Charleroi (in walloon "Châlèrwè") is a French-speaking city in Belgium, located in the Walloon Region, Hainaut province, on the Sambre river. The city does not have the best reputation but is filled of cultural and fun activities to see and do. Charleroi 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 in culture, street art, entertainment venues, museums and sports infrastructure. There are several nice little bars, cocktails bars and very good restaurants and French fries shops. There is also the airport brussels-charleroi located in Gosselies with low cost company. It can be reached by bus from Charleroi-sud station.
While walking through Charleroi, you will discover 3 important comic strip heroes:
Boule and Bill on the roundabout of Boulevard de Frans Dewandre.
Lucky Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper in the park Astrid. In summer, the park welcomes the "Quartier d'été" to take a break with animations, music, good people, good food and good drinks.
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, when you go up the "Rue de la Montagne" to go shopping, 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. A magnificent place that houses giant marble sculptures and statues, and beautiful staircases and rooms. The entrance is free.
For shopping enthusiasts, many shops are listed in Charleroi-centre, as well as shopping centres in the surrounding area. For book lovers, you can discover on the "Boulevard Joseph Tirou" the Molière bookstore. And speaking of reading, an interesting place that combines relaxation, books and drinks is the café 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 original version with subtitles. This ultra contemporary structure contains a gaming area with video games. Pathé Charleroi is a more common cinema.
See you in the 2 part of "Surprises of Charleroi", for music, culture, bars and local products.
Bisous bisous my friends of Charleroi