In a recent year, Charleroi, Belgium, was voted as ugliest city in the world by a Dutch newspaper. But there is good news for all future travelers -- despite not being eligible for an award for its beautiful architecture, saying that Charleroi is the ugliest city in the world certainly is an exaggeration.
Charleroi -- Belgium’s third-biggest city and the largest in Wallonia -- is heavily industrialized. Only five hundred meters from downtown, you can already see the ugly factories and grey architecture. Since the declaration as ugliest city in the world -- which media from all over the world took over -- Charleroi even started to see some people visiting for dark tourism for a while, but Charleroi is not all that bad. The city centre is actually quite pleasant, although it does not live up to some other Belgian cities. When you find yourself in Charleroi there are plenty of cafes to drink some Belgian beers, restaurants in which to eat some delicious food, and pedestrian streets where you can do some decent shopping.
The main reason for most travelers visiting and staying overnight in Charleroi, Belgium, is not to see a charming city with interesting landmarks, but instead the airport that facilitates most of the budget airlines flying in and out of Belgium. Airlines often advertise the route with flying from Brussels South Airport, but in fact the airport is in Charleroi. Charleroi is still an hour away from Brussels. Staying in a Charleroi, Belgium hostel before or after your flight may be convenient for this reason. Very recently as of this writing, the first Charleroi, Belgium hostel finally opened its doors. Previously it was not possible to catch an early morning flight or a late arrival if you were traveling on a budget and did not have your own transport or booked a night in Brussels (from where there is a shuttle bus), but the opening of the first Charleroi, Belgium hostel has changed this.
Hi, I'm Martin Straatman,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Charleroi hostels. Welcome.