The Grand Place: An Unexpected Sight!
Many places along the walking streets of Mons are alive at night with energetic people. The restaurants and pubs are open late into the night and this is the place to go for a wonderful evening with friends or to meet people!
Besides being wonderfully historical, Mons is definitely a University town and the weekend nights are full of happy and sometimes crazy students letting off steam from hours of serious study. The energy here at night was fantastic!
The picture, I show here may be offensive to some so don't bother to click on it, thereby making the offense larger. I apologize, but couldn't resist.
As for me, a mother of two sons who had recently graduated from university, I saw ironic humor in the siight and it made me laugh. I will say that it embarrassed a few of my Belgian friends in Mons, but others laughed along with me.
Reflections of youthful--and probably, drunken--minds. It was a one-time ever opportunity and may never be seen again.
Dress Code: Mainly Casually stylish.
- Budget Travel
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El Fachawi: A bit of Morocco
Hey, this is new and I like it! A Moroccan teahouse and chicha place! Original, especially for Mons! The interior, staff and music are Moroccan so no problem imagining yourself in this place of the world. On the menu: mint tea (which is delicious), coffee and all sort of juices. No alcohol of course. If you're into it, you can smoke a chicha with apple, strawberry or some other flavours. Mint tea for two costs 4,50 euro and a chicha 7 euro. Not expensive. Great place to spend some quality time with friends!
Cubar: Mons meets Cuba
The Cubar is a nice place to start your evening. As the name tells you, the place has a lot of links with Cuba and wants to bring some Cuban atmosphere in Mons. It's situated in a cellar. The interior is quite nice (photo of Che, publicity for Bodeguita del Medio, salsa music, ...), but the plastic benches are ruining it a bit. On the menu: cocktails, rum, cigars, ... A bit expensive and the quality of the cocktails are average.
TamTam: Delicious cocktails!
The TamTam is an exotic cocktailbar not far from the Grand'Place. The cocktails are delicious, though somewhat expensive. Watch out for the happy hours to get a cocktail for free!
The TamTam is a nice place to start or end an evening with friends. Calm, relaxed atmosphere.
Le Chin Chin: Morning after headaches
You know how you get into the cellar of Chin Chin, but God knows how you'll get out of it!
Once you entered this old, medieval pub and once you tasted the liquor with the same name as the café, you are ready for one hell of a night!
Be careful when entering the cellar, some steep steps. Very cosy atmosphere, but very smoky.
" Le Chin Chin" is especially crowdy during the Doudou festivities (see local customs)
O'Malley's Irish Pub: The best Irish pub !
If you like Irish pubs, you'll surely like this one ! Nicely decorated with a round counter in the middle of the room. Often crowded, but a side room with benches and two tables is at your disposal if you want to avoid the crowd for a while...
Be sure to order snakebites, the specialty of the house ;-) This beverage is made of beer, cider and grenadine... 4 euros for a pint, and 2,50 for a small one. Too good :-))
Dress Code: No dress code required
Le Plaza Art: Interesting program of Indie films
This was a place where I used to hang around a lot when I wanted to escape from the university area. I usually went tho this India film complex to find some loneliness.
My University years there were the first time I lived with strangers in a campus pavillion. At some time, I always needed to escape the exciting and lively communautarian life and immerse in my lifestyle in Brussels: a bit of shopping (or at least, window-shopping), walking around the center, browsing bookshops and Indie films to end with.
Be it for French films, Dogma films, Japanese tales, Ken Loach works, British films (The famous "East is East"), you can expect some interesting selection there. The selection comprehends lots of Indie films of the preceding months (6-10 months)... or even ones from preceeding season.
Dress Code: Presentation (French)
- Arts and Culture
- Study Abroad
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K.FEE: Theatre, Concerts, Exhibitions and more
When I first hit K.Fee in 2000, it just opened. Friends brought me there after an Opera evening. I was still in my Opera mood, impressed by the quality music that filled my ears and being. Then, I landed in another musical place. Another live music place, a man played piano whilst audience enjoyed the moment.
If I recall it well, it was (and should still be) a cosy place to hang around, with friends appreciating good music.
It is a place dedicated to culture with cabaret nights (live music), jazz concerts, theater (they say) and Latino nights (lessons and perf shows).
Apart from that, you can also go there, just to here some live music with your drinks. It's a cabaret style. You listen, you can laugh, clap your hand, sing along. As far as I know, it is the only place in Mons to epxerience live music this way. "Soirées K.baret": on last Thursdays of each month, from 8.30 pm
For concerts program, check hereafter link:
Anyways, before coming, it may be useful to call them to know about the program of the day. I ensure you, even without music, the place is inviting and your bunch will have a good time.
Also, for Latino dance lessons (tango, salsa...), I advise you to call them or browse the website. Lessons on Wednesdays and Sundays at 7pm. Parties on first Sundays of each month. You have to book at 0900-10 115 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Check here to see the setting (then click on the thumbnails to browse the website, in French only):
Dress Code: "No rotten jeans".. doesn't it make sense ? :-P
Well, usual formula for cabaret is about either stillettos + garter belts either smoking + ball gowns. Here, it's rather casual cabaret evenings.
- Road Trip
- Theater Travel
Soirée pavillons: Only for students....
If you happen to be an exchange student who stays at Fucam university, you would likely to attend those "soirees pavillon".
Basically, those are parties organised by pavillon inhabitants. At Fucam, freshmen who wants to live in the campus use to be "parked" in what we call the "tours" or "peda". Those are tall buildings that could bear 25 rooms per storey and there were about 4 storeys in both Peda garcons (for guys) and Peda filles (for girls). In each storey, a big kitchen. Thank God, I've never inhabitated the tours. Too ugly !
Once you pass 1st year, you can choose between "pedas" and "pavillons". Pavillons are buldings with 10-12 rooms, with a kitchen and a lounge (and a small mezzanine if one manages to arrange things. There were 7 pavillons, some for boys, other for girls. First pavillon I lived in was a boy pavillion, very hectic.
Once in a while, throughout the year, inhabitants of one or two host-pavillons invited the others to party. In that case, everybody contributed: the Spanish Erasmus people made sangria , Belgians brought packs of beer :), Djs are most of times Black (some African nationalities there). Arabic music (rai) managed to sneak in the program. Indeed, very international, a lot more international than the usual Tuesday phrat parties. [Side notice: Maybe a reason to that: Erasmus exchange students use to be housed in pavillions. Also, one doesn't need to be member of phrat clubs to join in. Most of times, "Erasmus students" are not members of phrats, neither "Gradues" . Gradues are students who obtained a 3-year-degree (graduat) before joining Fucam. Gradues integrate Fucam at 3rd year. They have special program for having missed some lessons, those they haven't had at 1 & 2nd years. So, no time for joining phrats. ]
Dress Code: Pavillon parties used to be hosted in our dining-rooms, the kitchen was requisitioned as a bar. The mezzanine is where CDs were piling up, where the mixing table (sometimes) and DJs played...
Those were the times yours truly was the life and soul of pavillon parties. Improvising belly dance, taught by a Moroccan friend. Those were the times one just danced like nobody was watching. OK.. I was thinner back then :) and in fact, everybody was watching each other. My bunch watched the other bunches, we just mixed up.. having fun.
Soirees pavillon are parties organised as phrat parties. Still, we organized them because we, as non-phrat students, couldn't get into phrat parties. Unlike phrat parties, we invited whoever wanted to join in. Big fun... Even non-Fucam students went to our parties. Some Fucam-PHDers attended too.
Yep! Those were the times....
No dress code, and given the amount of liquid poured in, you'd spare your smoking pants and ball gown. Well, even rotten jeans would fit in. Sneakers are OK. OK, just don't tell pavillons-people that I advised you not to wash yourself. I hadn't said that !!!! :)
- School Holidays
- Study Abroad
Pub The New Dragon: Something different
OK.. I was longing for a long time to write this tip. Still, to think, I didn't remember the name (though I knew it was not a great aristocratic name) neither the style (irish? scottish?...). I started browsing the web looking for an Irish pub, never found any similar to this in the area.
Finally, it hit me. I found out it was rather an English pub. I searched on the name of the street and the style (English pub). Then, I was reminded it was the New Dragon.
Hearty atmosphere and friendly setting. I remember having spent some winter and fall afternoons there, just talking, drinking ales and Strongbows (haha). Probably this is not the style Italian locals look for. Many times, there were few people there. As a matter of fact, it was a friend who had used to live in England who brought there, as well as British Erasmus exchange students.
* some large choice of British and Belgian beer brands
* simple and traditional light meals (never tasted any)
* darts (never played)
* monthly gatherings of musicians (saw some and it's quite atmospheric)
Open at 05.00 pm to 12.00 pm; closed on Tuesday; easy access and parking.
- Beer Tasting
- Study Abroad
- School Holidays
Marché aux Herbes: The place to be
The "Marché aux Herbes" is a place known by every inhabitant of Mons. This is the place where the nightlife happens. Lots of pubs are situated around this rectangular square. Especially on Thursday, it can be pretty crowdy with all the students hanging around. During weekend you can find more local people. The "Marché aux Herbes" is the centre of the Doudou festivities (see local customs)
Student cafés and bars: Café concerts and so-called TD
Enjoy student TD (Thé dansant). Initially, it should be at tea time as its name induces. Nowadays, TDs are night events in cafés and bars where you can dance, have drinks (other than Tea), meet people (not only students but also working people) ... Great way to get in touch with locals.
La Cervoise: More than 170 beers...
Even if it is not as good as it used to be (just to name an obvious example, I've received a Kwak served in another beer glass), this is still the place to go if you want to taste belgian beers in Mons...
The choice is never obvious between the different beers (yet I wouldn't bet you can still find 170 different ones).
If you need some food with the beers this is not a problem, they also have delicious meat you can cook yourself on hot stones.
- Beer Tasting
La Lorgnette: Never heard of beer cocktail?
Normal that in a country with so many beers we also think to make beer cocktails...
La Lorgnette would be the best place I know to taste them.
Could sound a weird idea but give it a try, you will be quite surprised!!
Better don't plan to drive this evening though ;-)
- Beer Tasting
Le marché aux herbes: An easy pub crawl
If you would like to have a drink on a friday/saturday evening, this is a place to go. This is a square close to the Grand Place with many pubs...
They are always crowded in the evening and during summer, the crowd is even spreading outside...
This is of course totally packed during the Doudou's Week End...
- Beer Tasting
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