Tournai has a rich history, attractions, seamless transportation and vibrant markets. Tournai gracefully straddles the banks of the Scheldt River and has been an integral part of Belgium's historical and cultural narratives, offering many enriching and enlightening experiences for travellers. In Tournai, one will find a harmonious blend of the past and present, where historical magnificence meets contemporary charm, offering visitors a unique travel experience. Diving into the heart of Tournai, one cannot escape the enchanting grip of its history, which unfolds with every step taken through the city. Tournai wears its history with pride from the resplendent Cathédrale Notre-Dame to the ancient remnants of the city wall. Tournai is a city that has witnessed the tides of time, having survived numerous wars and reconstructions, yet standing resilient with an unwavering spirit that captivates every visitor. Tournai’s historical wealth is evident in its stunning architectural marvels, where each structure tells a story, weaving a rich narrative that forms an integral part of the Belgian heritage. Tournai is not just a witness to history; it is also a haven of incredible attractions that appeal to individuals with varied interests. Whether one is a lover of art, an enthusiast of architecture or simply a person seeking solace in nature, Tournai has something to offer.
Tournai is home to several museums that house artworks and artefacts that narrate the stories of times gone by. Tournai’s parks and gardens offer a tranquil retreat where one can momentarily escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse oneself in the serene beauty of nature. Tournai's lively cultural scene, marked by various festivals and events, brings the city to life, offering a vivid glimpse into the local traditions and customs. Transportation in Tournai, meanwhile, is a testament to the city's commitment to offering a seamless and convenient travel experience. Tournai has an efficient public transportation network, including buses and trains that connect Tournai to other major cities in Belgium and beyond. The convenience of getting from one place to another, complemented by the city's beautiful views, makes travelling in Tournai a truly delightful experience. A visit to Tournai would be incomplete without indulging in the delightful experiences offered by its markets. Tournai is home to vibrant markets that pulsate with life, offering various goods ranging from fresh produce to artisanal crafts. Here, one can find the true essence of Tournai, where locals and visitors mingle, engaging in the joyful exchange of goods and stories.
Tournai markets are not merely places of commerce but are vibrant hubs of community interaction, where the spirit of Tournai comes alive, reflecting the warmth and hospitality that the city is known for. Tournai beckons with open arms, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in a city that offers a rich blend of historical narratives, captivating attractions, seamless transportation and vibrant markets. Tournai is a place where the echoes of the past meet the pulsating energy of the present, offering an enriching and captivating travel experience. As one plans their journey to Tournai, they would do well to keep an open heart, ready to embrace all Tournai's delightful experiences. It promises to be a journey filled with discovery, awe and the joy of uncovering the many layers that make up Tournai's beautiful tapestry. Getting to know a place often begins with understanding its history, language, population, climate and the myriad of facts that shape its identity. Each element combines to tell a compelling story, highlighting the location's character, spirit and essence.
Listed below are the things to do in Tournai.
- Visit the Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai. The Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai is a 12th-century Gothic cathedral located in Tournai, Belgium, renowned for its architecture, which combines Romanesque and Gothic styles. Its highlights include five towers topping the transept, a 134-meter-long interior, 14th-century tapestries, a seven-meter-wide stained glass rose window and artworks.
- Climb the Belfry of Tournai. The Belfry of Tournai is a 72-meter-tall medieval bell tower located in the Grand Place of Tournai, Belgium. This 12th-century tower is the oldest belfry in Belgium and it has impressive Gothic architecture. Visitors can climb 257 steps for panoramic city views and explore historical rooms including the treasury, former prison cells and the clock room housing the bell carillon. The tower is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
- Explore Grand Place. Grand Place is in the main square and center of activity in the Belgian city of Tournai. It served as a cemetery in Roman times and is a cultural hub with cafés and fountains for kids. The museum features notable artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Rubens, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh and James Ensor. It is a cultural activity perfect for solo travelers, couples, families and groups.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai is an art museum in a building designed by Victor Horta. It was established in the early 1900s and has a collection of over 5,000 works ranging from 15th-century Flemish Primitives to 19th-century Impressionists. The building features Horta's signature elements like abundant natural light and curved lines. Visitors can see paintings, sculptures and drawings by famous artists including van der Weyden, Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh and Belgium's James Ensor.
- Maison Tournaisienne. The Maison Tournaisienne, known as the Museum of Folklore, offers visitors a look at daily life and folklore in the Tournai region from 1800-1950. The museum is located next to the Grand Place which is set in a 17th-century building with over 23 exhibition rooms covering 1100 square meters. The museum features collections of various aspects of life in Tournai, like the old cabaret, traditional games and a large 18th-century Tournai model. It appeals to visitors interested in history, folklore and past eras.
- Musée de la Tapisserie de Tournai. Musée de la Tapisserie de Tournai, known as The Tapestry, Wall Arts and Textiles Museum is located in a neoclassical mansion dedicated to tapestry weaving. The museum was an important tapestry production center in the 15th and 16th centuries. It traces tapestry history with over 250 pieces spanning six centuries. The museum highlights include 15th-16th century Tournai tapestries, mid-20th century “Forces Murales” tapestries and modern avant-garde textile artworks. Visitors can admire tapestries, attend workshops and go behind the scenes.
- Église Saint-Jacques de Tournai. Église Saint-Jacques de Tourna is a Roman Catholic church located in central Tournai, Belgium. It was originally built as a Romanesque-style chapel along the route for Catholic pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The church architecture shows influences from the Scheldt Romanesque tradition and early Gothic elements. The church's notable features include a 13th-century double triforium tower, a 14th-century polygonal choir with large stained glass, a 15th-century ambulatory with radiating chapels and preserved 15th-century ceiling paintings. Visitors can admire the Gothic and Romanesque architectural details, 1411 brass eagle lectern and stained glass from various eras and appreciate the church's history as a stop on the Way of St. James pilgrimage route.
1. Visit the Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai
The Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the heart of Tournai, Belgium on Place de l'Evêché 1, 7500 Tournai. It is also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai. This Gothic cathedral was constructed in the 12th century and is renowned for its impressive architecture of Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Visitors can explore the interior of the cathedral and view the architectural details and artworks. The treasury can also be accessed for a small fee. Guided tours are available on Sundays that provide insight into the history and features of the cathedral.
The Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai is a 12th-century Gothic cathedral located in Tournai, Belgium renowned for its architecture combining Romanesque and Gothic styles. Its highlights include five towers topping the transept, a 134-meter-long interior, 14th-century tapestries, a seven-meter-wide stained glass rose window and precious artworks. Tournai is accessible by train from Brussels. The cathedral is 0.9 kilometers (0.5 miles) from the Tournai train station. Entry to the Cathédral Notre-Dame de Tournai is free.
2. Climb the Belfry of Tournai
The Belfry of Tournai, known as the Beffroi de Tournai, is a 72-meter tall medieval bell tower located in the Grand Place of Tournai, Belgium (Vieux Marché aux Poteries 7500 Tournai). This tower was built in the 12th century, this iconic landmark is the oldest belfry in Belgium and is renowned for its impressive Gothic architecture and designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors can climb the 257 steps inside the tower for panoramic views of Tournai and its surroundings. The tower features historical rooms like the treasury, former prison cells and the clock room that houses the bell carillon. The carillon bell plays songs that echo throughout the city. Belrfy of Tournai houses the City Museum, showcasing its extensive collection of art and artifacts from its rich history. The Belfry of Tournai is ideal for visitors of all ages interested in Belgian history, medieval architecture or music. The tower is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Admission costs €2 ($2, £1) for adults and €1 ($1, £ 0.87) for children ages 7-12.
3. Explore Grand Place
Grand Place is in the main square and center of activity in the Belgian city of Tournai. The Grand Place is located in the historic city center of Tournai, in the Hainaut province of Belgium. The palace has a triangular shape formed by the convergence of several ancient paths. This space served as a cemetery from the 1st to 4th centuries AD.
Visitors can tour through the museum's collection of over 5,000 works spanning from 15th-century Flemish Primitives to 19th-century Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces. There are notable artists featured including Rogier van der Weyden, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Rubens, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh and James Ensor.
Visitors can take local buses, which stop near the museum or walk from centrally located hotels or tourist sites. The museum is located 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from Torunai train station.
The Grand Place offers something for visitors of all ages. The square and its surroundings can be leisurely explored on foot. Kids can play with the fountains while adults relax at a café.
It is a cultural activity perfect for solo travelers, couples, families and groups. There is no admission cost to enter the Grand Place.
4. Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts)
The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai is an art museum housed in a building designed by Belgian architect Victor Horta, which was established in the early 20th century. The museum is located at Enclos St. Martin, 7500 Tournai, Belgium in central Tournai close to the Grand Place and the train station. The museum's collection contains over 5,000 works from 15th-century Flemish Primitives to 19th-century Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
The museum building features many of Horta's signature elements including abundant natural light, curved lines and an open central lobby. It is an early and excellent example of Art Deco architecture. Visitors can explore the museum's paintings, sculptures and drawings by renowned artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Rubens, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Belgium's own James Ensor.
The Musée des Beaux-Artscan be enjoyed by all visitors. The museum is ideal for art enthusiasts, architecture lovers and visitors interested in a cultural activity while visiting Tournai.
The admission fees cost €4 ($4, £3) for adults, €3 ($3, £2) for seniors, students and groups and €1($1, £ 0.87) for school children. Entry is free for everyone on the first Sunday of the month.
5. Maison Tournaisienne (Museum of Folklore)
The Maison Tournaisienne, known as the Museum of Folklore, is a museum located in a 17th-century building next to the Grand Place in Tournai, Belgium. It offers visitors a look into the daily life and folklore of the Tournai region between 1800-1950. The museum has over 23 exhibition rooms covering over 1,100 sq meters. The displays feature a wide variety of collections showing aspects of life in Tournai during this time period.
The museum highlights the old cabaret, traditional games and a large model of 18th-century Tournai. Visitors can view the displays and dioramas at their own pace with the use of an audio guide. This museum appeals to all audiences with an interest in history, folklore and the everyday life of past eras. It can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Admission to the museum costs €2.60 ($2.85, £2.26) per visitor. The museum offers free admission to children under 18 every first Sunday of the month.
6. Musée de la Tapisserie de Tournai (TAMAT)
The Musée de la Tapisserie de Tournai, known as TAMAT, is an acronym for “Tapestry, Wall Arts and Textiles Museum”. The museum is located in a neoclassical manor house dedicated to the art of tapestry weaving. It is located in the museum district of Tournai, Belgium, an important center of tapestry production in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The museum features a wide range of collections tracing the history and evolution of tapestry from the 15th century to contemporary textile arts. It contains over 250 pieces spanning 6 centuries of textile creations. The museum highlights the 15th-16th century Tournai tapestries, mid-20th century tapestries by the “Forces Murales” movement, as well as modern and avant-garde textile artworks.
Visitors can admire the various tapestries and textiles on display. There are regular temporary exhibitions focused on different themes or artists. Workshops, activities and guided tours are available. There is a museum shop and cafe. Behind the scenes, visitors can observe the textile restoration workshop. This museum appeals to all audiences interested in art, culture, history, design and textiles. Admissions to the museum cost €6 ($6, £5) per visitor.
7. Église Saint-Jacques de Tournai (St. James Church)
Église Saint-Jacques de Tournai (St. James Church) is located at Rue du Palais Saint-Jacques, 7500 Tournai, Belgium, in the city center of Tournai. Église Saint-Jacques is a Roman Catholic church that dates back to 1167. It was initially built as a Romanesque-style chapel. The chapel was constructed along the route for Catholic pilgrims traveling from Northern Europe to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, which is why St. James was chosen as the church's patron saint.
The church is known for its architecture, which demonstrates influences from the Scheldt Romanesque style and early Gothic elements. The church features include the 13th-century tower containing a double triforium, a 14th-century polygonal choir with large stained glass windows, a 15th-century ambulatory and radiating chapels and preserved 15th-century ceiling paintings of angel musicians.
Visitors can admire the Gothic and Romanesque architectural details, see many sculptural artworks including a 1411 brass eagle lectern, view stained glass from various eras and appreciate the church's history as a stop along the Way of St. James pilgrimage route. The church is accessible to visitors and close to public parking areas and the Tournai train station. Admission to enter and view the church is free.
8. Église Saint-Quentin (St. Saint Quentin Church)
Église Saint-Quentin (St. Quentin Church) is located at Grand-Place 44, 7500 Tournai, Belgium, in the main square of Tournai. The church was first built in the 10th century, with a Romanesque Nave dating from the 12th century. The church retains the original nave and Gothic elements like the 13th-century tower, 14th-century transept and ribbed choir vaults, 15th-century ambulatory and chapels and a 17th-century marble choir enclosure.
The church houses the Annunciation sculpture group from 1428, created by the Tournai sculptor Jean Delemer. The artwork's original polychrome painting is attributed to Robert Campin. Église Saint-Quentin demonstrates the transition from Romanesque to Gothic styles and has an architectural affinity with churches in the nearby regions of Champagne and Picardy in its ambulatory design.
Église Saint-Quentin is located right on the Grand Place, which makes it easy for tourists to access and explore. Visitors can view the architectural fusion of Romanesque and Gothic features, admire the stone and marble design details, appreciate the rare 15th-century sculptures and ceiling frescoes and learn the artistic heritage. Admissions to enter and view the church is free.
9. Pont des Trous (Bridge of Holes)
The Pont des Trous (Bridge of Holes) is a medieval bridge spanning the River Scheldt in the city of Tournai, Belgium. It is located at Quai Sakharov in Tournai. The bridge was built between 1281 and 1304 and was part of the second defensive wall surrounding Tournai. Its name comes from the presence of a nearby lock on the river that was referred to as “Les Trous” (the holes) by locals.
The bridge is considered one of the most prominent remaining examples of medieval military architecture in Belgium and is one of only three 13th-century defensive bridges left standing in the world. It comprises two impressive stone towers on either riverbank connected by three stone arches over the river. The Bridge of Holes has undergone damage and restoration work over the centuries but still retains its medieval appearance and structure.
Visitors to the bridge can walk across it to admire the architecture and view the Scheldt River and the city. The bridge can be accessed from the streets Quai du Marché aux Poissons or Quai Sakharov in central Tournai and is open to the public at all times free of charge.
10. Hôtel de Ville de Tournai
The Hôtel de Ville de Tournai (City Hall of Tournai) is located at Rue Saint-Martin 52, 7500 Tournai, Belgium in the city center of Tournai. It has no alternative names. The Hôtel de Ville occupies part of the former 11th-century Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Martin. Its main facade dates from 1767 and features elegant neoclassical architecture. The most impressive part of the Hôtel de Ville that remains from the medieval abbey is the Romanesque crypt underneath the structure, which dates from the 12th century.
Visitors can access the crypt and admire its architecture of stone pillars and vaulted ceilings. Visitors can also walk through parts of the adjacent public garden and municipal park, the site of the former abbey, to take in its beauty. The Hôtel de Ville is open on weekdays for visitors who would like to view the crypt and architecture. The hotel is ideal for history and architecture enthusiasts. Admission to enter is free.
11. Statue of Christina van Lalaing
The Statue of Christina van Lalaing is a bronze statue located in Sint-Baafsplein in Ghent, Belgium. It depicts Christina van Lalaing, an important noblewoman and abbess who lived in Ghent in the 16th century. The statue shows Christina in her abbess robes, holding a book and rosary beads. It was created by sculptor Jean Delcour and placed in its current location in 1905.
The statue honors the legacy of a prominent woman from Ghent's history. Christina van Lalaing played an important role in the city and oversaw many building projects. The statue is an example of a bronze sculpture from the early 20th century.
Visitors can view and take photos of the statue. The statue is an interesting sight while visiting the historic Sint-Baafsplein Square and Gothic Saint Bavo's Cathedral. The statue can be appreciated by all visitors. Viewing the statue is free and does not require an admission cost or ticket.
12. Tomb of Childéric near l'eglise Saint Brice
The Tomb of Childéric is located underneath the remains of the Saint Brice Church in Tournai, Belgium. The church was destroyed in the 16th century, but the underground tomb remains preserved and open for visitors. Tournai is located about 40 miles southwest of Brussels.
The Tomb of Childéric's tomb is the burial site of Childéric I, king of the Salian Franks from 457 to 481 AD. The tomb revealed a rich array of artifacts, including coins, jewelry, weapons and the king's skeleton when excavated in 1653. These remains provide important historical insight into early medieval European royalty.
Visitors to the tomb can view the excavated remains and artifacts through a window. There are informational signs about Childéric’s life and reign as king of the Franks. The tomb features the intact royal tomb from the 5th century AD. The tomb is ideal for visitors interested in history.
The underground tomb sits below the ruins of Saint Brice Church, which visitors enter to access the site. Visitors can access the Tomb of Childéric and view the interior through a glass window at no required cost. Viewing the ruins of Saint Brice Church above ground is also free and open to the public.
13. Halle-aux-Draps (Cloth Hall)
The Halle-aux-Draps, known as the Cloth Hall, is a historic building located on the Grand Place central square in Tournai, Belgium. The hall was originally built in the early 13th century as a trading hall for cloth merchants. It was destroyed in a storm in 1606 and rebuilt in a composite architectural style featuring Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements in 1610-1611. The building is known for its gilt-detailed facade with tall pointed arches and a baroque gabled roof.
The Cloth Hall has a large galleried courtyard that historically housed merchant's stalls selling fabrics, leather, wax, spices and other goods. The hall became a temporary exhibition and event venue. Visitors can still get a sense of Tournai's history as a cloth-making center. The hall attracts both tourists and locals interested in cultural events focusing on art, gastronomy, crafts and more. Admission prices vary depending on the event.
14. Ecopark Adventures Tournai
Ecopark Adventures Tournai is an adventure park located at Rue de l'Orient 1, 7500 Tournai, Belgium, near the Orient Quarry Lake. The park offers visitors three activity areas, the Ecopark Adventures, Ecopark Legends and Ecopark Games. Ecopark Adventures features 10 progressive rope courses accessible for ages 5+ that allow unlimited access to over 100 varied obstacles within three hours, like zip lines, Tarzan jumps, monkey bridges and more. It includes zip-lining over 330 meters across the Orient Lake, the longest zip line in Belgium. Ecopark Legends is a massive 1,500 sq meter playground in the trees for ages 2+ with suspended nets, tree houses, slides and an underground world. Ecopark Games offers digital scavenger hunts and outdoor escape games for ages 10+. The activities cater to all ages and skill levels across multiple zones, perfect for families, friends, school groups and company outings. The park is open on Wednesdays, weekends and holidays from March to November.
15. Piscine de l'Orient
Piscine de l'Orient, known as Aqua Tournai, is a public swimming pool at Rue de l'Orient 1, 7500 Tournai, Belgium. It is located in the Orient quarry site. The facility features an indoor pool measuring 30m by 20m and an indoor waterslide. The outdoor facilities are open to the public, including giant waterslides, a small pool, a paddling pool and a lawn area for sunbathing during the summer months of July and August
Visitors can swim in a natural 600m2 pool integrated into the Orient quarry during the summertime. Lifeguards provide supervision for swimming in this outdoor quarry pool. There is also a wellness area with a spa, steam room and sauna. The pool has a restaurant, playground, paddle boats and a camping area.
Visitors to Piscine de l'Orient can swim, go down waterslides, lounge in the sun, rent paddle boats, have a meal at the restaurant, go camping and access the wellness facilities. Families with kids are especially well-catered to with all the outdoor facilities.
Where is Tournai?
Tournai is located in the southern part of the Belgian region of Wallonia. Located on the river Scheldt, Tournai lies approximately 85 km (53 miles) southwest of Brussels. With a population of 68,489, it is one of the oldest cities in Belgium and one of the most important cultural and economic centres of Wallonia. Tournai's long history dates back to Roman times, evident in the many examples of architecture found throughout the historic city centre. Tournai Cathedral, consecrated in 1171 AD, is one of the city's main landmarks known for its Romanesque architecture and elaborate stone carvings. The city also has a fine textile museum celebrating Tournai's past importance in the weaving industry. While not a major tourist destination, Tournai offers visitors a charming glimpse into Belgium's historic past.
What is the history of Tournai?
Tournai has a long and rich history dating back to pre-Roman times when it was an important settlement of the Nervii tribe. After being conquered by Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC, Tournai prospered as a Roman colony called Tornacum. It was an important commercial and military centre near the Roman road linking Cologne and Boulogne-sur-Mer. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Tournai came under the control of the Salian Franks. In the 9th century, it became the capital of the County of Flanders under the Baldwin Iron Arm. The city grew into an important centre of commerce known for its textile production, tapestries and sculptures. After the destructive sackings by the Viking Norsemen, Tournai began to rebuild and construct the Romanesque Tournai Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1171. Over the centuries, the city came under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy and the Habsburg Netherlands. It was taken by Louis XIV of France in the late 17th century, who destroyed its ramparts and devastated the city. Returning to the Southern Netherlands after the Treaty of Utrecht, Tournai became part of Belgium's independent Kingdom in the 19th century. Today, it remains one of Belgium's oldest and most historic cities.
What language is spoken in Tournai?
French is the predominant language spoken in Tournai today. The main language used in everyday life and business is French. However, Tournai's location on the linguistic border between French and Flemish-speaking parts of Belgium means some of the local dialect contains Flemish influences. Historically, the Germanic language Old Dutch was spoken in Tournai during the Middle Ages. However, the city came under increasing French cultural influence from the 14th century onwards due to Burgundian and French rule. This meant French gradually became the language of administration and the upper classes in Tournai. By the 17th century, Tournai was a predominantly Francophone city, although Flemish maintained a strong regional presence. Today, French remains the first language, while some locals near the language border know French and Flemish. Tournai's language history reflects its shifting control between Germanic and Romance linguistic and cultural spheres over the centuries.
What timezone is Tournai on?
Tournai is located in the Central European Time (CET) timezone, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1). Belgium as a whole observes CET all year round as its standard time. Tournai is located in southern Belgium within the Wallonia region, close to the French border. It follows the same timezone as Brussels, other major Belgian cities and most of Western Europe. CET is used in countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. It covers the area between 15°E and 22.5°E longitude. Tournai specifically lies around the 3°21′E meridian, squarely within the CET region. For centuries, the city has followed this consistent timezone as part of the Belgian state. While Daylight Saving Time is observed from late March through October, shifting clocks 1 hour forward to CEST (GMT+2), Tournai's standard timezone remains Central European Time (GMT+1) throughout the year. For tourists visiting, being mindful of this timezone will help plan any schedule during their time in Tournai and connecting travel in mainland Europe.
How many people live in Tournai?
There are 69,489 people in Tournai. Out this, 34,499 are men and 34,990 are women.The average age in Tournai is 42 years. Children under 4 years are 3,710 of which 1808 are boys and 1902 are girls. There are 3,975 teenagers (14-19 years.) People in the 0-14 year age bracket are 11,581. From 15-29 years, there are 11938 people. 30-59 years, there are 27,093 people and over 60 years there are 18,821 people.
What are the most interesting facts of Tournai?
Listed below are the most interesting facts of Tournai.
- Tournai Currency. In Tournai, as is the case with the whole of Belgium, the official currency is the Euro (€). This currency is used universally across many European countries, facilitating ease of transactions and commerce for visitors from the Eurozone. For tourists coming from regions with different currencies, it is recommended to have some Euros at hand for smaller businesses that might not accept card payments. This factor adds to the smoothness and convenience of the financial aspects during one's stay in Tournai. It serves as a uniting monetary symbol across the Eurozone member states.
- Timezone in Tournai. The city operates under Central European Time (CET), aligning with a time standard one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+1). During daylight saving time, typically from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, the city transitions to Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+2, allowing for longer daylight hours in the evenings and aligning with many other European cities for seamless business and travel coordination.
- Language Spoken. French is the predominant language spoken in Tournai, offering a rich linguistic landscape reflective of the Wallonia region as one of the facts of Belgium, where the city is located. Being a part of this French-speaking region, Tournai has a vibrant cultural scene with a significant influence from the French language, seen in its street signs, establishments and daily conversations. Visitors might find it beneficial to know some basic French phrases to navigate the city and engage with the local community more effectively.
- Power Plugs Used. Like the rest of Belgium, the city employs Type E power plugs and sockets with a standard voltage of 230 V and a frequency of 50 Hz. This information is crucial for travellers intending to use electronic devices from different regions, as it might necessitate adapters or converters to ensure the compatibility of their devices with the Belgian electrical system, thus ensuring a hassle-free stay.
What is Tournai famous for?
Tournai is most famous for its well-preserved architecture and historic monuments, which have earned it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of its most known landmarks include the Notre Dame Cathedral, the ornate belfry tower on the Grand Place and the 12th-century Pont des Trous bridge. Tournai is known for its artistic heritage as an important tapestry-making and textile production centre since the Middle Ages. The city was known for producing intricate tapestries, wool and silk textiles and high-quality fabrics exported across Europe. Today, Tournai's history in the textile industry is commemorated in museums like the Museum of Tapestries. As one of Belgium's oldest cities with origins dating to Roman times, Tournai is recognised for its archaeological significance. Remnants of Celtic, Roman and history can be explored within its city limits. Tournai also has cultural importance as the legendary birthplace of the Frankish king, Childeric I, in 437 AD. With its abundance of historic buildings and monuments, Tournai provides a window into Belgium's architectural past, earning it an eminent reputation as one of the country's most historic and scenic cities. Its preservation and celebration of heritage make it an important tourist destination and cultural landmark in Belgium.
What to do in Tournai for a day?
Listed below are what to do in Tournai for a day.
- Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady (Cathédrale Notre-Dame). Begin your day with a visit to this historic site. Marvel at its impressive architecture and the five bell towers symbolise the city's rich history. It's a heritage site that offers a serene and reflective start to your day.
- Explore the Belfry of Tournai. The Belfry of Tournai is one of the oldest in Belgium and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Capture panoramic views of the city from its heights, carrying a camera to capture the breathtaking views.
- Stroll around the Grand Place. The Grand Place is a lively hub with various shops and eateries. One can indulge in people-watching here, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of Tournai, with an option to enjoy a delightful Belgian meal.
- Discover Musée d'Archéologie. One can go to Musée d'Archéologie and immerse themselves in the rich archaeological history of the region. It's an enlightening experience that offers a deep dive into the different epochs gracing this region.
- Relax at Jungle City. As the evening approaches, one can treat the family to a fun-filled time at Jungle City. Here, children and adults can enjoy various activities, ending the day on a joyful note.
What is the ideal visit duration for a Tournai visit?
The ideal duration to visit Tournai is one day. In determining how long to spend in Tournai, it is important to consider the city's density and variety of attractions. Within 24 hours, one can craft a well-rounded itinerary that combines the city's rich heritage and contemporary offerings. Starting the day early, visitors can immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring architecture found in places like the Cathedral of Our Lady, followed by a panoramic vista from the Belfry of Tournai, offering a glimpse into the city's grandeur and history. As the day unfolds, one has ample time to stroll around the Grand Place, a vibrant area where one can indulge in delightful meals and perhaps pick up a few souvenirs. The afternoon can be well spent at the Musée d'Archéologie, where a rich tapestry of human history unfolds before one's eyes, offering both education and fascination. As the evening beckons, a visit to Jungle City can provide a joyful and relaxed conclusion to the day, especially if travelling with family. The combination of historical sightseeing with a touch of modern amusement ensures that the one day spent in Tournai is both fulfilling and enjoyable, leaving one with cherished memories and a rich understanding of this vibrant city.
What to eat in Tournai?
One might be spoilt for choice when indulging in culinary delights in the vibrant city of Tournai. As the morning beckons, they might commence their culinary journey with a hearty breakfast, possibly choosing a classic Belgian waffle topped with fresh fruits or a dollop of cream. As they venture through the city, they could consider stopping by a local eatery to savour a dish of moules-frites, a beloved national dish comprising mussels paired with a generous serving of fries. Moreover, the city offers a variety of eateries where one can sample a variety of cheeses, a staple in Belgian cuisine. As the day progresses, they might settle in a cosy restaurant to experience a traditional Belgian stew, perhaps opting for a Carbonnade Flamande. This dish combines the flavours of beef, onions and beer to create a rich and hearty meal. Every culinary journey in Tournai should be complete with indulging in a portion of Belgian chocolate, a testament to the exquisite quality and craftsmanship that characterises food in Belgium. This culinary exploration in Tournai promises to be an experience that tantalises the taste buds, offering a charming insight into the rich food culture of the region.
What are the best places to eat in Tournai?
Tournai has some of the best restaurants that will leave tourists wanting more. Here are the top three. Firstly, among the best restaurants to eat in Tournai is the famed “Chez Marie” that stands as a beacon of culinary excellence, offering a variety of dishes that cater to diverse palates, making it a prime choice for lunch and dinner outings. Secondly, is “L'épicerie”, a restaurant known for its sumptuous offerings and a welcoming atmosphere, inviting guests to indulge in a leisurely meal, perhaps paired with a fine selection of wines. Lastly, “La Petite Madeleine” serves as a charming destination where one can enjoy a delicious meal, offering a menu that captures the essence of Belgian cuisine with a touch of modern flair. To secure a spot in these popular establishments, it is advisable to make reservations in advance, ensuring a seamless dining experience. Whether lunch or a lavish dinner, these restaurants stand as the epitome of culinary finesse in Tournai, promising an unforgettable dining adventure for all who visit.
Listed below are the best places to eat in Tournai.
- Chez Marie: Housed in a 16th-century building on Tournai's Grand Place, this charming family-run restaurant serves excellent traditional Belgian cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients. Signature dishes include moules-frites, beer-stewed beef, and salmon baked in parchment.
- L'épicerie: Set in a converted 20th-century grocery store, this contemporary bistro features creative French and Italian-inspired cuisine made from fresh regional ingredients. The seasonally changing menu offers dishes like seared scallops and braised lamb shank.
- La Petite Madeleine: This bistro near Tournai's Belfry charms with its classic French ambience and cuisine. Owner-chef Michel Dubois prepares acclaimed dishes like escargots in garlic butter, pan-seared duck breast, and chocolate-drizzled profiteroles.
- Le Lacet Bleu: Overlooking the Scheldt River, this elegant 19th-century restaurant provides scenic views and creative Belgian cuisine. Signature dishes include North Sea crab salad, braised endive with pan-fried duck, and Valrhona chocolate fondant.
- NOU Restaurant: Located near the Grand Place, Nou offers contemporary fine dining with an innovative twist on Belgian cuisine. The sleek dining room showcases tasting menus with unexpected ingredient pairings like duck carpaccio with blueberry vinaigrette.
- En Cas de Faim: Set in a converted 19th-century brick warehouse, this laidback bistro celebrates seasonal ingredients in dishes like pumpkin soup and braised rabbit with mustard sauce. It's a cosy local spot for authentic dining.
1. Chez Marie
Chez Marie is a charming family-run restaurant on the main square of Tournai, the Grand Place, offering diners a delightful setting to sample excellent traditional Belgian cuisine. Housed in a historic 16th-century building, the restaurant's interior features exposed wooden beams, a cosy fireplace and walls decorated with antique knick-knacks that glimpse Belgium's past. Owned by the friendly Dupont family since the 1980s, Chez Marie prides itself on serving classic regional dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Signature items include the indulgent moules-frites, tender beef stewed in beer and crispy parchment-baked salmon. The menu has options to suit all tastes, from vegetarian gratins to hearty meat dishes like rabbit in prune sauce. Save room for desserts like Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce or vanilla crème brûlée. The wine list presents a thoughtful selection of French and Belgian vintages. With its prime location overlooking the postcard-perfect Grand Place, satisfying traditional cooking and warm hospitality, Chez Marie offers an excellent taste of authentic culinary Belgium in the heart of Tournai's historic centre. I
L’Épicerie offers a contemporary dining experience in a stylish yet cosy atmosphere. Housed in a converted 20th-century grocery store, the chic interior pairs original tiled floors with modern furnishings like leather banquettes and elegant pendant lighting. Head Chef Luca Bellini creatively spins French and Italian-inspired cuisine using fresh regional ingredients. The seasonally changing menu features seared scallops with cauliflower puree, braised lamb shank with parsnip mash and risotto with asparagus and truffle oil. For dessert, choices may include molten chocolate cake, crème brûlée or tiramisu with a twist. The wine cellar stocks a selection of fine French and Italian bottles to complement the menu's flavours. Service strikes a perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness. With its smart decor, inventive cuisine focused on quality ingredients and central yet intimate ambience, L’Épicerie offers a refined dining experience perfect for a romantic night out or special occasion.
3. La Petite Madeleine
La Petite Madeleine near Tournai's Belfry charms guests with its warm bistro ambience and classic French cuisine. The dining room is decorated in a traditional Parisian style with a checkerboard floor, wooden tables and vintage posters on the wall. Owner and head chef Michel Dubois uses his acclaimed culinary skills in dishes like escargots in garlic-parsley butter, pan-seared duck breast with orange sauce and profiteroles drizzled with chocolate. The menu balances traditional French fare with modern flair in creations like charred salmon on creamy lentils and roasted cod with ratatouille. The wines are exclusively French, ranging from affordable house reds and whites to prestigious Bordeaux and Burgundy vintages. Service strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness. La Petite Madeleine offers an authentic taste of France in an intimate, character-filled setting. It's a favourite of locals for romantic dinners and special occasions. Tourists will find the French cuisine and hospitality at its finest in the heart of charming Tournai.
4. Le Lacet Bleu
Le Lacet Bleu is located in a beautiful spot overlooking the Scheldt River. This charming restaurant provides the perfect dining setting to soak in views of Tournai's historic Pont des Trous bridge. Housed in an elegant 19th-century brick building with large windows and a sprawling terrace, the restaurant makes the most of its scenic location. Head chef Dirk Janssens puts a contemporary spin on Belgian cuisine with seasonal delights like North Sea crab salad, pan-fried duck breast with braised endive or cod fillet in beurre blanc sauce. For dessert, save room for indulgences like Valrhona chocolate fondant or crème brûlée with caramelized apples. The wine cellar includes a thoughtful selection of French and Belgian pairings. Servers are warm, efficient and very knowledgeable about the locally sourced cuisine. With its beautiful riverfront location, creative regional cooking and excellent service, this restaurant is a favourite for romantic riverside dining. Tourists staying at the nearby historic hotels will love indulging in the views and upscale Belgian fare in such an idyllic waterside setting right in the heart of Tournai's old town.
5. NOU Restaurant
Nou is located in a sleek, modern building near Tournai's Grand Place and offers contemporary fine dining with an innovative twist on Belgian cuisine. The chic dining room is decorated in subtle earth tones with abstract artwork adding splashes of colour. Owner and head chef Thomas Collins showcases his creativity in dishes like duck carpaccio with blueberry vinaigrette, roasted monkfish with parsnip purée and chocolate ganache tart with salted caramel. His tasting menus pair luxurious ingredients in unexpected ways that delight the senses. The wine list includes a full range of Belgian labels and fine French and Italian bottles tailored to the menus. The professional servers guide guests through the experience. Nou provides a sophisticated ambience for a special night out, from the cutting-edge cocktails in the bar to the parade of artistically plated dishes in the dining room. With its blend of culinary creativity, polished service and sleek contemporary surroundings,Nou is a destination for people seeking innovative modern cuisine.
6. En Cas de Faim
En Cas de Faimm tucked away on a side street near the Scheldt River, is a charming restaurant set in a 19th-century brick warehouse converted into a relaxing restaurant. Exposed brick walls, mismatched vintage furniture and artwork by local artists create a laidback vibe. The changing menu celebrates seasonal ingredients in dishes like pumpkin soup, braised rabbit with mustard sauce and North Sea sole meunière. Desserts tend towards Belgian classics like warm waffles or crème caramel. The wine list favours small producers, focusing on natural and biodynamic French varietals. Owners Pauline and Victor are consummate hosts who make all guests feel immediately at home. En Cas de Faim offers casual, wholesome fare in a setting with rustic character. Tourists looking to experience authentic local dining off the tourist trail will love its cosy ambience and regional flavours. It's a classic neighbourhood bistro to savour Tournai's cuisine and culture.
What are the best areas to stay in Tournai?
Listed below are the best areas to stay in Tournai.
- City Centre. The City Centre is a hub brimming with vibrant energy, offering visitors various attractions, including museums, galleries and iconic landmarks. As one wanders through the streets, one can witness the magnificent architecture that is a testament to Tournai's historical significance. Furthermore, the area hosts numerous eateries where one can indulge in exquisite Belgian cuisine, making it a top-notch choice for those who wish to immerse themselves in the city's cultural heartbeat.
- Saint-Piat. Saint-Piat is a neighbourhood that offers a blend of tranquillity and scenic beauty. The river setting provides an excellent backdrop for strolls, with pathways lined with trees offering a refreshing retreat from the urban rush. The neighbourhood also houses some quaint cafes and eateries where visitors can enjoy a quiet meal, making it a perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful stay with beautiful views.
- Nord. Nord stands as a neighbourhood that is well connected to the rest of Belgium through its proximity to the main train station. It is a convenient base for those planning to explore wider regions of Belgium during their stay. The area also features a range of accommodation options, from modern hotels to cosy guesthouses, catering to various budgets and preferences, making it an ideal choice for a varied group of travellers.
- Sud. Sud is a neighbourhood with a residential charm, with tree-lined streets and family-friendly parks. Here, visitors can find various accommodation options that offer a home-like comfort, making it a great choice for families and those seeking a longer stay. The neighbourhood also houses eateries where one can enjoy a meal in a cosy setting.
- Saint-Maur. Saint-Maur is a neighbourhood known for its lush green areas, offering a serene setting for visitors. One can find numerous parks where families can enjoy picnics or individuals can take a tranquil walk amidst nature. The neighbourhood also offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to charming bed and breakfast establishments, ensuring a comfortable stay amidst natural beauty.
What are the best places to stay in Tournai?
Listed below are the best places to stay in Tournai.
- La Posterie BV. La Posterie BV is set in a 19th-century former post house on the lively Grand Place. This intimate historic hotel places guests steps from top attractions in the heart of Tournai's centre.
- ONIRO – Luxury Rooms & Wellness Suites. ONIRO is housed in a renovated historic building near the Scheldt River, its chic decor combines original architectural details with sleek modern interiors.
- Hôtel Saint-Daniel. Hôtel Saint-Daniel offers a peaceful escape just steps from Tournai's historic centre. This charming hotel is in a 19th-century former priests' residence beside the beautiful Église Saint-Daniel church.
- Hôtel Ferme Delgueule. Hôtel Ferme Delgueule is nestled in the Belgian countryside outside Tournai. This relaxing farmstead retreat is on a working farm surrounded by pastoral landscapes, offering cosy accommodations and authentic farm-to-table dining making it one of the best hotels in Tournai.
1. La Posterie BV
La Posterie, set in an attractive 19th-century former post house, provides charming historic accommodation in the heart of Tournai. The cosy hotel retains many original details like exposed wood beams, stone walls and a sweeping carved oak staircase. Each of the 24 rooms has its unique décor, from ornate Belle Époque furnishings to sleek modern styling with Belgian designers. Amenities include plush bedding, rainfall showers and Nespresso coffee machines. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the vaulted cellar or relax over Belgian beers in the snug bar. The friendly owners Isabelle and Pierre proudly share insider tips for exploring Tournai. Located right on the lively Grand Place, the hotel places guests steps from top attractions like the Belfry Tower and Cathedral. With its central location, historic character and personalised service, La Posterie offers an intimate, authentic accommodation experience that introduces tourists to the heritage of Tournai.
2. ONIRO – Luxury Rooms & Wellness Suites
ONIRO – Luxury Rooms & Wellness Suites provides upscale accommodations in the heart of Tournai. Housed in a renovated historic building near the Scheldt River, its chic decor combines original architectural details with sleek modern interiors. Guests can choose from stylish guest rooms to spacious themed spa suites with amenities like chromotherapy-enhanced rain showers and heated bathroom floors. Suites are designed around wellness concepts like Energy, Serenity and Creativity. Facilities include a spa lounge, fitness room and tranquil garden terrace. The plush Captain's Lounge serves craft cocktails and regional cuisine. Staff deliver polished service with thoughtful, personal touches. With its blend of historic charm and ultra-modern comforts focused on wellbeing, ONIRO offers travellers a refined retreat.
3. Hôtel Saint-Daniel
Hôtel Saint-Daniel is set within a 19th-century former priests' residence beside the beautiful Église Saint-Daniel church. The three-star hotel retains a traditional atmosphere with elegantly furnished rooms featuring period-style carpets, patterned wallpaper and antique furniture. Each room is uniquely decorated; some showcase marble fireplaces original to the building. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the vaulted dining hall or relax over Belgian ales at the Honesty bar. The tree-shaded garden terrace provides a serene spot to unwind. Owners Alain and Marie-Claire proudly share their passion for their hometown. The hotel is located in Tournai's quaint Saint-Daniel district and is a short stroll from the Grand Place and major attractions.
4. Hôtel Ferme Delgueule
Hôtel Ferme Delgueule provides a relaxing farmstead retreat. Set on a working farm, the historic hotel is surrounded by pastoral landscapes of rolling fields, orchards and woodlands. Guest rooms are styled with rustic-chic decor featuring exposed beams, vintage furniture and plush bedding. Upgraded rooms add amenities like fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Hearty farm-to-table cuisine is served in the timber-framed restaurant using produce and meats from the farm. Guests can explore the countryside on a bicycle or foot, say hello to the farm animals and unwind in the outdoor hot tub. Owners Hélène and Guillaume's hospitality embody warmth and generosity. Located just 10 minutes from central Tournai, the Farmstay Hotel offers tourists a peaceful escape to experience rural Belgian life. With its rural setting, cosy accommodations and family hospitality, Hôtel Ferme Delgueule provide an authentic farmstead experience in the Walloon countryside.
What is the transportation like in Tournai?
The transportation system in Tournai is well-developed and efficient, offering various modes of transport for both locals and visitors. For those travelling from different parts of Belgium, the train services offer a convenient and reliable means of transport. The Belgian railway network connects the city well, with regular train services linking it to major cities. For instance, the journey from Brussels to Tournai is quite straightforward, with direct trains available, making the travel time relatively short, usually around an hour. Similarly, the train services also facilitate travel from Bruges to Tournai. However, one might need to transfer to Brussels, a central hub for various train routes. Aside from train services, Tournai has a robust bus network that covers the city and its surrounding areas. This network allows easy access to various parts of the city, making daily commutes and sightseeing tours convenient. Tournai is quite compact, making it a pleasant area to explore on foot. For those looking to hire private transport, taxi services offer comfortable and quick transportation within and outside the city. Tournai is located near major highways, making it accessible by car for those who prefer to drive. The road network is well-maintained, offering a smooth driving experience to those travelling by car. For individuals planning their journey, considering the different transportation options available and their convenience can greatly assist in figuring out how to get to Tournai, ensuring a pleasant and hassle-free travel experience.
How to get from Tournai to Brussels?
Listed below are the steps on how to get from Tournai to Brussels.
- First, one should initiate their journey by going to Tournai's central train station or preparing their vehicle.
- Second, those opting for the train must purchase a ticket to Brussels, either online or at the station, ensuring to choose a direct route to minimise travel time. Those travelling by car should set their GPS to a specific destination in Brussels to get accurate directions.
- Third, before embarking on the journey, it's essential to check the train schedule or the traffic updates for those driving to plan the journey efficiently.
- Fourth, when travelling by train, passengers should wait at the designated platform for the train to Brussels. Conversely, those travelling by car should start their journey following the GPS directions towards Brussels.
- Fifth, once on the train, travellers can enjoy a comfortable journey, possibly using amenities such as Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, individuals driving should keep an eye on traffic signs and adhere to the speed limits to ensure a safe journey.
- Sixth, passengers should gather their belongings as the train approaches Brussels and prepare to disembark at the Brussels station. Those driving should remain alert as they approach the city, possibly encountering more traffic.
- Upon arrival at the Brussels train station, passengers should disembark and make their way to the exit. Meanwhile, individuals driving would find a suitable parking space in Brussels to park their vehicles.
- Eighth, individuals can explore the city once in Brussels, perhaps using local transport or walking. Those who travel by car might explore the city on foot to avoid city traffic.
- Ninth, before returning to Tournai, travellers should check the return train schedule or prepare their vehicle for the return journey, ensuring they have enough fuel and that the vehicle is in good condition.
- Last, individuals should embark on their return journey to Tournai by catching a train back or driving back, reflecting on the enjoyable time spent in Brussels.
Is Christmas market crowded in Tournai?
Yes, the Christmas market in Tournai tend to be quite crowded. Tournai transforms into a winter wonderland during the festive season, attracting visitors from near and far to experience the joyous festivities at its Christmas market. The markets are a focal point of holiday celebrations in the city, bringing together an array of vendors offering a myriad of goods, from handcrafted ornaments to traditional Belgian treats. This attracts many visitors, both locals and tourists, who flock to the markets to soak in the festive atmosphere and find unique gifts and delicacies. As a result of the comprehensive offerings and the festive allure, the markets witness a significant footfall, making them fairly crowded, especially during weekends and in the evenings when people are off work. The bustling atmosphere, filled with the aroma of mulled wine and the sound of carols, adds to the festive spirit, making it a cherished experience despite the crowds. For those who prefer a quieter experience, it might be worth visiting during the weekday mornings when the crowds are likely to be thinner. Therefore, one should be prepared for the vibrant and bustling atmosphere that characterises the Tournai Christmas market, which testify to the city's vibrant festive spirit.
What are the most visited Christmas markets in Belgium?
Listed below are the most visited Christmas markets in Belgium.
- Brussels Winter Wonders. Brussels Winter Wonders is one of Belgium's largest and most visited Christmas markets in the heart of Brussels. It features over 200 chalets, a grand ice rink and a mesmerising sound and light show at the Grand Place.
- Bruges Christmas Market. Bruges Christmas Market is set in Bruges. The Bruges Christmas market offers a fairytale setting with cobbled streets and historic buildings. It's particularly famous for its ice sculpture festival and the variety of handmade crafts available.
- Ghent Christmas Market. Ghent Christmas Market is located in the historic city of Ghent. The market is known for its diverse range of stalls and activities. From traditional Belgian waffles to artisanal crafts, it offers something for everyone.
- Antwerp Christmas Market. Antwerp Christmas Market spreads across several squares in the city. The Antwerp Christmas market is a must-visit for its international food stalls, unique gifts and a special ‘Winterbar' serving seasonal drinks.
- Leuven Christmas Market. Leuven Christmas Market is located in the university city of Leuven. The market is popular among both locals and tourists. It's smaller than other markets but offers a cosy atmosphere focusing on local products and crafts.
- Liège Christmas Village. Liège Christmas Village is known as the oldest Christmas market in Belgium. The Liège Christmas Village offers a unique experience with its Walloon traditions. It features a wide range of food stalls, including the famous Liège waffles, making it one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium.
Is there music in Christmas markets in Belgium?
Yes, there's music in Christmas markets in Belgium. Christmas carols and live music are integral to the holiday ambience at Belgium's festive markets. In the leadup to Christmas, choral groups and musicians frequently give free public performances on makeshift stages and in market square foyers to entertain crowds and amplify the Yuletide spirit. Brass bands, choirs and a cappella groups are popular. Specific needs even have dance troupes and costumed characters join in. In Brussels, classic melodies and tunes like “Jingle Bells” in English, French and Flemish ring through the air at Grand Place. Historic churches like the Cathedral of Our Lady host concerts to coincide with nearby markets in Antwerp. The jolly sounds of the season give Belgium's Christmas markets an even more magical mood. Checking for performance schedules can help visitors coordinate their marketing with these merry auditory experiences.
What are the best music festivals in Belgium?
Listed below are the best music festivals in Belgium.
- Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is one of the biggest electronic and dance music festivals globally, spanning two weekends every July in Boom, Belgium, south of Antwerp. It features world-class DJs, extravagant set designs and lively crowds numbering over 400,000.
- Rock Werchter. Rock Werchter is Belgium's most prominent rock festival.Taking place at the Festivalpark in Werchter,it lasts four days in early July and has featured huge headliners like The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Bruno Mars on its outdoor stages since 1975.
- Pukkelpop. Pukkelpop is ane of the annual 3-day Belgium music festivals held each August showcasing major indie, electronic and hip hop acts across eight different stages. It is located near the city of Hasselt in eastern Belgium.
- Dour Festival. The eclectic Dour Festival hosts over 200 artists across diverse genres like heavy metal, techno, hip hop and more for a 5-day extravaganza every July in Dour, Belgium. It attracts music fans from all over Europe.
- Graspop Metal Meeting. Graspop Metal Meeting is Belgium's largest heavy metal festival, annually in Dessel each June. It caters to metal, rock and punk fans, with major acts performing on five stages over four days.
What is the weather like in Tournai?
The weather in Tournai is characterised by a temperate maritime climate, which means it experiences mild summers and cool winters. From June to August, Tournai generally enjoys mild temperatures in the summer months, where the average highs oscillate around 20-25°C (68-77°F). The summer period is often accompanied by longer days, allowing visitors to make the most of their outings in the city. However, one should also be prepared for occasional rain showers, as Belgium has a reputation for its unpredictable rainfall patterns. As autumn approaches, the temperatures start to dip gradually and the foliage in the city transforms, offering a beautiful display of autumnal hues. The period from September to November sees temperatures ranging from 10-15°C (50-59°F), providing a cool and pleasant environment for exploring the city's offerings. During the winter months, from December to February, Tournai experiences cooler temperatures, usually between 1-6°C (34-43°F). It is common to witness frosty mornings and occasional snowfall during this period, lending a magical ambience to the city's historic structures. As spring sets in from March to May, the city comes alive with blooming flowers and gradually warming temperatures, which generally vary between 8-15°C (46-59°F). This period marks a resurgence of outdoor activities and events in the city, drawing visitors to experience the rejuvenating atmosphere. Visitors should wear appropriate clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions, including sudden rain showers or temperature fluctuations. Keeping an umbrella handy is often a good idea when exploring Tournai to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit.
Is Tournai worth visiting?
Yes, Tournai is worth visiting. With its deep-rooted history and vibrant culture, Tournai offers a rich and rewarding experience for those who choose to explore it. As one of Belgium's oldest cities, it harbours a treasure trove of historical landmarks and architectural wonders, including the Cathedral of Our Lady and the ancient Belfry, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of history that has woven itself into the very fabric of the city, providing an immersive experience for history enthusiasts. Beyond its historical offerings, Tournai has a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local art scene, with galleries and museums showcasing various works, from ancient artefacts to contemporary pieces. The Musée d'Archéologie and Musée des Beaux-Arts are notable establishments, providing enriching experiences for those with a penchant for art and history. The city's culinary scene is a delightful adventure for food enthusiasts, offering a chance to indulge in authentic Belgian cuisine, ranging from delectable chocolates to hearty stews. The food scene in Tournai is a testament to the culinary prowess of Belgium, allowing visitors to satiate their taste buds with a range of culinary delights. Tournai extends a warm and hospitable reception to its visitors, with friendly locals and a serene atmosphere that makes it a pleasant destination for travellers of all kinds. The well-maintained streets and beautiful locales offer great leisurely strolls, photography and relaxation opportunities. A visit to Tournai promises a journey through history and an opportunity to immerse oneself in a vibrant culture, making it a destination well worth adding to one's travel itinerary.
Is Tournai expensive?
Relatively. Tournai is relatively expensive, as it largely depends on the individual's budget and the comparison point with other cities. In Tournai, like in many other parts of Belgium, one might find the cost of living moderate to high, especially when purchasing basic goods. A general analysis of the prices indicates that daily essentials like milk, water and breakfast items may bear a slightly higher price tag than in other regions. For instance, indulging in a hearty breakfast at a nice eatery might set one back more than similar cities in neighbouring countries. Moreover, the cost of products like cigarettes is influenced by Belgium's tax policies, which some visitors might consider steep. In terms of enjoying leisure activities, like sipping on a Belgian beer, the cost can vary significantly based on the venue one chooses. Generally, one might find that the price for a pint of beer in Tournai is somewhat reasonable, especially considering the quality of the brew that Belgium is famed for. It is common to find a pint of beer priced at around 4 to 6 euros, although this can fluctuate based on various factors. When contemplating the overall cost of travelling in Tournai, it would be wise to budget for slightly higher expenditures, particularly if one plans to indulge in the city's culinary delights and cultural experiences. Planning and allocating a budget for different categories of expenditure can certainly aid in managing finances effectively during the trip. Thus, while Tournai offers a rich and fulfilling experience, it comes with a moderate price tag and prospective visitors should prepare themselves for the higher prices in Tournai.
Is Tournai safe?
Yes, Tournai is generally considered safe. When evaluating the safety of a city, it's vital to consider various factors, including crime rates, criminality records and incidences of theft. In the case of Tournai, the city maintains a relatively low profile in terms of criminal activity. According to available data and local testimonials, Tournai enjoys a lower crime rate than other urban areas. It seems to have preserved a peaceful atmosphere welcoming locals and visitors alike. However, like in any other city, it is prudent for visitors to exercise basic travel safety precautions to safeguard themselves and their belongings. It includes avoiding poorly lit or secluded areas during the night and keeping personal belongings secure to prevent thefts. It is advisable to stay vigilant, especially in crowded places, to avoid pickpocketing or other minor crimes common in tourist areas. The local authorities are quite responsive and efficient in maintaining law and order in the city. The proactive approach towards safety reassures residents and visitors alike, fostering a sense of security and wellbeingwellbeing. Therefore, one can confidently say that Tournai offers a safe environment for both tourists and locals, with its low crime rates and well-maintained public spaces promising a secure and enjoyable experience for all who venture there.
Is Tournai easy to visit with kids?
Yes, Tournai is easy to visit with kids. When considering a family trip, the ease of navigating a city and the availability of child-friendly attractions play a crucial role. Tournai meets these criteria effectively, making it a favourable destination for families with kids. Initially, one would notice that the city offers various activities catering to the young. Places like Jungle City are a testament to the city's commitment to providing wholesome entertainment options for families. Here, kids can indulge in various fun-filled activities to burn off energy in a safe and enjoyable environment. The city's rich history provides a great educational backdrop for older children, who can learn and explore the historical significance of various landmarks, making their trip entertaining and educational.
Additionally, the culinary scene in Tournai offers a range of options that cater to young palates, making meal times hassle-free and enjoyable. Therefore, families planning a visit should find it relatively straightforward to craft an itinerary that keeps their young ones engaged and entertained throughout their stay. Hence, exploring Tournai with kids and toddlers is a delightful and stress-free experience, ensuring a memorable family outing.
What are the UNESCO world heritage sites in Belgium?
Listed below are the UNESCO world heritage sites in Belgium:
- Belfry and Cloth Hall, Ghent. Belfry and Cloth Hall stands as grand symbols of the city's economic and cultural prosperity in the past. With its towering belfry, The majestic structure allows visitors to soak in panoramic views of the city, offering a glimpse of Ghent in all its glory. One finds an architectural marvel and a repository of the city's history within its confines, narrating tales of the glorious days of trade and commerce.
- Saint Rumbold's Cathedral Tower, Mechelen. Saint Rumbold's Cathedral Tower cannot be missed. The towering structure, a prominent part of Mechelen's skyline, tells a story of architectural brilliance and religious significance. A visit here promises a spiritual retreat and a journey through time, with its intricate carvings and stunning artworks narrating the tales of a bygone era.
- Basilica of Our Lady and City Tower, Tongeren. Basilica of Our Lady and City Tower stand as testimony to the region's rich religious and cultural heritage. With its stunning architecture and impressive city tower, The sacred site offers visitors a tranquil retreat where history and spirituality meld to enrich the experience, leaving a lasting imprint on one's soul.
- Belfry and Aldermen's House, Aalst. Belfry and Aldermen's House is a site embodying Belgian heritage and architecture in the historic city of Ghent. It is among the Belgium’s UNESCO World’s Heritage sites and it serves as a beacon of the city's historical and cultural narratives, where each stone and carving holds tales of the past. A visit here promises an enriching journey, offering insights into the region's rich history and travel through time.
- Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp. Cathedral of Our Lady stands as a beacon of architectural brilliance and spiritual serenity. The towering structure, adorned with stunning artworks and Gothic architecture, invites visitors to embark on a journey of spiritual enlightenment and artistic appreciation, as one of World War I.
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