Destinations | Europe

Citytrip Mons: Things to do in Mons Belgium

4 Aug 2021 | Belgium, Destinations, Europe

Looking for a quick weekend getaway in Belgium? Look no further than a city trip to Mons in the region of Wallonia. Mons is a beautiful city – almost like a walk-in museum with murals, artwork, and more. Read all about the things to do in Mons Belgium for an epic visit!

**disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but this doesn’t change the fact that I share my own honest experiences.**

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Citytrip Mons: 17 Things to do in Mons Belgium 

 

Mons was declared the capital of culture in Europe in 2015, and this is one of the reasons why you must visit this city. What culture lovers will love here is that the entire city is like an open-air museum with a lot of street art, and stunning heritage buildings and architecture. 

Did you know? Every year on Trinity weekend the city of Mons celebrates the Ducasse de Mons or Doudou festival. This is a mixture of a Catholic ritual and a performance that brings people together. 

Doudou has been recognized as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since November 2005. 

Getting to Mons Belgium

Mons is located in the Belgian municipality of Wallonia. This city is the capital of the Hainaut Province. The closest airport is Charleroi Airport, which is about 30 minutes away from Mons. 

If you are traveling to Belgium internationally then opt to arrive at the Brussels International Airport – Zaventem. Brussels airport to Mons is about a 60-minute drive away, which makes it perfect for a day trip as well!

If traveling by public transportation, you can use the SNCB train from the Brussels city center to Mons. The main train station is located a 5-minute walk from the city center. It will also take you an hour (or a little sooner) by train. 

For all of your travel-related questions in the city, you can also reach out to the tourist department at Visit Mons for information or bookings. The location is Grand Place 27, Mons.

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Where to stay in Mons Belgium

I recommend staying at the city center so that you can easily walk to sightseeing areas, and also find a plethora of restaurants and cafes. We stayed at a beautiful Bed & Breakfast at Compagnons 11, 7000 Mons.

Bezienswaardigheden Bergen Belgie

Citytrip Mons: 17 Things to do in Mons Belgium

Wander Grand Place de Mons

The best way to explore and experience a city’s pulse is to wander their center. The Grand-Place in Mons is one of the beautiful squares in Belgium. 

The square is filled with cobblestones with stunning buildings lined around it from Gothic to Neo-Classical or Spanish influences. You can easily walk there, admire the architecture, and take a break when tired in one of the cafes at the Grand Place.

Grand Place is very vibrant, and I recommend spending a few hours there. 

Address: Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium

Mons Town Hall and current City Hall

Mons Town Hall is located at the Grand Place. It was built in the Gothic style in the 15th century. Head there and admire the architecture, and the bronze banister in front of its facade, representing St George and the dragon! 

Also, visit the interiors and explore the Wedding Hall, the Council Chamber with its stunning fireplace, and the Sacquiaux Room along with the Portrait Room and the Gothic Hall. 

You can opt for guided tours of the Town Hall by appointment only. 

The new Mons’ City Hall is located at the town’s Grand Place too and is flanked by Toison d’Or House and the Chapel of St. George. 

Be sure to check out the Guardhouse Monkey located near the entrance of Mons City hall, it is believed that petting this little monkey with your left hand will bring good luck.

Address: Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Doudou Museum

Doudou Museum is dedicated to the popular folk festival called the “Ducasse de Mons ” aka 2 and a half-day religious procession and feast.

Every year over Trinity weekend, the people of Mons pay tribute to Sainte Waudru and witness their legendary battle known as Lumeçon. Doudou is considered as a sacred event in Mons, and this is treated as the start of something new, of celebrations. 

This museum covers the event in 2 parts, the procession dedicated to the patron saint of Mons, St Waltrude, and later the “re-enactment” of a fight between St. George and the dragon (festival of dragon fight).

The museum is very interesting and perfect for the young and the old. They are open every day except Mondays, from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm.

Address: Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium

 

Go biking around town 

One of the coolest ways to explore Mons is on a bike. You can rent a bike, plus all the required accessories to stay safe and comfortable on the tour.

There are 2 types of bikes to choose from

  •  classic bicycles: € 5 for 2 hours, € 8 for 4 hours and € 10/day 
  •  electric bicycles: € 10 for 2 hours, € 16 for 4 hours, and € 20/day

You can plan various cycling tours on the Vhello website. Here you will find more information about the network in the heart of Hainaut.

You can find more information here.

 

The Belfry of Mons – Beffroi de Mons

Mons Belfry has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the belfries that graces the Belgian skies with a height of 87 meters and it almost follows you everywhere you go at the center. 

Address: Parc du Château, 7000 Mons

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Le Mundaneum

The Mundaneum is a landmark institution that classifies and organizes the world’s knowledge into a system called the Universal Decimal Classification. It was originally created in Brussels but is located in Mons today. 

Inside the complex, there are exhibitions centered around knowledge, a plethora of archives, and other educational resources. 

Le Mundaneum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Weekends – they are open from 11:00 am to 06:00 pm, and Wednesdays to Fridays from 01:00 pm to 05:00 pm. 

Address: Rue de Nimy 76, 7000 Mons, Belgium

Learn World War history at Mons Memorial Museum

Mons Memorial Museum is a museum dedicated to exhibits from World War I and II. You can visit the museum and find valuable information about the wars and enrich your knowledge.

If you didn’t know this already, Mons is located at a strategic crossroad of Europe, which has often made it the scene of historic conflicts. In 1914 (World War I), Mons was the location of the Battle of Mons when the town was occupied by the Germans and stayed this way until liberated by the Canadian Corps towards the end of the war. 

The museum is open every day except Mondays, from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm.

Address: Boulevard Dolez 51, 7000 Mons

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Explore the Havre Castle

Just outside the city center is Havre Castle. This is a ruined castle that had undergone several rounds of renovations in the 12th and 13th centuries by its owners – the Enghien and Croÿ families. 

The castle is a fortress surrounded by moats with a beautiful inner courtyard, an onion-shaped dome, and a chapel on site.

The site is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and from 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm on weekends. 

Address: Rue du Château 30, 7021 Mons, Belgium

 

Saint Waltrude Church

Saint Waltrude Church is a Catholic church dedicated to Saint Waltrude of Mons. The old church is a protected monument in Belgium. It traces its origins to the year 1450, and this is where you can find the ‘car d’Or.

The climb of the Car d’Or brings the procession of the Châsse de Sainte-Waudru to an end during the Doudou festival. 

Address: Pl. du Chapitre, 7000 Mons, Belgium

Check out Van Gogh House

Van Gogh House was home to the Dutch painter – Vincent van Gogh. He lived here for about 14 months, from 1879 to 1880. It is in this abode that Van Gogh developed his design and painting skills. 

This house was abandoned and left for years in ruins, and later restored to allow visitors to explore. 

When you are at the house you can go on a self-guided tour or join a guide. This Van Gogh House resembles close to what the actual house looks like. The house has two rooms, one downstairs and upstairs filled with historical bits of information spread all throughout the house. 

You will also find reproductions of sketches and leftover paintwork by the artist himself. The only original work by Van Gogh can be found in “De Spitters” and it can also be viewed in the ‘Artotheek’. 

There is also a walking trail located near the house that visitors are allowed to use. They are open every day except Monday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Address: Rue Du Pavillon 3, 7033 Cuesmes

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Decorative Arts Museum Francois Duesberg

Museum François Duesberg is a recent museum added to highly rated tourist attractions in Mons Belgium. It was opened on 21 September 1994 and was dedicated to decorative arts from 1775 to 1825. 

The museum is located opposite the Saint Waltrude Church. 

Address: Sq. Franklin Delano Roosevelt 12, 7000 Mons, Belgium

St Symphorien military cemetery 

St Symphorien Cemetery is a military cemetery that was built by the Germans in 1916. There you will find graves of German and British soldiers who lost their lives while liberating Mons (in 1918). 

Because of the nature of the cemetery, it sends a strong message (German and British soldiers buried in the same cemetery – war is never a good thing) and this is a First World War Commonwealth War Graves site.

Address: Rue Nestor Dehon 32, 7030 Mons, Belgium

Grand Large

Located close to Mons is an artificial lake called the Grand Large. The lake is situated between Paris and Brussels, so it is a perfect road trip stop when you visit either cities or just hang out in Mons. 

The lake is linked to two canals: Nimy-Blaton-Péronnes Canal (to the east), and the Canal du Centre (to the west). Just enjoy the lovely views, bring a picnic basket, and relax.

Le Grand Hornu 

This is another UNESCO heritage site located in a town named Hornu, near Mons. It is an architectural landmark in the Belgian industrial space tracing its past to coal mining. This site is a great example of functional town planning. 

Grand Hornu consists of two museums today, CID (Centre d’Innovation & de Design) & MACS (Musée des Arts contemporains) where you can learn about its history and check out temporary exhibitions. The Industrial Revolution and coal mining made Mons a center of heavy industry. 

Address: Rue Sainte-Louise 82, 7301 Boussu, Belgium

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Go biking at the Parc Naturel Des Hauts-Pays – day trips

Belgium has no shortage of stunning landscapes, and add to that there is the beautiful Parc Naturel Des Hauts-Pays. This park is a natural reserve that will transport you to a different time – where the air was unspoiled, finding greenery was easy, and listening to birds chirp and waterfalls brought tranquility to your soul. 

Inside the park, you can also enjoy nature walks, bike rides, and wonderful relaxation times. It is perfect for couples or families traveling with small children.

Furthermore, you can explore various flora and fauna, check out a charming château (Montignies-sur-Roc, Rampemont or Sars, to name but a few), farmhouse, or an old church. 

This park is about 30 km south of the city of Mons. 

Address: Rue des Jonquilles 24, 7387 Onnezies, Belgium

Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes

Neolithic Flint Mines of Spiennes is another worthy attraction near Mons. It is located about 6 km away from the city and is home to amazing flint mines that were originally dugout during the Neolithic period between 4200 and 2500BC. It is one of the largest flint mines in Europe. 

You can join stone-working workshops here to learn about mining shafts, and understand its formation over the years, and what gave it its present shape. 

Everything you see at the site is authentic and found in its original state. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Address: Rue de Nouvelles 7032, 7032 Mons, Belgium

Things to do in Mons Belgium

Places to eat in Mons on your city trip

In Mons, you will find a variety of restaurants and cafes.. Do make time for chocolates in Belgium. For breakfast, you will love waking up a delicious ‘cuppa joe’ with a side of a cookie or a piece of chocolate. 

Opt for lunch at La Capitainerie Du Grand Large. You will love the food with a beautiful view over the water. Address: Rue Du Grand Large, 7011 Mons.

If you prefer healthy sandwiches and salads, then lunch at Mémé Tartine. Address: Rue de la Coupe 16, 7000 Mons

For an awesome dinner head to Le Bailly for European flair (salads, sandwiches with pommes frites). Address: Rue de Nimy 8, 7000 Mons. 

So that’s a wrap, I hope you enjoyed this list of things to do in Mons Belgium useful in planning your next getaway!

Pin: Visit Mons Belgium

Things to do in Mons Belgium

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