Things to Do in Mons Belgium in One Day

Mons Belgium in One Day: Grand Place de Mons fountain
There is a surprising variety of things to do in Mons Belgium, a town of about 100,000 people located in the French speaking region of Walloon. I had the opportunity to visit Mons on a business trip this Spring and wasn't sure what to expect. As always, I make the most of every business trip opportunity to take time for some fun. I spent 3 days in Mons but I was working during that time. I think Mons really is an ideal one day city to visit if you can explore without other obligations. Here are my recommendations for what to do in Mons Belgium for a day.

Get from Brussels to Mons Belgium by Train

Mons Belgium in a Day: Mons train station
Mons is located about 90 minutes by train from Brussels Airport. A train ticket from Brussels to Mons cost 18.10 EUR for a second class ticket at the time of writing. Splurge on a first class upgrade for 25 EUR; just 7 EUR more. The SNCB train network in Belgium is extensive and you can even buy an open-ended 10 journey rail pass to explore different cities in Belgium. This came in handy when there was an unexpected issue on the track between Mons and Brussels on my return journey. It took me an extra hour to get back to Brussels but I was able to travel around the problem, albeit with a train change, and even had time to spend a 4 hour layover in Brussels.

Take a Morning Architecture Walk in Mons

Mons Belgium in one day: cobbled streets and brick buildings
Mons began its history as a fortified city in the 12th century. The cobbled streets of the old town have great atmosphere. Start by taking a walk down Rue de Nimy. Wander down quiet side roads lined with stately homes. Marvel at Mons' ornate brick facades with elaborate patterns.
Mons Belgium architecture: Dome with statue on top

Visit Mons' Sainte-Elizabeth Church Inside and Out

Mons Belgium in One Day: Armoured mermaid sculpture at Sainte-Elizabeth church
Sainte-Elizabeth Church on Rue de Nimy in Mons is definitely worth a look. I was drawn in when I noticed a carving of an armored mermaid on the facade of the church. Inside, the white columns and arches soar to the ceiling. More ornate side chapels make for a good 15 minute diversion.
Mons Belgium in One Day: Inside Sainte-Elizabeth church

Eat Breakfast at MoMA Coffee in Mons

What to eat in Mons Belgium: Coffee and a croissant at Moma Coffee
After getting your initial bearings on your day trip to Mons, seek out some breakfast. MoMA Coffee was my go-to place for breakfast during my visit to Mons. MoMA Coffee serves well-crafted espresso drinks and is open from 8:30 to 5 pm. MoMA Coffee also serves amazing croissants fresh from the oven. If the weather is nice, grab a table outside on the cobbled street.

Admire Mons' Sainte-Waudru Church

One day in Mons Belgium: Park outside Sainte-Waudru Church
Sainte-Waudru Church is another architectural gem in Mons. The church is open from 9 am during the week but unfortunately, I needed to leave for work before then and didn't have a chance to explore inside. I satisfied myself with a walk around the outside where gothic gargoyles scream from the roof. The best view of Sainte-Waudru is from the small green park out front.

Have Lunch at Mons' Boule de Bleu

What to eat in Mons Belgium: Salad at Boule de Bleu
The food in Mons definitely exceeded my expectations. Stop for lunch at Boule de Bleu where you can choose from an amazing array of decadent salads washed down with a glass of wine. I ate what I think was literally the best salad of my life at Boule de Bleu. My salad was covered in fresh fruit, goat's cheese, apple rings, nuts, and bacon (an optional add on that simply kicks the salad up a notch). The portions at Boule de Bleu are enormous so go hungry.

Take a Street Art Walk in Mons

Mons Belgium in a day: street art
Just outside Mons' Boule de Bleu on Rue de la Coupe keep an eye out for edgy street art. Don't just focus at street level, look up. A number of the older buildings on the street had comic-like images in the windows. Some of the scenes looked like they were from old Film Noir movies.
Mons Belgium street art in building windows
Mons Belgium street art in building windows
Mons was named a European Capital of Culture in 2015. As part of that distinction, an elaborate art installation was created near Sainte-Elizabeth Church. Thousands of pieces of wood formed an intricate sculpture that extended up and over Rue de Nimy. Some of the boards were spray painted in bright oranges and yellows. A plaque near the outdoor art exhibit suggests that this work of art will remain in place until 2020 and then will be entirely recycled.
Mons Belgium European Capital of Culture wooden art installation
See it while you can!
Sainte-Elizabeth church viewed through the Mons Belgium European Capital of Culture wooden art installation

Pay Your Respects at the War Memorial on Place du Parc in Mons

War Memorial on Place du Parc in Mons Belgium
Check out Mons' Place du Parc in a quiet corner of the town. Pay your respects at the war memorial and remember the ravages of war that befell Belgium particularly during World War I. 

Circle the Mons Belfry

One day in Mons Belgium: Park with views of Mons Belfry
An ornate tower dominates the town of Mons. This is the Mons Belfry (Beffroi de Mons), a 17th century UNESCO Heritage Site. If you climb the hill to the Belfry, you can also check out Parc du Château Comtal which opens at 10 am. If you aren't around when the park is open (that was my situation since I was working), get great views of the Mons Belfry from the park just to the east of Sainte-Waudru Church. It is quite expensive to climb the tower of Mons Belfry. The weather was iffy when I visited so I skipped the climb.

Check out Mons' Jardin du Mayeur

Mons Belgium in a day: Jardin du Mayeur
Mons' Jardin du Mayeur is located just behind the Grand-Place de Mons and Hôtel de Ville, The park is open from 8 am to 10 pm so you can visit at any time during the day. I chose to go during the golden hour right before dinner. Admire the historic facades and lush greenery. When I visited in the early evening, I had the garden almost entirely to myself.
Mons Belgium in a day: Jardin du Mayeur

Dine on the Grand Place in Mons at La Cervoise 

Mons Belgium in a day: Grand-Place de Mons
As with most Belgian cities, life revolves around the Grand-Place. Have dinner at Cervoise on Grand-Place de Mons. Sip a Belgian beer or two in front of the burbling fountain. Sate your appetite with a steak on the stone served with Belgian frites.
What to drink in Mons Belgium: Quintine Beer

Get Some Good Luck from the Mons Guardhouse Monkey

Things to do in Mons Belgium: Check out the Mons Town Hall
After dinner, seek out the Guardhouse Monkey located near the entrance of Mons Hôtel de Ville. Petting this little monkey is rumored to bring good luck. Based on the sheen on the monkey's head, it's clear that many people have tried their luck at this activity.
Things to do in Mons Belgium: Rub the head of the Guardhouse Monkey Statue near Mons Town Hall

Go Gargoyle Hunting in Mons

Mons Belgium in one day: fountain with gargoyles in a park
As the sun starts to dip in the sky after dinner, go hunting for gargoyles in Mons. Stroll the streets and parks around Sainte-Waudru Church and see how many monstrous faces you can pick out. The gargoyles really add to the Gothic atmosphere of Mons.

Get a Drink at Mons' Le Sherlock Holmes

What to eat in Mons Belgium: Onion rings at Le Sherlock Holmes
Finish your one day in Mons with a drink at Le Sherlock Holmes. Situated down a side street near the Grand-Place, stop for a drink and a snack. Le Sherlock Holmes features friendly service, a broad selection of Belgian beers and bar snacks. I ordered a plate of onion rings that were simply perfectly prepared. Don't let the English name fool you. Le Sherlock Holmes is Belgian through and through.

Where to Stay in Mons

To get the most out of your day in Mons, I recommend staying one night. Hotel Lido at the head of Rue de Limy is an affordable and comfortable choice. Be aware that they charge a premium for rooms with air conditioning and that availability is limited. A large Delhaize grocery store is located about a 5 minute walk from Hotel Lido. Pick up Belgian beer and snacks to take home with you if you are driving or checking a bag on the plane.

Things to Do in Mons Belgium Map

I hope you've enjoyed this whirlwind tour of things to do in Mons Belgium. Check out this handy map highlighting the places discussed above to help you get your bearings.

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Things to do in Mons Belgium in one day: fountain on Grand-Place de Mons
 Things to do in Mons Belgium in one day: Gargoyle fountain in the park

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Things to Do in Mons Belgium in One Day
Things to Do in Mons Belgium in One Day
Explore Mons Belgium with this one day itinerary. Find about about things to do in Mons. Travel from Brussels to Mons by train.
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