48 Hours in Charleroi – 2 Day Itinerary

Just an hour away from Brussels, Charleroi has often been overlooked as a travel destination Charleroi in Belgium. Not many of you know, but Charleroi offers visitors a unique and intriguing experience, especially those who want a more intimate and memorable experience. 

Aerial view on the centre of Charleroi in the evening

If you plan to visit the town any time soon, we will share with you in this 2 Day Itinerary for Charleroi some of the things you can do and places to visit during your trip.

If you need more than 48 hours to explore this captivating destination, proper planning and time management are just what you need. You’ll have lots of opportunities to discover Charleroi.

Charleroi is located in the Hainaut Province of Belgium and was once an industrial powerhouse in Belgium.

It has transformed in recent years, emerging as a hub for art, culture, and innovation, and despite its industrial past, Charleroi has managed to preserve its architectural heritage. Now it boasts a blend of modern and historic buildings that create a distinctive atmosphere.

There is plenty of options regarding things to do in Charleroi. Travellers interested in beer, hearty food and, most significantly, arts will enjoy their weekend here.

Some numerous museums and galleries showcase contemporary and classical art deco, such as the BPS22, a former industrial building transformed into a contemporary art museum.

You can also explore and learn about the city’s history at the Bois du Cazier, where you can gain insight into the region’s coal mining past and the tragic Marcinelle mining disaster. Meanwhile, nature enthusiasts will find solace in Charleroi’s beautiful parks and gardens. 

To enjoy all these, it is highly recommended to visit when the city experiences a moderate climate – when the days are warm and cool. Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are pleasant. These months, crowds are also less, and the city is away from many tourists. 

Industrial heritage buildings and a ship at the Brussels - Charleroi Canal

However, if you enjoy festive atmospheres, visiting during winter, especially around Christmas, allows you to experience the magical holiday spirit and enjoy the various seasonal markets.

Also, consider staying in an area where you are near tourist destinations in Charleroi and public transportation hubs. We suggest you remain at Charleroi’s city centre, as it offers the most convenient access to attractions, shopping areas, and dining options. 

The Ville-Basse district is famous for its vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the main square. Alternatively, the Ville-Haute district is ideal for those seeking a more tranquil setting, with its narrow streets, historic buildings, and charming cafes.

If you are flying out from Charleroi Airport (Brussels South Charleroi Airport), consider spending 48 hours in Charleroi. During this time, you can enjoy Charleroi and immerse yourself in its cultural tapestry and diverse attractions.

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Overview of 2 Days in Charleroi Itinerary

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in two days in Charleroi:

Day 1 in Charleroi 

  • Explore the Vibrant Street Art of Charleroi 
  • Have Brunch at La Manufacture Urbainse
  • Visit the BPS22
  • Check out the Photography Museum
  • Get Coffee at Livre Au Verre
  • Ride around the Sambre River
  • Enjoy cocktail drinks at Le Carolopolitan

Day 2 in Charleroi

  • Walk through Nature at the Arboretum of Moneceau-Sur-Sambre
  • Visit the Saint-Christophe’s Church 
  • Get Lunch at Il Trulletto
  • Learn about History at Bois du Cazier
  • Shop at Centre Commerciale Rive Gauche
  • Hike the famous Terrils of Charleroi
  • Dinner at Le Sel Et Poivre
CHARLEROI, BELGIUM - Unidentified people by Charleroi-South railway station in Belgium. Charleroi-South is the main railway station serving Charleroi and was opened at 1843.

Day 1 in Charleroi

Explore the Vibrant Street Art of Charleroi 

Charleroi is renowned for its vibrant street art scene, making it an excellent destination for enthusiasts.

Once you’re in the city, the first thing you can do in the morning is to stroll through the city’s streets and discover how it adds a dynamic touch to the urban landscape. 

Like Brussels and Antwerp, Charleroi has dedicated large stretches of walls in their streets as a canvas for art murals. 

Several charters can tour you while you gain insights into the artists and their works or simply wander around the city. Yet, you can also do a self-guided walk and discover hidden gems at every turn. 

The Integro cargo boat over the Brussels- Charleroi canal

Have Brunch at La Manufacture Urbaine

Before you proceed to your first-day tour in Charleroi, keeping your energy up with some good food would be best. Charleroi is home to many great restaurants, including La Manufacture Urbaine.

In this trendy and contemporary bakery, you can choose various delectable options to satisfy your taste buds. 

They have various freshly baked pastries, as well as savoury brunch classics. We recommend you get their trio of meatballs, a popular dish n the city. If you have special dietary requirements, you can alos try the goat’s cheese salad drizzled with honey. 

Visit the BPS22

The BPS22, or the Museum of Art of the Province of Hainaut, is one of the most famous museums in the region. It is housed in an industrial glass and iron building, showcasing a diverse range of exhibitions of both established and emerging artists. 

Whether or not you are a fan of art, BPS22 is a must-visit in Charleroi. In this industrial building, you’ll find an area of approximately 2,500 square meters of photographs, paintings and art installations. 

Moreover, the museum also hosts experimental events, bringing together different artistic disciplines such as music, theatre and dance. 

Check out the Photography Museum

Another famous museum that you should visit in Charleroi is the Photograpy Museum. This world-renowned photography museum is housed in a former Carmelite convent covering 2,200 square meters. 

The convent was then renovated and turned into a museum, including a modern annexe that houses an extensive collection of photography that spans different genres, styles, and historical periods. A few among many others displayed here are iconic black-and-white images of avant-garde experimental photography.

Get Coffee at Livre Au Verre

After going from one place to another, you’ll need to recharge with some caffeine or a sweet treat; in Charleroi, Livre Au Verre is the best place to do that. 

This charming and cosy coffee shop in Charleroi serves excellent coffee and boasts a unique concept. From the outside, it may seem like any typical cafe, but inside, you will see hundreds of books displayed that you can browse through while having good coffee. 

The combination of good coffee, a relaxed atmosphere, and the opportunity to discover new literary treasures makes Livre Au Verre a favourite hangout for locals and visitors alike.

Ride around the Sambre River

Before you experience the Charleroi nightlife, we suggest a quick scenic and relaxing experience at the city’s Sambre River. You can take a leisurely walk around it, but getting an e-bike around the village would be a unique experience if you still have extra time. 

The river offers a picturesque setting with charming landscapes and tranquil waters. In the village of Thuin, you can get a great river view while you enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings. 

As you cycle through, you can also find various parks and green spaces, providing opportunities to rest, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the natural beauty. This is something worth adding to your two days in Charleroi.

Brussels Industrial center, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium. the Quay01 disco with the boats of Brussels by Water along the banks of the Brussels Charleroi Willebroek Canal

Enjoy cocktail drinks at Le Carolopolitan

After a long and fun day, cap off your night in Charleroi with a visit to Le Carolopolitan, a stylish cocktail bar known for its creative concoctions and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you are travelling alone or with a friend, this place would be great for enjoying the night scene in the city.

This trendy establishment offers an extensive menu of handcrafted cocktails and has been a staple go-to of the locals and visitors. The bar’s chic and modern decor creates an inviting ambience, perfect for unwinding and socialising with friends or fellow travellers. 

Whether you prefer a classic Old Fashioned or a unique mix of innovative flavours, the skilled mixologists at Le Carolopolitan will deliver a drink that will cater to your preference.

Day 2 in Charleroi

Walk through Nature at the Arboretum of Monceau-Sur-Sambre

Starting your day at the Arboretum of Monceau-Sur-Sambre would be great on the second day of your visit to Charleroi. This enchanting botanical garden offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city life of Charleroi, and in the morning, you are sure to have (almost) all the place to yourself. 

Stroll along the well-maintained paths, surrounded by diverse trees, plants, and flowers. The arboretum’s picturesque setting provides a perfect opportunity to relax, connect with nature, and enjoy the tranquil ambience. 

Visit the Saint-Christophe’s Church 

After taking a nature trip to the Arboretum, pass by the stunning Neo-Gothic Saint-Christophe’s Church before heading for lunch. 

Saint-Chirsophe’s Church is the oldest in all of Belgium, located in the middle of the town. This iconic landmark in the city makes it a gorgeous spot to take a photo inside and out. 

As you enter the church, marvel over its intricate stained glass windows, towering spires, and ornate interiors, and whether you have a religious inclination or not, the Saint-Christophe’s Church is a testament to the city’s history that offers a peaceful sanctuary for reflection making it worth the visit. 

Get Lunch at Il Trulletto

If you want to taste authentic Italian food, visit Il Trulletto for lunch. This charming Italian restaurant in Charleroi offers an authentic dining experience affordably. 

They have a wide selection of menus, including freshly made pasta, wood-fired pizzas and flavorful seafood. Moreover, with the restaurant’s attentive service and cosy atmosphere, Il Trulletto will be the perfect spot to fuel up and enjoy good food. 

Learn about History at Bois du Cazier

Since you’ve seen a few art and photography museums of Charleroi on your first day already, your second day will focus on learning more about the city’s captivating history.

At Bois du Cazier, a former coal mine turned museum, you’ll have the opportunity to delve into the coal mining industry and its impact on the region. 

On a trip to Bois du Cazier, you can explore the museum and mine shafts holding the memorial of 256 mine workers who lost their lives in 1956. Inside the museum, you will see an array of industrial machinery used for mining and a train that the workers used to ride on. 

The museum’s interactive approach makes history come alive, allowing visitors to understand the social and cultural aspects of the mining community. 

View over the Brussels - Charleroi Canal with Molenbeek residential apartments to the left bank

Shop at Centre Commerciale Rive Gauche

Of course, a trip to another city would only be complete with going on a shopping (or window shopping) spree!

Enjoy retail therapy at Charleroi’s major shopping centre, Commerciale Rive Gauche. This modern shopping centre offers a wide range of stores, from well-known fashion brands to speciality shops. 

Stroll around and browse the latest fashion trends, or discover unique gifts you can bring home after your trip. Centre Commerciale Rive Gauche will be a shopper’s paradise with various options. 

Charleroi, Wallon Region, Belgium - People in the shopping streets of old town

Hike the famous Terrils of Charleroi

If you’re up for a thrilling adventure, make sure to include your things to do in Charleroi hiking on the famous Terrils of the city. 

Terrils are the iconic conical hills that stand as reminders of the city’s industrial past. The province of Hainaut has more than a few terrils that can be conquered, including more than 30 terrils in Charleroi. 

These unique landmarks offer panoramic views of the surrounding area and provide a glimpse into the region’s mining heritage. Among all the terrils you can climb up, the best is the terril des pages where you can get a great view of the sun setting in the city. 

Be ready with some hiking boots, as the hike will be steep (but short). Also, follow the well-marked trails that lead to the top of these striking mounds. 

Dinner at Le Sel Et Poivre

Now that your weekend in Charleroi has ended, you deserve a treat at one of the city’s famous restaurants, Le Sel Et Poivre. Among all the restaurants in Charleroi, here you can enjoy a modern yet traditional fusion of French and Belgian cuisine. 

Their menu showcases a variety of dishes crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Plus, with the sophisticated and elegant atmosphere at the restaurant, you’ll surely enjoy a delightful culinary treat at Le Sel Et Poivre.

Tours in Charleroi

Escape Game 

Unlike any other tour in Belgium, this excursion in Charleroi is something you will find very memorable. If you want fun with family or friends, try engaging in this Escape Game. 

During this midnight tour, you will go out and about in the city while playing an urban escape game. Get to walk around and discover the streets and spots of Charleroi while you let yourself follow a mobile application that will lead you to different locations in town at night.

From there, you’ll need to carry out missions, solve puzzles, and choose how to end the game with the group. 

Day tour to Brussels

Since you are already in Belgium, it would be an excellent alternative to make time and visit the nearby city of Brussels while staying in Charleroi. With a professional tour guide, you will be going on a private day tour to Brussels and seeing a few of the significant landmarks in the city. 

Some spots you will pass by and visit include the Square Laeken, the Town Hall (Hotel de Ville), Grand-Place, the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, the European Commission, and more. 

Brussels City Hall and Mont des Arts area at sunset in Brussels, Belgium

2-Day Itinerary for Charleroi Wrap-up

It is clear that even in just 48 hours, you can already do so much in Charleroi. We have included every information you need to know in this travel guide, so there’s nothing much left for you to prepare. Just go ahead and book that ticket, pack your things, and you’re ready to explore the blooming city of Charleroi! 

Recommended tours in Charleroi

The Battle of The Bulge tour

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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