Welcome to the Pays de Charleroi!
Charleroi airport is in the middle of the Charleroi region. The Carolos (and Belgians in general!) are renowned for their enthusiasm, their generosity, their friendliness and their joie de vivre.
Did you know that you will be landing in the most prosperous region of the Industrial Revolution? The Museums of Mining, Glass and Industry will introduce you to this flourishing industrial past.
Continue your journey of discovery with Europe’s largest museum of photography!
If you prefer a bit of fresh air to museums, take a stroll through the historic centre of Charleroi, and marvel at the stunning Art Nouveau buildings, or the Belfry, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On your travels, there’s a chance you might bump in to a giant hero of Belgian comics. But you shouldn’t be surprised… After all, Charleroi is the capital of comics!
On Belgian soil!
Belgium might be a small country… but it's packed with character! You can be sure of a warm welcome from the locals – they're all lovely and certainly know how to have a good time!
Chocolate, beer, chips, waffles, spéculoos… Belgium is a land of fine food and fine foodies. As well as all of its fantastic food and drink, Belgium has plenty more to offer, such as its diamonds, lace, art, culture and architecture in its "towns of art", the Belgian coast along the North Sea and its lush green space: the Ardennes…
Not forgetting… its beautiful capital, Bruxelles. Tourists travel from all over the world to visit the Atomium, the Grand'Place, the Musée Magritte, Mini-Europe, the parliament district… Or perhaps you're more interested in the city's symbol, the Manneken Pis, that little bronze chap urinating into a fountain. Do you know the legend? If not, you can find out when you're in Brussels!
Bruges, historical and romantic
Bruges is sometimes called an open air museum, and to be honest, that is no word of a lie. The entire centre of Bruges is in fact included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Stroll around and you will stumble across numerous medieval buildings, alleys and artistic masterpieces. Explore the city centre on foot, by boat, or make a romantic gesture and go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Gaze in wonder at the Flemish primitives, impressive monuments, churches and other cathedrals, not to mention the sumptuous chocolate and the superior lace work, both of which are typically Bruges.
The city of Namur is at the confluence of the Sambre and the Meuse, overlooked by its impressive citadel, whose fortifications are built into a rocky spur. The more daring among you may want to climb up to the top. The more risk-averse will enjoy a stroll along the pedestrian streets of the historic heart of town. Take a break in one of the terraces of one of the many little cafés. If you don't have time to explore outdoors, take a look round the Musée Félicien Rops, dedicated to the famous artist who was born in Namur.
Ghent, Europe's best kept secret
In the middle ages, Ghent was the largest city in Europe and today, it is one of its best kept secrets. The town has a unique character: small enough to be cosy, but large enough to have global flair. Behold the breath-taking panoramas on the banks of the river Lys, spot the famous three towers, and admire the Lamb of God masterpiece by the van Eyck brothers. As the sun sinks below the horizon, Ghent is transformed into a cosy, bustling city, full of music and entertainment. Trust Lonely Planet – the travel guide of choice – when it says: Ghent is one of the ten must-see cities.
Mons, Wallonia's capital of culture
The city of Mons, voted 2015 European Capital of Culture, boasts a remarkable heritage. Every year, at the beginning of the summer, the city and its stunning Grand'Place provide the backdrop for an impressive example of the region's folklore: the Doudou (a local festival based on age-old traditions). In 2017 the festivities will be taking place on le 11/06/2017. Just a few kilometres from the centre, don't miss the Scientific Adventure Park (PASS), or the historic site of the Grand-Hornu.
Leuven, the Mecca of books and beer
Leuven is a city full of monuments. The countless Gothic gems seem to have been scattered around the city and the iconic Town Hall and the Grand Beguinage are but a few of the examples. Another landmark is the university, which was founded no less than 6 centuries ago in Leuven. To this day, the university welcomes hordes of fresh students, who bring life to the brewery town. And speaking about breweries... Leuven is home to the legendary Stella Artois, almost a century old, and perhaps the most famous beer in the world. Reason enough to visit Leuven!
Antwerp, elegant par excellence
Everything in Antwerp is a treasure: the meandering River Scheldt, the life and work of Grand Master Peter Paul Rubens, sparkling diamonds and its sensational heritage... The list is virtually endless. Discover classic and modern architectural gems like Our Lady's Cathedral, the main Railway Station and the all-new Port House, a real gem. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience full of culture, architecture, fashion, gastronomy and shopping that can only be found in Antwerp.
Mechelen, towering yet welcoming
Mechelen is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. The historic stronghold is best known for the impressive St. Rombouts Cathedral, which has more than 500 steps and breath-taking view. Another, albeit sad, highlight, is the Kazerne Dossin, the Belgian Holocaust Memorial. Dive in and discover the rich heritage of the city of Mechelen. Unwind with a glass of Gouden Carolus in hand, the foaming pride of the people of Mechelen.
Ostend, the queen of seaside resorts, is practically synonymous with the North Sea. The port city is the perfect location for enchanting walks, but above all, the place to visit to discover the treasures of the North Sea: shrimp, mussels, sole, cod, whiting... the list is endless. There is, of course, more to Ostend than that alone, such as art, for example. About a century ago, Grand Master James Ensor lived and worked here. That artistic tradition lives on today more so than ever and you can experience it yourself in Ostend. The Beaufort Art Triennial and The Crystal Ship street art festival leave behind a number of modern masterpieces in the city between the picturesque port and the many belle époque buildings.