According to 800zipcodes.com, Spa is perhaps the most famous city in the Ardennes if only because of the sparkling mineral water that comes from here and which is sold all over Europe. The common thread in a visit to this city is therefore also the water. Spa is traditionally a spa town and one of the oldest tourist destinations in Belgium. The wealthy have been coming to Spa since the 18th century for the spas and casinos. Everything in the city still exudes the grandeur of the old noble elite who used to come here to cure. The stately houses, the old baths and the casino give the city a unique atmosphere. It is not for nothing that thousands of tourists from the Netherlands and Belgium visit Spa every year.
Top 10 things to do in Spa
The Thermes in Spa are somewhat hidden between the greenery on the hills of Spa. A beautiful location where one can completely relax after a visit to the city. The thermal baths overlook the city and green hills in the area. You can of course bathe in the thermal water of the natural spring. In addition, there are many beauty treatments, saunas and other wellness facilities. A good place to completely unwind.
The Francofolies festival takes place every year in July. For five days, the city center is turned upside down. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Walloon version of the Ghent feasts, but because it is much less known, the festival is less massively visited. The festival revolves mainly around French music. In addition, there are all kinds of dance and theater performances and exhibitions and market stalls. Part of the site is only accessible after purchasing an entrance ticket. This protected area takes place in the park. The festival is freely accessible in the nearby city center. Francofolies is a fun festival with a very relaxed atmosphere.
#3. The sources
Seven Spa springs are still open to the public. In these springs one can still taste the strongly ferrous water right from the source. The various sources are spread over the center of the city. There is the Peter the Great well, which, in addition to the place where the source comes up, also has a beautiful winter garden. In this winter garden you can see through painted portraits which famous historical figures have visited the caves over the centuries. All wells have been given their own beautiful buildings and their own characteristic appearance. Besides the fact that it is beautiful and fun to visit the sources, you can of course taste the healing water directly from the source.
#4. The old spa house
This old spa house is located right in the center and gives a good indication of what a stately spa town Spa was in the past. The city of Spa was also called the café of Europe in the 19th century due to the large number of celebrities and wealthy Europeans who came here to cure. This beautiful old building was commissioned by the mayor at the time Jospeh Gervais. He wanted to give Spa an even more chic look and he liked it with this spa house. mr. Torelle designed the building and several artists provided the elaborate decorations both inside and out.
#5. The casino
The casino of Spa is one of the buildings that gives Spa its look of old Grandeur. The old casino was built rather dubiously after permission from the bishop of Liège. He gave permission to open a gaming room where parties and banquets could also be given if he also received a percentage of the profit. In addition to the spa, this casino naturally provided the attraction of Spa. One can still take a gamble in the current casino.
#6. The Saint Remaclus
Church This beautiful church dating from 1885 was built on the site of places of worship since the 15th century. It is built entirely of granite stone in the Romanesque-Rhineland style, which was very popular in this part of Europe at the end of the 19th century. The bishop of Liège officially consecrated the church in 1886. A new organ has been in the church since 1992, this new organ is one of a very high standard. The organ concerts are very popular here. In the church there is a wooden statue of Saint Remacus.
#7. The Museum of the Bathing Town
This museum is located on the Avenue Reine Astrid and gives you a good idea of the spas and the springs of Spa through the centuries. For example, you can find bottles with Spa water that were intended for export to America, but also for the entire European market. The Museum of the Horse is located in the stables of the museum.
#8. Flea market
Every Sunday a large flea market is organized in the Parc de Sept-Heures. From the tourist office there are signs to the place where the flea market is held. This flea market is very busy, an average of 2,000 people come to the park to see the colorful collection of trinkets.
#9. Lake Warfaaz
This is a small reservoir just outside Spa near the village of Nivezé. This reservoir is very popular with anglers. Salmon trout, pike and walleye are released here. For those who want a little more activity on the lake, pedal boats can be rented here from April 1 to October 31. There is a large eatery on the shores of the lake.
#10. The Waux-Hall
The Waux-Hall is an old imposing building just outside the center of Spa. It was built at the end of the 18th century. In the early years it served as an entertainment house for the nobility and wealthy who came here to the spas. When the government banned gambling, the Waus-Hall was converted into a military hospital. After this it was used as an exhibition hall, library, primary school, orphanage and as a city museum.