things to do near Mons

Follow the trail of vincent van gogh in belgium.

The house of Vincent Van Gogh in Belgium.

 Vincent Van Gogh lived in the Borinage region and you can visit the house where Vincent Van Gogh decided that he’d become a painter.  

The Maison Van Gogh is a short drive from Mons (about 15 minutes).  Click for more information about Van Gogh in Belgium !

Understand the coal mining history of the Borinage and appreciate modern design at the Grand Hornu Museum

The Grand Hornu is a great example of an old coal mining complex and town that is well-preserved.  The Mons area was one of Belgium’s main coal mining regions. It is now converted into a museum showcasing modern design.

UNESCO recognized caves (SILEX)

Mines Préhistoriques de Spiennes, Patrimoine mondial de l'Unesco

Practical travel information about Mons

Mons is part of Wallonia, so the residents speak French primarily.  English is widely spoken.

Cards accepted in Wallonia

Maestro cards and Visa/Mastercard cards are not widely accepted in Wallonia. We were unable to pay for some things with Maestro cards as many small businesses used a local Belgian card (Mister Cash) and did not always accept other types of cards.   Always check before you pay and we recommend carrying cash!   Most major supermarkets (Carrefour) and major chains will accept Maestro.

How to get to Mons from Brussels / ​How to get to Bergen from Brussels

The train from Brussels to Mons costs  10 euros per way  (September 2017). From Brussels Centraal/Bruxelles Central, the direction of the train isMons.  I took the train from Brussels Zuid /Bruxelles Midi.  The train from Brussels to Bergen (aka Mons) is 47 minutes.

The Mons train station is very close to the Mons/Bergen city centre (about 10 minutes) although much of the walking is uphill.  There is parking on the edge of the historic town although parking on the street will be difficult.

Where to stay in Mons

Mons is reasonably sized and walkable, so if you’re looking to spend the night in Mons, you can save quite a  bit compared to hotels in Brussels. We stayed at the Ibis Mons Centre Gare , which was across from the train station and a 10 minute walk into town.

For those seeking boutique hotels with flair, Mons is full of options, including a boutique hotel inside a former church . If you can stay close to the Grand Place, I recommend it.

Have you been to Mons?

Keep reading about things to do around brussels, van gogh in the borinage, cities to visit in wallonia.

Love UNESCO and cultural travel? Take the perfect day trip from Brussels to Mons, #Belgium and celebrate the #UNESCO recognized Doudou festival. #Brussels

About Karen Turner

New Yorker–born and raised. Currently living in the Hague, the Netherlands after stints in Paris and Amsterdam. Lover of travel, adventure, nature, city, dresses, and cats.

Reader Interactions

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September 30, 2017 at 3:18 am

Wow, this is so interesting. I really like the feminist history, I would not have expected that. Thanks for sharing you experience!

September 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Mons certainly looks worth a visit wow! I find it so fascinating that the couple split and then each of them started their own seperate towns. I would especially love to see that Gothic church and follow the trail of Vincent Van Gogh!

September 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

What a beautiful city and I had never even heard of it. I would love to climb to the top of the Belfry, visit the church, rub the monkey, and see the Grand Place. The Grand Place reminds me a lot of the one in Brussels.

September 30, 2017 at 4:41 pm

What an interesting post – so much I didn’t know. And how hectic is that temporary sculpture? Yes please, I’ll have a Belgian waffle right now, thanks.

September 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

I was also surprised that it was a temporary structure, however the artist has reinforced it to ensure that it lasts a few years–and I think the idea is revisited as long as it’s stable. I’ll take a waffle too!

September 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm

I love that your posts are always so detailed.Can’t wait to visit the Spienes caves and the Waadru church. In fact, can’t wait to visit Belgium, and Brussels and Mons.

September 30, 2017 at 9:14 pm

WOW this town looks stunning! The architecture is gorgeous – I wish I had known about this place when I visited Belgium as a teenager! Wanted to go back for ages anyways – putting this on the itinerary for sure!

October 1, 2017 at 1:17 am

What a cool city! I hadn’t even heard of this one before, but it’s totally somewhere I would have visited had I known about it. We took a trip to Belgium once and visited Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent, the latter two I really loved, but only enjoyed Brussels because we were visiting friends there. I much prefer the smaller Belgian towns. Will be pinning this for when we get to make a return visit someday!

October 1, 2017 at 1:28 am

Does Belgium have any places that AREN”T awesome? LOL. Your photos are gorgeous. Can’t believe how many UNESCO sites there. The feminist history really cool too. Gotta add this to the Belgium list!

October 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Wow, what a guide! Mons looks so beautiful, especially the old streets…definitely need to explore further north when I’m living back in France! Also that festival looks amazing, I love that it’s called Doudou which in French means toy!?

October 1, 2017 at 8:18 pm

What a gorgeous looking place this is. I was stranded in Brussels a couple of years ago when there were problems with the Eurostar and had no idea where else to go for a day trip. This will definitely go on the list for future trips. I love the architecture in Belgium and the cloudy skies make it look even more dramatic.

October 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Wow! You just teached me something about my country that I didn’t know at all! I’ve never been to Mons but after reading this I’d love to go there (I’ll just wait til spring or summer haha). That baroque belfry looks stunning. Very informative post.

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Weekend in mons – belgian town you have to visit.

  • Tea Gudek Šnajdar

Typical houses and a street in Mons

During my recent search for places related to life and work of Vincent van Gogh in Belgium, I ended up in one of the most unique Belgian towns I’ve ever visited – in Mons. Located in the French-speaking region of Wallonia, it’s a charming little town perfect for a lovely weekend in Belgium. I have spent two days there and here are some of the ideas for things to do and places to visit during a weekend in Mons.

Visiting Mons

One thing I really like about travelling in Europe is that every single small town has such a rich history. And unfortunately, it looks like the history of Mons is closely linked with wars. Even the name of the city is coming from its fortifications –  from the first castle built on a hill there. The town was besieged many times throughout history. It’s also a place where some of the battles from the First and the Second World War occurred. It’s where the first battle fought by the British army during the WW1 happened. And where the first and the last British soldier died during the war.

However, today it’s a peaceful cute little town filled with some beautiful architecture. Buildings made of bricks and stone are giving the city that lovely historical charm. And it’s hard to imagine it had such a turbulent history.

streets of mons

How to get to Mons

Many trains are operating between Mons and Brussels daily. I’ve caught a train there, and within less than an hour, I was in Mons. The train station is right in the city centre, and the town is quite small, so it’s easy to get around on foot.

Tips before you visit Mons

# – Language : Mons is located in a Belgian region of Wallonia where the official language is French. However, many people speak Dutch and English there, as well.

# – Weather : Like in the rest of Belgium, weather could be a bit tricky in Mons, too. It’s raining quite often, and the temperature could change quickly. So, I would definitely recommend you to wear layers and bring an umbrella with you.

Streets and parks in Mons

Weekend in Mons

Being a small town, Mons is a perfect location to spend a weekend in. There are also some interesting places to visit around, like the locations related to the life of Vincent van Gogh. Or sites associated with the First and the Second World War. It’s also close to the region of Borinage that used to be one of the centres of coal mining, so it could also be interesting to visit it. And, it’s surrounded by some beautiful nature. So you can rent a bicycle and explore more of it that way.

⤷ Read more: Vincent Van Gogh in Belgium

Doors in Mons

Saturday in Mons

After I arrived in Mons, I left my backpack in a hotel, which was conveniently located right next to the train station. And went to explore the city centre then.

It was already a lunchtime, so I decided to have something to eat first. I went to the charming little restaurant, MOMA Coffee Mons where I had a delicious bagel and a smoothie. I learned how the restaurant’s policy is that they are getting a certain amount of bagels each day, they are sure they will sell. And once they run out of the bagels, that’s it for a day. I was quite fascinated with their policy against food waste. And the fact that they chose to be green, rather than chasing a bigger profit.

Moma cafe Mons

# Mons Main Square

After a tasty start of my weekend in Mons, I went to its tourist office to get some ideas about the places to see in the city. I’ve had a chance to see some videos there of the annual festivities happening in Mons. And have learned about exhibitions and events happening in Mons in a moment.

* TIP : Tourist office is located at the main square (address: Grand-Place 27, Mons). It’s also a place where you can rent a bicycle and explore the town that way. For more info take a look here !

Mons’ main square is definitely the heart of the city. Surrounded by buildings dating from the 15th century onwards, it’s almost like walking through the history of architecture a bit.

It’s also a place where many celebrations and festivities are taking place. I was visiting just before the Easter, and they were building up the Ferris Wheel and were decorating the square.

* TIP : One of the most famous festivities in Mons is ‘ Doudou festival ‘. It’s celebrated since the Middle Ages when by the miracle, after the procession led by the shrine of Waltrude, the plague disappeared from Mons. The parade is organised annually on the Trinity Weekend, and it’s accompanied nowadays with the game of Saint George and a dragon.

City hall in Mons

# – Mons Town Hall

The most beautiful building on the square is its Town Hall. Although it was built in the Gothic style, it was never finished according to the original plan. The Renaissance tower on its roof was added in the 18th century. I especially loved its old wooden doors with a bronze handrail in the shape of the castle. There is also a small statue of a monkey on its front. It’s not entirely clear what it was used for, but the legend says that anyone rubs his head will have a year filled with luck.

Monkey statue at the city hall of Mons

Interior of the building is also beautiful. Rooms are decorated in a fashion of the time. I especially liked the one with the wall paintings showing the procession with Saint George and a dragon. And the view from the balcony to the main square was just amazing.

Interior of the city hall with the red walls and large paintings on the walls

* TIP : Town Hall can be visited with a local guide only. So, if you would like to do that (and I really advise you to do so), get in touch with Mons Tourist office before your visit. I started my weekend in Mons by going on a guided city walk, and it was great getting to see some unusual places and learning about the Mons’ history that way.

Mons Town Hall has a lovely courtyard, as well. Its Gothic walls and windows could be even better seen over there. I could just imagine how beautiful that place must have been during the summer months.

Courtyard of the Mons City Hall

# Belfry in Mons

After exploring the Mons’ main square, its city hall and a courtyard, I continued walking through some narrow streets, which at some points felt like tunnels. After wandering through the small passage, some steep steps and climbed its old Medieval walls, I came to the top of the hill where the castle of Mons once stood.

All that climbing was definitely worthy when I’ve seen a beautiful view of Mons from there. Some of the old city walls could still be seen on the hill. There is also a small model of the hill, so I got a better idea about how it looked like back in time.

Bronze city model in front the belfry in Mons

Mons is home to one of the most unusual belfries in Belgium. When I first saw it from the train when I was arriving at Mons, I thought it was a church tower. The thing is, it’s the only belfry in Belgium built in a Baroque style. Created in the 17th century, it’s 87 metres high, and it has 49 bell carillon inside. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site today.

There was a big storm in Mons that afternoon. A thunderbolt has hit one of the trees on the hill where the belfry is, and it crashed. But, this is when I learned that when the weather is bad and stormy, that whole hill is getting closed down and no one can climb it. I think those things and local customs are giving such charm to these old cities…

Belfry in Mons

# Wandering around the streets of Mons

After the rain stopped, I just strolled around the town. I loved getting lost in its cobbled streets and stumbling upon some beautiful buildings and small squares. I loved so much that combination of bright red bricks and dark local stone all the buildings were built of.

Mons is also a home to so many street art. Beautiful huge murals are all around the city. And they are giving a new young vibe and a great personality to it. My favourite was definitely, the one painted on a pavement in a pedestrian zone right in the city centre, showing a child walking on the rope.

After the whole day of exploring the town, I was tired, but happy and went to have dinner at my hotel.

* TIP : I stayed at the Van der Valk hotel in Mons and really loved it. I had dinner there as well, and its restaurant was just amazing. A big recommendation to anyone looking for a nice hotel to stay in Mons.

Street art in Mons

Sunday in Mons

After getting some good night sleep (I think that was the most comfortable bed I ever slept on), I woke up early to continue exploring a lovely town of Mons.

Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church

When arriving in Mons, one of the first churches one can see is an unusual Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church. It was built during the 15th century for the canonesses. They were ladies from wealthy noble families who lived there. A large Gothic church is absolutely an interesting place to visit. Statues created by Jacques de Broeucq at its apse are definitely one of its highlights. Another thing that shouldn’t be missed is Car d’Or, a carriage decorated in a style of Louis XIV. It’s still used today in the annual procession of Doudou.

Interior of Saint Waltrude Church in Mons

An interesting object witnessing sometimes a cruel past is located just in front of the church. It’s sort of a pillory that was used for the punishment or public humiliation. People who committed some kind of a crime would be tied there and exposed to the public for their sins.

Punishment pillar in Mons

Just across the small square with a lovely garden from the Saint Waltrude Church, another cultural gem is located – Artotheque. Located in a former church, that beautiful bright red building is home to a museum, restoration and art research centre today. At its ground floor, there is a great exhibition explaining the history of Mons through interactive screens and many exciting exhibits. I really liked how the visitors have to participate in exploring the exhibition by looking into the drawers and researching the interactive displays.

Artotheque in Mons

Some other museums you could visit in Mons

For a rather small town, Mons has some really interesting museums. If you would like to visit some other museums besides the Artotheque, here are some exciting places to go:

# – BAM (Beaux-Arts Mons) – Modern art museum in Mons with a permanent exhibition showcasing the international art from the 1950s’ onwards. It regularly hosts different temporary exhibitions, too.

# – Doudou Museum – Museum entirely dedicated to the Mons’ tradition and celebration of Doudou.

# – Mons Memorial Museum – Being a place where some of the World War One and the World War Two battles happened, Mons Memorial Museum is exploring the history of these two wars and is presenting them to its visitors.

Lunch at Coco Mango

I already mentioned how I love food in Belgium. And not only its traditional food but also those new places that are experimenting with creating more of the unusual flavours in simple meals. Well, one of those restaurants is definitely Coco Mango in Mons . It’s centrally located, has a beautiful interior and some fantastic food. Well, what else do you need for lunch in Mons? I had a fantastic food there and am definitely recommending it as a place to go!

⤷ Would you like to visit some other towns in Wallonia, as well? Read my post about Tournai!

Coco Mango Mons

After a delicious lunch, it was the time to say goodbye to Mons. With its combination of historical buildings and amazing street art, Mons is a town with such a lovely charm and a great vibe. With many interesting things to see and do there, spending a weekend in Mons, could definitely be a good idea.

*Disclaimer: I was a guest of Visit Mons and Van der Valk Hotel, and my stay there was complimentary. Many thanks to them for organising such a pleasant visit for me. However, as always, all opinions are my own.

Belgium , Mons , Weekend in Mons

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Mons, culture is here

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Surfing the Planet

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Exploring the city of Mons in Belgium

Home » Blog » Viajar a Europa » Viajar a Bélgica » Exploring the city of Mons in Belgium

What to see in Mons - European Capital of Culture 2015

Mons is one of those cities that exist, but they are not part of the typical tourist itineraries and only few people get to visit them. However, it is a city with a lot of personality and there are many cultural activities and traditional festivities in the city during the whole year. Mons is a city  that surprises you .

This city of only 100,000 inhabitants, situated in the Belgian region of Wallonia, was appointed to be the European Capital of Culture in 2015 .

The opening ceremony of the year Mons2015, whose motto will be “technology meets culture”, was absolutely stunning. The main theme were the lights and we all stood there amazed.

During the whole year, this town will be in the center of Europe’s attention, and we can really recommend you to visit Mons during this year full of interesting events.

Opening Ceremony of European Capital - Visit Mons

In a small town like Mons, you don’t expect to find so many interesting things.

Mons, considered as the “Silicon Valley” of Belgium is a vibrant city, which seems to have an antique appearance, but has a young and very modern character.

City view - Visit Mons

When you arrive for the first time in the main square, the Grand Place of Mons , and you see its solemnity with the beautiful building of the Town Hall presiding the view, you will immediately feel that you are in a fairly unknown gem of Europe, and this town doesn’t have to envy anything from other more known European cities.

Town Hall in Grande Place Mons

In Mons there are many nice and historically important buildings to see, but what we liked the most was walking around the narrow cobbled streets, where street art is in a nice harmony with the well conserved old buildings. We tell you a secret; the buildings that were built mainly of stone were properties of the rich, whereas those built with bricks are buildings of the lower classes. Hence, walking on the streets, you can try to guess what kind of people actually lived in those houses, and you can imagine better how life was in those times.

Street Art in Mons Belgium

You can’t  visit Mons  without dedicating some time to the “Beffroi”, the symbol of the town , the only baroque bell tower of Belgium. It’s 87 meter tall and during the summer months, you can climb to the top to enjoy the view of Mons. Victor Hugo defined it as “ugly, but impressive” and he compared it to “4 teapots” and a “coffee pot on top of them”. Around the bell tower, there’s a nice park behind the walls, when on a sunny day (not very common in Belgium), you can enjoy reading a book in tranquility.

Beffroi - Visit Mons

Another gem of the city is the Sainte Waidru Collegiate Church , which looks more like a cathedral because of its impressive structure. However, it is not, since it has never been the post of a bishop. The church was built thanks to the goodwill of 30 women from different aristocratic families around Europe, and the stained glass windows are absolutely amazing!

Sainte Waudru Collegiate Church Mons

Amongst the many cultural events organized during the year, what captured our attention the most is the Van Gogh Exhibition in the Fine Arts Museum of Mons . This temporary exposition contains 70 paintings from the time when the Dutch painter lived in the mining industrial zone called Borinage , just outside Mons. Apart from watching the beautiful paintings, one can actually become part of Van Gogh’s famous painting “The bedroom”.

Van Gogh Exhibition - Visit Mons

Mons is also a town with loads of restaurants, bars and shops. Can you guess what our favorite food was there? Yeah, the waffles there are incredible!

Waffles in Mons Belgium

These are only some of the things that can make you want to visit Mons . It’s also quite easy to get there, from Brussels Airport the train takes you to this wonderful city in 40 minutes. Next time you visit Belgium, Mons should be an obligatory stop there!

The tourist office of  Bruselas Valonia  can give you additional information on the city.

Useful tools to organize your trip

– ZZZ… BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN MONS – find the best hotel for you.

– WOW… EXCURSIONS, CHEAP GUIDED TOURS and TICKETS SKIPPING THE LINE – book your tours, excursions and visits and save time skipping the line.

– BRUM BRUM… RENT A CHEAP CAR FOR YOUR TRIP TO MONS – find the best car for you.

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Things to see in Mons Belgium - European Capital of Culture 2015

Reader Interactions

Comentarios.

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02/03/2015 at 20:54

Belgium looks so colorful. Love the pictures!

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03/03/2015 at 12:19

Inspite of being a small country, Belgium has a lot of beautiful cities.

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03/03/2015 at 17:53

I love Belgium but I haven’t had a chance to explore Mons maybe on my next visit 🙂 looks like s good place for a day trip 🙂

04/03/2015 at 11:14

Yeah, Wallonia is quite less traveled than Flanders, but there are many interesting places there, Mons is one of them!

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04/03/2015 at 17:31

Mons looks so picture perfect. Quite surreal!

06/03/2015 at 12:14

Yes, it’s really beautiful!

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05/03/2015 at 04:46

Mons was the site of some major fighting during the First World War, it’s amazing how amazing the town looks now, despite all of that destruction.

06/03/2015 at 12:17

You are right, in Belgium they did a fascinating job in the restoring the beauty of the cities destroyed in both world wars.

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05/03/2015 at 11:36

That Victor Hugo quote is amazing. Here’s a question: if somebody was passing through the area but only for a few days, would you suggest skipping on of the Brussels/Antwerp/Bruges stops in favor of Mons?

06/03/2015 at 12:19

It’s a tough choice. Antwerp and Bruges are quite close to each other, so it’s more practical to visit those two. I am not a big fan of Brussels, apart from the main square and a couple of streets around, I never felt anything special there. So if I were you, I would probably spend as little time as possible in Brussels and try to visit the others.

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05/03/2015 at 14:06

I absolutely love the architecture – from the town houses, to the bell tower to Sainte Waidru Collegiate church – it’s all so stunning. I was in Brussels recently but didn’t make it to Mons due to time restrictions. Next time for sure!

06/03/2015 at 12:20

Next time you go to Brussels, it’s an easy 40 minute ride from the airport and you are already in Mons!

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05/03/2015 at 18:58

That is so cool you can be in Van Gogh’s painting like that! I’d love to explore this museum!

06/03/2015 at 12:21

I found this idea quite genuine, too. We had great fun there, after watching the beautiful paintings at the exhibition.

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05/03/2015 at 22:26

Before this post, I had never even heard of Mons. I think I need to plan a day trip my next visit to Brussels. You pics do a great job of capturing it’s beauty and personality.

06/03/2015 at 12:22

Thanks Sean! Mons definitely deserves a day trip or even a weekend. It’s one of the lesser-known cities of Belgium, and it’s really beautiful.

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06/03/2015 at 08:14

Just have to say one thing: Wow, your photos made me want to go there. Stunning!

Thanks so much! I hope you can get to visit Mons one day!

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07/03/2015 at 11:50

Love that shot of the ‘bedroom’, pretty bonkers idea!! Mons sounds like yet another fascinating yet underrated tourist destination, rather like Basel in Switzerland where we’ve just returned from. I think though that these places probably retain their charm simply because they’re not swamped with tourists and are still very ‘real’.

10/03/2015 at 12:18

We also found it a fascinating idea, putting yourself in the middle of a Van Gogh painting:) Mons is full of surprises!

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08/03/2015 at 23:20

Hadn’t previously heard of Mons but will have to check it out when I get myself to Belgium. I think it’s important to expand itineraries to include lesser known destinations as well! Thats half the fun!

10/03/2015 at 12:20

Yeah, it’s always great to know places that are not so much in the tourist itineraries, and explore the beauty of them.

' src=

09/03/2015 at 00:55

Looks like theres a lot of fun, interesting stuff to do! Thanks for sharing, I have to bookmark this.

10/03/2015 at 12:30

Thanks Christine! Hope you can visit Mons one day!

' src=

09/03/2015 at 07:25

Belgium never fails to amaze me. Great photos! Captures it perfectly!

10/03/2015 at 12:34

You are right, a small country with so many beautiful places to visit. Mons is one of them!

' src=

09/03/2015 at 11:25

Great gallery, I love Belgium, is such a beautiful country!

10/03/2015 at 12:42

Thanks Andreja for your comment!

' src=

09/03/2015 at 15:29

Mons is somewhere I haven’t really heard much about but looking at these photos it looks so charming and characterful, what a great find. Going off the tourist trail and be very rewarding. The detail in those buildings in beautiful.

10/03/2015 at 12:43

Thanks! It’s always a pleasure to explore places that don’t belong to the typical tourist itinerary!

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Prince William Visits Welsh Guards Barracks Solo

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By Kase Wickman

Image may contain Prince William Duke of Cambridge Accessories Formal Wear Tie Blazer Clothing Coat Jacket and Suit

Prince William continued on with his packed schedule of solo public appearances Wednesday, visiting Combermere Barracks to carry out his ceremonial duties as Colonel of the Welsh Guards.

William was given the title, which is traditionally held by the Prince of Wales, in 2022, one day after his father King Charles III ascended to the throne. William was previously the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards, a position that is now held by his wife, Kate Middleton . This week, William toured the barracks near his estate in Windsor and met with soldiers, medics, and physical training instructors, while hearing about the battalion’s day-to-day work on physical and mental rehabilitation.

In an Instagram post shared after the visit, William can be seen wearing a navy suit, visiting with various guards.

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“As Colonel, Welsh Guards, it’s always a pleasure visiting the barracks to speak with the soldiers, hear plans for their future, and witness the great work the Battalion does with physical and mental rehabilitation,” the caption reads.

A statement posted to the Welsh Guards’s social media said that “it was an honour to share with [Prince William] the forward-looking plans of the Welsh Guards, our vision for the future, and the strides we’re making in both physical and mental rehabilitation.”

The barracks visit wasn’t far from William’s residence in Windsor, where Kate has been recovering since January from a “ planned abdominal surgery .” Over the weekend, the Princess of Wales was absent from the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade led by the Irish Guards, only the second time she’s missed the event since 2012. (Her other absence was in 2016.)

A source told Us Weekly that the Guards’ honorary colonel, Kate, would be at the parade in spirit.

“The Irish Guards will all have Kate in their thoughts,” the source said, “and are planning a three cheers to her at the end of the parade in Mons Barracks.”

Indeed, Kate made it known that the Guards were on her mind as well, reportedly contributing about $2,500 toward the bill at the regimental bar the Guards visited after the parade. The Guinness was on her, even if she couldn't physically be there. 

Between Kate’s medical absence and King Charles’ lightened public calendar since sharing his cancer diagnosis in early February , William has had a number of solo engagements in recent weeks. In the past week, he also stepped out on his own to visit a new youth center and traveled for his initiative to end homelessness in the U.K.

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Mons Memorial Museum

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Following the reopening of the museums on December 5, 2020, visits to the Mons Memorial Museum are limited to 30 people / h with a visit time of 90 minutes A place of unique history A space dedicated to reflection, investigation and interaction, a museum… These are some of the different ways you could describe the Mons Memorial Museum. Above all, it’s a venue where people from all generations are able to come and meet and interact right in the heart of a Memorial Region marked by the two...

Following the reopening of the museums on December 5, 2020, visits to the Mons Memorial Museum are limited to 30 people / h with a visit time of 90 minutes A place of unique history A space dedicated to reflection, investigation and interaction, a museum… These are some of the different ways you could describe the Mons Memorial Museum. Above all, it’s a venue where people from all generations are able to come and meet and interact right in the heart of a Memorial Region marked by the two world wars that turned the 20th century upside down. The Mons Memorial Museum invites visitors of all ages to question the multiple, complex realities of the phenomena of war. Through the fates of the men and women who witnessed events, visitors are immersed in the day-to-day lives of soldiers and civilians in times of peace, of war and of occupation. The exhibits on display, selected from the 5,000 included in the military history collections belonging to the City of Mons, ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between the civilian and military population. These questions come to life in an experience that will guide visitors from the middle Ages, through the “Ancien Régime”, right up to the two World Wars. An authentic "land" of memory The new museum space needed to continue the work of the former museum by bringing its collections to life again, but above all needed to mark a moment of change, by creating a radically different form of presentation which would fulfil contemporary expectations. The history museum has therefore been transformed into a place where questions are asked and where new technologies (e.g. 3D projectors, "serious games", interactive tables) are utilised to give form and depth to the historical content. The use of testimonies such as interviews and letters is also at the heart of the concept, which emphasises the notion of passing on the baton, of conveying history. PERMANENT EXHIBITIONS Permanent exhibitions At Mons Memorial Museum, there is 1200 m² of space devoted to the permanent exhibition. By examining the objects on display and being exposed to the witness accounts, which constitute the real underlying theme of the visit, visitors can discover the military history of the City of Mons from the Ancien Régime to the Second World War. This history is presented and explained in the light of international events that explain the context. At the centre of an area heavy with memory, Mons Memorial Museum invites the public, at the end of their visit, to go on a journey through this area which has so many historical traces and memories. Ancien Régime The period from the Middle Ages to the First World War makes up about a fifth of the space of the permanent exhibition. Owing to its strategic position, Mons has witnessed a great many conflicts throughout its history. Fortified since the 12th century, its history is interspersed with battles, sieges, great fires and periods of rebuilding. Occupied by external forces on numerous occasions, the town has also been home, in peace time, to a number of garrisons, positioned alongside residential areas. This necessary closeness between soldiers and citizens structured society in Mons in the shadow of the city walls. The independence achieved by the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830 marked the start of a long period of peace characterised by industrial progress, from which Mons and its surrounding region benefited considerably. The evolution of the city walls up until their final destruction in 1871, the battles, sieges, successive occupations, revolutions and the establishment of the Garde Civique (Civic Guard) are all subjects dealt with in this space. 14-18 A large part of the permanent exhibition is dedicated to the First World War: almost half of the museum is devoted to it. During the years of the conflict, Mons found itself in an unusual position, swinging from battleground to occupied area. After being the theatre for the first clash between the British and German armies at the battle of 23 August 1914, Mons was later the place where the Allied armies came to a halt on 11 November 1918 in the wake of their victorious offensive. Before regaining their freedom, the people of Mons endured a period of occupation that lasted four years. All kinds of restrictions, endless checks and regular humiliation were part of daily life for all civilians, who, for the most part, endeavoured to keep living as normally as possible. The experience of the soldiers stationed in damp and muddy trenches on the Western Front is brought to life in detail. Their relationships with family members left behind, their reactions to new types of weapons, and their difficulties in looking death in the face are some of the subjects spoken about in soldiers' war diaries and in the letters they sent home to loved ones. These previously unseen witness accounts constitute the underlying theme of the visit, giving the historical events a sensitive, emotional aspect. 40-45 The First World War engendered a cycle of violence that culminated in the Second World War. Like the 1914-18 war, this conflict makes up a large part of the permanent exhibition of Mons Memorial Museum. Mons was again invaded by an armed force and again experienced the torment of occupation. As before, civilians found themselves at the heart of the conflict, sometimes as part of the resistance movement, and often as victims of humiliation, deportation or even mass extermination. The liberation of Mons in September 1944 by American troops marked the start of a period of regained freedom and rebuilding, but also of socio-economic difficulties. Here, too, witness accounts by survivors of the era will give visitors a more personal view on the events that took place during these years. An architectural philosophy The new museum space is located in the site of the old “Machine à eau”. This remarkable building is of great historical importance to the City of Mons for its impact on civil life, architecture and urban development. Restored in the early 1990s, the listed building has been preserved and made even more magnificent as part of an ambitious architectural complex. Two contemporary extensions, one on each side of the historical building, subsume it to create a structure capable of living up to its new purpose. The architects Pierre Hebbelinck and Pierre de Wit and their team sought to respond to two important urban elements. The first is based on observations of the evolution of the City of Mons, which is at a major turning point in its development. In the 19th century, the city walls were demolished to make way for civic buildings (railway station, hospital, prison, schools, the Water Machine, etc.). This historical building witnessed a revolution in the behaviour of a society in flux. This period turned out to be a transitional one between the two major themes of Mons Memorial Museum. A period of defence and internalisation leading to a period of openness and progress, which would be more conducive to aggression than ever. This notion of transition convinced the architects of the importance of using the historical building as a means of expressing the project. The Water Machine will therefore become the meeting point, the reception area and the starting point for visits. It will be the central meeting place in a complex extending over more than 3000 m². The second urban element considered is the disintegration of the building's immediate environment, which is made up of a set of undefined spaces that undermine the Water Machine's position as part of the urban fabric. The position adopted by the architects aims to resolve this decomposition by re-establishing a frontage adjacent to the corner of Boulevard Dolez. The dimensions of the new sections will be aligned with the style of the older buildings, enabling them to maintain their own identity. The expression of the extensions develops two essential criteria. The first is to make the most of the light, open aspect of the body of the existing building. A large part of the building is cantilevered, symbolising the effort and difficulty of maintaining the balance of peace. The opacity or at least the openings chosen for the annexes are decisive in creating contrast with the characteristics of the Water Machine and in reflecting the introspective nature of the exhibits displayed throughout the museum. The architecture fulfils the scenario sought by the scientific and museum teams. The museum's content follows the chronology of the unique history of Mons in respect of the coexistence of civil and military life. The natural light of the Water Machine reflects the periods of freedom. The route through the museum, where this light is measured out, and at times coloured, involves gentle sloping so that visitors stride physically through the periods of conflict. The subject matters that concern Mons Memorial Museum find their full meaning in this location. These subjects are light (which is very much emphasised in the Water Machine and also directed towards the exhibits along the route through the museum), memory (i.e. making the most of the listed building) and history. The three main materials of the historical building will also be visible in the wings and the interior of the building: - Steel: metals are important materials during war time, but also constitute a symbol of prosperity in periods of change. Their use in the museum will also be reminiscent of the mullions and transoms of the main building's glazing; - Brick: the monolithic extensions will be built from bricks; we are on the site of the former city walls here, so this is a link back to them; - Glass: present in the wide façades of iron-mullioned glazing, glass will be used to create the openings and spaces for looking through in the two side wings. These openings will not only bring in light but, being positioned at strategic points along the museum route, will direct visitors to look at particular points outside. Another important aspect of the project was the execution of adjustments to the immediate surroundings, designed to assist in the journey through the museum. The architects wanted to give people the option to take a stroll outside, to complement their visit through the interior. Visitors will be able to get to the edge of the pond from the building. A memorial space is positioned under the building's cantilever, for those who wish to spend some time in contemplation or reflection after their visit. There is also a garden, where purple beech trees will be planted along with a Canadian maple, and poppies will be sown, according to the custom in the United Kingdom. Discover life at the building site through photos taken by the architecture practice of Pierre Hebbelinck and Pierre de Wit. Design team - Architect – project designer: Architectural studio of Pierre Hebbelinck and Pierre de Wit - Stability studies: Greisch - Special technical studies: Pierre Berger - Museography: Winston Spriet and Martial Prévert - Multimedia design: Christian Barani - Consultant historians: Emmanuel Debruyne and José Gotovitch History A new purpose for the Water Machine Between 1871 and 1961, the Water Machine fed the entire town of Mons, making this water distribution network one of the most important in Belgium. A century distributing water In 1861, a vast construction project began in Mons, changing the face of the town forever. For a few decades it was like a building site, the whole thing beginning with the destruction of the Dutch fortifications. Thus in 1865, wide roads began to appear, with the network of trunk roads and the town's boulevards. New routes, created as extensions of the main roads within the city walls, were built to link the centre of Mons to the new suburbs on the outskirts. New public buildings were built along the lengths of the boulevards: the public hospital, prison, railway station, teacher training college, etc. The destruction of the fortifications also gave the local authorities the opportunity to start work on a vast water distribution project. The poor hygiene conditions and pollution of the groundwater represented health risks for local residents of Mons. Memories of terrible cholera epidemics in the first half of the 19th century endured. In 1863, the town councillor and engineer Jules Drion proposed diverting the course of the River Trouille, which passed through the town. A long sewer would be built along the old route of the river and the town would be fed with water via a pumping station. The project was approved in 1865. Major works began in 1869: laying pipes, installing tanks, and building the dam and spillway. To accommodate the lifting equipment, a building was built in Boulevard Dolez, in 1870-1871. The designed by the Mons-based architect Joseph Hubert, consisted of a large hall which received light via its large glazed façades. Brick walls supported a steel frame forming a double-sloped roof. This central part was flanked by two wings made of stone and brick, built in the tradition of early 19th century utilitarian industrial architecture. The Water Machine began to supply drinking water in 1871. After almost a century of loyal service, in 1961 to be precise, the Water Machine was dismantled. The installation was closed for good in 1974. The only thing remaining is the main building, which was listed in 1977 and was restored by the neighbouring National Bank in the early 1990s. A small pool acts as a reminder of the swimming pool and watering hole which was formed thanks to the dam that had held back water from the River Trouille. The building was sold back to the City of Mons in 1996. The people of Mons still feel considerable attachment to this building, which has been part of their daily lives for 140 years. Although the place has lost its original purpose, it remains alive, hosting a variety of cultural events. Lots of local people can still remember coming to see the impressive machinery, its brass and steel components shining in the sunlight. Now though, it's a setting for various cultural events. It is currently being readied for its new life. From 2015, it will host the new interpretive centre of the military history of Mons, named the Mons Memorial Museum. More than a mere venue for exhibitions, this new museum space will invite visitors to reflect on the major conflicts of the 20th century, by learning about painful periods in the history of Mons. The objects on display will give much food for thought. On loan from some of Mons's rich collections, they will ensure the longevity of a culture and a memory maintained since the establishment of the Centenary Museum in 1930. Parcours de mémoire ("Memory Trail") Mons and the surrounding region are dotted with historical traces and memories from various periods: Ancien Régime, First and Second World Wars. These special places, which bore witness to the history of Mons, will soon be explained and signposted through the Parcours de mémoire. Currently, there are 20 places of significance to the First World War that we invite you to discover through the Parcours de mémoire: First World War – Bodies, weapons and peace Parcours de mémoire '14-'18- First World War – "Corps et arme de Paix" (Interreg IVa project) Right from the start of the First World War, Mons found itself at the heart of the conflict. It was in this region that the first clashes took place between the German army and British soldiers, whose ranks included the man who became the first British casualty of the First World War, John Parr. During the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914, a small army from across the English Channel confronted a German force that was twice its size. In the end, the British troops managed to pull out of this dire trap – perhaps by the grace of the Angels of Mons? From here, they retreated to France. Upon their arrival, they fought another bloody battle in Cateau in Cambrai. For the soldiers of the British Empire, Mons represented the start of a terrible four-year conflict – which also ended in Mons on 11 November 1918, the day the armistice was signed. On that same day, Private George Lawrence Price was killed by a German sniper in Ville-sur-Haine, very close to Mons. He was the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed during the Second World War. For the British army, Mons became a highly symbolic place: the First and the Last. Indeed, it is at St Symphorien Cemetery where the remains of John Parr, the first British soldier premier killed in the conflict, and of George Ellison, the last British soldier killed in the conflict, are buried, opposite one another. Due to its central position in the battle of 23 August 1914 and in the last clashes of the war on 11 November 1918, Mons is at the heart of an area heavy with memory. There are monuments, memorials and symbolic places all over the region. With the Parcours de mémoire, which will be ready from August 2014, we offer you a way to discover and rediscover places of battle, tragedy and contemplation. The result of an international partnership, the project to create the Parcours de mémoire is supported by various partners based in Mons (City of Mons, Tourist Office and Mundaneum) and in the region of Cambrai (Tourist Office, Community of villages of Caudrésis-Catésis and Community of the urban area of Cambrai), and is funded by the European Union. The overall aim of the project is to highlight the British retreat of 23-26 August 1914 by creating a route in memory of a task force that fought in Mons and withdrew to Cateau. Mons Card Partner: Free access Recommended visiting time: 1h30

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Expo "Wool and Water. La laine et l'eau" - Didier Mahieu

Expo "Wool and Water. La laine et l'eau" - Didier Mahieu

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  1. What to see in Mons Belgium

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  2. +17 Things To See In Mons Belgium + Reasons To Visit

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  3. What to see in Mons Belgium

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  4. You MUST visit Mons, Belgium

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  5. À visiter à Mons

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  6. Experience in Mons, Belgium by Hélène

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VIDEO

  1. Day Trip to MONTSERRAT SPAIN

  2. TOP things to do in Mons, Belgium

  3. My Journey to Montserrat

  4. Mons Shows its Artistic Side

  5. Outward Bound: Colonizing Mars

  6. Montserrat

COMMENTS

  1. visitMons

    Visitmons. Grand Place 27 - 7000 Mons - Belgique +32 (0) 65 33 55 80. Contactez-nous Restez informés. Inscrivez-vous afin de recevoir les dernières informations de visitMons. Recevez la newsletter .

  2. visitMons

    Visitmons. Grand Place 27 - 7000 Mons - Belgique. +32 (0) 65 33 55 80. Contact us.

  3. You MUST visit Mons, Belgium

    This was one thing that surprised us about Belgium, is that the towns all seem to appreciate street art. From sculptures, to paintings and installations, various works of art come together to make the city even more inviting. There's more to look at, more places to explore, and makes art accessible to all.

  4. 15 Best Things to Do in Mons (Belgium)

    A walk around the graveyard will take about half an hour to an hour and is a short drive away from the centre of Mons. 2. Mons Memorial Museum. Source: tripadvisor. Mons Memorial Museum. Whilst 'new' isn't necessarily a quality looked for in a museum, the Mons Memorial Museum is well worth visiting.

  5. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Mons

    Visit Mons. 32. Visitor Centers. Mons Region Tourist board was created in 1999. It promotes the town of Mons and others around: Boussu, Colfontaine, Dour, Frameries, Hensies, Honnelles, Jurbise, Lens, Quaregnon, Quevy, Quievrain et Saint-Ghislain. We welcome you on the Grand-Place every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm except on Sundays and bank ...

  6. The Grand-Place

    Lined with terraces and cafés, it is the nerve centre of the city. Paved entirely with cobblestones and decorated with elegant façades, the Grand-Place in Mons takes you on a journey through time. Spacious, almost ethereal, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Belgium as well as turning out to be one of the most animated.

  7. Things To Do And See In Mons Belgium In One Day

    Doudou Festival. The Ducasse de Mons, know as the Doudou is a big festival in Mons that takes places every year on Trinity Day. It is said to date back to 1348-1349 when the city suffered from the plague. The Canonesses decided to take the reliquary of St Waudru, which was the patron of the city, around town.

  8. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mons (Bergen)

    Time your visit to be at the top for the turn of the hour when the bells ring. Address: Ramp du Chateau, central Mons. 3. Visit the Church of Sainte-Waudru. Church of Sainte-Waudru. Just below Mons' castle hill with the scant remains of the old feudal castle is the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Waudru.

  9. Attractions

    Visitmons. Grand Place 27 - 7000 Mons - Belgique +32 (0) 65 33 55 80. Contact us Stay informed. Register in order to receive the latest information from the Tourist Office. Subscribe to our newsletter !

  10. Mons Travel Guide: 15 Best things to do in Mons, History, Attractions

    Located in central Mons, its virtual access and multimedia exhibits provide an innovative cultural experience. 1. Grand Place. Grand Place is the central square and main tourist attraction in the historic city center of Mons, Belgium. It is located in the heart of Mons, about 45 miles southwest of Brussels.

  11. VisitMons: Mons tourist office

    Grand Place 27, 7000 Mons. +32 65 33 55 80. [email protected]. Visit online. Facebook Twitter Instagram. This information is given for indication purposes only, best to check with the site you hope to visit before heading there - by phone, email, social media or simply by visiting their website.

  12. Visit Mons

    Mons Region Tourist board was created in 1999. It promotes the town of Mons and others around: Boussu, Colfontaine, Dour, Frameries, Hensies, Honnelles, Jurbise, Lens, Quaregnon, Quevy, Quievrain et Saint-Ghislain. We welcome you on the Grand-Place every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm except on Sundays and bank holidays from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

  13. Visit Mons

    Visit Mons is located in the heart of the city of Mons on the Grand Place, a historic and cultural place in the city. It aims to meet customer expectations while adapting to current trends. The team can help you with... activities (sites, museums, leisure, shopping, restaurants and bars, nightlife, guided tours...) accommodation

  14. +17 Things To See In Mons Belgium + Reasons To Visit

    🏠 Van Gogh's House. The renowned Dutch painter briefly lived in Mons in a house just outside the old town, in a village known as Cuesmes, and that's the so-called Van Gogh's house in Mons.. Vincent Can Gogh moved to this enchanting small house, known as Maison Van Gogh in French, amidst nature and greenery in 1879 and stayed here for a brief time until 1880.

  15. Perfect Day Trips from Brussels: Mons/Bergen

    Contents [ hide] 0.1 The best things to do in Mons, Belgium. 0.2 Learn about Mons' feminist history. 0.3 Celebrate the Doudou Festival with the locals. 0.4 Visit the Doudou Museum. 0.5 Visit Grand Place (and eat!) 0.6 Rub the Monkey of Mons for good luck. 0.7 Admire the UNESCO recognized Belfry of Mons.

  16. Weekend in Mons

    For a rather small town, Mons has some really interesting museums. If you would like to visit some other museums besides the Artotheque, here are some exciting places to go: # - BAM (Beaux-Arts Mons) - Modern art museum in Mons with a permanent exhibition showcasing the international art from the 1950s' onwards.

  17. Discover the historic centre of Mons

    Visitmons. Grand Place 27 - 7000 Mons - Belgique +32 (0) 65 33 55 80. Contact us Stay informed. Register in order to receive the latest information from the Tourist Office. Subscribe to our newsletter !

  18. Mons, culture is here

    Mons. "Mons is perhaps worth talking about, because it is a charming town.". That was how Victor Hugo described it. If you're tempted by a visit to Mons, take his word for it and you will be charmed. Mons, European Capital of Culture in 2015, has a number of museums that make the most of current or historic artistic trends, but also of ...

  19. What to see in Mons Belgium

    You can't visit Mons without dedicating some time to the "Beffroi", the symbol of the town, the only baroque bell tower of Belgium.It's 87 meter tall and during the summer months, you can climb to the top to enjoy the view of Mons. Victor Hugo defined it as "ugly, but impressive" and he compared it to "4 teapots" and a "coffee pot on top of them".

  20. Visit Mons

    Plan your Visit to Mons with free Mons itineraries, guides, things to do and maps. Create your personal guide to Mons with full information on all top attractions

  21. Visit Mons

    Visit Mons, Mons. 32,178 likes · 203 talking about this. visitMons is the official fan page for all those who want to discover this wonderful city

  22. How to get there?

    By bus. TEC Hennegau. Place de Léopold, 9A - 7000 Mons. +32 (0)65/38.88.85. www.infotec.be. By plane. Brussels South Charleroi Airport. is 30 minutes from the centre of Mons and serves some 100 international routes. Fly direct with Ryanair, Jetairfly, Wizzair, Pegasus and Thomas Cook.

  23. Prince William Visits Welsh Guards Barracks Solo

    Prince William continued on with his packed schedule of solo public appearances Wednesday, visiting Combermere Barracks to carry out his ceremonial duties as Colonel of the Welsh Guards.. William ...

  24. Mons Memorial Museum

    Following the reopening of the museums on December 5, 2020, visits to the Mons Memorial Museum are limited to 30 people / h with a visit time of 90 minutes A place of unique history A space dedicated to reflection, investigation and interaction, a museum… These are some of the different ways you could describe the Mons Memorial Museum. Above all, it's a venue where people from all ...