Attractions

Top Choice Zoo in Hainaut

Pairi Daiza

Set on the grounds of a former Cistercian Abbey, this 65-hectare park is home to more than 5000 animals (including pandas, koalas, gorillas and lemurs) living in beautifully designed settings with elements from ever…
Top Choice Cathedral in Tournai

Cathédrale Notre Dame

Dominating Tournai’s skyline are the five spires of its remarkable cathedral, which survived WWII bombs only for a freak 1999 tornado to compromise its stability. It'll remain a vast building site for another decade…
Top Choice Historic Site in Lessines

Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose

Founded in 1242, this is Belgium’s only medieval convent-farm-hospital complex to have survived reasonably intact. Laboriously restored, it demonstrates the development of medieval medicine from a beautiful herb gar…
Top Choice Square in Tournai

Grand Place

Tournai’s gorgeous triangular main square is ringed with cafes in fine gable-fronted guildhouses merrily flying guild banners. Kids play in ‘dare-you’ fountains beneath an axe-wielding statue of Princess d'Espinoy, …
Top Choice Museum in Mons

Mons Memorial Museum

This superb museum mostly covers Mons' experience of the two world wars, though the constant sieges of this town's turbulent history are also mentioned. It gets the balance just right between military history, perso…
Top Choice Canal in Mons

Strépy-Thieu Boat-Lift

The world’s tallest ship lift (completed in 2002), raising or lowering gigantic ‘baths’ 73 vertical metres, is on a pharaonic scale, as was the €150 million it cost. Though you can watch the lift from outdoors, visi…
Top Choice Museum in Charleroi

Musée de la Photographie

One of Europe’s biggest and most impressive photography museums, it has an engrossing collection of historic, contemporary and artistic prints. Don’t miss the area upstairs dealing with airbrushing, tricks of the tr…
Top Choice Brewery in Pipaix

Brasserie à Vapeur

Started in 1785, this tiny affair is Belgium’s last traditional steam-operated brewery. This wonderfully authentic family enterprise is best known for its Vapeur Cochonne, whose bare-breasted cartoon-pig labels were…
Top Choice Park in Enghien

Parc d’Enghien

Originally set out in the 17th century by the dukes of Arenberg, the Parc d’Enghien incorporates vast stands of woodland, fountains, statues, a tiny ‘Chinese’ pavilion, a topiary garden, a pond-side terrace café and…
Church in Mons

Collégiale Ste-Waudru

Within this lofty, airy, 15th-century Gothic church you'll find the golden reliquary of Ste-Waudru (hanging above the altar) and the fanciful 1782 Car d’Or, a gilded, cherub-adorned coach used to carry it during Ste…