Located an hour from Brussels, Charleroi is often overlooked by tourists in favour of its more popular neighbour. However, it’s a dream weekend destination for lovers of beer, oozing food and art who are travelling on a budget.
1. Flights into the city are very cheap
With direct Ryanair flights for €11 each way and low hostel prices (from just €20 per night), Charleroi is a great option for a cheap weekend getaway. You can also enjoy free beer tastings, concerts and cultural events, you can have a great time in this city without spending a fortune.
Ryanair offers direct flights to Charleroi from 83 cities across Europe. Making it very accessible to travel and move to. Ticket prices start from as little as €11 one way.
2. Charleroi has a great art scene
Charleroi is often referred to as “the city with an artistic soul”. You’ll find world-class street art, the largest photography museum in Europe and a thriving undeground music scene. It is also the birthplace of the Smurfs and many other popular French cartoon characters. Music lovers should head to the famous Uzine festival. There are also plenty of other music, art and beer festivals throughout the year.
3. It’s a great place for a weekend break
London, Paris and Rome are all great cities that everyone should visit, but do you know what they have in common? Each of them has a downright intimidating array of attractions, trying to tick off every item on the list can give you a nervous breakdown. And the other thing is, they are very expensive.
Lovers of sightseeing and walking non-stop from monument to monument may be disappointed in Charleroi. But if you want to get away for a weekend and experience a new culture, jump in for a few drinks, taste some local delicacies, listen to a concert and relax, this is the perfect place for you.
4. The city is working on its image
The once rich and powerful city owed its economic growth to the coal industry and, like many industrial cities, its glory days passed with the move away from fossil fuels in the 1970s. In the wake of Charleroi’s economic decline, crime in the city increased and its reputation suffered.
But these hardships inspired a generation of artists who turned relics of the industrial age into a colourful landscape full of quirky, crazy street art. Keen to return to its former glory, Charleroi is working tirelessly on its image. Of course, there is still much to do, but if you turn a blind eye to the imperfections, you can find real beauty there. As befits a town with a mining past, it is a real uncut diamond.