Tournai Travel Guide

  • Patisserie @ Tournai
    Patisserie @ Tournai
    by balhannah
  • Tournai Town Square
    Tournai Town Square
    by balhannah
  • Tournai Town Square
    Tournai Town Square
    by balhannah

Tournai Highlights

  • Pro
    Luchonda profile photo

    Luchonda says…

     Reminds me at my home city, the same treasures 

  • Con
    DanielF profile photo

    DanielF says…

     As usual in Belgium, the chances to see a blue sky are not high 

  • In a nutshell
    RhineRoll profile photo

    RhineRoll says…

     visit! 

Tournai Things to Do

  • the "Pont des Trous"

    The "Pont des Trous" Landmark of Tournai, the bridge of holes is last witness of the second enclosure of Tournai.In the 13th century the city attracts full of people because of its (relative) peace. In 1277 began the work that Philip Augustus ordered. They will be completed in 1304. The city now spans both banks of the Scheldt River, which crosses...

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  • Fontaine du Rond point de l'Europe

    Fontaine du Rond point de l'Europe Located on one of the principals access to the city, after the Drève de Maire, the fountain and sculpture offers visitors a pleasant impression. The ensemble is the creation of three different actors: the shelves are the architect Delvigne, fountains engineering Dumont and the magnificent sculpture of Marie-Josée...

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  • Christine de Lalaing

    Christine de Lalaing We can say that Lalang, Princess Christine Espinoy is for the people of Tournai that Joan of Arc is the French at least in importance and in another context as more than hundred and thirty years apart. Indeed, the 16th century saw the arrival in Tournai followers of Luther and Calvin. Thanks to good agreement, over the years...

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  • Visit Saint James

    Visit Saint James The existence of Saint James (in French = St Jacques) is already recounted in 1167, it was at the time a Romanesque chapel. At the time of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is very popular. And Tournai is on the way to the departure of Flanders.The tower is of the 12th century, the next century this was added a nave. The...

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  • Climb the belfry

    Climb the belfry Prominent at the corner of Grand Place, the belfry dominates the view down as it does on the horizon above. Be Prepared! You will have to first pay € 2.10 right then mount the courage to climb the 257 steps to reach the top.Then you are at the top of the symbol of communal liberties.This is the king of France: Phillip August that...

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  • Drève de Maire

    Drève de Maire If you are driving to Tournai, one of the finest entry is that of La drève de Maire: The N 50 (Bruges - Kortrijk-Tournai) is my most beautiful taste. Quadruple a row of towering plane trees in focus with several centenary cathedral. Tips: Parking is still free under the trees of the Drève. It is boring because only 15 'walk from the...

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  • GRAND 'PLACE [TOWN SQUARE]

    Time for a break, and where best to go, but the Town Square.Here we found many empty Cafes and Restaurants, and all of them had plenty of outdoor seating, so we chose a table, ordered, and were served quickly.This is a wonderful area for people watching, and for viewing the architecture of the surrounding building's. Most of the facades were...

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  • FOLKLORE

    As I walked around the city, I found more than one sign, with a description about some folklore, and standing beside, was a pole with a statue on top,.Interesting for Tourist's!

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  • ST. QUENTIN'S CHURCH

    Also located in the town square, is the different styled church of St Quentin’s.It's located one end of the Grand-Place, and is believed to be related to the vast Gallo-Roman cemetery that extended over the site of the Grand-Place and a neighbouring district.Its nave dates from the end of the 12th century, and there are two round chapels, one of...

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  • FOLKLORE MUSEUM

    Located quite close to the Market Square, I found the Folklore Museum. The Museum was located in building's from the 17th century, and in here were display's of daily life from birth to death in the Tournai area. I entered, paid the small admission fee, then went wandering, seeing all the 23 exhibition halls. It was an interesting collection,...

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  • NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL

    The Cathedral is another UNESCO heritage listed building in Tournai. Called a 'architectural masterpiece of the medieval west," it is easy to see why when I saw it for the first time!Another massive Church, it has five massive towers! The nave and the transept, going back to the 12th century, are in the Romance style with Norman and Rhenish...

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  • THE CLOTH HALL

    Located in the Grand 'Place [market square] is the beautifully decorated Cloth Hall. The Cloth Hall is one of the more elegant and recognisable buildings as it has gold on the outside, and you will see the flag's flying above the entrance. Built over two years between 1610 and 1612, the centre square was the place where the merchants used to bring...

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Tournai Hotels

See all 6 Hotels in Tournai

Tournai Restaurants

  • Share a laugh and a drink

    This place is the real deal! Filled to the brim with local character and presided over by a charming matronesse: Madame Marie. It was so enjoyable to sit here and peak out at the passerbys. Even more entertaining was the very verbal, semi-invalid couple that were celebrating their anniversary. Anything alcoholic since it is strictlty a bar.

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  • Close to the action

    This place offers ungoing service as a true brasserie should. Very laid back in feel and filled with locals. I had a respectable chicken salad. Plenty of locals abound. I guess they, too, enjoy the front row seat to the attractive Grand Place of Tournai. Salads

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  • The dark and the blond

    The month of May, a hot day - what else can be more refreshing than a good pint of belgian beer. (Only one, maybe two !!)

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Tournai Nightlife

  • A pretty poor cinema

    Unless you are absolutely bored, I wouldn’t really recommend going to the cinema in Tournai. Some time ago, there were two of them, “Le Variete” and “Le Multiscope”. The first one went broke some time ago and the other one is still surviving… If you have never seen anything else, it could look ok but once you have tasted to some bigger complex such...

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  • Keep it secret...

    Located in the Saint Brice area, this pub/club is not close from the 'center' (Grand-Place / Quai ) but that's its advantage as well : not too difficult to find a parking place and not (yet) excessively crowded!!This is a cosy pub (where you can even order different kind of Champagne) with a small dance floor...It only opens its doors around 7pm...

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  • I Love Techno

    On our trip through the park we found a bus stop with the poster of the next big event were we were going to go, so we decided to take a picture of what was going to be our next big party ¿?¿?¿

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Tournai Transportation

  • Local buses in Tournai

    The easiest way to arrive in Tournai is by train. The main hotels are around a kilometre away from the station near the Cathedral and Belfry. It's a pleasant enough walk, but there are also frequent buses.The local buses in Tournai have route letters - the longer distance buses have numbers. Any bus with a route letter will take you between the...

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  • From London

    Coming to Tournai from London, the Eurostar would definitely make more sense than the plane!No need to go to Bruxelles, some of these trains also stop at Lille, which is just on the other side of the French border.The only caveat is that you would have to walk from the TGV station (Lille Europe) to the regular station (Lille Flandres) but that's a...

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  • By plane

    Not far from Tournai, there is a small airfield where tourism planes and gliders can take off. Located in Maubray, the Tournai Royal Air club is not really easy to find by car. Close to the Nimy-Blaton canal, this is however the perfect goal for a cycle tour. The small terrace is a perfect stop: you can enjoy a beer watching the plane taking off...

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Tournai Shopping

  • Le Moine Austere

    If you want to bring back some beers from your trip to Tournai, this is for sure the place to go...You will find there more than 300 different beers and this is even open on Sunday!! As a perfect gift, they are selling wicker basket full of different belgian beers.That's also the place where you could find some local beers you could hardly find...

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  • Les Bastions

    Tournai is not the best town for shopping. You have a few nice shops downtown but they are not concentrated in a single area. There is even a small pedestrian zone but not really attractive!!An alternative (I can hear the downtown shop owners screaming) would be to go “Les Bastions”, this is a small mall located on the Boulevard, easy to access,...

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  • Tournai Hotels

    6 Hotels in Tournai

    24 Reviews and Opinions

Tournai Local Customs

  • La Maison Tournaisienne

    Officially called the museum of folklore, the Tournaisians prefer to call it the Tournaisian House / la Maison Tournaisienne since it describes their own life. It is located behind the Grand Place in two buildings from the 17th century.The masterpiece is probably the model of the city as it was in 1701. This work had been ordered by Louis XIV...

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  • Les Tournaisiens sont la!!

    Here is the traditional song of Tournai. At least this is its beginning, have a look to the external website for the full version and to listen to the mp3 : http://www.chez.com/tournaisienne/chants/tournaisiens.mp3Even the french speakers won't understand too much of the lyrics! It is written in "Tournaisien", the local dialect. It is indeed closer...

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  • The carnival

    In the 19th century, the carnival was a very popular tradition in Tournai. For some reason it faded away between the two world wars. For a while Tournai had to live only with “Les 4 Corteges” and “La Grande procession”, two other big events but, we have to admit it, which lacks of fun!Luckily in the beginning of the 80s, a couple of persons tried...

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Tournai Off The Beaten Path

  • Take a turn way off the Grand Place...

    This is a locals pub dating from 1911. It even features one of the few surviving Tournai table games, Jeu de fer. You could pass by this place easily since the street seemed so dark. Sort of the darker counterpart to the Tip Top (which is more frilly and inviting).Rue St. Martin 89

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  • Where to relax, swim and play

    I found it strange that in Tournai, there are few obvious playgrounds. There is a beautiful park in the center with roses and fountains...there is a number of outdoor cafes in the Grand Place and it is REALLY fun for my daughter to run through the water display that sprays upward from the ground...I found one small, slightly depressing playground...

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  • Beloeil

    Beloeil is a very small village in the province of Hainaut - located between Tournai and Ath.Everything (cultural and social life) is dominated by the Castle of Beloeil.The castle itself is famous for its library, which includes more than 25,000 books.Also famous for its French styled gardens designed by Len?tre in 1711. And believe me - those...

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Tournai Sports & Outdoors

  • Nautical activities

    Even if Tournai is located in the mainland, it is still possible to practice sailing… “Le grand Large de Peronnes” is located a couple of kilometers from the city centre (in fact in Antoing, a nearby commune). This is an artificial lake between the Escaut/Schelt River and the Nimy-Blaton canal. Not too big, this is big enough to practice. There is...

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  • Luc Varenne Stadium

    For some weird reasons, Tournai had two football clubs (or should I say soccer club?), “l’Union” and “le Racing”. Both of them has very briefly known the glory of playing in D1 league but for ages they were only evolving in D3 league.Very recently (2002) they merged to form the “ROYAL FOOTBALL CLUB TOURNAI”. The city built this brand new stadium...

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  • Aqua-Tournai

    Located close to the "Carriere de l'Orient " leisure center, this is a recent swimming pool. It has been built with our local team of water polo in mind. The dimensions are quite weird (20*30m) and as a nice feature, the depth of the pool can vary. Deep for the water polo match, the bottom can be brought up for children when the swimming pool is...

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Tournai Favorites

  • The Scheldt

    Although born in Northern France, the Scheldt river (Escaut, as it is known locally, or Schelde in Flemish) is one of Belgium's main rivers. It is not very long but, after crossing the entire Flanders, it forms a very large estuary where the port of Antwerp is located, which happens to be the most important in Belgium and one of the busiest in...

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  • Tournai's rich History

    Being one of Belgium's oldest cities, Tournai has a very rich history: already an important city in the Roman Empire, it became later one of the main cities in the County of Flanders. As former merovingian capital and birthplace of Clovis, the French Monarchy always considered Tournai as its craddle and, as a matter of fact, the city still bears...

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  • St. Quentin church

    This church can be found on one side of the Market Square. The statue in the foreground is of Christine de Lalaing, princess of Epinoy. She organised the defense of Tournai when it was besieged by the Spanish in 1583.

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