Walloon Brabant's capital, Wavre, happens also to be the biggest city of the province and has some unusual sights. The locals of this city go by “Wavriens”. Most people in Walloon Brabant speak French, however, you’re likely to find expat workers living and hanging out throughout the province who speak a variety of languages.
Walloon Brabant is a cultural and historical haven, perfect for any slow travel trip for all the experiences it offers. This province should be on your list for its unique cultural sights to see. You’ll struggle to find anywhere else that has castles, ruins, family things to do, and some of the best art museums around all in one go. Thanks to its super close proximity to the rest of Wallonia and Brussels, this province is an awesome starting point for longer explorations into Belgium as well as family day trips.
At Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender. You know the words, but maybe not the whole story. Basically, Napoleon was defeated in 1815 by the armies of the Seventh Coalition (led by Britain, the Netherlands and more). In Walloon Brabant, head over to Waterloo to see the battlefield. It’s the #1 tourist attraction of the whole province. It’s worth it, too. The Lion’s Head looms over the open field, a bit intimidating and mysterious compared to its surroundings. Go take a walk into history!
Let out your inner artist! Walloon Brabant has so much to offer when it comes to culture, you’re spoiled for choice. The province has some unique arts and culture events, including city carnivals, especially in Wavre. You’re sure to see giants and other bits of Wallonia’s folklore.
Belgium is the home of the comic strip and you can see originals in the comic strip museum in Louvain-la-Neuve. As you go around the province on foot or by bike, you’re sure to spot comic-inspired street art and statues all over the cities (especially Wavre and Dupa, which have been home to many of Belgium’s best comic artists!). But there’s more than comic art to be found. Have you heard of Jean-Michel Folon? He was a super important Belgian artist. You can stroll through his artwork and story in the eye-catching displays at the Folon Foundation in La Hulpe.
Some arts and culture attractions are busier than others, but you can generally avoid the tourist crowds and museum hoppers that you’ll find in Brussels and elsewhere. For the whole family
Walloon-Brabant is a super family-friendly province to visit. It’s one of the popular travel destinations in Belgium for families. Bring the whole family along for a theme park day at Walibi, one of the biggest theme parks in the country well-known and much loved for its variety of rollercoaster rides.
Are your kids (or you!) scared of heights? No worries. There are still plenty of other family-friendly activities for you. Bring them along for their first adventure with tree climbing in the Aventure Parc or go swimming at Aqualibi.
Wavre - the largest city of the province and its capital. There’s a statue of a small boy, named Maca, climbing up the town hall. It’s said if you smack his butt you’ll have good luck for a whole year. Let us know if it works!
Nivelles - city known for its architecture, particularly the church dedicated to its patron saint (Collegiate Church of St Gertrude).
Villers-la-Ville - home to the ruins Villers Abbey, an abandoned Cistercian abbey that is often called the most beautiful ruins in Belgium
La Hulpe - close to the beautiful Sonian Forest, known for its charming Chateau
Waterloo - famous for the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon lost. The battlefield is a super popular tourist attraction, but the city itself is a nice place to visit for its shopping streets and nearby chateaus.
Walloon Brabant has its tourist season during the summer months and the holidays, where you’re sure to find plenty of families taking a break. Some of the most well-known attractions such as the theme park are best when it's sunny, but generally you’ll have a good time no matter the season. There are some events outside the height of the tourist season that you might want to check out.
Walloon Brabant is easily reached in a car. Wavre in particular is in a good location to make it a starting point for the rest of the province. Wavre is connected to the E40 from Ghent and the E411 from Brussels. Wavre is a 1 hour drive from Brussels, 1 hour 20 minutes from Ghent, and just over an hour drive from Liege.
When flying into Walloon Brabant, you’ll probably be landing in Brussels Airport. The airport is just a 30 minute drive from Wavre or about 1 hour on the train. Nivelles is also easily reached from the airport - it’s a 40 minute drive or 1 hour 15 minutes on the train.
Walloon Brabant is easily reached on the train, especially through Brussels. From Brussels-South Station, it’s a direct 45 minute train journey to Wavre. From there you can easily catch a train to most of the other cities in the province. There isn’t a direct train from Ghent to Wavre, but again if you go through Brussels it’s just two trains and a 1 hour 30 minute journey.
Walloon Brabant is easy to get around in a car. The major cities aren’t too far away from each other. Wavre is a 30 minute drive from Waterloo, for example. We recommend Park & Ride once you reach the city.
Buses in Walloon Brabant are operated by TEC. Buses are used to get from the train station into the city and to sights that don’t have a train station nearby. Villages also often have a bus stop, though the buses don’t really run that often. Buses are affordable, but not the most reliable way to get around the province easily.
Wavre is the main train station. From here, you can easily catch a bus or train to the nearby cities. Villers-la-Ville is just a 40 minute train journey away from Brussels. You will probably have to walk a little from the train station to where you’d like to go, but in general the trains are a handy and affordable way to get around Walloon Brabant.
Languages: Walloon French
Emergency numbers: Police urgent: (101), Fire, ambulance, police: 112
Email: [email protected]
Address: Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia, 217 Marsh Wall, London E14 9FJ, UK
Maison du Tourisme du Brabant wallon
Telephone: +32 10 23 61 08
Address: Place du Brabant wallon 1 – 1300 Wavre