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Charleroi

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About Charleroi

A thriving industrial town close to the Belgian-French border, Charleroi is both a brilliant city break and the ideal place to stop on your way to Brussels or northern France. The city offers a perfect example of Belgium architecture, with an eclectic mix of colours and styles that look beautiful at any time of year. Although Charleroi has a reputation as a slightly rougher city, it boasts one of the lowest crime rates in Belgium. Weather will feel familiar to British tourists with highs of 23°C in summer and winter chills dropping to around 1°C. With lots of travel links to Brussels and several local attractions, it’s a great alternative destination for visitors to Belgium.

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Charleroi Hotels

Charleroi’s hotels mostly cater to travellers looking to stay close to the airport, however savvy visitors may want to consider a longer stay in the city to avoid the high prices of Belgium. Those looking for modern accommodation will enjoy the Hotel Charleroi Airport, which promises contemporary rooms at a reasonable price. You can also stay in the city centre at the Leonardo Hotel Charleroi. For a wider range of hotel options, it’s possible to travel out to other nearby towns and cities, including Mons, Namur and Brussels.

Shopping in Charleroi

A fantastic alternative to other weekend shopping destinations, Charleroi has plenty to offer anyone seeking retail therapy. The Ville 2 Shopping Centre is a great place to start your spree as it’s only a short walk or drive from the city centre and boasts many big-name brands. If you’d rather stay in the centre of Charleroi, the Rive Gauche Shopping Centre has a wide selection of stores as well as a casino, cinema and art gallery. A little further out, halfway between Brussels and Charleroi, is the Shopping Nivelles mall which boasts over 100 stores and a superb food court.

Food & Drink in Charleroi

Belgium is famous for its waffles and chocolate, which are both available in Charleroi, but there’s a lot of other local dishes to sample during your visit. Carbonnades flamandes is a favourite of locals that swaps out the wine in boeuf bourguignon for beer to give the dish a more wheaty flavour. Those with a sweet-tooth will find plenty to enjoy as well, including sweet Sirop de Liege sandwich spread, Speculoos biscuits and Tarte au Riz pie.

Events in Charleroi

While most locals will head to Brussels for major festivals like the Christmas Markets and the 250-band Jazz marathon, there are some events that draw visitors from around the world to Charleroi:

Tour de France

The world-famous cycling championship, held throughout July, often runs close to or through the city. Fans flock to catch a glimpse of many top athletes as Charleroi is overcome in sports fever. If you have a passion for cycling, there’s no better time to visit the city and experience Charleroi at its best.

Charleroi Dance

One of the biggest dance competitions in the world, Charleroi Dance is a modern dance festival held across the city throughout late September and October that’s as focused on getting newcomers to try dancing as it is on determining the champions of the art. Those looking for an alternative holiday will love Charleroi Dance and should check for events to plan their trip around.

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Key facts

Language:French, Dutch and German
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1
Flight time:1 hour 25 minutes
Airport code:CRL
Holiday type:City Break

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