Lovers of gorgeous cafes on quaint cobblestone streets, you also happen to be in for a treat. The history of Mons is pockmarked with battles and violence but such things are a million miles away from the convivial chatter of the city today, an alluring town where days slip by in a haze of tender tranquillity and quiet inspiration. It was here than Vincent van Gogh decided that he might give that painting lark a good go, after all. Here’s hoping your own bout of inspiration doesn’t lead to insanity and 50% fewer lobes than the average person.
Throw in a thrilling Latin Quarter and one of Belgium’s most exciting festivals (the weekend-long DouDou festival, for the record) and you’ve got yourself a winner. A deserved recipient of the European Capital of Culture gong in 2015, Mons is a city of guarantees that still manages to bust out a surprise from time to time, be it the oldest masonic lodge in Belgium or an abundance of charming beer-heavy pubs for when the sun goes down, or at least when the sun begins to hint at possibly going down at some point soon, maybe.