Recently I did a little trip to the city of Mons. It’s only 1,5 hours away from my hometown, and even closer to the city of Brussels. Despite the proximity, it was the first time I visited this lovely city.
A bit about the city of Mons
It’s a small city in the south-west of Belgium. It’s only a short train ride of 45 minutes from Brussels, which makes it ideal for a day trip or a short weekend getaway.
The city is located in the French-speaking part of Belgium and has a population of around 95.000. Not much, but they are all very hospitable and proud of their beautiful city. And rightfully so!
Where to eat in Mons?
You’re in Belgium, so eating like a king is very common. In Mons, that’s no different. They have a wide range of places to have lunch and dinner. I tried a couple of them and none of them disappointed. Let’s take a look at them:
Mel O Cake – Sweet stuff
The name might give it away. This is not a place where you go for a meal. Rather, this is where youl go for a sweet pitstop or a dessert after your lunch. At Mel O Cake they sell cakes, pies, cupcakes, and the most delicious cookies.
Mémé Tartines – Sandwiches
Translated, the name means Granny Sandwich. Which probably tells you what you need to know about this restaurant. But they don’t sell regular sandwiches. They make gourmet ones, with such a wide array of ingredients that there just has to be something to your taste.
L’impasto – Italian food
Fancy some Italian food? L’Impasto in the city center is the place to be. They sell pasta’s, pizza’s, and great meats. Make sure you are hungry though! Great for both lunch and dinner.
L’Envers – Gourmet food
I am not able to tell you the specific kind of food they sell here. It’s a nice restaurant which blends different types of styles and ingredients. Giving you a gastronomical experience. Perfect for a fine taster’s dinner.
Fromagerie Jacquy Cange – Say cheese!
You’re not really supposed to consume the cheese on the spot. This cheeserie (if it’s not yet a word, it is now) is the result of hard work and selection by Jacquy Cange. He sells local cheeses all over the world. He looks more to quality and pairing with beers, rather than trends. So you just know it’s high quality!
l’Ode à la bière – Belgian beers
A beer shop. Something you would expect in every Belgian city. This beer shop has room for tastings and a very friendly hospitable lady that loves to explain everything about the beer you fancy to buy or try. This place sells Belgian beers that are a bit rarer.
What to visit in Mons?
It might be a small city, but what it lacks in size, it makes up with historic value. Let’s dive right in!
Purchase a Mons Card 24 hours to visit all the museum easily and get benefits in restaurants and bars. More information on the VisitMons website.
Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church
A church that has the feel of a cathedral. Made from local materials (like sandstone and blue stone), this church has been standing tall since the 15th century. Make sure to go inside too, as there are many artifacts and relics to see.
The Beffroi or Belfry of Mons
A tall tower that looks over the entire city. It’s worth the climb up, although make sure to leave big bags at home (or at the entrance), as the top gets a bit narrow. The tower is 87 meters high and has some impressive bells hanging in the top. Every 15 minutes they play a beautiful song for you.
Mundaneum – Ye olde Google
Created in 1910, this building is the predecessor of the internet. And more specific Google. It was a huge milestone in the history of data collection. What you see in this museum, was the first ever successful attempt at classifying every type of information. Google once tributed one of their famous Doodles to this place.
A beautiful house in the style of Art Nouveau. This house used to be of the collection Léon Losseau. A local lawyer that loved art and culture. So he made sure his own house breathed those values. Some rooms are even so precious, you have to wear shoe-covers before entering them.
L’art habite la Ville
All over the city, there are works of art to be seen on walls. Some on the prison walls, others on parking lots, and others in alleyways. For more information where to find all of them, you can ask the nice people at the Tourism Board in the city center.
Where to stay in Mons?
You can go for one day, but staying the night is even better. During my visit, I stayed at the Dream Hotel. An old church that has been restored to a hotel. In some rooms, you find old pillars, and others have those beautiful glassworks as windows.
Disclaimer: This article is the result of a press trip by VisitMons & WallonieBelgieToerisme