Charleroi (in Walloon "Châlèrwè") is a French-speaking city in Belgium, located in the Walloon Region, Hainaut province, on Sambre River. The city has seen the birth of heroes of the 9th art, the comic strip. It is the cradle of the Dupuis publishing house, whose statues of the characters adorn the town. Charleroi is rich with culture, street art, entertainment venues, museums and sports infrastructure. There are several nice little bars, cocktails bars and excellent restaurants and French fries shops. In its proximity, precisely in Gosselies, one can also find the airport Brussels-Charleroi, which can be reached by bus from the Charleroi-sud station. So, if you are coming to Charleroi for the first time, follow this guide and explore all its attractions.
While walking through Charleroi, you will discover 3 important comic strip heroes:
1) Boule and Bill is located on the roundabout of Boulevard de Frans Dewandre.
2) Lucky Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper stand in the Park Astrid. In summer, the park welcomes the "Quartier d'été" with animations, music, a lot of people, as well as good food and drinks.
3) Spirou and Fantasio, accompanied by Spip, the squirrel, are located on the Avenue du Général Michel.
And for everything related to comics, you can visit the 9th art gallery "Le Palais du Bas".
In the Upper Town, going up the "Rue de la Montagne", you will discover the Place de Charleroi where there is an Art Deco jewel - the City Hall - as well as the belfry and its 275 steps where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. This is a magnificent place that houses giant marble sculptures and statues, and beautiful staircases and rooms. The entrance is free of charge.
Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of shops in the city centre as well as shopping centres in the surrounding area. If shopping is not your thing, but you love books, you should not miss the Molière bookstore on the Boulevard Joseph Tirou. And speaking of reading, you might find it interesting to visit a café that combines relaxation, books and drinks - Livre ou Verre.
In 2014, international street art stars invested in Charleroi to participate in the first urban art biennial "Asphalt". Initiated by BPS22, a contemporary creative space in the Province of Hainaut, the project includes eleven monumental frescos, created in the city centre, as well as dozens of other smaller interventions. They dot the city that aspires to become the capital of urban art. You can find all the information about the Biennale Asphalte as well as the visitor's guide on the BPS22 museum website. You can read my story dedicated to this event and urban style in Charleroi "Street Art in Charleroi".
In Charleroi, there are also several trendy and cultural places as well as many theaters. Le Quai10 has 5 cinemas and a wide variety of screenings. The concept is a quality cinema, in the original version with subtitles. This ultra-contemporary structure contains a gaming area with video games. Pathé Charleroi is a more common cinema.
If this article helped you to discover the must-sees of Charleroi, I suggest you explore the next level as well - its music, culture, bars and local products.
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