© istock/boggy22
© istock/boggy22

Charleroi for first time visitors

3 minutes to read
© iStock/bbsferrari
© iStock/bbsferrari

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. 

© iStock/Erik_V
© iStock/Erik_V

Walk in the city

Comic-book heroes

While walking through Charleroi, you will discover 3 important comic strip heroes:

© Wikipédia/George Woes JR
© Wikipédia/George Woes JR

1) Boule and Bill is located on the roundabout of Boulevard de Frans Dewandre.

Statue of Boule and Bill, Charleroi
Statue of Boule and Bill, Charleroi
Boulevard Joseph II, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique
© Wikipédia/Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer)
© Wikipédia/Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer)

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.

Statue of Lucky Luke, Charleroi
Statue of Lucky Luke, Charleroi
Rue Willy Ernst, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique
Parc Reine Astrid, Charleroi
Parc Reine Astrid, Charleroi
Reine Astrid, Rue du Parc 12, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique
© Wikipédia/Jmh2o
© Wikipédia/Jmh2o

3) Spirou and Fantasio, accompanied by Spip, the squirrel, are located on the Avenue du Général Michel.

Statue of Spirou and Fantasio, Charleroi
Statue of Spirou and Fantasio, Charleroi
Avenue du Général Michel, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique

And for everything related to comics, you can visit the 9th art gallery "Le Palais du Bas".

Palais du Bas Galery, Charleroi
Palais du Bas Galery, Charleroi
Rue de Marcinelle 27, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique

The main square

© Léandre Gohy
© Léandre Gohy

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 or reading

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.

© iStock/mathess
© iStock/mathess

Street art in Charleroi

© iStock/ViewApart
© iStock/ViewApart

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".

BPS22 - Musée d'art de la Province du Hainaut, Charleroi
BPS22 - Musée d'art de la Province du Hainaut, Charleroi
Boulevard Solvay 22, 6000 Charleroi, Belgique

Cinemas and gaming area

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.


The author

Roxane Casula

Roxane Casula

I'm Roxy, a nature, art, traveling, music and party lover from Belgium. i am playful to discover all the beauties and different cultures of our little blue earth.

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