The Ardennes

Spa had the 'world’s first’ casino in 1763, and the 19th-century incarnation here now forms part of a grand central trio of neoclassical buildings, along with the 1862 bathhouse (not currently in use) and the 1908 Exhibition Halls.

Entry is free to gamble or simply to admire the casino’s muralled ceilings, but you’ll need to be over 21 years of age and have your passport handy. The most elegant upstairs rooms are rarely in use but when they are, access is via a stairway passing a 1939 antique fruit machine.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Ardennes attractions

1. Pouhon Pierre-le-Grand

0.07 MILES

The restored, octagonal-fronted stone building hosting the tourist office was the site of Spa’s original springs. It was renamed for Russian tsar Peter…

2. Parc de Sept Heures

0.19 MILES

With a picturesque Léopold II–era pavilion and a wrought-iron marketplace hosting Sunday morning flea markets, this charming park also features minigolf,…

3. Spa Story

0.36 MILES

In a 1862 Napoleon III–style building 300m west of Spa's casino, the small but engaging Spa Story museum charts the town's history while looking at the…

4. Musée de la Lessive

0.37 MILES

This lovably off-beat little museum fills the banal classrooms of a 1960s former primary school with a hotchpotch of old flat irons, linens, washing…

5. Spa Monopole

0.47 MILES

Selling the waters of Spa remains big buiness, with millions of bottles filled annually at this industrial-scale plant. A self-guided visit to the…

6. La Chocolaterie Darcis


Playing a 21st-century Willy Wonka, one of Belgium’s foremost chocolatiers has turned his modern factory into a superb interactive museum experience. Walk…

7. Place du Marché

7.02 MILES

Vervier's most attractive square is dominated by a stately town hall, with cobbled Mont du Moulin descending photogenically past ivy-draped and half…