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Mons

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Hainaut : Mons
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Mons [19] (French pronunciation: ​[mɔ̃s]; Dutch: Bergen; Picard: Mont; Walloon: Mont) is the capital of the Belgian province of Hainaut, in the region of Wallonia. Together with the Czech city of Plzeň, Mons was the European Capital of Culture in 2015. At its center is the Grand Place, a large cobblestone square dotted with cafes. It’s lined with buildings in a mix of architectural styles, notably the centuries-old Town Hall. Nearby is the 17th-century baroque belfry, with sweeping city views.

Get in[edit]

Airports[edit]

There is no airport in Mons.

  • Brussels Airport [20] is about an hour away by train.
  • Brussels South Charleroi Airport [21] about 45 mins away by train.

By train[edit]

There are regular train links with Brussels and other major Belgian cities. On weekdays there are two trains an hour from Brussels.

Train tickets can be booked via belgiantrain.be

The Mons Train Station has been under construction since 2012, and was initially supposed to be finished in 2015 but wasn't. Some expected the station to be finished in 2018, but it is clear that is not going to happen either. As per the time being, a train station built out of shipping containers and metal corrugated ramps will have to do.

By bus[edit]

Services like FlixBus connect Mons with direct bus routes to Paris, France; Koln, Germany; and others.

By car[edit]

Take the Mons exit from the E19/E42.

Car sharing services such as BlaBlaCar also connect Mons with various other Belgian cities.

Get around[edit]

The city is serviced by free shuttle service that runs between 0700 and 2100. The shuttles run along three circuits, all of which terminate at the train station Gare B. All run past Sainte Waudru and the Grand Place.

There are various buses that run around and through the city. Information can be found here.

See[edit][add listing]

  • La Grand-Place (The Grand Palace), [1]. The Grand Place is the centre of the historic town and the stage for the annual mock-battle of the Lumeçon."  edit
  • Hotel de Ville (City Hall), Grand Place 22, 7000 Mons, 065 40 51 52, [2]. The City Hall, originally built near the current location of the belfry, was moved on the Grand Place in the 13th century. The flamboyant gothic building we see today dates from the 15th century. In front of it stands a statue of a monkey, which is said to bring good fortune to those who pat his head.  edit
  • Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church, Place du Chapitre, 7000 Mons, 065 84 46 94, [3]. Everyday 9.00 to 18.00.. The construction of the present collegiate church began in 1450 with the chancel, which was finished around 1506. The transept was completed in 1527, and work on the nave lasted until 1621. Laid out in the form of a Latin cross with 29 chapels around the main nave, transept and chancel, this building is recognised as a leading part of Wallonia’s heritage.  edit
  • Beffroi Mons (Belfry of Mons), [4]. Classified as a World Heritage Site, dates from the 17th century and is the only Baroque-style belfry in Belgium. €3.  edit
  • Van Gogh House (Maison Van Gogh), 3 Rue du Pavillon, Cuesmes 7033 (Mons), +32 (0) 65 / 35.56.11 or 33.55.80. Tu-Sa 10:30-12:30, 13:30-18:00. Cuesmoise the house where he lived from August 1879 to October 1880, was saved from ruin in the 1970s and is now accessible to the public. €5.  edit
  • Saint-Calixte Chapel, Rampe du Château 12, 7000 Mons (located adjacent to the belfry in Parc Château), [5]. The Saint-Calixte chapel of Mons houses the museum of the Château Comtal where you will discover remains and other frescoes. Free.  edit

Museums[edit]

  • Museum François Duesberg, Square Franklin Delano Roosevelt 12, 7000 Mons, Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 2-7pm (), [6]. This museum with terribly inconvenient hours has a prestigious collection of clocks and mantel clocks, exceptional gilded French bronzes, porcelain (mainly from Paris and Brussels), pottery, jewelry (including the famous Mons-punch), and numerous items of similar quality. €6.  edit
  • Mundaneum, Rue de Nimy 76, 7000 Mons, 065 31 53 43 (, fax: (0032) 065 39 54 86), [7]. Wed-Fri 1–5PM, Sat & Sund 11AM–6PM. Also know an "Paper Google" The Mundaneum was created in Brussels at the beginning of the 20th century. It used to be an international documentation Centre aimed at gathering, indexing and sharing the universal knowledge. Today the Mundaneum is a non-profit organization situated in the heart of Mons. The Mundaneum offers original exhibits aiming to show the vast collections of its archive Centre. The themes of the exhibitions resonate with the great themes of the institution since its creation (knowledge, peace, citizenship, democracy…), and fall into a constant dialogue between history and perspective. €6.  edit
  • Beaux-Arts Mons (BAM), Rue Neuve 8, 7000 Mons, 065 40 53 38 (), [8]. Tuesday-Sunday 10AM–6PM. The fine arts museum with a host to various temporary exhibitions, this unashamedly contemporary architectural project combines the functionality and rigour required of museums with aestheticism, as its architecture showcases the bright, light-filled spaces dedicated to transparency.  edit
  • Musée du Doudou (The DouDou Museum), Grand Place, 7000 Mons (Accessible from the garden area behind city hall), 065 40 53 18 (), [9]. Tues-Sunday 10am-6pm. From the originality of the Ducasse de Mons festival (listed by UNESCO in 2005) to the legend of Saint George, blending reality and imagination, the centre endeavours to aid in understanding and to emphasize the different aspects of this universal, centuries-old story. The museum's exhibits invite visitors to discover this exceptional local heritage, examining the event from a variety of perspectives: historical, anthropological, scientific, artistic, secular and religious. 9€/6€.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • visitMons Tourist Information, Grand Place 27, 7000 Mons, 065 33 55 80, [10]. M-Sat 9:30AM–5:30PM, Sunday 9:30AM–4:30PM. The tourist information center provides maps of the region and city, as well as information on sights and Mons Cards information.  edit
  • The Ducasse de Mons of Doudou is the name of a week-long series of festivities or Ducasse, which originates from the 14th century and takes place every year on Trinity Sunday. Highlights include:
    • The entrusting of the reliquary of Saint Waltrude to the mayor of the city on the eve of the procession.
    • The placement of the reliquary on the Car d’Or (golden carriage), before it is carried in the city streets in a colourful procession that counts more than a thousand costumed participants.
    • The lifting of the Car d’Or on a paved area near the church of Saint Waltrude; tradition holds that this operation must be successful for the city to prosper.
    • The Lumeçon fight, where Saint George confronts the dragon. The fight lasts for about half an hour, accompanied by the rhythmic "Doudou" music. The tradition of the processional dragon is listed among the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

You can also see the city with the help of a greeter. This free service, arranged by visitMons, will pair you up with a local who will give you a private tour of the city and focus on whatever you may be interested in. For more information on booking a greeter can be found here.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Official Visit Mons Souvenir Shop (Shop visitMons), Grand Place, 22 7000 Mons, +32 (0) 65/40.53.68, [11]. Monday - Saturday: 11 am - 1 pm / 2 pm - 6 pm; Sundays and public holidays: 2 pm - 6 pm. The shop proposes a range of gift ideas in very colourful settings.  edit

There are two markets in Mons per week. Friday, at Marché aux Poissons, Croix Place and Avenue Frères Orban (all mixed); and at Marché aux Herbes (food only), Grand' Place (flowers). Sunday at "Vieux-Marché", Place du Béguinage, Place Nervienne (both mixed), and Place Léopold (flowers).

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Restaurant L'Orphéo, Rue de la Coupe 26, 7000 Mons, 065 31 80 68, [12]. 12–2:30PM 6:30–10PM.  edit
  • La Petite Provence, Grand Place 26, 7000 Mons, 065 33 70 57, [13]. 12–2PM 6:30–10PM.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Le Royal, Grand Place 7, 7000 Mons, 065 35 49 03, [14].  edit
  • Citizen Fox, Rue de la Coupe 7, 7000 Mons, 065 33 81 01. M-Th 12PM–2AM, F-Sat 2PM–3:30AM.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Auberge de Jeunesse du Beffroi (Beffroi Youth Hostel), Rampe du Château, 2 (citycenter), 065 87 55 70, [15].  edit
  • Brasserie Georges, Place Léopold 1, 065 39 93 93.  edit
  • Dutrieux Ets‎, Rue de la Petite Guirlande 19, 065 33 56 55, [16].  edit
  • Hotel INFOTEL, Rue d'Havré 32, 065 40 18 30‎, [17].  edit
  • Ibis Hôtel Mons, Boulevard Charles Quint 27 (400m from Gare), 065 84 74 40‎.  edit
  • Ingredients du Monde, Avenue Reine Astrid 45, 065 36 07 63‎.  edit
  • Metropole, Rue Léopold II 20, 065 31 46 64.  edit
  • Prodhygen‎, Chemin de La Vallière 23, 065 59 05 01, [18].  edit
  • Ruttar / Rosa‎, Place Léopold 3, 065 34 05 64.  edit
  • St-James, Place de Flandre 8, 065 72 48 11‎.  edit
  • BW Hotel Lido, rue des Arbalestriers 112, 003265327800.  edit

Get out[edit]

By Bus[edit]

Services like FlixBus connect Mons with direct bus routes to Paris, France; Koln, Germany; and others.

By Train[edit]

There are multiple trains every hours to Brussels leaving from the Mons Train Station. You can also connect direct to other destinations from here as well including Leige, Namur and Charleroi.


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